Spin Class 101: How to Set Up Your Bike

Spin instructor Jen Tallman has three steps to a safe and comfortable ride.

How to Set Up Your Spin Bike

Going to cycling class doesn't have to be scary. We already prepared you on exactly what to expect during your first ride (so much sweat!), and now we're back with one of the most commonly overlooked — but super important — parts of riding a stationary bike.

Whether you're a seasoned rider or about to make your spinning debut, setting up your bike properly is crucial so you can avoid injury and fully enjoy the experience. Jen Tallman, cycling instructor at New York Sports Club, will have you perfectly fitted on your bike in three easy-to-follow steps.

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1 Set Your Seat Height

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Your seat height should level with your hip bone, according to Tallman. Not sure where your hip bone is? Figuring it out is simple: Lift your leg that's closest to the bike and align the seat with the topmost spot where your leg bends.


"Just make sure you're standing up tall to get the most accurate measurement," Tallman says.

2 Make Sure Your Seat Isn't Too Close to the Handlebars

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Cycling isn't fun when your legs are awkwardly flailing to the sides like chicken wings. Good thing there's a quick fix to make sure you're seated properly:


"The best way to adjust your seat is to have your spin instructor look at you to make sure your knees aren't too far over your toes, but if you're by yourself, there's still an easy option," Tallman says.


Put your elbow on the edge of the seat and move it forward or backward so your fingers are touching the resistance knob. You can also make an adjustment once you get on your bike and feel it out.

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3 Set Your Handlebar Height

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Handlebars can be the most confusing part of setting up a bike. Some riders like them low, and some like them high, but Tallman says a good rule of thumb is to start with your handlebars a bit higher than your seat.


"I always say to start with them a little bit higher — especially for those who are pregnant, overweight, or have lower back issues. Since we're not riding outside, there's no reason to have them low to be aerodynamic," Tallman says.

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