Spin Bike Setup 101

With the addition of spin classes and instructors, I thought it would be beneficial to list a number of tips to setting up your bike, discuss proper body position, and the most efficient pedaling techniques.

If your bike isn’t set up for you – you will feel it the next day. This is important to  prevent injury but a proper fit will allow you to utilize the right muscles to get the most power in each pedal. The more comfortable you feel, the more you can enjoy the ride and maximize on the workout.
1.    Arrive 10 minutes early – many parts on a spin bike can be adjusted, and if this is your first class, it may take a couple modifications to get the right fit for you. Arrive early so you are not scrambling right before the class starts resulting in an uncomfortable ride.
2.    Seat Height – The general rule is to stand beside the bike and line-up the top of the seat with your hip-bone. When you hop on your bike you will have a minor bend when the pedal is at 6 o’clock (aka closest to the floor).

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3.    Seat to handlebar – to find the perfect fit, place your forearm with fingers extended between the saddle and handlebars. If your hand doesn’t reach the handlebars, your saddle needs to move forward until they touch.

To ensure you have the right fit, place your feet at 3 and 9 o’clock on the pedals. Your knee of the front leg should be directly above the start of your toes.  If your knee bends past your toes, or is behind your ankle, the seat should be adjusted again.

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4.    Pedal Straps – it is important that your feet are secure on the pedals, either clipped in or strapped into the cages. If you are using the cages, ideally the straps should be properly laces in. To tighten, simply pull up on the end of the strap. If it does not tighten, please ask the instructor to help properly set up the straps.

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5.    Handlebar Height – depends more on comfort. Placing the bars lower will put you in a more aggressive position, similar to a road bike. Most Blitz’ers have found that raising the bars (mimicking a mountain bike) is helpful for push-ups and other out of the seat drills you will experience.

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Now that your bike is setup, let’s make sure you have proper body alignment (don’t overthink it – we will probably cue these things 100 times in class)
1.    Shoulders are down and relaxed.
2.    Abdominals are engaged to help support the back and keep your body in control and balanced.
3.    Elbows are slightly bend and in-line with hands and shoulders.
4.    Knees are pointing straight forward.
5.    Feet are flat, pushing down on the pedals as if you are wiping mud off of them. It is important not only to push down on the pedals but also pull up (now that your feet are strapped in tight). Keep your pedal rotations smooth, which involves activating your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps muscles.

You are all set! Have fun, find the beat of the music, and bring 110%!

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