18 Sep 2015
HOW TO GET THE PERFECT MOUNTAIN BIKE FIT
Mountain bikes are harder to set up than road bikes, because they face so many competing demands. Here are the secrets of great bike fit.
First, your riding style matters. If your focus is climbing and cross-country (XC), you’ll want the most pedal-efficient stance. Your seat will be high, your head low and your back at at least 45 degrees. If you’re more into trail riding and fast descents, however, those settings will hold you back.
Too low and your knees and thighs will crumble on climbs. Too high and your hips will rock. For the most efficient pedalling, adjust until your leg is straight with your heel on the pedal, with the pedal is at its lowest point. Your knee will now be slightly bent with your foot correctly placed. Your saddle should be pretty much horizontal. A good seatpost with strong adjustability, like the K-Force SBO, is key.
The downside? This setting leaves very little room to move, which can seriously affect your control (and speed) on steep descents and even over flat, rough ground. Lowering the saddle a few centimetres really helps. Dropping your heels further gets much of your pedalling extension back.
Get your seat-hight right with the continuous carbon fiber section K-Force SB0 seatpost.
Bars have got wider, but the ‘right’ width is personal. A wide bar like the 760mm Afterburner Low Riser puts your hands well outside your shoulders for stability; too wide feels ungainly. Riser bars bend both back and up, so should be rolled in their clamp for the perfect angle. Adjust so your palms sit naturally behind the bar (not on top, where they can be jarred off) without pulling unnaturally on your thumbs.