How to fit bike properly tutorial to your body. With seat height, position over crank and distance to reach handle bars explained for ease of use.
Biking Tips

How To Fit Your Bike To Your Body

 In this tutorial you'll see that the seat height, position over the crank, and reach to the handle bars, when set up properly, will not only make riding more comfortable, but will cause less strain on a number of muscle and joint areas.
   Seat Height: Mom will say to make sure you set their kids seat up so they can put their feet on the ground. This is fine for the beginner at any age level but once they are flying on their own, adjust the seat. Adjust the height high enough so when they are sitting, their leg will fully extend to the bottom of the pedal stroke with their heel of their shoe on the pedal.
(pic #1) Some may think this is too tall because they can barely touch their toes on the ground when sitting and they just plain don’t believe you, but if you try riding for any length of time with the seat too low you will develop pain at the knees because you legs are not fully extending.
  Position Over the Crank: This is another way to make the ride more comfortable and is often over looked, and is an other reason why one might experience knee pain.
In the sitting position (with the seat height adjusted properly) spin the crank parallel to the ground. (one foot forward one backward) Now, from the knee facing forward ,drop a plumb line from your knee cap to the pedal end of the crank arm. They should be right over each other
(pic #2). SO, if the plumb line is in front of the crank arm you should move your seat backwards a little till they match, or forward if the plumb line is short. Most seats, or “saddles” as they are known, have rails under them that the seat posts clamp to. These are long so you can adjust the seat forward and back for this exact reason.
  Reach to the Handle Bars: Once your seat is adjusted to the proper place you will want to set up the “reach” to your bars. This varies greatly because of the many different types of bikes and riding styles.
  Road bikes have a “elbow to longest finger tip” measurement from the nose of the saddle to the center of the handle bar clamp. BMX bars are, because of their compact size, rolled forward just enough to clear the knees, although I have seen them WAY forward. I don’t understand this, maybe there is a cool factor I’m missing here. I would imagine the only trick they could pull would be a rear wheel poggo Mountain bikes have the widest range of bar and stem combinations.
   Cross Country Racing bars usually sit about two inches below the saddle height and forward to the site line from your eyes to the hub on the front wheel. This is to say, that seated, with your hands on the bars, you will not be able to see the axle on your front wheel because your handle bar will obstruct your view. This applies pretty closely to short stems and riser bars on a Shore or All Mountain style bikes because as your body moves back with the shorter stem and the higher rise on the bars so does your “site lines” to the front wheel DH bikes, because of their huge travel forks and slack geometry, and the fact that the saddles (like a BMX) are way low, and out of the way, are different again. Most have very short stems and Riser Bars with minimal rise to them. This is because the rider is behind the bike a lot more, with the bike positioned down (hence the term down hill bike)
   The minimal rise is because the big travel forks usually sit at arm-pit-height any way and nobody but a Pro Hoopster will need the added height, This bar position is best tested riding at a downhill coarse because level ground won’t put your body position in the correct place. Comfort bikes use adjustable rise stems which can be tipped way back and up toward the rider. This is a very comfortable riding position. The rider is sitting straight up in the saddle which takes almost all the weight off your arms and hands. For the back troubled rider this is fine, but, because there is no weight over the front ,the bike doesn't perform as well. Just be careful not to use too much torque or pedal force, this may cause the front wheel to rise when you don’t expect it to, also, watch out for low hanging branches.
   Another FIT adjustment that gets overlooked is the sweep of the handle bars. This is to say where the bar angles back to, from the stem clamp. The arguable correct sweep position should point towards the top of the rear tire. Angling them up tends to cause the elbows to lock which transfers shock to your head, not good. Angling them down to far doesn't sit on the palms evenly causing hand fatigue Somewhere between these two points is best but I find down slightly seems to relax the arms a bit better.
   Bar Ends should be mentioned in the FIT category just because they are usually NOT fitted correctly. It's your bike, and you can set them pointing straight up in the air if you want to, however they make grabbing the brakes quickly, very difficult, not to mention if you were to fall on them they would poke your ribs. Bar ends are great for using on steep climbs. They shift the grip area and you body mass forward so its harder to left the front end off the ground when applying lots of torque to the crank, but more importantly, they change your wrist angle. The side to side motion of climbing a hill forces the wrist to pivot on a harsher angle.On the Bar Ends, your wrists are turned 90 degrees in a more natural forward and back motion. For this reason the bar ends should be angled slightly up at the fronts about a fifteen degree rise from level ground. They fit the palm of your hands at this angle best. Lastly they are great to deflect off of bushes and trees. I once had to ride on an over grown trail that squeezed me into a link fence. The bars ends scraped along the fence with very little drag and I managed to get through with out stopping.

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