For instructors, so much emphasis is placed on coaching style, music and class design, I thought I would throw on the brakes and take another look at 3 really important aspects of a great Spinning® class.
Bike fit is a little tricky if only because it requires time outside the class time to get it done. I am fortunate that where I work we don't have back to back classes as this offers even more challenge. I make it a point to not only arrive at least 20 minutes before class, I tell people that I'm there 20 minute early so that they can get fitted to their bike. I won't go over what is already in your manual, but I do suggest that you review it if you haven't lately.
I've noticed that a lot of my clients, when I approach them to help, set their elbow at the nose of the seat and reach their finger tips on the handlebars. I am not sure of the origin of this, but clearly another instructor is offering this help. In the interest of not stirring up the hornets nest of disregarding another instructor, I let them finish this and then just get them on the bike. I tell them what I'm looking for and let them settle into my fitting with the overall permission to make adjustments for comfort in today's class. I typically put the handlebars up for newer clients and we discuss symptoms of low or high bike seat. At the end of the class I try to remember them to take note of the bike setting, but warn them that the fitting often changes as they get more used to the bike.
I call this a quick fit and it happens when I have less than 5 minutes to the start of class. I reward early arrivers with a longer fitting and more information and always give permission for adjustments during the class - though it is tough when the studio is so dimly lit.
For longer fittings, I whip out my handy dandy tool from Josh that I got at one Spinning®. You can probably 'eye-ball' a correct fit, but the tool gives some confidence to the situation.
For the mount and dismount, I have actually started a class by asking everyone to stand by their bike. Not sure of the origin of my discontent, but I really don't like it when people but their left foot in the left pedal cage, then swing their leg over the seat, like how some people get on their bikes. I worry about the bike tipping over and also all that torque on the knee, not to mention kicking others in such a tight space as we have at my studio. For the mount, I ask that people stay on the ground and straddle the bike. The step into one pedal and lift up onto the seat then strap up their other foot.
The dismount? reverse the mount. Bring the bike to a full stop using the brake knob, step down with one foot then the other to straddle the bike, both feet on the floor. Then, and ONLY then, step out for the stretch.
On a side note - I don't encourage stretching on the bike. It may even be not allowed with Spinning®. I don't think it is great for the bike, for one thing and I am moving more toward dynamic stretching, although it is not so easy in our space.
Ultimately it boils down to safety and I think bike fit, mount and dismount are worth a revisit every once in a while. I would love to hear more thoughts on these three aspects of a Spinning® class. Do you do or expect something different?