Indoor Cycling: First-Time Rider Hacks

Do you really need the padded shorts, fancy clip in shoes, and fitness level of a Tour de France rider? What is it with indoor cycling? NO, NO, and NO!  

Master spin instructor, Janelle, lists some hacks for you to feel confident going into your first class.

#1 What do I wear?

First off, you do not need anything fancy to do an indoor cycling class. Padded cycling shorts are an added plus, but they are not essential. When in-doubt, just wear moisture-wicking athletic shorts or leggings.

Clip in cycling shoes are also not essential, but will help you get a full leg workout. Wear a shoe that has the most rigid and least flexible sole. This will help you feel stable when standing up on the bike, and transfer more power through the pedal stroke so you can maximize your calorie burn!

#2 What bike should I get on? Isn’t sitting on the little seat uncomfortable?

I recommend you go early and let the instructor know you are new. They will help you with set up.  If your initial set-up position is right, you will be comfortable on the saddle!

Bike set up 101

  • If you come in late, just stand next to your bike and lift your thigh up so it is parallel to the ground. Your seat needs to be as high as the TOP of your thigh. 
  • Adjust the seat so it is in the center of the bike, and the handle bars so they are higher than your seat height. 
  • Once your bike is set up correctly sit on the saddle with your tail bone pointing to the end of your saddle rather than straight down to the floor.

#PROTIP – Keep in mind, people come late and leave early from cycling classes all the time.  The best way to get use to the saddle is have the right set up, sit correctly, and stay for 15-30 minutes your first time.  Build up your time gradually!

#3 What if I can’t keep up?

You are 100% in charge of the resistance knob on your bike… and you can fake turning it up (yes, I said it!)! One of the best indoor cycling secrets is that you can work as hard or as easy as you want, and no one is the wiser! You will be inspired to do more than you would on your own but I promise you it is a safe environment where you can determine each ride what intensity is best for you.


Written by: Janelle Veteri, master spin and group fitness class instructor at PRO Club.

Janelle has enjoyed teaching at PRO Club since 1999. She coaches you physically and inspires you mentally through challenging workouts. Janelle’s background includes competing in bicycle road & criterium races, triathlons from sprint to Ironman distances, and has run in 12 marathons to date.

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