Adjusting your bike seat and handlebars

Adjusting your bike seat and handlebars

When riding, it’s important for your position to be as optimal as possible. If things aren’t feeling quite right you can easily fix that by adjusting your seat and handlebars for maximum comfort. If this seems like an intimidating task don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this guide on easily adjusting both your seat and bars to fit you better. 


You should always know your contact points when considering your riding position. As the name suggests, these points are where your body comes in contact with your bike at the seat, handlebars and pedals. So adjusting your bike is all about making sure these contact points are spaced in a way that you’re not experiencing any discomfort. The ideal distance between these contact points depends on a lot of factors such as your own physical dimensions and preferred position while cycling. A competitive cyclist will usually lean forward for the extra speed, and a more casual rider will sit upright, so adjusting your contact points does depend on the type of cyclist you are. Regardless of distance, you should always make sure to rest your feet on the pedals right, by making sure the balls of your feet are what carry the weight, anything else isn’t optimal and could lead to discomfort while cycling. For most cyclists, you want it so that your knees are slightly bent when your pedal is in the lowest position, but this can vary depending on what kind of cycling you’re doing, so keep that in mind when adjusting the height of your saddle.


Now to actually adjust your seat height, you can loosen and adjust at the junction where the seat post meets the frame of your bike. Depending on your model of bike, there will be a quick-release lever at the base of the seat post that can be pried opened and adjusted using your Rehook PLUS. If you can see a small bracket with a screw in it, that means you have a bolted seat post. In that case simply use one of the Allen key or adjustable wrench attachments on your Rehook PLUS in order to loosen the bolt so that you can begin adjusting the seat post. Make sure it is a comfortable height for you before tightening the bolt again, so that the seat and post both stay secure while you cycle.


Next up you need to know how to adjust your handlebars. If you’re a casual rider just looking to enjoy yourself, you usually want your bars to be either in line or slightly above your saddle for maximum comfort, while more competitive cyclists will want their bars lower so they can have a more aerodynamic position, but too low can make the bike quite difficult to control and be dangerous of rough terrain. If you’re unsure on the exact position that will suit you best, you can always experiment with different heights until you find what works best for you. 


Most modern bikes will have what are known as “spacers” on their handlebars, which are small circular bolts around the stem that you can remove to adjust the height of your bars. To remove them you’ll need the Allen key attachment of your Rehook PLUS, which you can use on the bolts and cap on top of your stem to remove the handlebars, and then remove or add spacers until the bars are a comfortable height when you reattach them. Then you reattach the handlebars with the extra spacers going on top before you replace the cap on top of them. Just be careful as you do this as you don’t want to lose any spacers or parts, otherwise reassembling your headset will be much more difficult or maybe even impossible. Thankfully Rehook PLUS contains all the tools you need for this. If you're unsure of what the spacers look like, you can make them out as the circular metal bands in the image below, just below the handlebars.

The most modern type of handlebars before spacers had something called a “quill stem”, which you will still see on a lot of modern bikes. Adjusting the height of handlebars with a quill stem is a different process, but a lot of people find it easier than dealing with spacers. These types of handlebars will either have a hex head or external bolt on top of the stem that you can easily loosen with your Rehook PLUS. Once loosened, you can easily move the stem up and down and line it up with your front wheel properly if it is askew. Then once you are happy the process of tightening it back into place with your Rehook PLUS is easy too and you can keep doing this until you’re happy with the height and position. If you're unsure what a quill stem look like, you can see an example of one in the image below.


Hopefully now, you feel more confident about properly adjusting your seat and handlebars using your Rehook PLUS to your heart’s content! If you have any questions or queries, feel free to leave us a comment!


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