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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    135

    Another Bike Setup Q

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    I went to my first spinning class the other night. It was a lot of fun, but the bike really, really was not made for me. I'm 5'2". Outside, I ride a 15 1/2" WSD bike with an even shorter than standard stem (I have shoulder issues, and am not supposed to overreach). My outside bike is really comfortable for me, but I simply could not get the spinning bike set up to feel good. When I set the seat fore/aft properly for my legs, the reach to the handlbars felt really far. I kept locking out my elbows to balance myself between seat and handlebars, and I know that's really bad.

    I've read the other posts in this thread and all you instructors have some great recommendations (the front left outside of my knee also was painful, and the recent posts on knee pain gave me some good ideas). So, anyone have any ideas on how to get a more comfortable reach for me? Is there an attachment for the handlebars of a spinning bike to make a shorter reach for a shortie like me? Any other work-around?

    Thanks, Cathy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    287
    Well, when I used to spin, if I was uncomfortable in my upper body (after being or trying to be relaxed) and I would put my hands together at the center of the handle bar (position 1 but not so stringent on hand positioning) and I found that it helped some. Also, check the horizontal seat position to make sure that your body isn't too far from the bars without impeding on your knee position when pedalling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    236
    Are you riding on a bike that only has holes in the stems, or do the bikes have micro-adjustments?

    I have been intructing for 10 years and am on the short side (a little over five foot tall), but have a problem if the bikes don't have micro adjustments.

    If I were setting you up, I would probably set the handlebars a little higher than you're used to riding with on your outdoor bike, and move it as close as the adjustments allowed.

    Of course, I'm saying this without seeing you, but it's been my experience that the clients that have shoulder issues do better with a higher setting on the handlebars.

    I hope you can resolve this issue. Indoor cycling can be a great way to stay ahead of the game when it comes to your outdoor cycling.
    Vertically challenged, but expanding my horizons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    135
    Raindrop,

    The spin bike only has holes on the stems; no micro adjustments (I'll check to see if all the bikes are like that).

    Unfortunately, the handlbars were set at their highest height (any further up and they're off the bike; I checked!), and they didn't have any adjustment to move the handlebars towards me. Are there spin bikes that actually have those adjustments?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,315
    Lemond spin bikes have a handlebar fore/aft adjustment.

    My current gym uses these. I have a hard time getting comfortable on them, even though I'm definitely in an ok height range.

    There's another kind that does too...but it might just be on older models. I'm blanking on the brand...

    What about moving the seat a little more forward than you have it now and a notch higher to make up for the reach? Does that feel really funky on your legs?

    I used to be at a gym that had bikes that adjusted like yours. There were several people who couldn't take the classes because the bikes were too big for them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    236
    Actually there are quite a few different indoor bikes used for indoor cycling that micro-adjustment capability and not just the push-pin holes.

    I would ask your instructor to check your set up. When you are in the saddle and your leg is extended toward the bottom or 6:00 position, foot level, you should have a very minimal bend in your knee. Then, leveling your feet (three and nine o'clock positions) have the instructor check (either eyeballing it, or better yet, with a plumb line) that the forward knee angle, lines up with the pedal spindle or the ball of the foot. Then, pedal a few times to make sure your hips aren't rocking in the saddle.

    You might even try visiting some other clubs...try out different bikes....they aren't all the same. Neither are the instructors.

    I always set up new participants, and eye-ball everyone's set-up before class and I have three soon to be four indoor cycling/Spinning certifications, all of which specified how to set up clients on the bike. It's unprofessional not to pay attention to that detail.
    Vertically challenged, but expanding my horizons.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    294
    i'm coming in from a racing point of view...

    perhaps when you're on the spin bike you can set up the handlebars at whatever height is comfortable but just change the way you're sitting in the saddle, here's why. (going back to the race position) when we're on our bikes, the "racing" or "performance" fit will have your back flat and low, and your elbows bent close to 90 degrees. my point is that with those two variables, your shoulder angle has to be close to 90 degrees as well (usually 110-120 is optimal).

    is that too much overreaching for your shoulder? as a disclaimer, its NOT easy to ride in that position and does take a lot of time getting yourself used to it. but i thought maybe that might be an interum thing to deal with the badly fitting spin bikes?
    Last edited by equus123; 01-24-2007 at 06:16 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Florida panhandle
    Posts
    1,498
    Quote Originally Posted by Raindrop View Post
    When you are in the saddle and your leg is extended toward the bottom or 6:00 position, foot level, you should have a very minimal bend in your knee. Then, leveling your feet (three and nine o'clock positions) have the instructor check (either eyeballing it, or better yet, with a plumb line) that the forward knee angle, lines up with the pedal spindle or the ball of the foot. Then, pedal a few times to make sure your hips aren't rocking in the saddle.
    Raindrop--I've just started spinning again after a several-year layoff due to injuries, laziness, etc., and I couldn't for the life of me remember how to set my bike up. I used your suggestions in class yesterday and the bike felt great. OK, so the class itself kicked my a$$ , but the bike was nice and comfortable.
    Bad JuJu: Team TE Bianchista
    "The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress." -Roth
    Read my blog: Works in Progress

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    236
    I'm glad I could help.
    Vertically challenged, but expanding my horizons.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    135
    Raindrop et al, your ideas helped me, too (I've been offline for a bit due to life, or I would have been back to thank you sooner).

    I tried a different bike and pedaled slower, both of which helped. I also brought a huge beach towel, rolled it up and placed it across the handlebar. That helped my reach issues a bit. I know it's not ideal, but I'm going at a pretty leisurely pace so I'm not worried about losing my grip.

    Thanks for the ideas - back to class tomorrow for me.

 

 

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