Proper ergonomics is an important part of exercising on an exercise bike but most people overlook it. You must set it up for proper ergonomics before you start working out on a stationary bike.

NOTE: While this article uses NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike as an example, the basis of setting up a stationary spin bike for ergonomics is the same.

Poor ergonomics will cause injuries and negate most of the benefits you’re supposed to get from your workout sessions. In this post, we provide the ultimate guide on how to set up your home stationary spin bike for proper ergonomics, using Nordictrack S22i as an example.

How do you set up the spin bike before riding?

First, adjust the exercise bike’s seat height to about your hip level. Then, adjust the pedals and handlebars to their ergonomic positions. Then, sit on the saddle and take your position. Be sure that your back is straight and that you are comfortable before riding.

According to the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, poor ergonomics and positioning are among the major causes of hip injuries in cyclists. The same is true for those who ride exercise bikes. In other words, you are more likely to experience hip pain or other hip problems if you do not set the machine up for proper ergonomics.

As you read on, we will explain each of the steps you must take to ensure that your stationary bike has an ergonomic setup.

1. Adjust the Seat Height to an Ergonomic Position

The first ergonomic adjustment to make on your equipment is to adjust its seat height. The seat should be as high as the level of your hip bone.

Find your hipbone level by touching the part that points out. Then, stand next to your bike and adjust the machine’s seat aligned with that point where your hand is. After adjusting the studio bike’s seat, make sure that your palm is on a parallel line with the top of the seat.

  • How to Adjust the Seat Height Level

For NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike, all you need to do is raise (pull up) or lower (push down) the seat lever. Adjust the seat height with the lever until it is at the appropriate level. If you own an exercise bike from a different brand, be sure to read the user manual to find out exactly how to adjust the seat level.

Do you share the studio bike with other people? Note the exact height you set the seat to with a measurement line on the bike. That way, you won’t have to adjust the height each time you want to work out.

  • Dangers of Using Inappropriate Seat Height Ergonomics

If your bike’s seat height is not set up for your height, your joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons will be under undue stress. What’s more, you might be working out the wrong muscles.

Conversely, when your bike’s seat height is ergonomic, you will push through your workout with the right muscles and without undue stress.

When your seat height is ergonomic, you will engage the right muscles, including the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. You will also be able to engage your core and generate greater power during your workout.

Moreover, the ergonomic seat height will ensure your comfort. That way, you will last longer and not get tired too quickly.

2. Adjust the Spin Bike to an Ergonomic Pedal Position

Sit on top of the bike and slip your feet into the pedal cages. Do not slide your feet all the way in. Rather, let your weight rest on the balls of your feet. In that position, check to see how much your knee bends down on the bike’s pedal. Your legs should be at the six o’clock position, but with a 25- to 35-degree bend.

Next, remove your extended leg from the cage and let your heel rest directly on the pedal. In that position, your leg should be fully extended at the six o’clock position.

  • Find Out What Your Trainer Recommends and What Works for You

Gyms and trainers often differ on how much your knee should bend on the bike pedal. However, the recommended angle is usually anywhere from 5 to 35 degrees.

Ask your trainer for his/her recommendation and adjust the bend to what feels comfortable for you. Just make sure to stay within the range of 5-35 degrees.

  • Dangers of Poor Knee-Angle Ergonomics

You will strain your knees while riding a spin bike like the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike if the angling is not ergonomic. That may, in turn, cause some discomfort or pain. What’s more, your buttocks will likely be hard-pressed on the seat and become sore after the workout.

Another challenge with an improper knee angle is that you cannot maintain flat feet while pedalling. As a result, your calves will over-engage each time your heels come up. You will be engaging the wrong muscle and generating less power.

3. Ergonomic Handlebars Setup

The distance between the handlebars and the bike seat is also a vital part of its overall ergonomics. The general rule is that the distance should be about the length of your forearm. That is, your hand should touch the edge of the handlebar while your elbow rests on the edge of the seat.

What’s more, make sure that your elbows are slightly bent when your hands are on the handlebar. So, sit on the studio bike and place your hands in position. Adjust the handlebars if you need to. They should neither be too far nor too close.

  • Why Improper Handlebar Ergonomics is Unsafe

If your handlebars are too close to the seat, you will be scrunched up while riding. If, on the other hand, the handlebars are too far from the seat, you would have to take a downward dog posture. That is, you will need to reach out with your arms fully extended.

Neither of these positions is efficient for your workout. What’s more, you would end up over-arching your back and stressing your shoulders.

  • Why Ergonomic Handlebar Height Matters

The handlebar height is also important but it often boils down to your personal preference. The comfortable handlebar height for most people is the same as the seat height or slightly higher. You may experience hip or back issues If the handlebar height is not ergonomic.

