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How do I set up a Spin Bike?

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There are a couple of different methods of spin bike set up.

To keep it simple we will provide you with a quick express set up, followed by a more comprehensive step by step procedure.

A thorough bike set up is available in our online level 1 course 

Go to Cycle excel level 1 Online 

Cycle Excel   Quick Bike Set up

Bike set up, Step 1.

Stand next to the bike. Adjust seat post height to just below the level of the hips


Bike set up, Step 2. 

2. Sit on the centre of the saddle and place foot in shoe cage. There should be a slight bend in the knee when the leg is at  6 o’clock position.                 

    If there is no bend in the knee, drop the seat post height down.


Bike set up, Step 3.

3.  Sit on the centre of the saddle and place the pedals parallel to the floor. The tip of the knee should be in line with the centre of the pedal (the centre of the ball of the foot). If the knee is over the toes, slide the saddle backward. Handle bar height is the same height as the seat.


Bike set up, Step 4.

4. Sit on the centre of the saddle with a gentle C curve and a relaxed upper body.



A more comprehensive step by step guide


A. Stand next to the bike, adjust seat height to just below the level of the hips.This step is your starting point and is not 100% accurate as it depends on bike brand, it is very likely you will need to adjust the seat post height after checking the angle of the knee in step C .

The first step is purely a guide to get on the bike. At this stage it is a reference point and will have to be modified to suit the rider. The seat post height needs to be checked with the following guidelines:

B. Sit on the centre of the saddle, sit upright and place the heel of the foot on the back of the pedal, the leg should be fully extended with the hips level. Knees are not locked. There is no bend in the knee at this stage.


C. Seated on the centre of the saddle, sitting upright or with the hands on the handle bars directly in front, place the foot in the shoe cage. The seat post height is correct when the knee has a slight bend, ensuring the foot is flat and in the six o’clock position.


D. Start rolling the legs around and check that the hips are not rocking when pedalling and the knees are not locking out. There should be a slight bend in the knee all the way around the pedal stroke.


A. To set the fore and aft position, firstly sit on the centre of the saddle either sitting upright or placing the hand on the handle bars directly in front. Using the clock face analogy, place one foot at three o’clock and one at nine o’clock. Keep the foot flat, do not drop the heel downwards. In this position the knee is in line with the centre of the ball of the foot. If the knee is too far forward, then slide the fore and aft position backwards. If the knee is too far back, slide the fore and aft position forwards.





A. Set the handle bar height so it is in line with the saddle.

Quick tip....A beginner may feel more comfortable with the handle bars raised above saddle height and a professional cyclist will adjust them slightly lower than the saddle.



A. Some indoor bikes have a handle bar fore and aft position which slides forwards and backwards. Adjust the fore and aft position so there is a slight bend in the elbows when the heel of the hands are resting on the handle bars



Sit on the centre of the saddle, don’t shift the hips to the back of the saddle. 

The spine is in a gentle C curve, the abdominals are not braced or hardened, instead imagine there is a balloon sitting low between the hips. Gently deflate the balloon and relax the upper trapezius and the upper body. Try not grip the handle bars tightly. 


CYCLE EXCEL Level 1 Online contains a comprehensive bike set up. Go to Cycle excel level 1 Online 

For information on our online courses, click here

For information on our face to face courses click here

Get a free 7 DAY TRIAL a free sample of the Cycle Excel online training. Go to  gain instant access!










© Donna Ellerton 2013



For twenty years Donna Ellerton has inspired, educated and motivated fitness instructors to become their own unique, personal best. Donna has integrated her extensive knowledge as a cycling expert, international presenter, writer and business owner and created the worlds first online cycling portal, Cycle Excel. As an active master trainer for Cycle Excel she offers 3 levels of courses from beginner to advanced nationally offering new training ideas, CEC’s and PDP’s. All courses are registered with Fitness Australia and Physical activity Australia. The website offers regular updates and training information for instructors around the world.


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