With the Tour de France on at present and with cycling becoming more and more popular, we thought we would give you some tips on one of the most commonly asked questions…how do I know if my bike set up is correct?
Cycling involves high repetitions of lower limb movement, which often results in knee or calf pain if you are not set up correctly. Similarly, it also places a lot of force on you lower back and shoulder, which can also cause its own problems. Here are two specific areas to look at to help you cycle pain free.
Seat Height – Your knee should be in a relaxed position when your foot is at the bottom of the stroke (see picture 1). If your seat is too low then it will put excess stress on your knee joint. If it is too high, then the calf and hamstrings are placed under excessive stress.

Picture 1. Position of leg at bottom of stroke, the knee should be slight bent if your forefoot is in contact with the peddle.

cycling set up

Reach – This is a little more variable to measure as everybody has different levels of flexibility and strength, not to mention the type of bike you are using. The main points that you need to remember when adjusting the handle bar position are:
• Straight back and slightly forward tilted pelvis (so your bottom sticks out)
• Pull your shoulder blades back
• Unlocked elbows and generally relaxed upper limbs (see picture 2).

Picture 2. Reach position as described above.

cycling set up 2

There are other things to consider such as cleat positioning, seat tilt and cranks but these basic two points are the most common that we encounter. These rules apply to any bike, including if you are cycling on a static bike at home and gym.
If you are struggling with pain which is related to cycling then why don’t you book in for an assessment on 01276 37670 or email us at admin@thorpesphsyiotherapy.com