Did you know that riding a bike that doesn’t fit your body can cause and exacerbate nerve and orthopedic problems? Avoid nerve, muscle and joint pain with the following tips!
Before We Begin: Ask for Help
If you are spinning at a gym or in a class, ask for assistance from cycling instructors if you need help setting up your bike. Everyone needs help doing this when they begin, so don't be shy!
If you are cycling at home, come see us at the clinic or have us come out to your house! Clinic owner Heather Jeffcoat, DPT does custom fit assessments in our Sherman Oaks office using the Peloton, and travels in the greater Los Angeles area.
Where is your tush?
Before you sit on the bike, know where you should be sitting!
Your sitting bones should be seated on the back (widest part) of your bike saddle. Sitting correctly on the bike will be one of the most important factors to keeping you from developing orthopedic or nerve issues.
Seat Height: Not too Low, Not too High
The height of the seat should facilitate optimal power through the leg without straining the body.
- Set the bike seat to hip height
- Get on the saddle
- Look at what your knee is doing on the downstroke (leg extended):
- Proper Height: There is a slight bend in the knee when you are at the bottom of the downstroke.
- Too High: Your butt will be shifting off the seat (left and right) as you push through the downstroke. This constant weight shift against the seat will cause irritation and possible injury to the pelvic floor muscles or nerves in that area. If the seat is too high it will also bump up against you when you are in a standing position. Again, this constant pressure and bumping will injure and irritate the pelvic floor area. If you seat is high and handles are low, you will be putting your body in increased flexion (rounding) of your spine, which can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain, or worsen underlying orthopedic or disc issues.
- Too Low: Depending on where your handle position is, if your seat is too low you will be putting yourself at a biomechanical disadvantage as your push your leg through the arc of movement.
- Should be high enough that you have the option to extend, but can also intermittently round your back to rest it during the ride if you have not build up enough endurance.
- When it is too low, this will lead to increased back pain, and worsen disc issues as stated above.
- Should allow for your thigh to be about 15-20 degrees forward on your lowest part of your downstroke
- Too far forward: you will feel like it is bumping up against your perineum
- Too far back: you will feel like it is causing you to overreach the pedals ahead of you on the downstroke and handlebars.
Need More Help? Consult with a Therapist Today
Having your bike at the incorrect seat height, seat and handlebar position can exacerbate or even cause nerve or orthopedic problems. Clinic owner Heather Jeffcoat, DPT does custom fit assessments in her Sherman Oaks office and in the greater Los Angeles area using the Peloton.
In addition to proper bike fitting, therapists will also evaluate your spinning form and posture. Incorrect form and body alignment will lead to pain and stiffness immediately, or over time. Therapists will help you correct these irregularities in movement to make sure to keep you spinning for a long time, pain free!
**Bike fit and form consultations are 30 minutes for $100 and are considered wellness services only and cannot be run through your physical therapy insurance benefits.
**Please note that the Peloton fit service is currently only available in our Sherman Oaks location. In home consultations can be arranged for an additional fee, and are dependent on location from our Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills and Glendale/Montrose offices. If you would like to come in for a physical therapy assessment, these can be arranged by calling any of our offices. Contact us today!