Various surveys show that the vast majority of cyclists feel pain when pedaling. These headaches usually are caused by an incorrect setting of their bikes in function of their bodies.
That’s the Bike Fit, a service of ergonomics for the rider. During the bike fit, rider’s body is measured and various analyses are made with the rider on the bike and off the bike, to determine the characteristics of your body, pedaling style and use that the rider will make the bike.
After that all these analyses, the rider’s position is adjusted in function of your body.
After several years working with bike fit and an experience of hundreds of fits, I noted that some of the most common pain of cyclists can be easily resolved with some basic considerations for positioning.
Rebound but that each case is different and perhaps more assessment is required to solve your problem.
THE MOST COMMON PAINS OF CYCLISTS
Neck pains are related to a position of the handlebars too aggressive (read if handlebars too low and/or distance-long seatpost handlebars), or the tip of the saddle down. With the handlebars, poorly positioned (and/or the saddle pointing down) generate a large weight in the arms and shoulders, or an exaggerated flexion of the neck, which ends up causing pain in the neck. If you feel pain in the neck, consider changing the position of your handlebars, and look for a bike fit as soon as possible, since the long term you can develop a chronic injury in shoulders, neck or spine.
LOW BACK PAIN:
It is estimated that 80% of cyclists feel any kind of discomfort. It’s pretty, don’t you think? Low back pain is usually related to the lack of strength of the postural muscles (muscles of the core-abdominal and paravertebral) plus a handlebar too low. Stay tuned, if you do not have a good flexibility, consider upping the height of your handlebars. In addition, how about we let laziness and take seriously the stretching exercises and strengthening the core, huh? A good reference to better understand the subject is article cycling and back pain.
The pain in the wrists or cases of numbness in the hand, usually are related to poor distribution of the rider’s weight on the bike, which can impose a lot of weight on the hands of the rider. Another very common problem is the lack of alignment of the brake levers (and over) in relation to the rider’s hands. Ideally, while you are with your hands on the handlebars, is that your hand is aligned to the forearm (watch the video). A lot of bending or a lot of handles extension will generate pain.
DESCONFROTO WHEN SITTING:
The discomfort when sitting, it is more common to beginners, who are not yet accustomed to unloading the weight on the Ischia, but this discomfort tends to decrease over time, however it is important to consider the choice of the ideal saddle and the correct saddle adjustment, which should be adjusted according to the body of the rider. Saddles too high, contribute enough to the discomfort when sitting.
NUMBNESS IN FEET:
The numbness in the feet is another very common point of discomfort among cyclists (and mountain bikers). This type of discomfort may be related to shoe too tight (do not overdo it in the grip of your sneaker strips) and the wrong positioning of the pedal’s bat. To do this look for a bike fitter. Another point that contributes a lot to the numbness in the feet is the use of shoes with soft soles (you know those shoes that look like sneakers?). This kind of shoe is very good for walking, but to ride the softer sole does not provide the necessary support to the rider.
And When My Bike Fit Is Correct, and I Still Feel Pain?
AS YOUR PEDALLING STYLE CAN AFFECT YOUR COMFORT?
The Bike Fit, is a science that has evolved constantly. Despite all these developments, yet some problems can be difficult to solve, since there is a big difference between the cyclists ‘ bodies and between the way each pedal.
I decided to address the pain that the cyclists feel, but now, from the point of view of body positioning on top of the bike or pedaling style, and how this can affect the emergence of pain when pedaling and pedaling efficiency itself.
What Can I Do To Improve?
BEND YOUR ELBOWS
Remember this: riding with elbows outstretched, is one of the greatest sins that the rider can commit.
Always keep your elbows slightly bent during the pedal stroke. Elbows fully extended, not only hinder your pilotage (read control of the bike), but also can generate a tremendous discomfort. The current small buffers elbows impacts that we suffer when passing on roots, stones or ribs of beef. keeping your elbows slightly bent, we are able to absorb and little feel these impacts (thanks to the triceps). If you are not able to Flex her elbows while your hands are on the handlebars, can be an indication that your bike is great for you.
RELAX YOUR SHOULDERS:
My Pilates teacher, likes to repeat the following sentence, during my workout: shoulders and ears don’t like each other and must be separated. That goes not only for pilates and cycling. When we’re tired, we tend to collapse your shoulders and bring them the ears (increasing them). To be careful not to antagonize too the shoulders, neck pain. Keeping your shoulders relaxed and in the correct position, we were able to maintain the position of the more stable trunk, recruiting more muscles in the core, and produce more power in pedaling.
PAY ATTENTION ON HIS HEELS DURING THE PEDAL STROKE
To generate maximum power your heels should be flush or slightly pointed down so that you can better recruit the posterior thigh muscles. Riding with the toes pointed up or down, can mean that your saddle is out of position (or too high or too low). The only time your heels must be high (or the ball of the foot to be down), is at the beginning of the propulsion phase (power down), the rest of the pace the heel should be flush with the ground.
DON’T FORGET THE CORE
Many cyclists worry only in pulling and pushing the pedals with his legs. But we must not forget, that must be stable so you’ll get “deliver” the maximum force produced the pedals. You know that person who pedal waving the trunk from side to side? So, this person probably wasted part of the force produced by the legs due to a lack of trunk stabilisation. For better use of your strength, remember to try to keep the spine aligned (not all bent forward), so we were able to recruit better the glutes and keep the shoulder blades relaxed.
ARTICLES RELATED TO BODY POSITION AND THE BIKE FIT:
- How to ride your bike 29 rim? -Some basic considerations for those who want to RIDE the bike your 29 rim.
- How to choose the best saddle for your bike? -One of the most successful videos of MTB school.
- The news about 27.5 wheels – the most comprehensive article on the internet about it.
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