Fitness + Well-being

How to Set Up Your Bike for a Better Cycling Workout

Learn how to adjust your bike settings to achieve maximum workout results.


Proper bike setup is essential for maximizing your cycling workout. Watch the video above to see Daniel Wiener, master instructor at SoulCycle, demonstrate the basic settings that every cyclist — regardless of fitness level — should know.

1. Determine the height of the saddle. Stand next to your bike and place your hand at the top of your hip bone. The height of your saddle should match the height of your hipbone.

2. Adjust the distance between your saddle and the handle bars. Place your elbow at the inside tip of your saddle and angle your forearm toward the handle bars. The proper distance is from your elbow to fingertip.

3. Change the handle bar height. Raise the height of the handle bars to either the exact height of the saddle or just slightly higher. If you are experiencing lower back pain, raise the handle bars a bit higher to alleviate any discomfort.

4. Final adjustments. Once your measurements are set, get on the bike and check your pedal stroke to make sure you have a 25 to 35 degree bend in your knee as your press down on the pedal. If your hips are rocking, it means the saddle is too high and should be lowered.

Now that your bike is set up properly, be sure to check out our other great workout videos to get and a on your bike.