How To Perform A Basic Bike Fit
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How To Perform A Basic Bike Fit

October 22, 2019

– [Simon] Getting your bike well set up to
your body can make the difference between riding in comfort and riding in pain. And
for those of us chasing performance, it can be the cornerstone to
reaching your full potential. Now, it is a complex topic, more art than
science perhaps but here is our Beginner’s Guide to get you in the ballpark. Now, the first thing to get set up is your
saddle height. Now with the ball of your foot over the pedal axle and you’re
pedaling at the six o’clock position, there should be a slight bend in your leg.
Now, if you get your saddle too high, then it will cause your pelvis to rotate
as your foot’s stretching and that will cause lower back pain and saddle
discomfort. And if it’s too low, then you’ll lose power and you’ll also get
knee pain. To get the best idea of judging your saddle position, it’s a good idea to
film yourself riding on a static trainer like this, because what it does is
it means that you get a better idea of what your natural foot position is.
Some people ride with their heel down, some people ride with their toe down and
that difference can subtly alter the angle of your leg. Next, you go for the forward
and backward adjustment of your saddle and this is called the layback. Now, the
age-old technique of telling whether you’ve got the right amount of layback is
by putting your pedals level when you sat on the saddle and you drop a plumb line
from the front of your knee cap and it should drop just in front of the pedal
axle. Micro-adjustments of this position can be tailored according to whether you
use your glutes predominantly or your quads predominantly when you’re pedaling
but this is perhaps a bit more of an advance technique and we’ll cover this
later. So now we’ve tackled the seat position, it’s time to look at the reach.
Now, it’s a common misconception that you can adjust the reach to your handlebars
from your saddle by adjusting your saddle position forwards and backwards. But as
we’ve just set this up from optimum pedaling efficiency, this needs
to be left where it is. So in reality, the way you can adjust the reach is by
moving your stem up and down about two to four centimeters depending on how much
stirrer space you’ve got and then unfortunately by just buying different
length stems. So it’s a reason why it’s a great idea to go to a good bike shop where
you buy your bike in the first place, is it stops you spending money later on
to adjust your position. Fundamentally, more relaxed ride will have a
proportionally shorter reach from the handlebars to the stem and a rider looking
for a more aggressive aerodynamic position will have a longer one. However, the
limiting factor is, in reality, the flexibility in your glutes and your
hamstrings so no amount of wanting to look aerodynamic is actually going
to make it an effective position. As a general guide, though, the angle of
your back should be about 45 degrees and the angle between your arms and your back
should be about 90 degrees and this gives you the best blend of comfort,
aerodynamics, and power. When riding on the tops, you can have an even more
relaxed position so it’s good for climbing but when you’re on the drops, by bending
your arms, you can get your back close to horizontal if you can stretch
that far for aerodynamics. So to sum up, first of all, you set your
saddle height then you set the layback and then finally, leaving that in one place,
you adjust the reach of the handlebars. Now as we’ve said at the beginning, bike
set up is a complex topic so some we’re going to come back to again and again over
the coming months and if there’s something specific that you want us to tackle with
regards to bike fit or bike problems then let us know in the comment section down
below and we’ll tackle it at a later date. – [Daniel] Single Pace Line is the most
efficient way of riding if you’re facing a stiff headwind or if you’re riding with a
very small group. In this video, we’re going to show you
exactly how to do it.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. New at riding and lots of new experiences yesterday a girl tried picking me up. And today I got nailed in the head with a McDonald’s cup full of some orange drink by some asshole. Lol was nice and cool though.

  2. I love your channel! I've learned so much watching your videos. I was hoping you can give me some advice: I am 5 ft 5 inches (165.1 cm) & my inseam is 34 inches (86.36 cm). When I look at bike fit charts, my height recommends a small size road bike while my inseam recommends a bigger size. I want to be comfortable when I ride, do you have any suggestions?

  3. I have learned on my fixed gear that when fitting your bike I found it easier to raise the saddle of a bit better, you have more stability and be able to BUST ASSSS

  4. is it normal that when i'm over the saddle, standing up over the bike, i'm on my tip-toes? or does that mean my seat is too high?

  5. What do you have to say about glute vs quad dominate technique in regards to bike fit? you say you'll cover this later, but do you have another video covering this? I don't see anything in this video

  6. Brilliant video. Went for a first bike ride in months on my new bike.. and my knees were painful after and my quads are now really tight and painful.. any tips?

