Professional Bike Fit Service
Cycling pain is a potential problem for all the fun and enjoyment of a good ride on your bike. While cycling is known for its fractures from nasty high speed falls, repetitive cycling injuries cause most cyclists’ pain unnecessarily.
As a cyclist myself, I am personally aware of knee pain, back pain, hip pain, sciatica and neck pain from a poor bike setup and too many kilometres in the wrong position.
In this article, I hope to keep your cycling fun by discovering how to prevent common injuries impacting your ride. Whether you are interested in road cycling, triathlons, mountain biking, velodrome cycling or just the commute to work, the cycling injury prevention principles are similar. Still, they do vary depending on the performance you want out of yourself and your bike.
Cycling – Power Phases
As you can see from the infographic above, cycling incorporates all of your major leg muscle groups at different phases. This can be wonderful for strengthening, but overuse or compensation for a weak zone may cause an imbalance leading to cycling pain.
A cycling physiotherapist will identify if you have any lack of motion and strength deficits and help you address these possible sources of injury.
Bike Setup – How to Setup Your Bike
While we are happy to provide you with general bike set-up guidelines, we have observed that these guidelines will help some cyclists but not all.
We highly recommend a professional bike fit if you are suffering pain or discomfort while cycling or would seriously like to optimise your cycling efficiency.
More information: Bike Fit Brisbane
General Bike Set-Up Guidelines
Riding Position Set Up
A comfortable and efficient riding position is vital. Your bike must be properly set up and adjusted. If your bike is adjusted to suit your particular body size and shape, you will then feel more relaxed and will be able to ride longer distances with less effort. The notes below are the most common settings that work.
- The ball of your foot should be centred over the pedal axle.
- Small feet and high cadence pedlars place the ball of your foot slightly behind the centre.
- If you have clip-less pedals, you can adjust your shoes into the pedal and adjust the cleat fixing bolts.
Set the saddle height the following way:
- Sit on the saddle with the crank arm perpendicular to the ground and heel (shoes on) on the top of the pedal.
- Your leg should be in the straight “locked” position.
- Allow for oversized shoe heels or extra-thick soles.
- Your saddle top surface should be parallel with the road surface.
Saddle Front/Back Adjustment
- Sit on your bike in your normal riding position with the cranks in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions.
- Your saddle is correctly positioned when your tibial tuberosity (the bump at the top of the shin bone) is 1cm behind the pedal axle.
- You may need a plumb line and a helper to make this adjustment, and you may have to readjust saddle height if you move the saddle significantly.
Stem and Handlebars
- Correct stem height can be somewhere between the saddle height or as much as 6 cm below. The preferred range is 2.5 to 4.5 lower.
- Check to ensure that your knee clears your elbow when seated on your bike with the cranks in the 3/9 o’clock position.
- To ensure good chest expansion and breathing, your handlebars should be as wide as your shoulders.
- Some riders may prefer a more upright riding position on a mountain or a hybrid bike with a higher stem position.
- Extra-wide flat-type mountain bike handlebars may give more stable control on unsealed roads, but you may find them uncomfortable on long rides over sealed roads.
- Bar extensions and narrower handlebars will give you a greater variety of comfortable hand positions and place your upper body in a slightly lower position to reduce your overall resistance to the wind.
- If the handlebars are too far away, you will be very uncomfortable.
- Sit on your bike in your normal riding position, and your arms should be at 90 degrees to your torso.
Adjusting to Your New Position
It takes time to settle into the new position, and you may still have to do some fine-tuning. Overall you should feel much better when you ride and less strained when you arrive back home.
What if None of this Works?
If you can’t get comfortable after making these adjustments and riding for a while, it is possible that your bike is not the right size. Considering visiting a physiotherapist with a special interest in bike setup or a cycling store professional.
Book Your Bike Fit at Sandgate PhysioWorks.
Get a Pro Bike Fit
Our bike fit physio will customise both you and your bike. You'd be surprised how minor adjustments can ramp up your ride's comfort, efficiency, and performance. Who wouldn't want that?
Here's what a professional bike fit can cover.
Depending on what level of bike fit you are seeking, we can provide the following options:
- Evaluate your riding style and skill level, like recreational, aggressive elite, road, track, MTB.
- Consider your injury history, such as back pain/surgery, knee pain.
- Measure your body's dimensions.
