Fitting your bike
Adjustments and maintenance
To ensure maximum comfort and safety, you need to fit your bike to your body. The seat and the handlebars are the two main adjustments to make before you hit the road.
A well-positioned seat promotes good riding posture and optimal comfort. Your seat is at the correct height if your leg is almost fully extended (knee slightly bent) when your pedal is in its lowest position. And remember to ensure the saddle is parallel to the ground.
If your child is still a beginner, lower the bicycle seat so they can touch the ground with their feet. This will give them an extra boost of confidence.
There are two types of handlebars: curved, like you find on most road bikes, and straight, which is the standard design for most hybrid, city and mountain bikes. Straight handlebars are a big advantage in an urban setting. They let you sit straighter, and this in turn improves your peripheral vision. For city biking, make sure your handlebars are the same height as, or slightly higher then, your seat.
A well-maintained bicycle means efficiency and safety. If you are not comfortable making your adjustments yourself, let your local bike specialist do them for you. And if you take your bike in for a fall tuneup, you’ll be ready and raring to go the following spring!
Three very important things to remember:
Your brakes need to be in tip-top shape at all times. If they are slow to respond, either they require readjusting or your brake pads need replacing.
Read the pressure rating on your tire and make sure you comply with the recommended maximum PSI. This will help you avoid flat tires and improve your bicycle’s overall performance.
If your gears are properly adjusted, it’s easier to change speeds when you have to climb a hill, ride against the wind or carry a heavy load.