6 Hacks For The Perfect Bike Fit

6 Hacks For The Perfect Bike Fit

Getting a proper bike fit is unquestionably the best way to feel comfortable, confident and fast on your bike. A professional bike fit can be pretty expensive, so here James and Dan run you through 6 positional tweaks you can make to perfect your riding position.

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Handlebar angle – We’re going to start with handlebar rotation, certainly not the first thing most riders will think about. Rotating your handlebars forward or backwards can drastically change how your bike feels, as can the position of your hoods on the bars themselves. It’s definitely something worth looking at, particularly if you’re changing your bar tape.

Compact bars – Further to the rotation of your bars, you can also look at the shape. Compact handlebars are a reasonably recent invention in cycling, only really coming into common usage on road bikes over the last 10 years or so. Road handlebars traditionally had a very deep drop, meaning when you moved from the hoods to the drops there was a significant position change.

Saddle layback, which is how far behind the bottom bracket your saddle is. At one end of the spectrum, we’ve got traditional road bikes, which tended to have quite a lot of layback, whereas at the opposite end there are modern time trial bikes that have almost none at all. Having the wrong layback for you can lead to a significant loss of power and a whole host of knee problems. There was an interesting study this year that found compression force on the knee was always higher with the saddle further backwards.

Do you have any bike fit hacks? Let us know in the comments. 👇

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  1. DASHYDASH EYESPOKE on June 30, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    I am suffering from what feels like a saddle sore,after a long ride I get this burning feeling(feels like my skin has been pinched or caught up between my saddle and shorts)…this only happens on the right side of my groin area…on the space where my right butt cheek sort of connects with my right thigh(sorry for such a gross description).

    What could be the problem…??? One of my cycling buddies suggested that I change my saddle but I am not convinced it’s my saddle, and another suggested that the reason I could be experiencing such could be that I have changed my riding style since joining a cycling team in October which has made me better and helped improve my cycling.

    I’ve been riding for 6 years now and this is a new experience to me,I’ve been riding with that same saddle since 2016 which was fitted properly.

    What would you gents advise I do.
    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Andrea Chris on June 30, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    When increasing the crank length by 2.5 mm should not simply raise the saddle by 2.5 mm, rather raise by 1 mm and move forward 1.5 mm, converse when shortening, and x2 when increasing by 5 mm, as you need to keep the same knee position over the pedal axle at 3 o’clock.

  3. Christian Holmstedt on June 30, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Well great….. where am I supposed to get a batch of free stems and other stuff to try?
    That shit ain’t free dudes.

  4. G T on June 30, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    dropping the saddle height when one increases crank length does have a completely different impact at 1200 and 1800 respectively, so should we take a middle way?

  5. Miles Crowe on June 30, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    tilting the saddle could lead to a greater presure on hands, and by my fitting exp that cleat position could make a huge difference of the whole bike fitting

  6. Ashim Ghosh on June 30, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Thank You very much for the information 👏👏💪

  7. caner canbir on June 30, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Is it possible to fit the bike through? thanks for the answer👍❤

  8. ViAaRo on June 30, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    I have been ridding with the same saddle for years without any issue but lately I am feeling pain in my left inguinal area after ridding which never has happened before? Would anyone have any clue what could it be? It is a gravel bike (previously I rode road and MTB) and I recently remove the clip-less pedals as I stopped going longer distances for the time being and I just commute with it. Any help would be appreciated.

  9. Nicolò Weiss on June 30, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Mate it is 1000 euro for the sella pass sign. Gracie.

  10. Mau Gowes on June 30, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    the tips really helped me to take me more comfortable on a bicycle

  11. Pat Iorio on June 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Why is it everytime I watch these videos it’s always Trek there riding.I would like to see Pinarello Colnago or De rosa Specialized.

  12. greg magee on June 30, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Inside of my elbows. Have considerable pain after a long ride.
    What do you reccomnend?

  13. Paul Merryman on June 30, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Handle bar width should also be considered. I had a pro bike fit that addressed a variety of comfort issues and one immediate positive change was swapping a 42mm width bar to 38mm. My bike fitter noted the narrow width of my shoulders and explained that a handle bar reach that is too wide did not provide a stable, in line, comfortable platform for my upper body which adds stress to the shoulder and neck muscles. Since moving to narrower handle bars, the neck and shoulder fatigue that I had been experiencing has disappeared.

  14. Andrew Smith on June 30, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Is that not the other way round, if you put the saddle forward you will have to lower it not raise it?

  15. Ian Snyder on June 30, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Not to nitpick, but if you switch to shorter crank arms, shouldn’t you raise your seat by the arm length difference rather than lower it? The shorter crank arms will effectively bring the pedals closer to the seat when at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

  16. AR1G3 on June 30, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    One thing you missed is this: any adjustments you make should be very very small. For example, move the cleats 1mm back, the saddle 3mm forward and 2mm up, and tilt it forward in the smallest amount the splines allow. Then go on a longer ride and evaluate comfort and power output. Because some changes might not be noticable on the indoor trainer, but will only be noticable after 1hr of intensive effort.

  17. S. Ivers on June 30, 2019 at 10:57 pm


  18. Aaron Weißgerber on June 30, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    The layback is poorly explained… It’s definitely missing the explanation…
    Otherwise okay-good…

  19. David Klotz on June 30, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    I added extensions to increase the Q factor. It has made a world of difference in both comfort and performance.

