How to get your road bike in the right position: A DIY Bike For Beginners
How to get your road bike in the right position: a DIY bike for beginners
We discuss with you the key things to consider when setting up a road bike location.
This guide will show you how to use DIY bicycle accessories to set the position of a road bike—including frame size, seat height, and handlebar position—so that you can ride comfortably, efficiently, and without injury.
A bike that suits you can increase speed and comfort, but more importantly, it will help you become a lifelong cyclist-if just riding a bike makes you uncomfortable or worse, then you are less likely to stick to it The bicycle still hurts you.
A major misunderstanding of bicycles is that they work right out of the box. You may be lucky, but most likely you need to try a few different locations to find the one that suits you. If you bought it online, you might even need to assemble the bike yourself.
If you are new to cycling or are increasing your mileage, you should feel a little pain-it takes a while for your body to adjust to the new pressure and posture required for riding.
However, you should not feel pain or injury while riding a bicycle. Either it is a positive sign that something is wrong.
You can adjust the fit of the bike in many ways, even the most inexperienced home mechanic can easily master it.
In your search for the right riding position, be prepared to try new saddles, stems of different lengths, and maybe even different handlebars. If you are serious about cycling, please consider these costs when considering your next bike purchase.
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How to find the right bike frame size for you
Road bike frames are usually sized based on seat tube length or T-shirt size (such as small, medium, large, etc.).
No matter what method any given brand uses to quantify size, the effective cockpit length (from seat to handlebar) is the main determinant of basic fit.
Most bicycle companies have a size chart on their website that allows you to find the right frame size. This usually depends on your overall height.
We also provide a road bike sizing guide to help you find the right frame, as well as recommendations on women’s bike sizes and mountain bike sizes.
If you have torn off the size label on the second-hand bicycle you purchased, or if you cannot find the size information, please check out our comprehensive guide on how to measure bicycle frames.
Of course, the frame size does not necessarily take into account the specific dimensions of your body, such as leg length or torso and arm length, but this is a good starting point.
Stacking and reach are better ways to assess the overall fit of the bike, but it is more complicated to understand the characteristics of road bike geometry.
The next key measurement to look at is standing height-luckily, this is more basic.
Ensuring you have enough clearance above the upper tube to safely get on and off the bike is the key. There should be a few centimeters of space between you and the top of the bike.
How to choose a saddle
Without a seat to support your body, it is impossible to find a good position.
There are two seat bones in your pelvis. They should be in contact with the saddle of your bicycle and support most of your weight.
If you are not sure where to start, please check our guide to learn how to find the right bicycle seat for you, and we also introduce the basics below.
Choose the right saddle for you
Saddles are usually gender-specific. This means that they are designed to fit the anatomy, soft tissue and ischial width of men and women. Some people find gender-specific saddles helpful, while others find unisex saddles good. It really depends on personal preference.
Saddles are also usually designed to fit different riding postures because this affects the distribution of weight and pressure in the lower area. For example, on a hybrid or commuter bike, where the rider usually sits upright, the pelvis will also be in an upright position with the pressure point toward the back of the rider’s “chassis”. On a road bike, when riding on water droplets, the pelvis will rotate forward, so the forward pressure will be greater. The type of body posture designed for the saddle is usually shown on the package, or the staff at your local bike shop can help.
Finally, most brands will produce saddles of different widths to suit various riders with different widths of ischia. Most bicycle shops have a measurement method to help you find the right size. Some stores also offer test saddles, so you can check whether a particular saddle is right for you when you are out riding.
How to set the height of your saddle
Getting your saddle height to the right is an important aspect (if not the most important) of road bike positioning. It is to establish a new position and adjust it for the first time.
As a general rule of thumb, when you are at the bottom of the pedal stroke, your knees should bend slightly. As a starting point, you can achieve this by setting a saddle height so that when your heel is on the pedal and slowly stepping back, your knee will hardly lock at the point of maximum extension.
