Does Your Bike Fit Your Body?
Around the time of the Tour Down Under and the Tour de France we see a lot more cycling related injuries in our clinic. Often cycling injuries are related to falls- which is why it’s important to wear a helmet!
How Can A Bike Fit Help To Reduce Injury?
There are some characteristics of cycling action that place vary load on joints or muscles. Everyone’s body is different and some might be more flexible or stronger where others are not.
Frame & Crank Size
Firstly you need to make sure you have bought the right size bike frame and crank components. If you have ever tried jumping on a bike that is far too small, you will probably hunch over the handlebars and your knees might hit your chest. Making sure your bike is the right size is an important part for the rest of the bike fit.
At Leading Edge we will set your bike up in the clinic on the indoor trainer and assess a range of factors.
If your saddle height is too low your knees bend more, which can put more load on your knee cap, overwork your hamstrings or lead to slumped posture. If the seat’s too high your pelvis might shift side to side reach down to the pedals.
If the saddle is tilted forwards this can increase pressure on the shoulder and hands. A backwards tilted saddle will distributed more weight on the pelvis and spine and may lead to a more bent over posture.
If the handlebars are too low it may lead to excessive load of the shoulders, bending at the low back and poor posture in the head and neck. If the handlebars are too high your posture will tend to be more upright. Whilst this might be worse for aerodynamics, it can be better for some back complaints.
The cleat position determines the angle your foot and ankle will point. this will also impact on rotation movements at the knee and hip as you pedal. Repetitive twisting of the knee can lead to injury at any of these joints.
There are many factors which must be taken into consideration for making sure your bike is set up for you and your cycling needs.
We all know prevention is better than a cure, so make an appointment for a Bike Fit with one of our trained physiotherapists at Leading Edge so we can keep you moving on the road.