  20. Prashant Fauzadar on June 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    good video , any idea how to calculate frame size of this type of bicycle (pedal on front wheel ), are they comfrotable to ride .


  21. Jonathan Hughes on June 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Try the SMP saddles. The all carbon SMP saddles are comfortable.

  22. Vatsal Shah on June 30, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Saddle position info is helpful. Will try it !

  23. Phillip Godkin on June 30, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    As a professional bike fitter I would put the emphasis on hack! Any good bike fitter know you never start with the handlebars! Shoe/pedal interface then seat the out to the front! So much was overlooked here that it really is an injustice to think that a bike fit is this easy!! I lost a bit of respect for GCN on this one.

  24. Davies Jonathan on June 30, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Not convinced that saddle should go down if you use longer cranks. A lot of back pain (referred from the hip) comes from the leg coming up too high at the top of the stroke. My advice is to find a height that feels ok at the bottom and the top of the stroke. Just a short ride and really focusing on any niggles as you pedal can establish this.

  25. Tim Jilesen on June 30, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Shifters turned inside

  26. DjZorlag on June 30, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    These are adjustments. Let me list 6 _hacks_ that alter bike fit:

    1. Turn layback seatpost around for negative layback.
    2. Saw drop bar ends off and turn them around to make them bullhorn bars.
    3. Shim your bottom bracket cups outwards/inwards/left or right to alter q-factor (asymmetrical body, different leg lengths etc.)
    4. Put shims between shoe and pedal or thick insoles in shoes/get thicker shoe to undo leg length difference.
    5. Run different length crank on other side if leg length difference is very severe.
    6. Wrap old inner tube on the handlebar under the bar tape to get more comfort riding on tops/drops.

  27. Rogelio Avin on June 30, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Parang tanga

  28. t m on June 30, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Isnt the most important part of a bike fit.knee position above center of pedal with a slight bend in knee.and everything revolves around that

  29. Global Cycling Network on June 30, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    Do you have any other bike fit hacks? Let us know. 👇

  30. Raychel Hoffman on June 30, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    5:49 did he just say “SRAMember” ?????

  31. Biscuit Bass Broom on June 30, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Thanks for the video guys …… I have a question ….. I live in Canada I’m a British citizen born in the uk sooo……. we have a lot of salt on the roads out here due to the snow and ice it last from November ish through to March April I find I’m cleaning my bike and drive chain from every two weeks to almost every two three days…… am I cleaning too much? Any suggestions thanks 🙏

  32. Canon CAD3 on June 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    My. Thank you guys so dang much for all this help

  33. adayinthelifeofamiscer on June 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    GCN just keep cranking out the crap content.

  34. A2 Details on June 30, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Do you GCN presenters pay for a professional bike fit or do you DIY?

  35. Buster Brown on June 30, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    That Trek is a Super nice looking bike.

  36. Tulio on June 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Saddle height anyone?

  37. Pratalax on June 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Whilst i haven’t yet been able to test this, it does make sense: it’s easier to fit a bike that’s too small than too big.

  38. Dom on June 30, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    What confuses me on getting a bike fit or measuring is…. bikes only come in certain sizes. So, I don’t see why all this unnecessary measurements. The top tube should be for height (inseam) and the stack should go off of common arm lengths for those in certain height requirments. If your outside if those requirements, you would need a custom bike.

  39. J G on June 30, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Why do bike fits cost so much. Im being quoted £200. You dont even get any parts with it.

  40. Jus Tim on June 30, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    you told us all the advantages of these adjustments, but you never told us the negative side. for example, moving the hoods forward round the bars, will not only give you a more aero position, it will also put more of your body weight on your hands, and you could end up with wrist trouble/sore hands.i would like to see a video with everything included.

  41. 리오나르도_리 on June 30, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks to eng sub! from Korea

  42. spoot on June 30, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    "…first results already seems to indicate that sitting forward likely
    increases knee joint shear forces."


    Mathieu Ménard, Mathieu Domalain and Patrick Lacouture

    University of Poitiers, Sport Sciences Department, Institute PPrime
    CNRS 3346, Robotics, Biomechanics, Sport and Health, Futuroscope,

  43. TheMagnatar on June 30, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    I would never pay for a bike fit. Like seriously these guys are charging more than what a consultant would.

  44. Bally Bhathal on June 30, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Great tips, liked that yo7 kept it simple for me!

  45. Allan on June 30, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    5.55 was that correct? If you drop your saddle you increase crank length? Seems counter intuitive

  46. David tnsca on June 30, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Tengo dolores en la nuca no se si es por la mala posición o potencia pequeño o larga

  47. inakigoitia on June 30, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    Perfect fit are big words jus tby eyeballing it. Maybe best to see a fitter.

  48. Arian Chandler on June 30, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Who else is tired of seeing AcuVue ads?

  49. cchanc3 on June 30, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    99% of the time i watch youtube bikefit videos, I start mocking the presenter openly within about a minute. damn near none of you guys know what you’re talking about. I sat here and watched your whole video. you did not embarrass yourselves, though I still disagreed with one or two points. cheers, guys. seriously.

  50. David tnsca on June 30, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    De Ecuador por favor se ve interesante el video la posición del timón de ruta pero en español por favor. Gracias.