Spin Tri Workout Bike Training1

Spinning for a Tri Workout – How To Set Up Your Spin Bike

Not too long ago, I got hooked on doing spin class as part of my tri workouts. But for the first few sessions, no one ever showed me the proper way to adjust my spin bike. That’s my own fault because I don’t like asking for help, nor will I admit that I’m new to a class.  So basically, I just tried to figure out how to set up my bike on my own.

If you’re new to spin, I totally recommend getting to class a few minutes early and asking the instructor to help you adjust your bike. But if you’re like me, and would rather not go to class than ask for help {I’m so weird, I know}, here’s a video that will show you the basics of setting up your bike. {For more info on why spin class is a great way to cross-train for your triathlon workout, check out How Spin Class Can Help You Train For Your First Triathlon}.


You want to adjust your bike so that you limit any potential injuries to your knees or back. There are many different types of spin bikes, so if these adjustments don’t work for you or your particular bike, just set it up so that you are comfortable.


How to adjust your spin bike | TwoTri.com1. Adjust the seat height

Stand next to your bike and lift your leg so your thigh is parallel with the ground. That’s how high you want to raise your seat. The height of your thigh also happens to be where your hip bone is, so you can also adjust your seat to your hip bone height.

2. Adjust the distance between your seat and handle bars

A little trick is to place your elbow against the front of the seat and adjust either the seat or the handle bars so that your palm touches the handle bars. You don’t want to be reaching too far and straining your back, but you don’t want your knees to be knocking into the handlebars.

3. Adjust the handlebar height

 A lot of people think you’re supposed to have your handles lower than your seat. Well, spin bikes don’t go anywhere, so you don’t need to be aerodynamic. That position will strain your back, neck and shoulders. Plus, let’s just be honest, it’s not that comfortable. I like to raise my handlebars as high as it will go. Nothing wrong with that. So, adjust your handles to whatever height is comfortable for you.*Before you hop on your bike, make sure all the levers and knobs are tightened. I only say this because, yeah, it’s happened before…

4. Tighten the pedal cage

 Most spin bike pedals have 2 sides. A side to clip in with your bike shoes, and a side to strap your foot into if you’re wearing sneakers. It’s important that you tighten the straps so that your food is snug in the cage. Now don’t cut off your circulation or anything, but make sure your cage is nice and tight. This will help give you more power on the upstroke, which is very useful when pedaling up a hill during a tough tri workout.

“Tri workouts don’t always have to be outside. I love the high energy of a spin class…”


If at any point during the class you feel like you adjusted your bike wrong or you need to put your seat higher or lower, don’t hesitate to hop off your bike and adjust it. It is better to stop and readjust your bike than to injury yourself or be in pain for the rest of class.

After your first class, see how you feel. Make any other adjustments you need to, then remember how you adjusted it for next time. There are usually notches with letters or numbers written next to them to help you remember. {ie: I adjust my seat height to 12}.

Happy Spinning!

About Author

Trainer DaveyTrainer Davey is an Orange County personal trainer at heart, but has since moved to Nashville and taken on the new challenge of triathlon training. Of course, he misses his home of Surf City...but Music City ain't so bad either!View all posts by Trainer Davey →