Proper cycling position is the key to a comfortable ride!

So you’ve bought a bike. We are really happy and congratulations! This is a really necessary and useful purchase. Now it remains only to properly configure it for a comfortable ride.

Setting up a bike to fit properly on it involves manipulating the saddle and handlebars. Adjusting the saddle includes changing its height, tilt and offset, and adjusting the handlebars can be done by changing the length and angle of the stem, the height of the rise of the stem, and the width and shape of the handlebar.

The fit will depend on which bike you have purchased: walking, racing or touring. Each type differs in bike settings, takes into account the characteristics of the ride and provides for the most acceptable body position to minimize the load on the back and legs.

Walking landing on a bicycle implies an almost flat, perpendicular to the ground, back due to the lowered saddle and raised steering wheel. With such a landing, there is no particular load on the muscles of the arms, legs and back, and the head is in a comfortable position for contemplating the surroundings and landscapes. But this landing brings certain inconveniences that experienced cyclists know about, and beginners have only to get acquainted with them. This landing is not designed for long distances. In addition, trips over bumps and pits will negatively affect the spine.

A race seating position involves supporting the bulk of the body with the arms by raising the saddle and lowering the handlebars. As a rule, the saddle is 5-10 cm higher than the handlebar. This landing is typical for road bikes and requires a certain physical preparation and flexibility of the back. At the same time, the location of the legs and the load on the muscles are so balanced that they contribute to a long and fast ride.

A touring bike seat effectively combines the benefits of a touring and racing seat. In this case, the back angle is approximately 45° with respect to the ground. The seat of the bike is located, as a rule, at the level with the steering wheel or slightly below it. During a tourist landing, part of the cyclist’s weight is distributed on the hands, but the bulk of it falls on the “fifth point”. For tourism, the landing should not be too low, because in this case, during a long ride, the neck and lower back will hurt, and you won’t be able to look around and enjoy the views at all. But too high a landing is also not suitable, because in this case the leg muscles will get tired quickly enough.

An important point for a proper fit in any ride and on any bike is the saddle. A properly selected bike seat is the key to a comfortable and, most importantly, long ride. Quite often it happens that the saddle that was sold with the bike is not comfortable. It’s easy enough to find out: after driving 25-30 km, you will feel obvious discomfort.

As you know, due to the difference in anatomy, women need a saddle a little wider than men. The most common saddle width, according to experts, suitable for most people is 14.3 cm. In any case, absolutely all saddles cause discomfort. This comes from a lack of practice for such loads. The discomfort should go away on its own after a week of training. If this does not happen, then pay attention to the saddle itself.

Saddle adjustments include up/down, forward/backward and up/down tilt. Setting the saddle too low can lead to problems with the knee joint, the most complex joint in the human body.

Proper saddle height means that the foot is almost straight on the pedal in its lower position, when the cyclist is sitting on the saddle, holding the handlebars, and the foot on the pedal is the heel.

The saddle should be set almost parallel to the ground, but this is quite an individual setting.

Adjusting the saddle back / forward according to the rules directly depends on the position of the knee above the pedal axis at the same pedal height. But, for example, athletes often use this setting to shift the center of gravity.

Even with completely correct bike settings, much of the correct fit still depends on the rider. When driving, special attention should be paid to the position of the head. It should not be too tilted, and periodically turn your head left / right to relax the muscles of the neck. When riding a bicycle, it is necessary to exclude unnecessary movements, because they spend a lot of energy, and therefore set up the bike so as not to move forward or backward from the saddle, and also not to ride left / right in it. To relieve tension in the back and legs, periodically shift into higher gears and get up from the saddle.

An important aspect in a long ride is the position of the hands. For better aerodynamics and a proper fit, keep your elbows bent along your body. And before hitting with bumps in the road, try to relax them for better cushioning.