Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Adjusting the Bike for Comfort Riding

I have now cycled 6 miles in 3 sessions of self imposed riding lessons, and I now felt ready to raise my seat to the correct riding position.  However I came across a problem.

After raising the seat and once comfortably sitting on it and my legs and feet were in the correct position height wise, I found I had trouble getting my bum on and off the seat and had to stand on real tip toe, finding it hard to balance, while lifting my rear end on and off.

I realised then that this was because the front of the saddle was pointing up which of course meant that that part of the saddle was way too high for me to lift myself high enough to mount it comfortably.

I then went and viewed a couple of how to videos on youtube which showed the correct saddle position, forward, back, up, down and of course height.  Never having ever positioned a saddle before (my bike shop fitted me for my trike), I sweated undoing the saddle, fiddling with it and then putting it back on again, until I had sorted it correctly for myself.   And of course tightening the nuts to the max.

So saddle now perfect, I think.  I wont know until I get out again for another ride.

Then came the height of the handle bars.  Having no idea what would be a comfortable position I looked up the height of the handle bars of a Brompton S type.  I felt as they are the experts in folding bikes I can't really go wrong with the height they manufacture.  I then set my handle bars to that height.

Now one thing that I find a pain in the rear about riding this bike as apposed to my trike is that I have nowhere to carry anything.  Even my handbag has to be slung over my head and shoulder if I have to take it with me.  So I went down to our bike port and took off the front basket I had on my trike.  I don't really need that front basket on the trike as I have the large carry basket on the back.

I then installed the bracket for that basket on my bike, having first had to slightly move my speedometer a fraction along the handle bar, and then tested to see if the bracket would affect the folding down of the bike.  It doesn't, so all is well.  I now have a basket to carry my handbag, pump, bottle of water and bike chain.

Whilst I was playing with all these changes and adjustments I also removed all the bicycles4u stickers from the bike.  Those stickers were really showing up the bike being only a cheap one.  It now looks a bit smarter.

I now feel my bike is really a true form of transport and not just a convenient item to learn how to ride with.  No more lessons.  From now on I will gain experience as I ride out.


  1. I like your changes. One thing to think about. Can you see beyond the basket to the ground in front? Will this higher position of the basket pose a problem? Something to think about. I'm proud of you for attempting all those adjustments. You are slowly making the bike your very own personal transportation bike.

  2. Ahhh, now the basket, yes it does hang high. My trike has an M shape handle bar and therefore the basket hung lower. I did think the basket might be a bit high but I wont know how it goes until I get out on the road later today.

    It might mean that I have to treat myself to a different style of basket or find a bag that can sit on the panier behind. The 16" wheels don't allow for a normal pannier bag.

  3. I have a Brompton and one of the best features is the luggage block. Onto this then clips the canvas version of your basket, but much lower down so more stable when you are carrying cans of soup. We also have the block on our tandem so the same luggage can be used on both, so moving the tool kit from one bike to the other is release clip and clip on.

    So well worth getting.

  4. In the end I didn't even take the bike out on to the road with the basket as it is in the photo.

    Instead what I did was sewed long velcro strips along the bottom of the basket and they wrap around the luggage block at the back. As insurance I then attached a chain at the back of the basket and that gets wrapped around the seat post.

    Makes for a very stable basket but quick and easy to get on and off.


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