How To Ride A Road Bike Correctly

How to ride a road bike. This terribly awkward road bike

I am a big fan of highways, in my opinion, this type of bike can cover 90% of the needs of an urban Catalan, provided that the road surface in its habitat resembles asphalt.

But, like many other cyclists inspired by the stories of adepts, I experienced a very strong feeling of discomfort on my first road bike ride. it was just uncomfortable and frustrating.

I decided to write this note to cheer up the newly made “road bikes”, because the inconvenience after a short time will necessarily transform into comfort and a feeling of flight.

Why the road bike feels awkward

The road bike is really very different from other bicycles. a “sharp” handlebar, a short wheelbase, a different geometry, a completely unusual steering wheel and a way to control the brakes and speed switches.

You get on this bike, drive twenty meters, and you feel completely puzzled. Instead of the swiftness and ease that other cycling enthusiasts have promised, you catch a prowling bike, reach for the brake levers with your fingers, and get confused about where to press to up or down a gear.

The fact is that the highway is most likely not the first great one for you, and a body adapted to a hybrid or MTB gives the brain alarming signals: “It’s not that.” Therefore, you just need to roll a certain number of kilometers so that the reflexes are readjusted.

Which grip is correct on a road bike

For some reason, beginners believe that you should always ride a road bike in the lower grip. Through this, they feel completely out of place: the neck is numb, the back hurts, the breath gets out of hand.

And what is the bottom grip really for. to move upwind, to accelerate and, in some cases, to sit more effectively on the wheel of the cyclist in front.

In normal driving, we hold the steering wheel in the upper grip, and there can be a lot of options. My favorite grip is on the handles:

The palm cushions lie quietly on the handles of the “automatic machines”, the brake levers and gear changes are available at any second. This grip gives a reasonably high landing, but at the same time it is more aerodynamic than riding a hybrid or MTB.

Another plus of this grip is ergonomics. On a straight steering wheel, your hands are always twisted at the wrists unnaturally, now I will explain what I mean. Stand straight and lower your arms along your torso.

The palms will be parallel to the hips, this is the natural position. The grip “on the handles” allows you to maintain this position, at long distances this is important.

In addition to this grip, you can grip the center of the handlebar, this will make the landing even more vertical:

In addition, a good grip to stretch stiff wrists is to grip the steering wheel directly by the bends with your palms up. You won’t drive for a long time, but for a change. very good.

In general, the ram road handlebar gives a lot of room for a combination of grips when riding long and far, it helps to prevent fatigue and numbness of the palms and wrists.

Landing on a road bike

If even after the initial adaptation your driving on the highway remains uncomfortable, then the problem is clearly in the landing. There are two options. either the frame size is incorrect, or the saddle and handlebar positions are poorly adjusted.

In the first case, I send you to the link above to read about ETT, and in the second I will try to suggest how to fix the adjustment.

Saddle adjustment

Everything is simple here. due to the fact that the tilt of the body when riding a road bike is stronger than on an MTB or a hybrid, novice cyclists feel the pressure of the nose of the saddle on the crotch, and solve this issue as follows: tilt the saddle forward.

The pressure decreases, but at the same time the weight distribution of your position on the bike is disturbed. your arms now carry more body weight, and because of the tilted saddle, you imperceptibly, but constantly slide forward. This generally makes the road bike uncomfortable.

The saddle should always be parallel to the ground, but there is a trick. if the nose of the saddle presses in the slope, then you need to set it slightly lower. A little. literally, sometimes even two or three millimeters are enough.

Returning to the fact that the saddle can press on the perineum when the body is tilted, I will add that you need to train yourself to bend the lower back, but the pelvis should sit evenly on the saddle. This is a common mistake for beginners. they, in order to reach the low-positioned steering wheel, move downwards and the pelvis.

It is correct when the position of the pelvis is the same both when tilting and when the back is fully extended. Bend the lower back, but do not “drag” the pelvis down, because this will increase the load on the perineum.

Steering wheel adjustment

On modern road bikes, the handlebars are often too low. This is a problem for beginners accustomed to the tall steering wheel of a hybrid. I would advise you to start with a riser stem (or adjustable stem).

I wrote in detail about how to raise the handlebars of a bicycle, read how you can do this.

But you don’t need to get carried away: in order to maintain aerodynamics, the handlebars should never be higher than the saddle. it’s okay if it is slightly lower or at the same level. As you get used to your new position, lower the handlebars down to a reasonable level.

There is also such a thing. the tilt of the road steering wheel. Here you need to select it individually, but in general, it is recommended to install it, as in the picture on the right:

Road bar tape

Even if the asphalt in your city is not of the worst quality, it is best to wind the double wrapping around the handlebars to reduce vibrations. In addition, you can put strips of foam rubber under the winding in the place where the palms rest when gripping “on the handles”. it helps a lot.

Handlebar. wide or narrow

The width of the road handlebar, in my opinion, should be equal to the width of the cyclist’s shoulders, then the hands will naturally fall into place:

Based on specific tasks, the steering wheel is sometimes made wider or narrower: in the first case, in order to improve the steering (for example, for a cyclocross), in the second, to reduce the frontal projection of the bicycle (important for bicycle couriers and other urban Catalans).

Can i put mountain bike contacts on my road bike?

Technically, no problem, and besides, you don’t have to buy a separate set of road cycling shoes, which, by the way, cost a lot.

But if you go down this path, then you will deprive yourself of a huge part of the pleasure that the highway driver gives. Highway contacts feel completely different from MTB contacts.

They have practically no play in the connection between the cleat and the pedal, that is, there is a small free play only in the direction of movement with the heel outward, for quilting.

This gives a feeling of complete fusion with the bike, especially when climbing uphill and accelerating. I strongly recommend not to skimp on another pair of shoes and pedals, since you’ve forked out for a whole road bike.

