Watch this video from the Guardian on tips from cycling professional on how to set your riding position on your bike for maximum efficiency and comfort. Essential tips from saddle height to cleat positioning.
To check the fit of your bike check:
1. Cleats and pedals - the ball of the foot should sit directly above the cleat spindle. Adjust the position of cleats with an Allen key. Badly positioned cleats can lead to over-extend leg and damage the achilles tendons. It also makes you use more energy , so efficiency will suffer.
On the pedal, use a low tension setting to start off with so it's easier to unclip.
Benefits of wearing cleats include:
a. Avoids muscle strain from incorrect foot position.
b. Makes you more efficient on the bike.
c. You can pedal in a circular motion, so it is easier to ride faster.
2. Saddle position and height- saddles can have their height adjusted, as well as their fore/aft position for a good fit. The correct knee angle helps avoid pain and discomfort on joints.
3. Handlebar setup - stems can be bought in different lengths and spacers added to get the right fit for you. Check the new stem matches the diameter of your fork, as these can vary.
Usually, men have longer arms and differently proportioned upper bodies. Distance between saddle and handlebars is longer on men's bikes.