3 Minor Adjustments to Your Bike That Can Reduce Pain
Although cycling has increased in popularity, it is not always a comfortable sport. It is a fantastic and environmentally-friendly way to travel and stay fit, but there will be unavoidable aches and pains at times. Sometimes, this pain is normal, part of pushing your boundaries as an athlete; other times, it might be wholly unnecessary and indicative of larger problems and injuries.
These injuries are mostly caused by repeated movements in bad form or repeated exposure to unnecessary stress. These causes can easily be solved by some simple adjustments to your bike, such as:
1. Adjusting your reach
The reach, or the horizontal distance from your bottom bracket to your handlebars, is one of the most important factors to feeling comfortable on your bike. People who are not so flexible and have shorter torsos can experience pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. They can even be prone to saddle sores from all the stretching they have to do to reach the bars.
In this case, it might be helpful to buy a shorter stem. Moving your saddle forward might be enough, but only as a temporary solution to existing aches and pains. A bike saddle that is placed far too forward may result in other problems.
2. Positioning your saddle correctly
Any incorrect positioning of the bike saddle can result in excess strain on the legs, causing aches, pains, or even injuries, especially since the bike saddle’s placement affects pedaling. Too high, and you might experience IT band syndrome, which is the cause of 15 percent of all knee pain in cyclists.
Too low and far forward, your pedaling efficiency will be compromised. As such, it is imperative to discover the right position for your body.
A good place to start is by measuring your inside leg and then subtract ten centimetres from that. The result should be the distance between the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle. From there, you could make minor adjustments, depending on your flexibility, crank length, shoes, and so on.
3. Move your handlebars to the right height
Some people like to position their handlebars lower, especially on race bikes. On longer rides, this might feel a little bit more uncomfortable. Without a good level of flexibility, it can cause pain in the hamstrings and lower back. It can, however, alleviate pain in the arms and wrists.
If you only recreationally bike occasionally, it might be okay to position your handlebars lower. If you use your bike to travel daily from work, a few spacers under the stem might provide a good balance of comfort for your back, hamstrings, and arms.
Pain is part of fitness and athleticism, but it doesn’t always have to be a part of your cycling. It is important not only to understand which pain is good and which pain is bad, but it is also good to know how you can adjust your bike to feel more comfortable riding it. Couple this knowledge with an understanding of your cycling habits, and you could tweak your bike to the perfect state for you and your body.
If you need parts for your bike, send us a message at Cushbike. We ship all over the UK and provide next-day delivery if you’re in a rush.