If you have to reach it, it is too high. If you don’t lock your knees completely, it’s too low.
This is just a short overview-if you want to really fine-tune your position, please read our in-depth guide on saddle height.
It is also important to place the seat forward (front) and backward (rear) in the correct position.
The idea is to apply the maximum force to the pedal, which is achieved when the knee is higher than the pedal axis when the crank is at the 3 o’clock position. The crank length and the position of the splint also affect this (more on this later).
As for the saddle angle, there are roughly three options: flat, nose-up, or nose-down.
If you are not sure at which angle to place it, start flat and adjust if you encounter any problems.
How to set the handlebar height on a road bike
After setting the seat height and front/rear saddle, it’s time to move to the front of the bike.
The position of the handlebar has a huge impact on the overall fit of the bicycle. Just moving up/down or forward/backward by 5 mm can completely change the characteristics of the bicycle.
If performance and speed are your priorities, then the goal is to get into a low aerodynamic position that can be maintained for a long time. If you care more about comfort throughout the day than speed at all-out speed, a more upright posture can reduce the weight and pressure of your arms, which is what you are after.
Try to go out for a ride with the out-of-the-box handle, as this will provide you with a working benchmark.
Be forewarned, this is not an easy process to complete. Be patient, try different things, and make some small notes about what is done well and what is not done well.
If you experience shoulder or neck pain after riding, it is most likely because you shrugged and stretched too far-try using a shorter stem.
If you feel low back pain, this may indicate that your handlebars are too low (or your seat is too high). Conversely, if you feel pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades, the situation may be just the opposite.
Most shops will have some cheap stems for you to try out (if you bought a bicycle from them). Remember, if you need to significantly change the stem length, it’s best to use a different size frame
The height of the handlebar is also important, just like the length of the stem, it also affects the reach-lower the handlebar and place it in a more aggressive position, and you will increase the effective reach; lift the car You will do the opposite and provide a more upright riding position. We have a separate guide on how to lift the handlebars on the bike.
Don’t compensate for the short stretch by moving the seat forward-although one affects the other, the lower body and upper body should be treated as separate components that are in the same position as you.
Just as important as the position of the handlebars is that you can confidently use the brakes and use the gear lever with ease. Ideally, the shift lever should also transition from the slope of the handlebar to the shift lever smooth and flat.
Although you can make some small adjustments, this may mean opening your handlebars, rotating them, repositioning your gear lever, and putting everything back in place.
If you have small hands and/or find that the brake lever is too far away, remember that you can adjust the range of the brake lever at any time. You should be able to comfortably reach and control your brakes while still holding the handlebar firmly.
Install the pedal and the splint to align
As the last step, organize your pedal and cleat positions. Improper foot placement can cause a variety of problems, from numbness and hot spots (inflammation of the nerves between the toes) to debilitating knee pain. Of course, you are fixed on those pedals, but it should feel natural.
When you are here, it’s worth weighing flat pedals versus clipless pedals (most road bikers use clipless pedals) and the best road bike pedals that suit your budget and riding style.
Why you should consider a bike fit (plus tips for DIY bike fit)
Once you understand where you are, what you like and what you don’t like, the fit of a professional bike will always bring more opportunities. But do your homework-not all bicycle professionals are created equal.
Some are more expensive than others, sometimes for good reasons. Some bicycle assemblers are very confident in their work, and they are willing to provide a money-back guarantee.
As a cheaper (free!) alternative to professional bikes, you can use your smartphone to assess where you are while riding on a turbo or smart trainer.
With this, you can take a closer look at what happens when you step on the pedal. This is especially useful for evaluating saddle height.
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A properly installed and well set up bicycle should provide good handling in all situations. You should be able to look down the road without fatigue, and be able to cross your shoulders (to view other vehicles) without strain.
Once you put these things in order, you will enjoy your riding more every day. In each ride, you will pay more attention to your body and position.
Always remember that cycling shouldn’t be uncomfortable-so if you are, it’s time to start making some changes.
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