Do you have back issues, even after adjusting the seat height, pedal position, and handlebar distance? Try raising the handlebar height. But then, if you are experiencing hip issues, try reducing your handlebar height.

New riders often find higher handlebars more comfortable. Eventually, you will lower them when you become more accustomed to and comfortable with riding.

4. Final Checks for Proper Spin Bike Ergonomics

Finally, get on the spin bike. Place your hands in position on the handlebars and your legs on the pedals. Turn the pedals to a position where your feet are at the same level. Your knees should be bent while in that position.

Now, think of an imaginary string dropping from the top of your knee. The string should go straight down to the ball of your feet. Adjust the seat-handlebar distance until your imaginary string is in the right place.

Common Ergonomic Mistakes that Spin Bike Riders Make

Here are some of the common ergonomic mistakes that spin bike riders make:

1. Improper Bike Adjustment

A bike that was not properly adjusted for optimum ergonomics can mess up your entire workout. So, make sure the different ergonomic setup parameters are properly adjusted. They include seat height, handlebar to seat distance, handlebar height, pedal position, and others.

An improper bike adjustment will put you at risk for joint injuries. You may experience different degrees of pain in your back, hips, and knees, among other places. Moreover, your cycling performance will be low if you do not adjust your studio bike properly before commencing your exercise.

2. Wrong Riding Posture and Position

As a rule, always maintain an upright and relaxed body posture while riding. You will experience discomfort and pain if your body posture is not comfortable.

For proper body posture, your butt should be comfortable on the bike seat. Your hands should also rest easily on the handlebars. Also, keep your knees at a slight angle.

These will ensure that your arms, shoulders, and neck remain relaxed. Otherwise, you may experience muscle fatigue and soreness after your exercise. What’s more, there will be less pressure on your back. That, in turn, helps minimise back pain.

What is The Ergonomic Posture For Riding a Spin Bike?

You should mimic the proper posture for riding a bicycle when you are riding a spin bike like the S22i Studio Bike. Make sure to sit in an upright position and avoid being hunched over. All the adjustments we have recommended so far on the studio bike are to support the proper ergonomic posture for your exercise.

An ergonomic studio bike setup will not benefit you unless you master the ergonomic riding posture. Think about your office desk and chair.

There are ways to set it up ergonomically, but you must also master proper ergonomic posture. Otherwise, you will still experience discomfort and hamper your workplace productivity.

We have explained the ergonomic setup procedure for a spin bike. We have also explained the ergonomic posture for riding.

Always remember that your riding posture must complement the ergonomic setup. That is the only way to get optimum benefits from your exercise. Moreover, it will help you prevent improper exercise and unnecessary pain.

A Note to Newbie Spin Bike Riders on Ergonomics

You may follow this setup and posture guide and still experience some discomfort after your exercise. That is absolutely normal, at least for the first week of your workout. After that, your body will adjust and you will be just fine.

You will feel some pressure on your pubic bone during your first few times on the bike seat. That can feel very uncomfortable or even slightly painful.

This does not mean that you are being hurt or that you are doing anything wrong. They are happening because your body is not used to riding. Once your body adjusts and you get used to riding, you won’t feel them anymore.

You can use gel seats and padded shorts to ease things up the first few times. Ask your trainer if the studio has these available. Most studios do.

• When should a newbie seek help?

As we already mentioned, soreness and discomfort are normal for newbies. However, sharp pains are not normal. You should seek immediate help if you experience any sharp pain during or shortly after riding.

Also, seek help for any type of pain that gets worse or doesn’t subside in 2-3 days. In any of these cases, see a doctor and confirm that everything is fine.

Furthermore, you should seek help if you don’t feel better after your first few classes. You can ask your trainer to check your setup and confirm if you got the proper ergonomics.


Everyone who intends to start riding a sporty spin bike like the NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike must learn and master how to set up the bike for proper ergonomics. Being able to make these minor adjustments can be the defining factor for your comfort, safety, and performance.

Just 10 minutes of riding without proper ergonomics can have gruesome effects and feel almost like torture.

You should, therefore, pay close attention to all the different parts of studio bike ergonomics. Take the time to check them one after the other and make necessary adjustments before each riding session.

More so, write down all the settings as soon as you get them right. The NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike has numbered levels corresponding to the different seat heights and handlebar positions. That way, you can refer to your notes and set up the bike faster the next time you have a workout session at the studio.

1. Can the Nordic Track s22i Move?

The bike can move because it is built with front-mounted transport wheels that allow easy placement to any desired spot.

2. How Does the iFIT Work with the NordicTrack Equipment?

The iFIT is an interactive technology that is enabled in the equipment, which can be viewed on the screen. It functions as a personal trainer to the user providing health guidance through a series of class exercises within exotic destinations and studio settings.