- Pinpoint your perfect bike frame size.
- Analyze your current bike setup and compare it to the ideal.
- Check your current flexibility, joint, muscle, and neural.
- Assess your present muscle control.
- Analyze your optimal riding position via slow-motion video analysis.
- Collaborate with you to enhance your setup, riding technique, and pedal efficiency.
We'll even provide a comprehensive bike fit report (additional fee applies) with a game plan for recommended bike tweaks or exercises. It's all about fine-tuning your fit to your bike, so you both cruise efficiently and comfortably on the road, trail, or track.
Who Benefits from a Bike Fit?
- Pro cyclists.
- Keen recreational riders.
- Cyclists grappling with pain or discomfort, like knee/back/hip/shoulder/neck/wrist pain.
- Suffering from crutch/perineum pain, numbness, or pins and needles.
- Dealing with hand numbness or pins and needles.
- Fighting off fatigue cramps.
- Struggling to reach the drops comfortably.
- Cyclists who've tweaked their cycling style from the norm:
- Wobbling knees
- Saddle sliding/tilting
- Locked-out arms
- Cyclists aiming to improve their cycle efficiency (more power, same energy).
Bike Size vs Bike Fit
Most bike shops breeze through a few measurements to peg the right bike frame size. They tweak pedal and seat height too, hoping for the best. While this speedy system does the trick for many, it might not cut it for those clocking hours in the saddle or gunning for more speed and efficiency.
Yet, sometimes they botch it for you! Your body's unique. Short legs, long trunk, tricky knees – all have to mesh with your bike as best we can. Have you ever sat in another's car and had to juggle seats and mirrors? The same applies for your bike fit.
Right Bike Size, Wrong Fit!
- Regrettably, even the perfect bike size might not translate to comfy riding. Consider this:
- Stiff or inflexible riders struggle to nail that prime cycling pose.
- Weak muscle control or endurance.
- Good luck holding a comfy posture for your ride's duration.
- Pain-ridden riders.
- Physical limitations hamper a snug optimal cycling posture, like past surgery or uneven leg lengths.
A pro bike fit is as personal as it gets. Our mission is to get you pedalling better – faster, smoother, longer, efficiently and oh-so-comfy!
Book Your Bike Fit at Sandgate PhysioWorks.
Explore our Professional Bike Fit Options
At PhysioWorks, we offer 4 levels of bike fitting to cater to your needs: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
The Ultimate Bike Fit Experience.
Combine a Gold - Standard Bike Fit, Silver - Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screening, and Bronze - Bike Frame Sizing in one comprehensive package. Ideal for elite cyclists, competitive riders, and serious recreational cyclists wishing to optimise their bike fit and performance. Allow 2.5 hours for the full experience. TT bikes please allow 3.0 hours.
The Most Popular Choice for Optimal Fit.
Optimise your bike setup with a Standard Professional Bike Fit. Perfect for cyclists who seek efficient power and minimal energy expenditure. Allow 1.5 hours for a precise fitting. TT bikes 2.0 hours.
Musculoskeletal Screening for Peak Performance.
Enhance your cycling comfort and performance with a Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screening. Recommended for elite cyclists, high-end recreational riders, and competitive cyclists to identify regions of inflexibility or muscle weakness.. Allow 1.0 hour to assess and improve your body's cycling ability.
Expert Bike Sizing Assistance.
Get professional guidance on choosing the right bike size with our Professional Bike Sizing option. Your physiotherapist will measure your anthropometrics and provide recommendations for optimal sizing. Allow 45 minutes for this service.
Time and Attention to Detail
We value your time and ensure a thorough fit. Depending on your chosen level, the fitting process will take between 0.75 and 3.0 hours. Our aim is to provide you with the best possible fit for comfort, efficiency, and performance. And that, can take time that will ultimately improve your time on the bike.
Comprehensive Reports for Your Convenience
After analysing your videos and data, we'll provide you with a detailed report outside of your consultation. An additional fee applies.
Bike Fit Gift Vouchers Available
Looking for the perfect gift for a cycling enthusiast? Consider our bike fit gift vouchers. Call Sandgate PhysioWorks on 32691122 for more information.
Experience the difference of a professional bike fit at PhysioWorks. Your comfort, performance, and cycling enjoyment are our top priorities. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
Book Your Bike Fit at Sandgate PhysioWorks.