Cycling is only enjoyable if it’s comfortable. Some pain is good, like when you’re legs are burning as you power up a hill. But some is bad, and you shouldn’t ride through it. Improving the fit and feel of your bike improves your performance and, most importantly, prevents injuries. Here’s how to get there.
1. Adjust the seat.
Sit on your bike and pedal backwards into the 6 o’clock position. Raise or lower the seat in small increments until your knees are straight. Then adjust the tilt. You should be held in place, not sliding forward or back on it.
2. Try a different saddle.
If you’ve adjusted your saddle and it’s still not comfortable, switch it out for something different. It needs to have a supportive shape and the right width for your body size and riding style.
3. Adjust the handlebars.
Generally, you can raise or lower them by changing the stack height or stem angle. You can also try a different bar type, like drop or compact.
4. Change the grips or handlebar tape.
If the tape is old or low-quality, it won’t soak up trail vibrations. Swap it out with new, high-quality tape. You can also double-wrap it or use shock-absorbing gel pads.
5. Switch out the stem.
It comes in different lengths and angles, so it can significantly alter your riding position. If your handlebar is too far away, get a shorter stem to lessen your reach. If it’s too low, add a spacer under the stem, or fit a stem with a higher rise.
6. Change the break lever positions.
Most modern levers can be adjusted. Put them in the position that works with your hand size. They should be accessible from the hoods and the drops.
7. Adjust the tire pressure.
You might need more or less air in the tires. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can also try out wider tires and/or wider rims.
8. Check your cleats.
Put them in the middle of your shoes so they’re at the balls of your feet. Then your knees will be in line with your pedaling motion. If this position is uncomfortable, visit a professional bike fitter to evaluate your angles.
9. Try shoe insoles.
They help prevent knee pain and improve your stability at the arch. Get a pair specifically for cycling.
10. Wear padded bike shorts.
Get a pair that fits just right – not too small or too big – with pads wider than the saddle. They’ll prevent rubbing, chafing, and saddle sores.
11. Wear padded gloves.
They’ll soak up trail vibrations, just like handlebar tape. Then your hands won’t go numb when you ride. The extra grip also gives you more control over your bike.
12. Get a professional bike fit.
Tried these 11 steps and your bike is still uncomfortable? Seek help from a trusted bike shop, like Airpark Bike Co. They’ll make necessary adjustments to your saddle, handlebars, and more.
13. Get a new bike.
If none of the above works, you might need a completely new bike. One that actually fits your body. Again, seek help from a trusted bike shop.
Get a Proper Bike Fit at Airpark Bike Co
Are you seeking a professional bike fit, or you need a model that’s more suited to your size or riding style? We’re here to help at Airpark Bike Co! Stop by our shop today and our team will determine exactly what works for you. If you need to buy an all new bike, we have an incredible selection of builds from the best brands. Over 20, in fact, including Yeti, Niner, and Santa Cruz. Once you have a perfect-fitting set of wheels, you’ll have the most fun and daring adventures out on the roads and trails!