Explore the best riding position – comprehensive guidance

guide to the best riding position

In the new year, there are not only veterans of cycling, but also a group of new cyclists.

If you want to become a cycling expert, persistent practice and experience is a must, but with some general knowledge, newbies can train more effectively and go further and further on the cycling road.

Before understanding the best riding position, the first thing to understand is that the various structures of a bicycle are not fixed.

The seat, handlebars, frame and other components need to be purchased and adjusted according to different road conditions and personal physical conditions.

For cyclists who are just starting out, or for recreational riders, learning to adjust the bike to the most suitable state for themselves can largely avoid injuries and enjoy riding.

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    Bicycle details adjustment guide

    Bicycle purchase

    Of course, it’s not just height and weight that determine riding comfort, but frame size, bike construction and other factors have a big impact.

    If you buy a bike from an offline store, it’s best to try riding on the bike once and combine your feelings on the bike before making a purchase.

    Seat adjustment

    Before riding, first adjust the seat part of your bike to the correct position to find the best riding position. There are three adjustable parts of the seat: seat height, seat tilt, and front-to-back position.

    E MOUNTAINBIKE magazine recommends a formula for adjusting the height of the seat to find the best riding position: inner seam length (distance from inner thigh to ankle) * 0.885 = straight line distance from the five passes to the front of the seat.

    riding posture

    You can also sit on the bike and place the pedals at 6 o’clock with the heel at 45 degrees to the horizontal ground, when the angle between the calf and thigh is exactly 140~145 degrees as best, indicating that the seat height has been adjusted to the most ergonomic place.

    When the rider sits on the seat, the seat will produce a certain angle of tilt, so the seat will be adjusted to the ground level angle and not necessarily the right.

    The correct approach should be to tilt the front of the seat 0 to 10 degrees downward as a way to protect the crotch position.

    The degree of seat tilt determines the pressure on the rider’s hands, and adjusting the correct tilt angle ensures that the pelvis remains free to rotate while riding.

    The front-to-back position of the saddle affects your movement and center of gravity on the bike.

    The Bike Fit Posture Guide recommends leaning the saddle as far back as possible; a saddle that is too close to the front wheel can lead to increased knee pressure and wear and tear on the knees.

    Seat adjustment

    Unlike road bikes, however, mountain bikers often move their saddles slightly forward to meet their balancing needs when climbing.

    E-bikes slow down the wear and tear on riders’ knees, so many e-bike riders also adjust their saddles forward to achieve the best riding position so they can sit more comfortably on the bike when climbing.

    Handlebar adjustment

    The position of the handlebars determines the best riding position of the center of gravity of the upper body, which directly affects the handling of the bike.

    Handlebar adjustment focuses on the length of the handlebar, the width of the handlebar and the angle.

    A handlebar that is too long or too short will cause the body to tilt to the extreme, resulting in a change in the overall center of gravity.

    According to professional rider Phil Burt’s experience, the best tilt angle for the upper body is about 45 degrees.

    As a reference, the most suitable handlebar length is about 10~12cm. But this is for the European and American people’s handlebar length recommendations.

    Handlebar adjustment

    The specific situation will be set according to their own conditions.

    For the width of the handlebars of road bikes, in order to reduce the resistance when riding, general enthusiasts will recommend a narrower handlebar, and shoulder width can be roughly equal.

    However, on the mountain bike side, the situation is different. Mountain bikes are usually straight handlebars, wider handlebars can improve the handling of the whole bike. It is recommended at about 68-76cm.

    For more information about the differences between them, we will show you the article about road bike speed vs mountain bike speed.

    As for the tilt angle adjustment of the handlebars, it is actually the angle of the brake handle that is adjusted.

    There is no uniform standard, fingers and arm angle in a straight line, fingers on the end of the brake handle, can brake on time.

    Foot pedal adjustment

    If you have pain in your feet or ankles, it is most likely that the position of the pedals and feet is not properly adjusted.

    As shown in the picture above, the pedal axis is located in the middle of the first metatarsal and the fifth metatarsal for the best position, which can avoid pain and numbness in the palm of the foot, and can also improve pedaling frequency.

    riding angle

    Guide to the best riding position

    Adjust our mountain bike. What is the next best riding position to ride in?

