Indoor Cycling 101 – Safety

Group indoor cycling or spinning as it is commonly called, is quite popular in many health and fitness centres. There are health and safety issues that come with this popularity.

You likely have seen video clips showing non-traditional activities on stationary bikes: riding hands-free while standing, shifting excessively from side to side while riding, pedalling excessively fast with no resistance, doing push-ups on the handlebars, lifting weights, bobbing up and down, or pushing the hips fore and aft, to only name a few. But should you perform these questionable techniques purely because of a desire to add entertainment and to avoid alleged “boredom” in a cycling class?

At first glance, those who prompt high performance out of an member appear inspiring and “fun.” Published guidelines for indoor cycling dictate the safe and effective parameters for the general population. During scheduled classes, it is safe to adhere to these guidelines in the interest of safety.

The following basic safety checklist will help to keep your indoor cycling workouts safe and fun.

Fitness Level

Be physically prepared to participate at the level of the class. Talk to a doctor before beginning any exercise program. Take beginner classes and progress slowly. Remind the instructor you are a beginner. When in doubt about your ability to participate, ask the instructor.

Bike Setup

Check your cycle and seat height. Your knees should be slightly bent at the bottom of the stroke. Arms should be bent at the elbows when grasping the handlebars. Experiment with handlebar height. This is something the instructor will /should explain at the beginning of a class.

Make sure everything on the cycle is securely attached.

Fueling for the ride

Ensure that you are properly fuelled for the workout. Although you may be able to get away with low energy in some classes, they day you slump and fall off the bike will be a shock to you too. Mo need for a full meal just enough sustain your effort during the session.


Dress in appropriate attire. The following are a good start, bike shorts, preferably padded; sweat-absorbing shirt; and appropriate shoes. Gloves are an option.

Check your shoelaces are properly tied or tucked into the shoe.

Make sure your feet are secured to the pedal either using the cleats or cage and strap

Mount and Dismount

When mounting the bike, especially as a beginner, first ensure the bike is stationary, then sit comfortably on the seat before securing your feet.

The same applies for the dismount. Start by bringing the bike to a stop then release both your feet from the pedals before dismounting.


Always have resistance on the bike, except during warm-up and cool-down. Understand how to lower and increase resistance.

Standing with no resistance is dangerous, sitting with too much resistance puts strain on the knees. Get a feel for the right resistance and comfort.


It is up to you to ask as many questions as you can relating to the class and your safety, reduce the risk of injury and get the most benefit out of the session.