7 best bike setup tips

Bikes are awesome now so bike setup is absolutely critical

How To Video
Bike Setup

Front fork air pressure is key. Photo by Jeremie Reuiller

Some folks just jump on a bike and ride away for a test ride. But the ones who do it right spend 10 critical minutes to set the bike up properly. This time spend can mean the difference between enjoying a bike instantly or struggling to adjust to the bike.

Below are some critical areas to focus on to maximize your ride.

1. Get the correct bike for your needs

Get the ideal tire size and suspension travel for your style and preferences.

2. Pressures

Set your proper suspension and tire pressures.

3. Handlebars

Get the proper width and height for your body style, trail type and personal style. Adjust the rotation of the bar so it has the sweep and rise you like.

Bike Setup

Positioning the brake levers and their angle goes a long way in reducing hand fatigue. Photo by Jeremie Reuiller

4. Brakes

Get the angle of the brake correct. Ideally, they should match the angle of your forearms when your body is in the descending braking position.

5. Drivetrain

Get the proper 1x gearing for you. If you need a lighter gear, go 2x.

6. Pedals

Use the ideal pedals and shoes for your riding style. If clipless, make sure the tension and release point is adjusted.

7. Saddle

Select the right saddle that fits you and the dropper post length best for you. Adjust the fore aft of your saddle and get the tilt of the saddle as flat as possible.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Andrew says:

    “Adjust the fore aft of your saddle and get the tilt of the saddle as flat as possible.”

    Please disregard the latter and find a suitable angle for your needs. I tilt my saddle quite a bit downwards at the nose as it allows me to get lower towards the front, more agressively positioned on the bike and most critically allows for my lower back / lumbar region to have less curvature, a straighter lower back (better form) leads to less potential pain during and after very long endurance rides.

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