Highway maneuvers

Beginners are often afraid that these thin bald tires will not hold them in a corner, which is why they unnecessarily slow down.

In fact, on the contrary, these bald tires hold much better in cornering than the studded tires on the MTB. The only problem is fine sand or wet asphalt. you have to be careful here.

It’s the same with braking. at first it seems that caliper brakes, combined with thin wheels, are a very ineffective solution. In reality, the force of the ticks is quite enough to stop even a heavy cyclist at a considerable speed, the main thing is the competent use of the front brake.

How quickly you get used to a road bike

My full adaptation took place in about a couple of days. I dashed off 120 kilometers during this time, and finally felt an understanding with the road bike.

The steering wheel ceased to be “sharp”, it was no longer prowling, the fingers confidently found the brake levers, and the torso was reconciled with a new, more bent at the lower back position.

Along with this came that long-awaited feeling of flight, when every effort of the feet on the pedals is picked up by the bike, and you are overwhelmed with delight. I could never understand those who do not like to ride on highways. how is this possible??

For beginners, I recommend not to panic on the first day after buying a road bike. get used to new grips, a new torso position, adjust the handlebar and saddle. In a few days, you will realize that nothing is more comfortable than your bike, by definition.

I rode a highway to the point that now any bike with a straight bar causes me the most severe rejection. Hands ask for a steering wheel, and the body. for a forward landing.

I know that there are quite a few people for whom the change to a road bike did not cause any discomfort. they sat down and went. A question for road readers, how did you adapt??

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101: How To Ride A Bicycle (Better)

It doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult; the basics are the same. If you’ve read these words, I’m sure I won’t have to explain to you why you need to ride a bike, because you already know that it is one of the best things in life! It’s never too late to start cycling.

In this guide, I will outline the basics of teaching kids to ride a bike and adults to get started. Also below I will teach you how best to drive on roads or forest trails, how to brake, change gears, etc.

So let’s get down to learning about cycling. This manual is 1500 words long, so it will take you 3-5 minutes.

Find a safe place to launch

Safe place to start. park or small footpath. I suggest you start rolling on the low grass, it’s a little harder to get started, but it doesn’t hurt if you fall. A narrow road is also a good spot because there is a chance that you will fall on the grass.

Wear comfortable clothes

Try closed toe shoes such as joggers.

You should not wear pants that are very wide or loose. as they can also stick to your front derailleur. If you have no other options, always tuck them into your socks.!

How to ride a road bike hands-free

Road Bike Skills 201: Riding Hands Free

Why do you want to ride your hands-free road bike? Practicing hands-free riding in a safe, low-traffic area will help improve your balance and control, allow you to add or remove layers without getting off your bike, refuel on your bike with more confidence, clean your goggles, stretch quickly. and it will even help you prepare for the winning fireworks if you win the next race!

We asked Leah Kirchmann. Team Sunweb pro road racer give some tips on how to ride hands-free.

Tips for Riding Hands Free

Before you learn to ride without hands, it’s important to know when you don’t want to try this skill. You should avoid riding hands-free in most racing scenarios as you should be able to react quickly to movements in the peloton and not endanger other riders. When exercising, always have handrails in your hands in areas with heavy traffic and pedestrians. You never know what obstacle might arise.

Learn to ride hands-free by first practicing on straight open roads during practice runs. Do it slowly and follow these steps to start rolling hands-free!

  • Place your weight on the seat.

Tilt your pelvis back to transfer more weight to the bike.

  • Turn on your core.

Strong core helps keep your balance while lifting your arms off the bar.

  • Look ahead, not into your own hands.

Always look wherever you want. If you look down, you will lose your balance and will not see bumps in the road.!

  • Keep pedaling to maintain speed.

Maintaining momentum will make balancing easier. Balancing is harder if you barely move.!

  • First, remove one hand from the barbell. Then another.

Using the posture tips above, lower one hand next to you and then the other. Practice riding with one hand to drink water, refuel, or even eat.

  • Place both hands over the bar, keeping them close at first.

Once you are comfortable riding with one hand, start lifting both hands off the bar at the same time while holding them over the bar.

  • Build Your Confidence Gradually.

Once you start to fully lift the barbell, practice a lot until you can safely ride without hands. Do not add more difficult maneuvers without hands (such as putting on or taking off a jacket) until you feel comfortable riding without hands.

  • Use your torso and hips for balance and rotation.

In fact, you can control the direction of your bike simply by using your hips. This is a really interesting exercise when you learn to ride comfortably without hands.

Ability to ride without hands. a practical and useful skill for improving the overall handling of the bike, giving you a better understanding of how to control the movement of the bike with your body.

Landing on a road bike (L. Armstrong)

The convenience of being on a bicycle depends on the individual characteristics of a person. It depends on various factors, for example, the plasticity and physical characteristics of the human body. For example, one person’s feet are turned outward (supination) and he presses on the pedal with the outer side of the foot, while another person’s feet are turned inward (pronation) and he presses the pedal with the inner side of the foot. One of the most important factors determining the convenience of cycling in a particular position is the flexibility of the spinal column, which is different for each person. This feature of the body structure should serve as the basis for choosing the size of the frame and the length of the stem.

