The Ultimate Beginners Guide To Indoor Cycling

Learn how to max out your cycling sessions with these tips.

Swift Setup Basics 

A proper fit is crucial to an efficient workout (and a more comfortable ride!). Here’s how to maximize pedal power.

Foot position: If your bike has toe cages and straps, make sure the ball of your foot is aligned over the center of the pedal. This is the firmest, widest part of your foot and the most efficient and comfortable position. If you’re clipping in with bike shoes, make sure that the cleats are positioned so the ball of your foot is on the center of the pedal.

Saddle height: You can eyeball the saddle so it comes to about hip height, but a better way to tell if you’re at the right position is to get on the bike and rotate the pedals until one leg reaches the bottom of the pedal stroke. That leg should have about a 25- to 35-degree bend at the knee.

Saddle fore/Aft position: Sitting on the saddle, place your hands on the front handlebars; keep the pedals level. Look down: Your kneecap should be directly above the center of the pedal; adjust saddle accordingly to get there.

Handlebar height: Align handlebars close to seat height to limit the strain on your neck and back.

SEE ALSO: Peloton Offers New Spin On Indoor Cycling With A Production Studio To Stream Live Classes

The Evolution of Cycling

Early cycling classes meant being packed into a windowless room staring at the sweaty back of the person in front of you. Today’s classes offer a dramatically elevated indoor experience.

More Feedback

Most new indoor bicycles now come with a power meter that displays your speed, RPM (rotations per minute), and, most important, wattage—or how much power you’re putting out. This helps keep you from spinning mindlessly.

Better Entertainment

At high-end clubs like Equinox Fitness, riders can take part in classes like The Pursuit, which puts your performance stats into virtual in-studio gaming, displaying graphics that allow you to compete with others or take part in team challenges.

Home Improvement

New technologies from companies like Peloton give you the feeling of a group class without leaving your living room. Connect (and compete) with fellow cyclists from anywhere in the world and follow along with live instructors who help keep you motivated no matter where you ride.

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