Setting up your bike is a critical step to ensuring a safe and strong workout experience. Did you know your could be missing out on giving your best effort because your bike could be impromperly set up? Or worse, you could be risking an injury if your seat is too low or too high. Check out the following set-up steps to lay the foundation for a powerful ride.
Stand next to the bike and place your hand on your hip bones. Adjust the height of the seat so that it hits the palm of your hand.
Sitting on the bike, your knees will be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Move the seat forward or back so that when the pedals are level with each other, your forward knee is directly above the ball of your forward foot.
Adjust the handlebars up or down so that your back and neck are comfortable when your hands rest on the handlebars. Beginners often find a higher handlebar setting to be most comfortable.
Step your foot into the basket/cage on top of each pedal. The ball of your foot should be over the center of the pedal. Make sure the straps of the sneaker baskets are pulled tight and your laces are under control!
Your cleats should be centered on the balls of your feet. Push down to clip in, twist your heel to release.
Having trouble? Practice (and YouTube) makes perfect.
The most common resistance control format used by stationary bikes. Turning the knob to the right gives your legs more or less to push against.
Push the lever forward to increase resistance. CycleCast instructors often talk about turning the 'dial to the right'... if you have a lever-adjusted bike, just push forward instead.
Picture a flat road. Resistance is on the lighter side, but not zero and you're sitting comfortably in the saddle with your hands resting gently on the handlebars. If you have a bike computer, check to see that your pedal cadence stays between 80 and 110 RPM.
Here comes the hill! You're seated in the saddle with your hands resting comfortably on the handlebars, but resistance is cranked up to simulate steeper terrain. Push for the summit, but stay seated and keep your cadence between 60 and 80 RPM.
Also called running or jogging. Stand up while riding with medium resistance. Your hands stay in the middle or either side of the handlebars for a more upright posture. Just make sure there's enough resistance to stay in control with a cadence between 60 and 85 RPM.
Race you to the top! Stand and move your hands to the front of the handlebars to take on heavy resistance. Keep your body weight centered and resist the temptation to put pressure forward on your arms. Attack the hill with power and keep your pedals moving at a cadence of 60 to 80 RPM.
Transitioning between seated and standing movements is often referred to as jumping. Despite the name, jumps should actually be a fairly smooth and controlled action when done correctly. Always ensure you have enough resistance to come to a standing position without losing control of your legs and when you sit back down, don't slam your butt down, but come back to the saddle with a smooth and even movement.
Drink Plenty of Water
You will lose a lot of water during an intense indoor cycling workout so having a bottle handy will not only provide a welcome treat during your recovery periods, but will also help you to maintain performance throughout the ride. CycleCast instructors will sometimes tell you when it's a good time to drink, but you should also feel free to take water whenever you need it. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day after your ride. If you've been sweating enough, one bottle probably won't do it!
Don't Forget to Bring a Towel
If you're doing it right, a ride with CycleCast can be a pretty sweaty affair. Having an absorbent towel handy will make your ride much more comfortable. Towel off at opportune moments between songs or intervals so you can feel refreshed when you attack those big hills!
The instructor is there to guide you, but you're always the one in control of pace. You know your body best, so listen to what it's telling you and adjust your ride accordingly. Don't be afraid to take risks and push it, an intense cardio workout can get uncomfortable at times. But don't overdo it. And also, please consult a doctor before taking on any new exercise regime. You can read more about when to consult your doctor here.