The biomechanics of the racer, i.e. the force applied when pedaling is another important factor in determining a rider’s fit on a bicycle. Every cyclist has his own biomechanical ability. For example, a team member “7-Eleven” Davis Finney, who took part in “Tour de France” 1976, pedaling with the toe down. This contradicts the conventional wisdom that the foot should be parallel to the ground when moving down. D. Finney pedaling “toe down” due to the fact that he has enlarged quadriceps muscles. These muscles work like powerful pistons when pedaling. Maybe this kind of pedaling “toe down” good for Finney, but might not work for most other riders. Technics

The third factor that determines the fit on the bike is the technique of the bike ride, i.e. his ability to corner, accelerate and decelerate. Legs, arms and buttocks. three elements forming the so-called positional triangle. The arrangement of these three elements determines your riding position. While racing (or just walking) you usually change your position to balance or improve aerodynamics. it depends on the terrain, the curvature of the road, changes in speed. If you are sitting on the bike correctly, you will not experience any discomfort and can change your position depending on the conditions that arise. Aerodynamics

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The final factor is aerodynamics, i.e. a decrease in wind resistance, which allows you to increase your speed. Some body positions on a bicycle are more aerodynamic than others. Tests conducted at the US Center for Sports Medicine have shown that the rider’s height matters less than the rider’s width. In other words. the narrower you sit on the bike, the less air resistance you experience. This is better than using a bottom fit. If you are comfortable riding your bike, you can go faster without even having a perfect aerodynamic fit.

The basics of choosing the right fit

Once you have purchased a bike with a frame that works well for you, there are a number of adjustments that need to be made to determine your fit on the bike. Improper riding on a bike can cause many negative consequences (pain in the lower back, knees, etc.). It should be remembered that in the matter of choosing a fit, you cannot rely on the advice of friends. landing is a purely individual thing. To select the correct fit, you must first place your bike on a stationary trainer with the front wheel flush with the rear wheel. If you do not have such a simulator, then ask someone to hold you while you determine your position on the bike.

Aspects of choosing a fit on a bicycle

Saddle height. There are various formulas for determining the correct saddle height, however, you do not need to be a mathematician to make the right choice. In the down position with your foot on the pedal, your leg should be slightly bent and your hips should not swing from side to side when viewed from behind. It is a fast method for determining saddle height and is widely used throughout the world. The US Olympic Training Center recommends the following method: Adjust the saddle height so that there is a 5mm clearance between your foot and the pedal in the lower position. Add a few millimeters if your shoes have thick soles. If you have long legs, you can raise the saddle an additional 2-3 mm to increase pedaling efficiency. For people who experience knee pain as a result of chondromation (softening of the cartilage tissue) or wear of the articular cartilage, the approach to saddle height should be therapeutic. Raise the saddle gradually until your hips begin to walk, and then lower the saddle slightly. To avoid stress in the legs, the saddle height can be adjusted from time to time within 2 mm. Saddle longitudinal position. The saddle is usually pushed back to generate more energy on uphills. Seat position selection should be started with the following. Sit comfortably on the center of the saddle with the cranks horizontal. Install a plumb line from the kneecap. The plumb line must pass through the center of the pedal axis. This is a neutral position and from it you can move the saddle forward or backward. Miner cyclists, riders and some other road cyclists prefer to keep the line a couple of centimeters behind the axle to increase leverage when working in large gears. Conversely, trackers and criterionists prefer the forward position to increase leg speed. If, after choosing the position of the saddle, it becomes uncomfortable for you to hold on to the handlebars, change the length of the stem to one side or the other, but do not change the position of the saddle you have chosen. Saddle tilt. The horizontal position of the saddle is considered a classic. most athletes use it. In order to expose this position, use the building level. If you are using a highly forward cycling position, a slight forward tilt of the saddle may be convenient, especially if you are using “sunbed” (aerodynamic steering nozzle) and your hands are on the armrests. However, if the saddle is tilted too much, you move forward a lot and put excessive stress on your arms. Handlebar height. With the stem raised strongly (in the normal position, the handlebars are approximately 2.5 cm below the saddle), your body is straight and you can easily reach the bottom of the handlebars. Lowering the handlebars will improve your aerodynamics, but your chest is tight and breathing is difficult. Here are several options for the position of the steering wheel depending on your physiology. The choice of handlebar height primarily depends on the flexibility of your lower back. Stand up straight and try to reach the floor with your hands:

  • If you cannot reach the floor with your fingers, set the handlebars flush with the saddle.
  • If you reach the floor with your fingers, the handlebars should be 5-10 cm below the saddle
  • If you can reach the floor with your palms, then the steering wheel should be 10-15 cm below the saddle.

Length of horizontal tube and stem.

The combination of these two sizes that determines your ability to reach the handlebars varies depending on your body anatomy and your flexibility. There are no strict guidelines for choosing a combination of these sizes (although there is a very good resource for choosing this size, Meteo’s note), but there is a good enough approach: If you are comfortable sitting on the bike, and your elbows are slightly bent and your hands rest on the brake levers. then the front wheel hub should be visually covered by the steering wheel. This is a relatively high seating position, however over time you can lengthen the stem to improve aerodynamics and bring your back closer to a horizontal position. Another way to select the length of the stem. Try pedaling lightly on the exercise bike with your hands on the bottom of the handlebars as if you were racing or descending a mountain. With your knees in the up position, try moving your elbows towards your knees and forward. Your knees and elbows should only touch slightly or there should be a gap of 2-3 cm between them.If your knees “overlap”, this means your stem is too short. The stem length also depends on the length of the bike’s top tube. Although all frames look the same, there are a number of differences that are best determined not by eye, but with a tape measure. For example, on Italian frames, the length of the top tube is almost always the same as the length of the seat tube, or 1 cm shorter. Some American manufacturers produce frames with a top tube that is 2cm longer than the seat tube. Handlebar width.

The handlebar should be the same width as your shoulders. Don’t assume a wider handlebar will make your breathing easier. The bottom of the handlebars should ideally be horizontal. Brake levers. The handles can be displaced along the bend of the steering wheel arbitrarily, depending on your desires. Most riders prefer to install the brake levers at the transition from the curved to the horizontal bar.

Body position when cycling

Head and neck. Try not to put your head down, especially when you are tired. Turn your head periodically while riding to relax your neck muscles. Face. Try to relax all the muscles in your face, especially during intense exercise.

Torso and shoulders. The less extraneous movement, the better. Think about the calories you waste in extra movement with each crank rotation on a 50km trip. Use all your energy just to pedal. Avoid sliding forward on the saddle and keeping your head down, especially when you start to feel tired. Shift into high gear periodically and get out of the saddle. It will release tension from your hips and back.

