Hello all, another newbie needs help


New Member
Andover, Hants
I already have a GT LTS and a Giant XTC but decided to get a road bike so I bought a boardman comp road bike 3 weeks ago through the back to work scheme and am after some general advice.

how long on average does it take to sort out your seating position, I have been adjusting my seatpost height but still suffer with lower backpain after about 12 miles, I think I have the right height now with the crank set at 5 oclock my leg is not quite straight, also is there an average height difference between the seat and handlebars for me to start with as I am sure that my posture is not correct at present.

sorry for the dumb questions but I am really enjoying the exercise and would like to get in more miles without back pain I am averaging about 50 miles a week at present.

this is my first road bike since school 27 years ago so I am a complete novice but want to get my fitness up so I can join the local road club so any information on seating posture would be greatly appreciated.


Don't know if it helps, but might be worth having a look at this:

http://www.eastlothiantri.co.uk/bike set up.htm


It can be a complete pain getting a bike set up correctly. The first task is to get your saddle height correct. A quick and simple method is to put your heel on the pedal. The leg should be fully extended. When you use your forefoot, the distance is pretty accurate, give or take a little.

The bar height is a personal choice. Some like a big drop, others to keep the bar roughly level with the saddle. The further down the bars, the more aerodynamic you are, but it can be uncomfortable - particularly for a newcomer.

I would suggest that the distance from saddle to bars also needs consideration. Adjustment on this distance will cost money - a new stem. It is difficult to advise. Too close, and you sit on your saddle more, too far, and you place additional pressure on your hands.

You mention lower back pain. To an extent this is normal and your muscles are stengthening to take new strains and pressures. Keep with it. I find it useful to stretch out on the bike - come out of the saddle and just stretch every so often.

Good luck - it does get easier.


Hello Killerdingo, Don't worry about asking dumb questions. There's no such thing*.

*Usually :biggrin:.


Senior Member
Hi Killerdingo, as a relative newbie myself, all I can say it has been a slow process of gradual adjustments to get my bike fitted up, some from advice from here and others by hands on expert advice. It has been worth it but it does seem to be trial and error to a certain extent, though nothing can beat the hands on advice imho.


New Member
I'm afraid I'm going to start by making 2 assumptions, so shoot me down if I'm wrong!
1. It's a Boardman so you bought it from Halfords.
2. You bought it from Halfords so it's highly unlikey you were fitted correctly.

The first thing you should do is pop into a good local bike shop, i.e. one that sells road bikes and has knowledgeable staff. 2 reasons for this: Firstly your new bike will need maintenance over the next few months/years and you want this done properly. Secondly they should be able to advise you on fit, correct bar width, stem length, saddle height and fore/aft.

As you've undoubtedly noticed, riding a roadie is very different from riding an MTB, you're using different muscles and it will take your body time to adapt.

Finally, I've suffered from back pain on the bike in the past and still do on long rides - from what I understand back pain on the bike can also be caused by tight hamstrings and having a weak core, certainly this appears to be the cause of mine. Either way being flexible and having a strong core can't be bad so worth having a think about that too!


New Member
Hello and, welcome, just to add to Jashburnhams excellent advice regarding fitting, Google WWW.bikefitting.co That will take you to your nearest participating shop, for £35 they will measure your body dimensions and suggest a suitable set up/bike size for the type of riding you are doing.

Hopefully the Halfrauds bikehut staff didn't send you away with a bike that is either too big or too small to be sorted by changing things like stem length, seat post height, and crank length.

Try and find a good LBS Local Bike Shop, and foster a relationship with the owner and mechanic, it will pay dividends in the long run.

Sadly Halfrauds, rightly or wrongly, get a bad press on here, due mainly to the degree of knowledge that the staff do or don't have.

The Boardman bikes are quite well regarded, but take my advice, get fitted properly and find a decent LBS.

Then you will enjoy your cycling all the more, oh one final bit of advice before I shut up, find a local club and join them, you will get loads of support and help/advice.

Keith Oates

Penarth, Wales
So much good advice above that I can't or won't try to add to it. However I will say welcome to the forum and to road cycling, I'm sure in the end you'll enjoy as much as most of us on here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Über Member
I have had lower back pain when the length (distance from seat to bars is too short.

Sit on the bike in your riding positionas normal, and look at the front axle. It should *ideally* be in line (ie, hidden or eclipsed) by the handlebar.


Vice Admiral
Mortiroloboy, I have tried the link you suggest, for bikefitting, but it does not show anything on the search. Also tried it with co.uk on the end, without success. Have you missed a bit out? Thank you


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Don't forget it will take you a while for your back to get used to the road position.

Last winter, I got back into cycling again, in a big way, and had terrible back pain after about an hour - all bikes set up perfectly from before my 'break' .... after a few months, no problems at all...


New Member
Andover, Hants
thank you for your help

you are all correct I had limited help at Halfrauds, but I had no choice where I could purchase a bike as our cycle to work scheme was exclusive to Halfrauds.

I am pretty sure that the frame size is correct after reading through the links.

I did get the bike built and am getting it serviced by an ex national downhill champ and professional rider but don't like to keep bugging him although he was impressed with the bike build and spec and bought himself the hybrid.

I have to admit that I am also very pleased with the bike but just need to sort out my seating issues but I will definately perservere as I have the cycling bug.

Although I am getting a lot of ear ache from my wife as she states I always clean my bike but don't lift a finger in the house.




Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Terry...slippery slope 'ere mate.... I get the 'You spend more time on your bikes than me......' :biggrin: deffo in trouble............................

Bikes cost a lot less than my bloody car did getting to work in my last job though....... :wacko:
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