Since the Olympics, cycling has increased in popularity. But did you know that having your bike incorrectly set up can not only affect your ability to cycle but also cause you physical problems?
There are 5 signs to be aware of that indicate your position may be wrong:
- Numb fingers – indicate the wrong height of the handle bars. Low handle bars are great to create aerodynamics but unless you have good core strength and flexibility pressure is taken through the joints rather than the muscles in your arms.
- Low Back Pain – indicates an incorrect seat height. Ease when riding on the flat but difficulty on hills indicates the seat is too low, too high handle bars can cause an arched back and a ‘grab’ hold on the handle bars which in turn can result in an increased pressure on the lower back.
- Knee pain – indicates the seat is either too far forward or back. This position can place pressure upon ligaments rather than the force going through the leg musculature.
- Saddle sore – indicates the seat is position too far from the handlebars resulting in the bike frame unable to support your body stance.
- Not Comfortable? – could be a result that the frame is wrong for you preventing you from doing the previously mentioned adjustments in points 1 – 4.
Ways to help prevent these issues occurring are:
- Have your bike set up correctly for you by a specialist – Ask at your local bike store they’ll be able to advise you.
- Do muscle strengthening exercises to work on your core muscle strength, muscle imbalances and weaknesses.
- Think about either Yoga or Pilates to increase your flexibility through stretching.
- Always warm up your muscles and spend time stretching before and after you ride.