As the summer months are upon us more and more Torontonians are hitting the pavement cycling the plethora of bike paths the city has to offer. Whether you’re a devoted road cyclist, a daring commuter or out for a leisurely ride along the lakeshore with a Bixie, ensuring your bike fits you properly and maintaining proper posture is essential to an injury free summer! Depending on the kind of bike you have the options to adjust and tailor your bike varies. Here are a couple of tips to make sure your bike is fit properly for you.
1) You should be able to straddle your bike with both feet on the ground without making contact with the centre tube. There should be at least one inch between you and the tube.
2) Look at the angle of your knee on the down stroke, or when the foot is closest to the ground. There should be between 10 to 20 degrees of knee bend – if the knee is straight your seat is too high, bent more than 20 degrees likely your seat is too low or the frame too small
3) Just as important as maintaining good form while you squat, keeping the knee over the ball of the foot throughout the cycle is important for your knee health. Adjust your seat forward or backward so that your kneecap is stacked over the foot.
4) Handle bars should be adjusted so that your arms rest comfortably, you can reach the brakes and the elbows are not locked out. Reaching forward your back should be at roughly a 45 degree angle to minimize back and neck pain.
Once you’ve made sure your bike is fitting you properly maintaining proper posture on the bike is important to prevent repetitive strain to your knees, hips, back and neck. Never rest all of your body weight through your arms, your chest should stay open, shoulders back and the elbows slightly bent to allow your body to absorb the shock of the road. Your core muscles should be engaged at all times to reduce strain on your lower back or lumbar spine and make sure weight is equally distributed between both of your sit bones. Remember, poor alignment in one joint can lead to problems in other areas of the body.
If you are experiencing aches and pains while cycling do not hesitate to book an assessment with any of the knowledgeable Physiotherapists or Chiropractors at Rebalance Sports Medicine. We would be happy to design a treatment plan tailored to meet your cycling goals.
Don’t forget your helmet and happy cycling!