It's better to prevent it early than to cure well
After a day of cycling, the discomfort and pain caused by the cushion are inevitable. Just like that motto, No Pain, No Gain. But fatigue is different from injury, and the underlying pain may cause more health problems in the future.
A bicycle that does not fit the cyclist's body size, whether it is the frame size, the height of the seat, the front and rear position of the seat, the length of the handlebar, etc., can cause varying degrees of harm to the cyclist. The slightest hazard is an uncomfortable cycling experience, and the heaviest hazard will even make you say goodbye to the bicycle forever. However, in the eyes of Phil Burt, the technical consultant of the Sky Team, the problem of unscientific bicycle size causing cyclists' physical discomfort is easy to find and solve. Burt is an expert in BikeFitting and has written a book devoted to discussing the relationship between bicycle size and cyclist performance and injury. Below, Burt will explain some typical symptoms caused by bicycle size problems.
1. The soles and ankles
Your feet are the two most important points in contact with the bicycle. Burt believes that many factors in the size of the bicycle will affect the comfort of the feet and ankles, and it is difficult to explain clearly. The position of the shoe cleat is undoubtedly an important factor causing foot pain, and the height of the seat cushion will also affect the comfort of the foot.
The seat cushion is too high, even if the leg is straightened when the crank reaches the bottom, the foot still cannot touch the pedals naturally, and can only be compensated by tiptoe. This way, during cycling, the ankle will increase the amount of exercise, which is bound to cause fatigue. If the cushion is too low, it will also increase the amount of activity in the ankle, which can cause fatigue or injury.
Burt believes that compared to the ankle, the foot is more likely to be injured. Inappropriate lock shoes offset the position of the cleats, and high seat cushions may affect the comfort of the feet.
Burt pointed out that some people did not realize that the position of the cleats of their shoes was too far forward, so that the toes were too tired. Fine-tuning the cleats backward can distribute the pedaling pressure to the entire sole, which can make cycling more comfortable. Burt shared his adjustment experience: the correct cleat position can be obtained by aligning the pedal axis with the first and fifth metatarsals of the foot.
The posture of walking will also affect the position of the cleats. If you are an "outer horoscope", your feet should correspond to this posture when cycling.
Viewed from the side, a person riding a bicycle is a four-bar structure. The thigh and calf play the role of the rocker and the connecting rod, and the knee, the connecting point of the rocker and the connecting rod, bears a lot of impacts and wear during cycling, but there are many factors that exacerbate these shocks and injuries.
The front and rear position of the seat cushion, the front and rear position of the lock plate, the height of the seat, and the length of the frame may all affect the working state and comfort of the knee.
Everyone may know that cycling can promote the recovery of knee injuries, but a large number of people have injured their knees because of cycling. At the same time, the knee injury caused by cycling is different from the knee injury caused by physical confrontational sports such as football and rugby. Burt pointed out that the knee pain caused by cycling comes from the patellofemoral joint, and the pressure caused by cycling is applied here.
The cushion is too low, or the cushion is too forward, it will aggravate the knee injury. It is very simple to judge whether the knee injury is caused by the size of the frame. If it is a size problem, the knee will be painful after cycling, rather than the size problem, the knee injury will make you feel obvious discomfort every time you pedal.
The discomfort at the front of the knee is probably because the crank length is too long, or the height of the seat cushion is too low, or because the seat cushion is too far forward, or even the cleat is too far forward. Pain in the middle or outside of the knee comes from the deviation of the seat cushion height and the angle of the cleats. The vertical distance between the feet will also affect the comfort of the knee. The discomfort at the back of the knee comes from the height of the cushion that is too high, or the position of the cushion is too backward, or the shape of the cushion is too bad to be conducive to pelvic activities.
3. Lower back
The only factor affecting the comfort of the back is the seat cushion position.
As shown in the figure, if the stack of the bicycle frame (refers to the vertical distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the top center of the head tube) is too low and Reach (the horizontal distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the same point (the top center of the head tube)) Too long will cause lower back discomfort. Another extreme situation is that your cushion is too low, so that your back is so straight that all the impact on the road rushes to the lower back.
Burt also said that some unscientific cycling postures can also cause back discomfort. For example, some road bike enthusiasts hold the handlebars in the same position from beginning to end, which is obviously not conducive to the alleviation of lower back fatigue.
4. Neck and shoulders
Cyclists have experienced neck pain and shoulder pain. Therefore, it is necessary for us to appropriately relieve their pain. The neck pain may be caused by stiff-looking up for too long. Reducing the degree of head-up can relieve the pain. The method is very simple, raise the height of the handlebar appropriately.
5. Hands and arms
The Stack and Reach of the frame will also affect the arm, too low a Stack and too long Reach can also make the arm feel fatigued. Cycling with straight arms at all times will keep your body away from the handlebars, and will also put too much pressure on the biceps. If the arms are slightly bent, it can effectively reduce the fatigue of the arms. Burt pointed out that some novices have very tired arms after a long ride because they have not learned to adjust their posture during the ride.
They don't know that they can relieve fatigue and injury by changing their cycling postures because they are not adapted to other cycling postures. Your arms shouldn’t feel uncomfortable during cycling. If you feel this way, it means that there is a problem with the size of your bicycle. Sometimes the numbness of the fingers is not due to physical decline or low temperature, but most likely because you are riding a bicycle with a problematic size, or your riding posture is incorrect. If you put too much pressure on the handlebars, your double gestures will be more numb.
The handlebar drop is too large, the frame length is too long, and the handlebar length is too long or too short, which may cause numbness of the hand. Take a road bike as an example. Your handlebars should be the same width as your shoulders. Specifically, they should be the same width as your shoulders. Female cyclists have shorter shoulders, so they need shorter handlebars, and most handlebars are too long. Too narrow handlebars will reduce the sense of control and cause more fatigue.