A Well-Fitting, Properly Adjusted Bike for Summertime Rides
Before you take out your bike for some physical activity or simply for the sheer pleasure, it’s a good idea to get a little seasonal tweaking.
If you put your bike away for the winter, visit a specialized dealer to get your brakes, tires and speedometer inspected. While you’re there, ask a technician to help you get your bike adjusted properly, for maximum comfort and safety.
Here are 5 tips for a well-fitting and properly adjusted bike
If you prefer to adjust your bike yourself, here are some valuable tips from Vélo Québec to help you get started. Remember that a bike that is the right frame size for you and fits properly is easier to handle and reduces the risk of injury.
- Check whether the size of your bike is adapted to your weight and height.
To do this, get on your bike by keeping your feet flat on the ground. There should be a two-centimetre space between you and the top of the bike when you get on and off.
- Adjusting the saddle height.
- Sit on the saddle and place the pedal parallel to the saddle tube.
- When you put your heel on the pedal, your leg should be almost fully extended.
- When you put your toes on the pedal, your knee should be slightly bent.
- Tilt the saddle in the right angle..
Depending on what is most comfortable for you, your saddle should be parallel to the ground or tilted slightly nose down, but not so much so that you are sliding forward.
- Check the horizontal position of the saddle.
- Sit on the saddle with the tip of your foot on the pedal.
- Place the pedal in a horizontal position, tilted forward.
- The front of your knee should be aligned with the pedal axle.
- Adjust the handlebar.
When you’re sitting on your bike, you should be able to hold the handlebar comfortably by bending your elbows slightly. If you have to stretch out to reach the handlebar, then it’s not properly adjusted. Here’s how you can adjust them based on what you do with your bike.
- Road cycling, sporting or touring: You should put your hands on the handlebars at the same height as the saddle or a little lower.
- Commuter bike to get around town: To make sure you’re visible, the handlebars should be a little higher than the saddle.
Other than adopting correct position to prevent pain and injury, you should always follow these few safety tips:
- Wear a helmet that fits properly. It must conform to the shape of your skull and adjust easily so that it doesn’t wobble from side to side or tilt from front to back.
- Be visible. Cyclists are by law required to have the following reflectors mounted on their bikes: a white one in front, a red one in the back, yellow ones on the pedals and one in each wheel. If you plan to ride at night, make sure you have front and rear lights.
- Know and follow the rules. Make sure you’re up to date on the local and provincial traffic rules that apply to cyclists, and properly signal your intentions to motorists. Visit bicycle club or active transportation websites for more information.
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