Arms. Keep your elbows in a bent position and try to relax them to absorb shock when hitting bumps in the road. Try to keep your arms by your side and not twist them out. This will help you achieve the most compact fit and improve aerodynamics.

Hands. Change the position of your hands on the handlebars often to prevent numbness in your fingers and reduce tension in your lower back. The steering wheel should be held firmly, but “gently”; grip the wheel too tightly before “whitening” your knuckles should not be followed, as this increases the tension of the muscles of the shoulder girdle and arms.

Buttocks. By moving back and forth in the saddle, you can engage different muscle groups. This is especially useful on long climbs. Moving forward involves the quadriceps in the front of the thighs, while moving backward involves the hamstrings and glutes.

Correct fit on the bike

The bicycle is a popular means of transportation both among sports people and among lovers of measured trips around the city. The correct fit ensures that there are no health problems. In this article, we will show you how to sit when riding mountain, road and city bikes.

Influencing factors

In addition to human factors, proper fit is also influenced by those that depend on the bike, namely the frame, saddle and handlebars.

It is not recommended to buy a bike with a high frame due to the inconvenience of control over the steering wheel. You will have to reach out to him, which will affect your posture. Also, when descending steeply, you will need to come off the saddle. The frame of the optimal height should be determined before purchasing, since you cannot change it later. It is best if you choose a bike in the shoes in which you will ride.

Saddle height

To configure it, you can use the following method. Sit on the bike and bend your knees almost completely to find a suitable height. The saddle can be secured with a wrench. Saddle type and height affect the pelvic organs, so it should be comfortable.

ride, road, bike, correctly

When cranking the pedals, the hips should not go to the sides, the leg should freely, without much effort, press the pedals. The saddle slope is individually adjustable and is not changed by most cyclists. After the first ride, you will feel in which position your back will be more comfortable.

Its geometry and positioning are essential for a correct fit as they play an important role in weight distribution. Too much lowering of the steering wheel is not useful for posture. However, it should not be higher than the saddle. Otherwise, the control will be fuzzy. The handlebars are straight, suitable for quiet or short trips, or curved. for athletes, mountain sports enthusiasts. Also, curved handlebars are used on some road bicycles, they are well suited for people with osteochondrosis.

When traveling by bike over any distance, it is desirable to have certain attributes.

  • Helmet. Protect you from injury. He should not dangle on his head or squeeze it. Make sure you adjust it to fit your head before riding.
  • Cycling shorts. Clothes of this or similar type are indispensable when traveling long distances.
  • Gloves. Helps to avoid the appearance of calluses. Closed gloves provide extra warmth in cold weather. Fingerless gloves are available for the summer.
  • Glasses. Protect not only from the sun, but also from the wind.
  • Call. So you can quickly and without yelling warn pedestrians that you need to pass.

What should be?

Correct posture when cycling is the key to good posture. Let’s take a closer look at how to sit on a bike.

  • Arms. Place them on the shifters. If you have a derailleur, your fingers should be easy to reach. The approximate angle between arms and body is 90 degrees.
  • The pelvis. To avoid injury and posture problems, this issue should be given sufficient attention. Sitting on the bike should be comfortable. Best of all, the leather saddle changes for its owner. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but this feeling will pass over time.
  • Knees and elbows. They shouldn’t touch. Otherwise, your arms and legs will be bruised. The more speed the cyclist develops, the more he bends his arms at the elbows. This is clearly seen on bicycle races, when the participants are almost on the handlebars.

For a comfortable fit, athletes, like all men, due to their anatomical features, acquire narrow saddles. Women choose wide saddles as they are more comfortable for girls.

For a more complete understanding of the correct posture, we turn to the diagram.

  • When riding a bike, it is important to be able to pedal correctly, softening bumps in the road.
  • The back needs to be bent a little, but it should not sag. Bending too much will lead to hunched and overstrained muscles.
  • Bend your elbows a little and keep in this position.
  • If the shoulders are slightly forward, the weight will be evenly distributed between the upper and lower body.

Of course, at first the landing will be unusual, for a long time you will not ride in such a position. But over time, if the bike is correctly selected and adjusted, you will get used to it, and riding with the correct posture will be a pleasure.

Features of landing on different types of bicycles

A road bike is chosen for city or highway trips, while developing the highest possible speeds. Landing on such a bike has a number of features that are related to its tuning. Only by doing it right will you be able to sit comfortably on the road bike, revealing all its charms.

Don’t be surprised to find that the handlebars on a road bike are set lower than on a regular bike. In the initial stages, it can be raised slightly to get used to the bike faster.

When riding road and racing bikes, the body is tilted forward (closer to the horizontal position), when riding a city bike, road bike, the back is almost in a vertical position.

When riding a mountain (cross-country) bike, you should redistribute the weight between the wheels. This is necessary to comfortably overcome all kinds of obstacles: mud, ravines, puddles. By moving the body back and forth, the weight can be effectively distributed. For example, when descending, it is better to lean back a little, and, conversely, when going up, you should lean towards the steering wheel.

With a low upwind position and when descending a mountain, riding is easier. the body is tilted forward at an angle of 45 degrees. A straight steering wheel can interfere. it is not very suitable for maneuvers.

Separate from the saddle when overcoming obstacles such as curbs, roots, depressions and other bumps in the road. This is necessary not only in order not to break the bike, but also in order not to harm your health and not cause injury.

A folding bike is a lightweight bike that can be folded compactly. The foldable is usually large with a low frame and small wheels, some models even have a motor. With this type of transport, it is easier to navigate the metro. Sit on a folding bike mostly in the same way as on a road.

