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Cycling Basics: Part 1 by Doug Katona - CrossFit Journal

Cycling Basics: Part 1

By Doug Katona

In CrossFit Endurance, Exercises, Videos

August 14, 2011

Video Article

In this new series, Doug Katona of CrossFit Endurance shares tips for improving your cycling performance.

In this segment, Katona explains how to properly fit your bike.

“If you’re not fitted properly, you’re going to lose a lot of efficiency, which means you’re going to diminish your power output, which means you’re not going to go as fast down the road,” he says.

The key adjustments include saddle height, fore and aft position, and handlebar height. To adjust the saddle height, make sure you can sit on the saddle with a straight leg, heel on the pedal and level hips. Next, engage into the pedal system and see if the straight leg has now achieved the desired 25-35-degree bend in its knee. Adjust the saddle to reach this position.

To fix fore or aft position, put your pedal at the 3 o’clock position. Take a homemade plumb line devised of a shoelace with a bolt tied to one end and check for a line straight down from the patella to the midpoint in the pedal. Adjust the saddle forward or backward to reach this location.

Finally, handlebar height is personal preference, but many new cyclists benefit from a higher handlebar position. Using his newly adjusted Wattbike, Katona shows how it is capable of fine-tuning a cyclist’s pedaling.

9min 45sec

Video by Again Faster.

Additional reading: Single Speeds by Mike Evans (with an introduction by Greg Glassman), published Feb. 1, 2006.

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11 Comments on “Cycling Basics: Part 1”


wrote …

Great piece by DK. If you're new to cycling, and are looking at bikes, make sure to find a shop that can take you through some of these measurements and fit adjustments. It'll help your power production, but more importantly, it'll help you to feel more comfortable on the bike! Thanks CFE for the very pertinent and informative post!


wrote …

Great information, I hope this series leads into training sessions.
I've been teaching indoor cycling classes for 15 years, always very intense and road specific. Over the last 3 years, I've been combining with my CF wods and having great results. As a triathlete, an indoor trainer is a valuable tool.

I guess next year, there'll be a cycling wod at the Games.


wrote …

It's great to see a cycling piece on the blog. Keep them coming! If you are new to cycling a good shop will include a fit when you purchase a bike. If they don't, go somewhere else. Most bike shops have last years unsold models in the back and off the main floor. If you're looking to get a lot of bang for your buck and don't require the latest model check those out. You'll usually find a good mid-range frame with a high-end gruppo at a great price.


wrote …

Awesome Video. I am new to cycling and this is definitely a must see. Thanks Guys


wrote …

Great video, thanks! As a CrossFitter and beginner triathlete, I'd love to see more of these articles/videos.


Thomas Stegelmann wrote …

Great content! Looking forward for the next episode.


wrote …

Im doing my first Tri this weekend. I think I'm gonna need to make some adjustments! Thanks guys!


Let us know how you do Raul!


Thank you Stephanie! We at CFE take this stuff seriously, its what we do.


wrote …

Great video, thank you. Can't wait to get home and check the measurements on my 1984 racing bike. I'm wondering whether I've been pedaling inefficiently all these years...


wrote …

Hey guys, great series of vids! Do you have rec's for combining CF with cycling training? I'm a 44 yo male who's been cycling for 2 seasons with little or no resistance training. I'm not wanting to build a lot of upper body mass. Are there specific exercises you'd recommend like the Deadlift and Boxsquat for improving climbing? And what frequency and intensity on those? Any advice would be very helpful! Thanks again!

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