Initial Bike Fit
After assembling your new bike, the first thing to do is the initial bike fit, in other words, customizing the bike measurements according to your body dimensions in order to achieve the most effective riding position.
To do so we’ll be adjusting the position of the main contact points. The tools you may need for this job are: a 4mm and a 5mm hex key.
There are many ways to set your ideal seat height, we will go with a tried and tested basic method. With the seat post at full extension, sit on the saddle and, with your heel on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke, your leg should be straight. Once you’ve found the ideal saddle height, make sure to tighten the seat post clamp to 7Nm.
Next thing to adjust is the setback of the saddle. What we’re aiming for here is to move the saddle position forward or backwards so your knee cap is aligned with the pedal axle. Use your thumb to feel where the ball of your foot is located, it should also be in line with your pedal axle. Again, this will provide a good starting point, you may also perform fine adjustments to your cleat position in case you’re using clipless pedals.
After finding the ideal seat height and setback, we can now perform the final adjustments to the handlebar position. First thing to do would be to set the bar height. We do that by raising or lowering the stem within the steerer tube, moving the spacers up or down the stem until we find the most comfortable height. Remember you want to consider having a slight elbow flex while riding, this will help absorb the vibrations from the front end of the bike.
For MTBs, hybrids or anything with a flat bar, rotate the bars so the brake levers are in line with your forearms - this will give you the optimal riding position for no hand fatigue.
For road and gravel bikes, or anything with a drop bar, we recommend having the tops parallel to the ground and the hoods on a slight angle upwards. This should give you the most comfortable riding position.
Whenever adjusting handlebar position and rotation is crucial to test the fit before going on a long ride. Go ahead and test the fit while sitting on the saddle stationary and perform any necessary fine adjustments. Once the most comfortable position is achieved, we can finish tightening the stem pinch bolts and the faceplate bolts - the torque on these bolts should be 5Nm.
Now you know the first steps to get your position dialled on your bike! Be sure to perform any adjustments regularly. With more saddle time and practice, you’ll probably be able to get comfy into a more aggressive position, as you’re improving your riding skills.
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