SIX WAYS IN WHICH YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU THAT YOU SHOULD GET A BIKE FIT
Although, of course, a certain amount of effort is always required when cycling, and this can in some cases lead to fatigue due to the intensity and duration of such effort, it is important that the basics of cycling are comfortable, easy and pain free. However, there are many people who take certain complaints on the bicycle for granted, while these can sometimes be easily resolved with a better cycling position. Here we have described six of the most common complaints that can often be solved with the help of a better cycling position.
1. Saddle Sores
Saddle sores are one of the most common injuries and a main source of discomfort for many cyclists. The shape of the saddle is an important factor to determine overall comfort, and when you have doubts if your saddle has the right shape for you it is probably a good idea to visit a local bikefitting.com dealer and ask for our saddle selection service. The following points can cause saddle problems as well, and are more related to the overall bike position:
- Saddle height (too high)
- Saddle setback (too much rearward or forward)
- Leg length difference which is not correctly compensated with cleat shims or otherwise
- Shoe cleat placement
- Reach to the handlebars which is too long. When the rider is not flexible enough to accommodate this position, it can also lead to saddle problems
2. Back Problems
Back problems can be caused by physical causes (like a leg length difference, poor flexibility, or scoliosis). However, your bike fit can also create back problems. The main causes for back pain are a saddle-to-handlebar distance which is too big, too much drop (=height difference) between saddle and handlebar and a saddle which is too high.
3. Neck Problems
Very much alike back problems, you should first rule out a physical cause for your neck problems. For many people with an office job, the position behind your desk is also something to check. As far as your bike fit is concerned, a handlebar which is too wide or too narrow or a saddle-to-handlebar distance which is too big, too much drop (=height difference) between saddle and handlebar can cause neck problems on the bike.
4. Numb Hands
Numb hands are often caused by constriction of the nerves running through the wrist to the hands, which can be caused by an incorrect bike position. Often the handlebars will be too low, or the brake levers are not correctly adjusted. Ergonomic grips and/or a narrower handlebar can give some relief.
5. Numb Feet
Numb feet are often caused by an incorrect cleat placement or flexible cycling shoes. A good carbon sole will not bend during cycling and a cheap plastic one will. This will cause some complaints. Furthermore, a good insole will support the foot of the cyclist and distribute pressure evenly. Finally, the foot should have enough room in the shoe. If this is not the case, you are also likely to suffer from burning feet/dead feet.
6. Knee Problems
Knee problems can be caused by leg length differences, imbalance in muscular strength or by too much training/cycling load. However, the adjustment of your bike can also be the cause of knee issues. In general, a saddle which is either too low or too much forward will cause issues at the frontal part of your knee. On the opposite side, a saddle which is too high or too much rearward will cause issues at the back of your knee.
In case some of the above issues sound familiar to you, we recommend that you make an appointment with a local bikefitting.com dealer. Through some of the bikefitting.com services provided; they will be able to advise various adjustments to your cycling position that should largely be able to minimize such issues. A Complete Fit service will measure 8 different anthropometric characteristics, which, in combination with your personal bike and riding style, will be translated to an optimal position that can be applied to your bike. A Dynamic Fit or Pedaling Analysis service will take more time but will measure more characteristics of your position on the bike and/or pedaling efficiency whilst riding your bike. These services will provide you an even greater level of insight in how best to optimize your cycling position.