  7. I am yet to find a bike that doesn't give Me the-base-of-the-neck -pain after as little as 30-40km. Two of My bikes (cross-country / trail MTBs with slicks for touring) have been fitted to My anatomy, but My particularly robust and inflexible gorilla neck keeps aching nonetheless. Idem My drop bar bike (albeit unfitted). I'm worried My soon-to-be-acquired gravel bike might give My neck more trouble yet (or ache the same). A gorilla neck does helps against knockouts, but it, unquestionably, is a nuisance when riding.

  8. Hi sir, i have got ITB at right leg , but nothing on left leg . pretty comfort fit for left leg but not for right one ,what might cause this issue

  9. Hi, i have pain in my lower back due to ankylosing spondylitis, is there anything that i can do to minimize the pain while riding? i have Trek Xcalibur 7 and ride 18kms(one hour on bike) on weekdays and 90+kms(7-8 hours on bike) on weekends.

  10. I just bought a spin bike and I am having severe tailbone and lower back pain. I don't know what adjustments I need to make so this stops, each time I get on the bike i rehurt it .

  11. After 1/2 hr in the saddle I get a numb/ pins & needles left foot. I understand it may be my knackered old body or if there is something to try. I feel comfortable riding. Changed footwear (I'm afraid I'm an old school toe clips man). Anybody suffered the same?

  12. So long as it is comfortable then you are good to ride, bike fit is especially for pro cyclist to enhance their performance but if you are just a regular cyclist then it doesnt have too much difference 🙁

  13. Hi if you were 1 or 2 cm below the next size up on a frame would you go for the bigger size ? Thanks

  14. One of my bikes gives me lower back pain after the ride. The bike is a 54. I'm 5'11 and weight 190 do you think is to small or the fitting is incorrect?

  15. I must laugh at all of these fit videos because they always involve fitting you on a single platform horned seat. So this is like saying "Let me show you how to smoke properly" because traditional nosed seats caused an incredible amount of urological and neurological damage. The damage is accumulative so unfortunately people ride for years and then at some point after much damage has been done they realize all is not good. So be warned: be fit like this and suffer a lot later.:

    Dr. Steven Schrader, a reproductive physiologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is one of the world’s leading experts on bicycle seats and the human anatomy.

    Dr. Steven Schrader: “When you sit on a chair you never put weight on the perineum. But when you sit on a bike, you increase pressure on the perineum sevenfold.

    The research shows that when riders sit on a classic saddle with a long nose, a quarter of their body weight places pressure on the perineum. The amount of oxygen reaching the penis typically falls 70% to 80% in 3 minutes. A guy can sit on a saddle and have his penis oxygen levels drop 100% but he doesn’t know it. After half an hour he goes numb.

    Today’s ergonomic saddles with splits in the back or holes in the center to relieve pressure on the perineum may make matters worse because they have smaller surface areas, and thus the rider’s weight presses harder on less saddle. The arteries in the perineum run laterally and they are not directly over the cutouts. The arteries come under more pressure when they come into contact with the cutouts’ edges.

    It is no longer a question of whether or not bicycle riding on a saddle causes erectile dysfunction. Instead the question is, What are we going to do about it?”

  16. Hi great video. How do you prioritise saddle height for performance vs feet on the ground at traffic lights please? Thanks.

  17. I have been riding my road bike for more than ten years now and have finally gotten serious about adjusting it to fit me. The video is good as it outlines the fundamental steps in order: saddle height, saddle fore-aft and reach. I have been adjusting saddle fore-aft and have found that having the saddle further aft makes my riding dramatically more powerful and comfortable. I'm more powerful because I am leaning over more and that makes me use my core muscles more and I'm more comfortable because in this position more of my weight is on my seat and pedals, where it should be, and not on my hands.

    It is not immediately obvious that moving the saddle aft will take weight off your hands but it does. As far as I am concerned this is a crucial result of the adjustment. I checked casually for my knee over pedal position and figure my knee is aft of the pedal spindle but I'm sure it doesn't matter. Knee over pedal is just a guideline.

  18. Hello GCN !
    I'm a fan for long time now, maybe 3-4 years, and this year, I'm finishing my degree in Physical Therapy. For my thesis, I choose a subject around posture for cyclists to prevent chronic pain. Now I'm looking for bibliography, and I went back to some years ago on you chanel.
    Finally the question : Do you have bibliography about the numbers you give ? about angles of the hip with the back, angle of the shoulders (2'32"), but also for the "plumb line".
    thank you for your attention, I hope to have a response soon

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