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Don’t make these 5 mistakes when setting up your spin bike at home



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Avoid these mistakes when setting up your bike at home.

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You’ve read for hours spin bike reviews and finally decided what to invest in. You place the order and wait (sometimes more than 10 weeks, depending on the bike) and the day has finally arrived – your spin bike is here. What now?

One option is to jump up and jump forward in a class. But before you do that, you want to make sure you take the time to properly set up your bike. If you don’t, you may regret it later: Running into something can lead to injury and pain.

Spider bikes aren’t one-size-fits-all. Everyone needs to make sure their bike is adjusted for their unique body, including adjusting the height and arm length. Most bikes come with videos or tips on how to customize your bike for your unique needs.

Karen Maxwell, a Senior Master Instructor and Head of Training Development for CycleBar, shared with us the top mistakes to avoid (and how to fix) when customizing your new bike at home.

Mistake 1: seat is too low or too high

When getting ready to ride your bike, the first thing you look at is the seat height. According to Maxwell, it is also the most important thing to do well. “The whole thing with indoor cycling is that it has high intensity, but little impact. But it can have an impact if you don’t set up your bike correctly,” she says. That’s because if your saddle isn’t the right height, you can have more of an impact on your knees and joints, which is the exact opposite of what you want from a bike.

How do you fix it

A common way to measure how high your chair should be is to stand next to it and adjust the chair so that it is level with your hips.

“Another way to measure is to stand with your feet flat on the ground next to your bike and raise the leg closest to the saddle. If you set it at a 90 degree angle, you should the height of your leg at the same height as your saddle because that’s about the length of your pedal stroke, ”says Maxwell.

Once you are on the bike, you can check again that the saddle is correctly adjusted. “When you’ve reached the bottom rotation of your pedal stroke, you should have a slight bend in your knee. [Aim for] a 3% to 5% bend in your knee where you can still look down and see the top of your foot, ”says Maxwell.

Mistake 2: seat too far from or too close to the steering wheel

In addition to the height of the saddle, you can also adjust how close the saddle is to your handlebars – or the seat distance. “When you’re in the saddle, you want to be able to touch your handlebars with a comfortable bend in your elbows. So you don’t want to feel like you’re reaching for your handlebars and your arms are stick out, and you don’t want to feel that you’re too close to where your knees hit the handlebars, “says Maxwell.

How do you fix it

“A great way to measure [seat distance] is usually the length of your forearm from your elbow to your middle fingertip, “says Maxwell. Before getting on the bike, you can place your elbow on your seat and slide the seat forward where your fingertip touches the handlebars.

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Your handlebars must be properly adjusted so that you have good form on the bike.

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Mistake 3: the steering wheel is too low or too high

Your bicycle handlebars will help you ride in the right form and support you – if you have them properly adjusted. A handlebar that is too high or too low for your body can lead to all kinds of pain and potential problems over time. “If your handlebars are too low, you feel tired or sore in your lower back,” says Maxwell.

According to Maxwell, you can feel discomfort from a low steering position because you are riding in a leaning forward position, which is not good form.

You also want to avoid adjusting your handlebars too high, as you can suffer from your shoulders due to your arms being too high compared to the bicycle saddle. “It will put your shoulders in your ears a bit instead of riding with an open chest and relaxed shoulders,” she says.

How do you fix it

Make sure your handlebars are in a position so that you feel that your shoulders can relax and are not too high towards your ears, and make sure you are not bent over the bike either.

“Always try to keep our shoulders down, away from our ears, relaxed, but square,” says Maxwell. She adds that if you have low back pain, adjust your handlebars higher. “It gives you the feeling that you can sit longer and upright in the saddle and that you don’t bend over to hold your handlebars. Ideally you want your handlebars to be roughly level. [with], or a little higher than the height of your seat, ”she says.

Mistake 4: Death grip on the handlebars

When a spin class feels really tough or you have trouble keeping up with pace or resistance, you may find yourself gripping the handlebars for extra support. But this is not the way to go because “Ideally, you should distribute your weight evenly around the bike so that the center of your body (your core) is above the center of your bike,” says Maxwell.

Putting too much weight on the handlebars during class can affect the upper body, wrists and shoulders. It can also put extra pressure on your quads, which can lead to knee pain, according to Maxwell.

How do you fix it

Hold the handlebars lightly and pay as much attention to your posture and shape as possible. “Your hips are pulled over the saddle and your hands should rest and balance lightly on the handlebars. So your grip is light but strong,” says Maxwell.

The goal is to keep your body long and stretched and the hips back so that your core, hamstrings and glutes can support you.

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Your foot position when pedaling is key to proper form and will help prevent ankle or foot problems.

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Mistake 5: Wrong foot position / pedals

Pedaling on a bike seems pretty easy, but you want to take stock of how you’re doing it and avoid habits that could lead to injury or pain. The first thing to keep in mind is not to point the toes down, which feels natural when you first click on the bike.

How do you fix it

“You want to keep everything facing forward. So your knees, your toes, your ankles, everything’s facing forward,” says Maxwell. You also want to keep your knees aligned and avoid crossing them or bending your knees. “That puts your IT band all the way to your ankle,” she explains.

Do not turn your feet outward and keep a flat foot as you pedal, again without pointing your toes down. To avoid ankle and foot problems, “It’s better to have a flat foot and guide your heel for an evenly distributed pedal stroke,” she says.


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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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