    The first thing to stress is that the best riding position is not a single constant.

    Depending on different road conditions and physical conditions can lead to changes in the best riding position.

    For people who want to train themselves as professional race riders, riding positions will definitely require detailed guidance from professionals, even small mistakes can cause great sports injuries.

    For amateur cyclists, on the other hand, the goal of adjusting to the best riding position is comfortable and happy, pain-free riding.

    Guide to the best riding position

    The best riding position when the road is flat

    Before you start riding, sit in the seat, relax your body (especially your shoulders), lean forward slightly, your weight should be slightly tilted forward to better control the speed and direction of the bike, keep your eyes forward and your hips close to the seat.

    After grasping the handlebars with both hands, use your thigh muscles to drive the pedaling of your calves to reduce the burden on your knees and calves, and use the forefoot to generate power, avoiding the heel as much as possible to avoid knee injuries.

    Many people feel that cycling is a sport that uses only the lower limbs, so the upper body workout is not in place.

    But in fact, many newcomers feel sore and tired in their upper limbs and hands when they first start riding.

    how to ride

    This is because the center of gravity of the body is too far forward, or the position of the handlebars and seat is not properly adjusted, causing the hands to support part of the body’s weight.

    Mountain bike riding is different from road bike riding.

    When riding with a road bike, the pursuit of speed requires consideration of wind resistance, and the rider should minimize his or her windward area.

    But mountain bike riding requires consideration of terrain and road conditions, and the rider should keep his or her body smooth over bumps, so the upper body tilt should not be too large.

    The best riding position when the road is rough

    When riding off-road, it is inevitable to encounter rough roads.

    Facing challenges such as depressions, branches, gravel and loose dirt, cyclists should do this to maintain stability to find your best riding position:

    ① relax arms, but hold the handlebars with both hands;

    ② keep your upper body with a smooth center of gravity and still

    ③ keep your body loose;

    ④ keep your legs bent and reduce the magnitude and power of pedaling, or you can stand on the pedals with your hips some distance from the seat and do this.


    You can use your lower limbs to absorb the impact of bumps on your body and play a role in shock absorption.

    Of course, professional shock absorbing parts and tires for mountain riding can play a big role in helping riders ride smoothly and smoothly on rough roads, which is why many mountain bikers pursue better configurations.

    The best riding position when climbing

    When you start climbing, leaning forward can help shift your weight to the front wheel of your mountain bike and increase grip and climbing efficiency.

    But be careful not to lean too far forward to avoid losing the balance of the person and the bike.

    Arms and shoulders do not need to exert force when going uphill and should remain relaxed for better control of the vehicle.

    When going uphill, you should choose smaller gear, reduce the speed to the slowest and keep an even pedaling frequency.

    If you encounter more uphill roads, you can adjust the best riding position of the bike seat forward appropriately for better pedaling.

    The best riding position when climbing

    When you encounter a particularly steep uphill, you can take your butt off the seat for a standing ride and use the front brake to brake and keep your center of gravity low.

    It should be noted that the best riding position when riding uphill varies from person to person and needs to be adjusted according to your physical condition and personal preference.

    The best riding position when riding downhill

    On long downhill slopes, the rider’s hips do not need to leave the seat, but on steeper slopes, you still need to stand, move your butt back and lower your upper body, take a crouching position.

    And then keep the pedals in a horizontal position, tilt your body backwards, keep your body’s center of gravity in the same line, and focus on observing changes in road conditions.

    When going downhill at a faster speed, if you encounter a curve, your body should lean inward and slow down well in advance.

    As with uphill, the body’s center of gravity still needs to be lowered, and it is best to balance the center of gravity with the pedals.

    The best riding position when riding downhill

    Mastering certain riding skills can make your mountain bike ride twice as successful with half the effort, especially remember to relax your body, a rigid riding position will only lead to a decrease in bike control.

    Also, remember to ride for the primary purpose of a happy and enjoyable tour, do not easily try difficult movements without experience, and be well prepared before riding.

    We believe that by gaining some experience and improving your riding skills and find the best riding position, mountain bike riding can become a great pleasure in your life!

    Related posts

    SAMEBIKE electric bike blog, where you will find all articles about cycling tips, as well as some reviews and newsletters about e-bikes.



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