How to set up your bike27 July 2022
Once you have your beautiful new bike at home it's time to get it set up before taking it out for the first ride. Getting the saddle height and levers set up correctly will make all the difference to riding comfort whilst on that all-day epic. Also, an incorrectly adjusted saddle or brake lever can cause discomfort and pain.
To set up your saddle height correctly first put on your cycling shoes and, with the help of a friend or a handy wall to lean the bike up against, sit on the bike and place the heel of your foot flat on one of the pedals with the crank turned so it's at its furthest rotation from you. Your leg should be straight at this point so when you place your foot in the correct position you have a slight bend.
Once you have adjusted your saddle to the correct height, it's time to get the angle right. A spirit level will help with this task but if not a flat work table or wall at the saddle height will also do the job. Place your spirit level on the saddle with the bike upright, if the saddle isn’t level loosen the bolts holding it still and make slight adjustments until its level and re-tighten. Most people prefer a level saddle, however, others may find that a slight angle upwards or downwards is preferable. If using the worktop or wall method, align the saddle level by eye with the top of the surface.
Brake and Gear Levers
Setting up your levers correctly is a simple job but the method varies depending on what kind of bike you have.
Whilst in a seated position, place your hands on the handlebars and your braking fingers on the levers. Whilst in a riding position, you should have a straight line from shoulder to fingertip.
For a road bike, start with the handlebar angle before making lever adjustments. Take your spirit level and place it flat against the end of the drop of the handlebar. This should be level vertically.
Your levers should be positioned on the bar in an optimum position by one of our bike builders when your bike arrives. A good starting place is to have the hoods level with the top of the handlebar. This is a common starting position that most people would find comfortable, some people prefer the hoods a little higher or lower as a personal preference so if this starting position isn't feeling right for you try making minor adjustments up or down.
These basic adjustments will vastly improve your comfort and enjoyment whilst out riding and allow for longer days out on the saddle. If you are experiencing discomfort when riding, a trained bike fitter can expand upon what we have mentioned here and usually has specific bike fit tools to do the job.