You might assume you are ready for a spinning session with your bike, but it quickly becomes a torturous session when the bike has incorrect adjustments because it gets so uncomfortable to use. It seems simple enough when you first hear your instructor telling you the guidelines on making your seat as comfortable as possible: making sure the seat is at the height of your waist, and bending the knees slightly as you pedal.
However, the truth is that the adjustment of your seat does not just involve these things. Making minor adjustments too will go a long way to making your pinning experience much mr0e comfortable, and it makes a major difference in your performance. Incorrect positioning of any part will result in your joints experiencing undue pressure, as well as pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
In order to make the most of your experience on the bike, here are some tips to help you adjust the things you need to.
Always use your hip bone as a guide for seat adjustments
Initially, you should make adjustments in the seat, and it depends on your height. As a general rule, always use your hip bone as a guide to adjusting the seat. You just need to go to it, stand adjacent to the seat, and make adjustments as necessary to make it a comfortable spin beak seat.
Find the section of your hips that protrudes out, and then align the top of the seat with the bone. However, if you cannot feel this bone, raise your leg up to a point where your thigh is completely parallel to the floor and see if you can feel it.
Hop on the bike and see how your legs pedal
If you want to test the seat and make sure it is at the correct height, hop on the bike, and note the positioning of your feet when you are pedaling. If the seat height is correct, your leg should almost extend completely at the knee, and this should correspond with the balls of your feet resting on the pedals – the knees should never overextend or have significant angles.
If you are not sure though, you can ask your instructor to help you find the correct setting for your height (which is why you need to arrive early before your class starts). Different instructors will have their own guidelines on how much bending they recommend, but the usual angle will be a maximum of between 5 and 35 degrees.
This angle is very important because you can experience pain when your knees are too bent, as they are experiencing a lot of strain. On the other hand, a seat that is too high will result in your pubic bone pressing too hard into the seat and causing pain in this area. It also makes it very difficult for you to maintain a flat position of your feet while pedaling and forces the calves to over-engage. The calves do not have as much efficiency as the glutes, so it reduces the efficiency of your workout.
Ensure the knees are aligned correctly over your feet
While you are on the bike, place your hands on the handlebars. Slowly, turn the pedals until the knees are completely bent and your feet are about equal distances from the ground. Imagine a string that is suspended in the air and it hangs from the knees and has a stone tied at its end – this stone must reach the middle of your cycling shoe clip or the ball of your foot.
If the knee is too far behind your foot, pull the seat forward towards the handlebars slightly, or pull it slightly back in case it is too far in front to make this comfortable spin bike seat.
Adjust the handlebars
The handlebars are just as important as the seat, since they are supporting your arms and elbows, so it is important to pay attention to them too. There are certain bikes that will allow you to move the handlebars closer or farther away, but some will not so make sure to check.
When you have made the necessary adjustments to the seat, you might want to move the handlebars if they are too far or too close. The ideal position is a slight bend in the elbows when your hands are in front of the handlebars. Avoid a scrunched up position or having your arms extend forward too much because that means your back is slouching too much, and you are hurting your lower back.
On the other hand, the height of the handlebars comes down to personal preferences. Many people prefer it being at the height of the seat or higher – if you are experiencing any issues with your hips or back, or happen to be a new user, for instance, the handlebars need to be slightly higher to guard the back from slouching.
Check your body posture
The adjustments you are making should allow your body to operate in a biomechanically efficient position – straight back, and the elbows slightly bent, for maximum efficiency.
Even though all these adjustments sound complicated, the good news is that many bikes will keep the numbers that are associated with the position of your handlebars and seat. Make sure to note them down, and you can use this information to make quick adjustments the next time you attend your spinning session.
Your grip on the handlebars needs to be relaxed and loose to prevent muscle tension in your arms and shoulders. The most common hand positions you might hear are:
- Prayer position – both the palms of your hands are on the back bar, and slightly away from the center
- Second position – your hands are on the outer edges of the bars, slightly above the corners
- Third position = the hands are outside, slightly below the top of the handlebars. However, avoid wrapping your hands on them because it causes your shoulders to slouch
These guidelines should cover all the basics and help you stay comfortable as you ride. If you are not sure about them though, always ask for help – and remember that the first few sessions will leave your body feeling uncomfortable as you get used to everything, even if you do all the correct adjustments. After a few sessions though, you should be comfortable enough to find your way.