The landing of cyclists-racers is characterized by the desire to reduce air resistance as much as possible and, accordingly, to develop maximum speed. Special curved rudders were created especially for them. The driver looks at the road a little sullenly. The higher the speed, the more the body approaches the horizontal position. And vice versa. Low speed is associated with the adoption of a vertical position.

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The dressing bike was created specifically for participation in cycling and differs from the usual road bike in the following parameters:

  • frame geometry;
  • the shape of the pipes;
  • big gears;
  • driving.

The difference in landing on a dressing bike is less inclination, that is, the cyclist sits closer to the vertical axis.

Some road and Cruiser bikes have an upward curved handlebar. This is done so that the back can take an upright position.

At low speeds, the back muscles do not get tired. Problems begin with vertical landing if you drive distances from 50 km per day.

Pain in the legs is associated with an excessively high seating position. However, they can appear with a low fit. All of the above tips are general in nature. Knowing these basic principles will make it easier for you to customize your bike. Don’t be afraid to experiment. comfort is very important when riding.

Errors

Improper seating on bicycles is stressful, exhausting and harmful to health. Consider several options for mistakes that are most often made.

  • Among people who are starting to master a new type of transport, you can often find cyclists with the wrong grip. For example, do not twist your wrists forward or backward and downward.
  • When the center of gravity of the body is shifted towards the steering wheel, hands can become numb. This is due to their overload. To avoid this, you can replace the handlebars or move the saddle back.
  • Leakage occurs due to an incorrectly selected saddle. Too narrow squeezes blood flow in the muscles and leads to numbness in the limbs. Knee pain can occur when sitting too high.
  • Do not keep your arms or legs straight when passing obstacles. One wrong move and problems are assured.
  • Do not focus on the front wheel. It is better to always look ahead. Even if at first it is difficult to do, you need to try to control this moment. A good fit increases your horizons.

So, we have found that the correct seating position while cycling plays an important role. For each type of bike, it has its own differences. Don’t forget about your health, and cycling will be beneficial and enjoyable.

For information on how to properly adjust the fit on a bike, see the next video.

Correct fit on a road bike. How to properly sit on a bike?

A bicycle is a two-wheeled vehicle that requires balance. But in order to make the most of the reserves of a two-wheeled friend, to avoid back pain, leg cramps, discomfort in the arms and discomfort from the trip, you need to know how to properly sit on the bike.

Depending on the type of bike, there are several basic types of fit. The most difference in riding position is when riding a road bike, mountain bike and road bike. Consider how all three varieties differ.

Road bike

A road bike is designed for leisurely riding on asphalt, country and dirt paths, forest paths. This bike does not like hills, potholes and changes in height on a short section, comparable to the length of the bike.

The classic sign of a road bike is a straight back and a fairly high position of the hands on the handlebars (the standard of a correct fit on a bicycle). If the seat height is not adjusted correctly, then a forward-leaning seating occurs, like on a mountain bike, especially if the height of the handlebars is lowered. This is unacceptable, since the main load when driving on flat terrain falls on a straight back, located vertically. Therefore, the pose on a road bike is calm, even “stately”. The angle between the axis of the spine and the ground is 90 degrees.

Mountain bike

A mountain bike, or mountain bike, involves a lot more stress on the arms. Therefore, the handlebars are low enough, the body is tilted forward, and the body weight is distributed fairly evenly between the handlebars and the seat. This is done so that the arms, slightly bent at the elbows, can show their function of spring-shock absorbers, because the element of a mountain bike is rough terrain, hills, descents along paths. There is a “manual adjustment” of the torso position, which protects the chest from concussion.

In addition, a mountain bike can travel long distances on a highway, and, in fact, is a universal, intermediate link between a road and road bike. The angle between the ground and the direction of inclination of the spine is about 45 degrees.

Road bike

Landing on a road bike is the most specific, and from a distance it even resembles the “fetal position”, the cyclist’s body is so compact. It is on a road bike that the handlebars are so low that they have acquired a special shape in the form of “ram’s horns” curved downward. This combination of straight legs and a low front position, although it promotes the fastest movement on the highway, requires a certain amount of muscular endurance and physical fitness.

Among other things, it has the best aerodynamic resistance of all of the above, so it is this landing that allows you to develop the highest speed.

Saddle height

For a comfortable ride, special attention must be paid to the saddle and seat tube reach. Adjustment should end with good seat tube fixation.

Everyone notices that two-wheeled cars are sold with a very narrow saddle, which is often very uncomfortable on long trips. Besides a simple inconvenience, such a saddle can rub the skin of the perineum. Due to the high pressure, blood supply in this area can also decrease. Sitting on a bike with an incorrectly positioned saddle is far more harmful than riding a bike with an incorrectly positioned handlebar. For more comfort, you need to change the saddle to a wider one, and women, due to the peculiarities of the pelvic structure, are shown wider saddles.

Saddle height is one of the most important parameters for a correct fit. It should be such that the fully extended leg reaches the bottom dead center of the pedal with your toes, but does not lose control over it. This condition must be met for all three types of bikes considered; the seat can be adjusted with this calculation. In a standing position, the distance between the crotch and the frame should be 10-12 cm.

Among other things, the saddle setting should take into account its back and forth tilt. As a rule, it is better to “fold” the saddle back a little. This adjustment is better than tilting it forward. When leaning forward, the biker will “slide” forward, which will be very uncomfortable. power will be spent on pedaling, because the top point will deviate from a straight line.

Correct fit on the bike

The bicycle is a popular means of transportation both among sports people and among lovers of measured trips around the city. The correct fit ensures that there are no health problems. In this article, we will show you how to sit when riding mountain, road and city bikes.

Influencing factors

In addition to human factors, proper fit is also influenced by those that depend on the bike, namely the frame, saddle and handlebars.

It is not recommended to buy a bike with a high frame due to the inconvenience of control over the steering wheel. You will have to reach out to him, which will affect your posture. Also, when descending steeply, you will need to come off the saddle. The frame of the optimal height should be determined before purchasing, since you cannot change it later. It is best if you choose a bike in the shoes in which you will ride.

