Riding position setup

A comfortable and efficient riding position is the key to enjoying your bike.

If your bike is adjusted to suit your particular body size and shape you will then feel more relaxed and will be able to ride longer distances with less effort.

For best results, we recommend working with an expert on bike fit. Your bike shop will probably have people they recommend. A physiotherapist with experience in bike fitting is a great combination of professional expertise and cycling knowledge.

Our guidelines below are generalised advice, and if your body isn’t ‘average’, then working one-to-one with a bike fit expert is the way to go.

1. Foot position

The ball of your foot should be centred over the pedal axle.

2. Saddle position

Adjust your saddle so that the top surface is parallel with the road surface. Then set the saddle height. Sit on the bike, with your cycling shoes on. With the crank arm perpendicular to the ground sit on the saddle and place your heel (shoes on) on the top of the pedal. With the saddle height correctly adjusted your leg should be in the straight “locked” position. This is general guidance only. Once you’ve set the saddle height, ask a friend to observe you as you pedal. If your hips rock as you pedal, your saddle is too high.

3. Saddle front/back adjustment

Sit on your bike in your normal riding position with the cranks in the 3 and 9 o’clock position. Your saddle is correctly positioned when your tibial tuberosity (the bump at the top of the shin bone) is 1cm behind the pedal axle. You may need a plumb line and a helper to make this adjustment and you may have to readjust saddle height if you move the saddle significantly.

4. Stem & handlebars

Correct stem height depends on your flexibility and your style of riding, and is one aspect of bike fit that is best done in conjunction with an expert.

To ensure good chest expansion and breathing your handlebars should be as wide as your shoulders (on a road bike).

On a mountain or hybrid bike some riders may prefer a more upright riding position with a higher stem position and wider bars.

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