A bike is a piece of exercise equipment, whether you use it actively or leisurely. As with any exercise equipment, setup is essential to the overall effectiveness of the machine. Therefore, whether you are looking for a mens bike or womens bicycle, you need to make sure you buy a bike with the right adjustability to fit your body type and riding style, and know that adjusting your bike is not as complicated as it sounds.
Understand How the Post Adjust
Manufacturers often attach seat posts in one of two ways: a quick-release lever or a bolt and bracket. Most bikes use a quick-release lever, but bikes for big guys may use a more secure bolt and bracket setup. In either case, you can find the attachment at the junction point between the bike frame and the seat post. You do not have to loosen the connection all the way, only enough to allow the movement of the seat.
Understand the Benefits of Correct Positioning
While you may think the standard store-bought seat position is sufficient, if it is not adequate for your height, you may injure yourself or get backaches and hip pain. Too many people think they achieve correct seat height when the leg extends fully at the bottom of a pedal stroke, but that is not correct. A bend of 25 degrees at the knee is proper. This angle allows your hips to stay square while riding, reducing the risk of pain or injury.
Measure Pubic Bone Height and Adjust for Measurement
To get the correct measurement for your seat height, you will need a tape measurer, paint sticks and tape. Tape the end of the tape measurer between two paint sticks. While standing with your knees bent about 25 degrees, lift the paint sticks and tape measurer between your legs, one hand in behind you and the other in front, simulating the bike seat. Have a friend pull the tape measurer down to get an accurate height measurement. After measuring several times, adjust the height of the seat by loosening the quick-release lever or bolt, and then retighten everything.
Adjust the Seat Angle and Position
There is a bolt or bolts under the seat that allows for the change of the angle and position of the seat. Loosen the bolts, and with a level, adjust the angle, so it is perpendicular to the floor; also, move the seat forward or back to reduce bending and reach when riding. With everything in place, retighten the bolts.
Secure Everything and Go on a Test Ride
With everything now adjusted, double-check the bolts, making sure everything is secure. Take your bike for a test ride, ensuring your hips stay level during the trip. If you are teetering too much, remeasure and change the seat height. You want to find the position that is most comfortable for your body type and riding style.
While cycling is both a leisure and aerobic activity, the bike is a piece of exercise equipment. Without the proper seat adjustments, you risk injury. Contact a local bike shop to help purchase and customize your bike.
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