Saddle height

To configure it, you can use the following method. Sit on the bike and bend your knees almost completely to find a suitable height. The saddle can be secured with a wrench. Saddle type and height affect the pelvic organs, so it should be comfortable.

When cranking the pedals, the hips should not go to the sides, the leg should freely, without much effort, press the pedals. The saddle slope is individually adjustable and is not changed by most cyclists. After the first ride, you will feel in which position your back will be more comfortable.

Its geometry and positioning are essential for a correct fit as they play an important role in weight distribution. Too much lowering of the steering wheel is not useful for posture. However, it should not be higher than the saddle. Otherwise, the control will be fuzzy. The handlebars are straight, suitable for quiet or short trips, or curved. for athletes, mountain sports enthusiasts. Also, curved handlebars are used on some road bicycles, they are well suited for people with osteochondrosis.

All these factors, to one degree or another, affect the cyclist’s posture, should be taken into account when learning to ride a bike and during the first ride.

When traveling by bike over any distance, it is desirable to have certain attributes.

  • Helmet. Protect you from injury. He should not dangle on his head or squeeze it. Make sure you adjust it to fit your head before riding.
  • Cycling shorts. Clothes of this or similar type are indispensable when traveling long distances.
  • Gloves. Helps to avoid the appearance of calluses. Closed gloves provide extra warmth in cold weather. Fingerless gloves are available for the summer.
  • Glasses. Protect not only from the sun, but also from the wind.
  • Call. So you can quickly and without yelling warn pedestrians that you need to pass.

What should be?

Correct posture when cycling is the key to good posture. Let’s take a closer look at how to sit on a bike.

  • Arms. Place them on the shifters. If you have a derailleur, your fingers should be easy to reach. The approximate angle between arms and body is 90 degrees.
  • The pelvis. To avoid injury and posture problems, this issue should be given sufficient attention. Sitting on the bike should be comfortable. Best of all, the leather saddle changes for its owner. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but this feeling will pass over time.
  • Knees and elbows. They shouldn’t touch. Otherwise, your arms and legs will be bruised. The more speed the cyclist develops, the more he bends his arms at the elbows. This is clearly seen on bicycle races, when the participants are almost on the handlebars.

The normal functioning of the muscles of the legs, back and neck depends on how correctly you sit on the bike, spending whole hours on it while riding. They don’t have to be tense.

For a comfortable fit, athletes, like all men, due to their anatomical features, acquire narrow saddles. Women choose wide saddles as they are more comfortable for girls.

For a more complete understanding of the correct posture, we turn to the diagram.

  • When riding a bike, it is important to be able to pedal correctly, softening bumps in the road.
  • The back needs to be bent a little, but it should not sag. Bending too much will lead to hunched and overstrained muscles.
  • Bend your elbows a little and keep in this position.
  • If the shoulders are slightly forward, the weight will be evenly distributed between the upper and lower body.

Of course, at first the landing will be unusual, for a long time you will not ride in such a position. But over time, if the bike is correctly selected and adjusted, you will get used to it, and riding with the correct posture will be a pleasure.

Features of landing on different types of bicycles

A road bike is chosen for city or highway trips, while developing the highest possible speeds. Landing on such a bike has a number of features that are related to its tuning. Only by doing it right will you be able to sit comfortably on the road bike, revealing all its charms.

Don’t be surprised to find that the handlebars on a road bike are set lower than on a regular bike. In the initial stages, it can be raised slightly to get used to the bike faster.

When riding road and racing bikes, the body is tilted forward (closer to the horizontal position), when riding a city bike, road bike, the back is almost in a vertical position.

Thus, the entire load is borne by the saddle. If you are uncomfortable riding in this position, try lowering the handlebars a little. This will create a slight tilt angle, and the body will take the correct position.

When riding a mountain (cross-country) bike, you should redistribute the weight between the wheels. This is necessary to comfortably overcome all kinds of obstacles: mud, ravines, puddles. By moving the body back and forth, the weight can be effectively distributed. For example, when descending, it is better to lean back a little, and, conversely, when going up, you should lean towards the steering wheel.

With a low upwind position and when descending a mountain, riding is easier. the body is tilted forward at an angle of 45 degrees. A straight steering wheel can interfere. it is not very suitable for maneuvers.

Separate from the saddle when overcoming obstacles such as curbs, roots, depressions and other bumps in the road. This is necessary not only in order not to break the bike, but also in order not to harm your health and not cause injury.

A folding bike is a lightweight bike that can be folded compactly. The foldable is usually large with a low frame and small wheels, some models even have a motor. With this type of transport, it is easier to navigate the metro. Sit on a folding bike mostly in the same way as on a road.

The landing of cyclists-racers is characterized by the desire to reduce air resistance as much as possible and, accordingly, to develop maximum speed. Special curved rudders were created especially for them. The driver looks at the road a little sullenly. The higher the speed, the more the body approaches the horizontal position. And vice versa. Low speed is associated with the adoption of a vertical position.

The dressing bike was created specifically for participation in cycling and differs from the usual road bike in the following parameters:

  • frame geometry;
  • the shape of the pipes;
  • big gears;
  • driving.

The difference in landing on a dressing bike is less inclination, that is, the cyclist sits closer to the vertical axis.

Some road and Cruiser bikes have an upward curved handlebar. This is done so that the back can take an upright position.

At low speeds, the back muscles do not get tired. Problems begin with vertical landing if you drive distances from 50 km per day.

If you need to travel long distances every day, we recommend doing some simple exercises to warm up your shoulder and back muscles before and after a trip.

Pain in the legs is associated with an excessively high seating position. However, they can appear with a low fit. All of the above tips are general in nature. Knowing these basic principles will make it easier for you to customize your bike. Don’t be afraid to experiment. comfort is very important when riding.

