How to Use a Spin Bicycle

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Taking part in your first spin or indoor group cycling class can be an intimidating experience. Pumping music, intense exercisers and a new machine can leave anyone a little uneasy about jumping right in to participate. While at first sight it may look complicated, the spin bike is easy to use. These steps will lead you through the proper set up of your bike and soon you'll be cycling with the experts.

  • Stand next to your bike seat and analyze its height. The top of the seat should be right at your hip bone. Unscrew the knob on the bar below the seat and slide the seat up or down to adjust it to your hip height. Tighten the knob again to secure it.

  • Adjust the distance between the seat and the handlebars to match the length of your forearm. Place your elbow at the very front of the seat. Your finger tips should barely touch the front of the bike. Unscrew the knob at the back of the seat to slide it forward or back and tighten to secure it.

  • Climb onto the seat of the bike and place your feet on the pedals in the stirrups. Reach down and pull the thin belt to tighten the stirrup around each foot.

  • Set the handlebars at a height that is comfortable for you. You should have to reach forward, bending at the lower back and hips to reach them, but they should not be so far away that you are straining or feel tension in your lower back. Unscrew the knob below the bars to adjust up or down and tighten to secure it.

  • Using the knob in front of you, below the handlebars, rotate it to the left to remove all the resistance from the wheel.

  • Begin pedaling and pay attention to how your legs and knees feel. As your bring you knee up it should be at about a 90 degree angle and when the leg is fully extended there should be a slight bend in the knee. If you feel tension in the knees, adjust your seat up, down, forward or back to achieve a more comfortable position.

  • Keep your feet flat as you pedal. Keep your back flat and not hunched as you reach forward to the handle bars. Rotate the control knob to the right to increase resistance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a bottle of water and a towel to class with you. Group cycling can be an intense class and you won't be able to hop off your bike for water.
  • When doing standing flats or climbs resist the urge to support all of your weight with the handle bars. Use them for balance and stability only.

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  • Photo Credit alal, www.morguefile.com
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