The seat on an exercise bike should be like your favorite chair -- sturdy, supportive and comfortable. Not all bike seats feel this way, however, but by adjusting the seat to fit your body, you can make your ride better. A proper seat position also reduces risk of injury to your back and knees. It's better to take two or three minutes before your ride to adjust the seat than it is to spend 20 to 30 minutes cycling in discomfort.
Look at the bike and adjust the seat so that it is horizontal to the floor and is not at an angle. Unscrew the knob, pull out the knob or release the lever accordingly, depending on the bike's design.
Sit on the bike and place your feet on the pedals to adjust the height of the saddle. Pedal a few times and then stop with one leg at the top of the stroke and one leg at the bottom. Observe your bottom leg to see if there is a slight bend in the knee of approximately 25 to 35 degrees. Raise the height of the seat if there is a bend more than 35 degrees by turning the knob, pulling out the knob or releasing the lever accordingly. Lower the height of the seat if your knees are bent less than 25 degrees.
Sit on the bike seat and place the balls of your feet in the center of the pedals to adjust how close the seat is to the handlebars. Place your hands on the handlebars as if you were about to cycle. Pedal a few times and then stop with one leg at the top of the stroke. Look at the top leg to see if your knee is in line with the ball of your foot and your shin is vertical to the floor. Pull out or turn the knob or release the lever to move the seat. Move your seat backward if your knee is beyond your toes. Slide your seat forward if your knee is behind your heel.
Adjust the seat of the exercise bike each time you workout if it is a bike used by other people. Change your adjustments if you experience any knee or back discomfort. Slide your seat backward if your knees hurt or are uncomfortable. Move your seat forward so you are in an upright position if your back is uncomfortable.
- Even if your exercise bike does not have all the seat adjustments described here, you should be able to lower and raise the seat. Set the height to the correct level and then adjust where you sit on the seat to provide comfort for your knees. Slide all the way to the back of the saddle to take pressure off your knees.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.