Errors

Improper seating on bicycles is stressful, exhausting and harmful to health. Consider several options for mistakes that are most often made.

  • Among people who are starting to master a new type of transport, you can often find cyclists with the wrong grip. For example, do not twist your wrists forward or backward and downward.
  • When the center of gravity of the body is shifted towards the steering wheel, hands can become numb. This is due to their overload. To avoid this, you can replace the handlebars or move the saddle back.
  • Leakage occurs due to an incorrectly selected saddle. Too narrow squeezes blood flow in the muscles and leads to numbness in the limbs. Knee pain can occur when sitting too high.
  • Do not keep your arms or legs straight when passing obstacles. One wrong move and problems are assured.
  • Do not focus on the front wheel. It is better to always look ahead. Even if at first it is difficult to do, you need to try to control this moment. A good fit increases your horizons.
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So, we have found that the correct seating position while cycling plays an important role. For each type of bike, it has its own differences. Don’t forget about your health, and cycling will be beneficial and enjoyable.

For information on how to properly adjust the fit on a bike, see the next video.

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Landing on a road bike

We have already posted a video on the correct riding position on a road bike. It tells everything well, but in English and for a long time. But clearly. Now I got another good piece on the classic road bike fit. Unfortunately, the original source could not be found, taken from the forum. Of course, this instruction is not a dogma to be followed thoughtlessly, but just useful information. Optimal fit for everyone.

Road bike landing pattern

A. Arms. Torso. Hands rest on the shifters, and fingers can easily switch (pull or drop). It is in this position that the angle between the arms and the body should be about 90 degrees.

B. Steering wheel. Take a seat and put your hands on the shifters. If you look down and see the front hub, it won’t be very good. Correct fit is when you look down and see the front hub at about the middle or 3/4 of the stem as shown in the picture.

Bad news: If you cannot achieve this result on the 80-120 stem, then the frame you purchased is either too large or too small, and this is no joke.

C. Rudder width. The handlebars should be about the same width as your shoulders. However, this also has its pros and cons, what to give preference to depends only on you. The wider the handlebars, the deeper and more stable breathing (used to be popular, a little old-fashioned now). The narrower the handlebars, the better the aerodynamics (it is more popular now and you can see men with huge shoulders rolling on 42 handlebars.)

D. Position of the shifters. The shifters or switches, as you are accustomed, should be flush with the steering wheel, thus forming a flat “platform” for the hands. If it is convenient for you to “fill” them down a little, this is also quite normal, the main thing is that it is convenient. However, it is not recommended to strongly “bully” or “fill up”, as this can lead to rapid fatigue and discomfort.

E. Knees over pedals. Snap into the pedals and place the cranks parallel to the road surface. If you take and throw a plumb line from the place “just below the kneecap”, then it should divide the pedal axis in half. This can be achieved by moving the seat forward or backward.

Note: if you cannot achieve more than 90 rpm, you should move the seat back 1 cm. In the event that it is 90, then try to move it forward 1 cm. There are already personal “adjustments”.

F. Seat height. The knee angle should be between 25 and 35 degrees in relation to the pedal at the farthest point from the saddle.

G. Seat angle. Saddle neutral. horizontal, no tilt. If you feel numbness in your perineum while cycling, you should try tilting the seat down a few degrees. If you constantly support yourself and push off the steering wheel, in this case, your hands can be unloaded by “tipping” the siduha back a few degrees (you shouldn’t overdo it).

H. Position of the pelvis. Avoid unnecessary bends in the lumbosacral spine to avoid unnecessary stress on the intervertebral discs. Correct fit is a fit that allows you to breathe freely.

I. Stem. saddle height. The height difference is adjusted for each messenger individually, however there are some recommendations. For everyday and comfortable driving. the height difference should be from 0 to 4 cm.For higher speed characteristics. from 5 to 9 cm.

J. Knees. Elbows. The gap between the elbows and thighs should be about one centimeter at the point of their maximum contact.

This road bike seating pattern is not a benchmark. Everyone can take something new and important for themselves.

Landing on a road bike (L. Armstrong)

The convenience of being on a bicycle depends on the individual characteristics of a person. It depends on various factors, for example, the plasticity and physical characteristics of the human body. For example, one person’s feet are turned outward (supination) and he presses on the pedal with the outer side of the foot, while another person’s feet are turned inward (pronation) and he presses the pedal with the inner side of the foot. One of the most important factors determining the convenience of cycling in a particular position is the flexibility of the spinal column, which is different for each person. This feature of the body structure should serve as the basis for choosing the size of the frame and the length of the stem.

The biomechanics of the racer, i.e. the force applied when pedaling is another important factor in determining a rider’s fit on a bicycle. Every cyclist has his own biomechanical ability. For example, 7-Eleven team member Davis Finney, who competed in the 1976 Tour de France, pedals with the toes down. This contradicts the conventional wisdom that the foot should be parallel to the ground when moving down. D. Finney pedals “toe down” due to the fact that he has enlarged quadriceps muscles. These muscles work like powerful pistons when pedaling. This toe-down pedaling might be good for Finny, but it might not work for most other riders.

The third factor that determines the fit on the bike is the technique of the bike ride, i.e. his ability to corner, accelerate and decelerate. Legs, arms and buttocks are three elements that form the so-called positional triangle. The arrangement of these three elements determines your riding position. During a race (or just walking), you usually change your position to achieve balance or improve aerodynamics. it depends on the terrain, the curvature of the road, changes in speed. If you sit on the bike correctly, you do not experience any discomfort and can change your position depending on the conditions that arise.

The final factor is aerodynamics, i.e. a decrease in wind resistance, which allows you to increase your speed. Some body positions on a bicycle are more aerodynamic than others. Tests conducted at the US Center for Sports Medicine have shown that the rider’s height matters less than the rider’s width. In other words, the narrower you sit on the bike, the less air resistance you experience. This is better than using a bottom fit. If you are comfortable riding your bike, you can go faster without even having a perfect aerodynamic fit.

