You've spent hours reading indoor cycling bike review and finally decided which one to invest in. You place the order and wait (sometimes more than 10 weeks depending on the bike) and the day finally arrives -- your indoor cycling bike is here. What's next?
One option is to hop on and jump headfirst into a class. But before you do that, you'll want to make sure you're taking the time to properly adjust your bike. If you don't, you may regret it later: Rushing into things can lead to injuries and pain.
Indoor cycling bikes are not one-size-fits-all. Everyone needs to make sure their bike is adjusted to fit their unique body -- including adjusting for height and arm length. Most bikes come with videos or tips on adjusting your bike to fit your unique needs.
Today we are gong to share the top mistakes you should avoid when you're setting up your indoor cycling bike. And next week, we will tell you how to fix them.
Mistake 01: Seat is too low or high
When you get ready to ride your bike, the first thing you'll look at is the seat height. It's also the most important thing to get right. The whole thing with indoor cycling is that it's high-intensity, but low-impact.
But it can be impactful if you don't set up your bike correctly. That's because if your seat isn't the right height, you can put more impact on your knees and joints, which is the exact opposite thing you want from a bike.
Mistake 02: Seat too far from or too close to handlebars
In addition to the height of the seat, you can also adjust how close the seat is to your handlebars -- or the seat distance. When you're sitting in the saddle, you want to be able to touch your handlebars with a comfortable bend in your elbows.
So you don't want to feel like you're reaching for your handlebars and your arms are stick-straight, and you don't want to feel like you're too close where your knees are bumping up against the handlebars.
Mistake 03: Handlebars are too low or high
Your bike handlebars will help you ride with proper form and support you -- if you have them adjusted properly. Handlebars that are too high or too low for your body can lead to all sorts of pain and potential problems over time. If your handlebars are too low, you're going to feel fatigued or sore in your lower back.
You can feel discomfort from a low handlebar position because you're riding in a hunched-over position, which is not good form. You'll also want to avoid adjusting your handlebars too high because you can feel discomfort in your shoulders from having your arms too high up in comparison to the bike seat. It's going to take your shoulders kind of up into your ears rather than riding with a chest open and shoulders relaxed down.
Mistake 04: Death grip on the handlebars
When an indoor cycling class feels really tough or you're struggling to keep up with the pace or resistance, you might find yourself gripping the handlebars for extra support. But this is not the way to go, since, ideally you should evenly distribute your weight over the bike so that the center of your body (your core) is over the center of your bike.
Putting too much weight on the handlebars during class can affect the upper body, wrists and shoulders. It can also put extra pressure on your quads, which could lead to knee pain.
Mistake 05: Wrong foot position/pedaling
Pedaling on a bike seems pretty straightforward, but you will want to take stock of how you're doing it and avoid any habits that could lead to injury or pain. The first thing to keep in mind is to avoid pointing the toes down, which may feel natural when you first clip in on the bike.