Whether you ride on road or off, pedal casually or competitively like the champions above, bicycling is most comfortable and efficient when your bike and components are adjusted to fit your body correctly. We take care to ensure that your new bike is fit to you optimally. As you develop as a cyclist, maintain your equipment and travel with your bicycle, however, your adjustments and needs may change and require fine-tuning.
To help, we've put together these guidelines for checking and perfecting your fit. They work for on- and off-road bikes (assuming you're on the right-size bicycle and not trying to fit a too-small or large model you purchased at a yard sale, for example). Keep in mind that we specialize in bike fit. If you're experiencing a problem that you can't fix at home, come in and see us! If you think you'd like a complete analysis and fit, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our trained bicycle-fit technicians.
Note that this article assumes you already have a bicycle. If not, we've got a store-full and would be happy to help you pick the right size one out and ensure it fits you correctly, too.
Step 1: Level and Center the Seat
Start adjusting fit by placing the bicycle on a level surface and checking that the seat is level (photo). A good way to check level is to place a carpenter's level on top of the seat. If you don't have this tool, place a yardstick on top of the seat and compare the edge of the yardstick to a horizontal sight line, which you know to be level such as a windowsill or the top of a building. While adjusting, ensure that the seat is centered on its rails over the seatpost, too.
Step 2: Adjust Seat Height
Step 3: Adjust the Shoe Cleats
Step 4: Find Fore/Aft Seat Position
Step 5: Check Handlebar Height
Step 6: Check Handlebar Reach
Step 7: Check Handlebar Size