A Simple Bike Fit Fix Goes a Long Way
A good bike fit promotes balance between the muscles and joints leading to more pedaling efficiency and less risk of injury.
Bicycle fit is an individual matter that reflects a person’s coordination, flexibility, strength, and skeletal structure. A properly fitted bicycle should allow the rider to maintain common riding positions and a level of comfort.
Tips for the Proper Bike Fit:
Be sure that the saddle is level. Sliding too far forward from a forward-tilting saddle puts too much weight on your arms and back. If the seat is tilted backwards, you may place undue strain on your lower back and experience saddle-related glute or pelvic pain.
The location of handlebars will be determined by a person’s height, strength, coordination, and functional goals. Higher handlebars will have you put more weight on the saddle. If handlebars are too far forward, you’ll be putting strain on your back.
Good flexibility of the hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteal muscles is crucial to generate pedaling force. The ideal pedal-stroke is 80-90 revolutions per minute. Proper stretching, and exercise helps with coordination of cycling skills such as breaking and cornering. Changes in riders’ strength and flexibility affect the ability to attain certain positions on the bicycle and also may require them to re-examine their bike fit.
There are bicycle product on the market—such as softer handlebar tape, shock absorbers for the seat post and front fork, cut-out saddles, and wider tires—to bring comfort to the sport. If you are experiencing discomfort, try adding on some pieces to help.
Remember to re-examine the bicycle fit after a bad fall or crash. Components may have been knocked out of place.
Proper bicycle fit will minimize discomfort and possible overuse injury, maximize economy, and ensure safe bicycle operation.