Bike fitting 101

Bike Fitting 101

You’ve probably heard the term “bike fitting” and wondered what it meant. You might have tried to fit your bike based on how you feel, but if your posture is off, it could cause injury and make cycling less enjoyable. Bike fitting is an important part of any cyclist’s routine, but there’s no need to worry – this guide will show you everything you need to know about bike fitting so that you can ride comfortably for years!

Bike Seat Position and Knee Pain

If you’re experiencing pain in your knees while riding, it’s possible that your bike setup is the culprit. If this is the case, you are not alone. Knee pain is one of the most common problems for cyclists and can be caused by a variety of factors.

Knee pain can occur when either:

  • The saddle height is too high or low and puts pressure on nerves in your knee
  • Your saddle is too far forward or far back, throwing off your center of gravity as well as causing stress on muscles and tendons that attach to the knee joint
  • Your cleats are not positioned correctly, causing uneven distribution of force over time

You can either make small adjustments to your bike, or move to a more relaxed cycling experience, like the one offered by three wheel bikes.

Bike Fitting 101

The first thing you need to know about bike fitting is that it takes time. 

Bike fitting is not one size fits all. Just because someone else is having success with their current setup doesn’t mean that their position will work for you and vice versa.

The bike fitter needs multiple tools at their disposal in order to get all of the measurements they need from different angles around the rider’s body so they have as much information as possible when making adjustments.

Leg Position on A Road Bike

  • Your legs should be slightly bent, but not overly bent. This will give you a bit of support as you ride and make it easier to pedal up hills.
  • Your legs should also be straight or nearly straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke. This will help prevent knee pain, especially when you are descending down long hills or going fast on rough terrain.

Seat Height

To find your saddle height, you’ll need to:

  • Measure from the top of the saddle to ground level. This measurement is called “drop,” and it’s also referred to as “dropped saddle height.”
  • Measure from the center of your bottom bracket (the axle that sits between your cranks) to ground level. This measurement is called “effective seat tube length” or “effective center-to-top distance,” depending on who’s doing the measuring.

How Do You Measure the Height of A Saddle?

Measuring the height of your saddle is essential to finding the right bike fit. While there are a variety of ways to go about doing this, we recommend starting by measuring from the ground up to the middle of your saddle (the top portion). You can use an inexpensive saddle height measurement tool. If you don’t have access to one or if they seem too expensive for your liking (they usually run from $10-$20), there are other options available as well: rulers or measuring tapes will work just as well!

Saddle Position

The saddle position is the distance from the center of your seat post to the center of your saddle. It’s measured as a horizontal distance and can be adjusted by moving your seat post up or down.

The correct position for you depends on many factors including:

  • Your height, weight and flexibility
  • How far forward you ride on your saddle (a common mistake)
  • How much pressure you apply to each pedal stroke (most people sit too far back)

Saddle Tilt

Saddle Tilt is the angle of the saddle relative to the ground. This is important for comfort and performance, and it’s measured in millimeters. To adjust your saddle tilt, loosen the saddle clamp bolts (the Allen screws) and move your seatpost up or down with an Allen wrench until you find a comfortable position.

If you’re having trouble finding a comfortable position, try adjusting other things first: Your handlebars can be rotated clockwise or counterclockwise by loosening their bolts; likewise, both ends can be raised or lowered by loosening their clamps on each side of the stem. If those don’t work out well enough, then yes—you may need to take another trip back into town so they can readjust some hardware on your bike frame!

Handlebar Reach and Drop

Both of these measurements can be adjusted by moving a stem, which connects your handlebars. If you have too much or too little of either reach or drop, it will make riding uncomfortable and inefficient. In order to find out how much each rider needs, they need to be measured while mounted on their bikes using a tape measurer.

What Angle Should Your Knee Be at On a Bike?

When you ride a bike, your knees should be bent at about a 25 degree angle. This is because when your legs are locked straight, it puts stress on the joints and can cause injury. When riding in a more relaxed position, however, your body is able to absorb more of the shock from bumps in the road and prevent any injuries.

A 25 degree knee angle is your ideal cycling position. It allows for the best range of motion and power transfer from leg to pedal, meaning you’ll be able to go faster and further with less effort than if you were riding at a different degree of bend. 

If they don’t have a 25 degree bend in their legs while riding, they’ll be using more energy than necessary around each turn or hill; this extra energy can lead to fatigue and make it harder for them to maintain their speed or power going up hills without rest breaks along the way. In addition, riders who don’t have properly aligned knees may experience discomfort in their lower back as well as pain in their knees due to poor posture throughout long rides. This discomfort could also cause numbness or tingling sensations throughout arms and hands due to poor circulation.  

Should My Feet Touch the Ground on A Bike?

Yes. Your feet should touch the ground when you are sitting on your bike. You can check this by sitting in your normal riding position and letting your heels rest on the pedals, without leaning back or forwards. If they don’t make contact with the ground then adjust the height of your seat accordingly until they do.

If you have long legs, but short arms then it’s possible for you to struggle to reach the handlebars in order to get into a comfortable riding position. You can solve this by getting a longer stem fitted which will bring them closer together and make life easier!


We hope you have enjoyed this blog post on how to fit a bike and are now ready to go out and find the right one for you. If there is anything else we can help with, please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave us a comment below!