The basics of choosing the right fit

Once you have purchased a bike with a frame that works well for you, there are a number of adjustments that need to be made to determine your fit on the bike. Improper riding on a bike can cause many negative consequences (pain in the lower back, knees, etc.). It should be remembered that in the matter of choosing a landing, you cannot rely on the advice of friends. landing is a purely individual thing. To select the correct fit, you must first place your bike on a stationary trainer with the front wheel flush with the rear wheel. If you do not have such a simulator, then ask someone to hold you while you determine your position on the bike.

Aspects of choosing a fit on a bicycle

Saddle height. There are various formulas for determining the correct saddle height, however, you do not need to be a mathematician to make the right choice. In the down position with your foot on the pedal, your leg should be slightly bent and your hips should not swing from side to side when viewed from behind. It is a fast method for determining saddle height and is widely used throughout the world. The US Olympic Training Center recommends the following method: Adjust the saddle height so that there is a 5mm clearance between your foot and the pedal in the lower position. Add a few millimeters if your shoes have thick soles. If you have long legs, you can raise the saddle an additional 2-3 mm to increase pedaling efficiency. For people who experience knee pain as a result of chondromation (softening of the cartilage tissue) or wear of the articular cartilage, the approach to saddle height should be therapeutic. Raise the saddle gradually until your hips begin to walk, and then lower the saddle slightly. To avoid stress in the legs, the saddle height can be adjusted from time to time within 2 mm.

Saddle longitudinal position. The saddle is usually pushed back to generate more energy on uphills. Seat position selection should be started with the following. Sit comfortably on the center of the saddle with the cranks horizontal. Install a plumb line from the kneecap. The plumb line must pass through the center of the pedal axis. This is a neutral position and from it you can move the saddle forward or backward. Miner cyclists, riders and some other road cyclists prefer to keep the line a couple of centimeters behind the axle to increase leverage when working in large gears. Conversely, trackers and criterionists prefer the forward position to increase leg speed. If after choosing the position of the saddle it becomes uncomfortable for you to hold on to the handlebars, change the length of the stem to one side or the other, but do not change the position of the saddle you have chosen.

Saddle tilt. The horizontal position of the saddle is considered a classic. it is used by most athletes. In order to expose this position, use the building level. If you are using a highly forward cycling position, a slight forward tilt of the saddle can be convenient, especially if you are using a sun lounger (aerodynamic bar) and your hands are on the armrests. However, if the saddle is tilted too much, you move forward a lot and put excessive stress on your arms. Handlebar height. With the stem raised strongly (in the normal position, the handlebars are approximately 2.5 cm below the saddle), your body is straight and you can easily reach the bottom of the handlebars. Lowering the handlebars will improve your aerodynamics, but your chest is tight and breathing is difficult. Here are several options for the position of the steering wheel depending on your physiology. The choice of handlebar height primarily depends on the flexibility of your lower back. Stand up straight and try to reach the floor with your hands:

  • If you cannot reach the floor with your fingers, set the handlebars flush with the saddle.
  • If you reach the floor with your fingers, the handlebars should be 5-10 cm below the saddle
  • If you can reach the floor with your palms, then the steering wheel should be 10-15 cm below the saddle.

Length of horizontal tube and stem.

The combination of these two sizes that determines your ability to reach the handlebars varies depending on your body anatomy and your flexibility. There are no strict guidelines for choosing a combination of these sizes (although there is a very good resource for choosing this size, Meteo’s note), but there is a good enough approach: If you are comfortable sitting on the bike, and your elbows are slightly bent and your hands rest on the brake levers. then the front wheel hub should be visually covered by the steering wheel. This is a relatively high seating position, however over time you can lengthen the stem to improve aerodynamics and bring your back closer to a horizontal position. Another way to select the length of the stem. Try pedaling lightly on the exercise bike with your hands on the bottom of the handlebars as if you were racing or descending a mountain. With your knees in the up position, try moving your elbows towards your knees and forward. Your knees and elbows should only touch slightly, or there should be a gap of 2-3 cm between them. If your knees “overlap”, it means that the length of your stem is too short. The stem length also depends on the length of the bike’s top tube. Although all frames look the same, there are a number of differences that are best determined not by eye, but with a tape measure. For example, on Italian frames, the length of the top tube is almost always the same as the length of the seat tube, or 1 cm shorter. Some American manufacturers produce frames with a top tube that is 2 cm longer than the seat tube.

The handlebar should be the same width as your shoulders. Don’t assume a wider handlebar will make your breathing easier. The bottom of the handlebars should ideally be horizontal. Brake levers. The handles can be displaced along the bend of the steering wheel arbitrarily, depending on your desires. Most riders prefer to install the brake levers at the transition from the curved to the horizontal bar.

Body position when cycling

Head and neck. Try not to put your head down, especially when you are tired. Turn your head periodically while riding to relax your neck muscles.

Face. Try to relax all the muscles in your face, especially during intense exercise.

Torso and shoulders. The less extraneous movement, the better. Think about the calories you waste in extra movement with each crank rotation on a 50km trip. Use all your energy just to pedal. Avoid sliding forward on the saddle and keeping your head down, especially when you start to feel tired. Shift into high gear periodically and get out of the saddle. It will release tension from your hips and back.

Arms. Keep your elbows in a bent position and try to relax them to absorb shock when hitting bumps in the road. Try to keep your arms by your side and not twist them out. This will help you achieve the most compact fit and improve aerodynamics.

Hands. Change the position of your hands on the handlebars often to prevent numbness in your fingers and reduce tension in your lower back. The steering wheel should be held firmly, but “gently”; grip the wheel too tightly until your knuckles “whiten”, as this increases the tension in the muscles of the shoulder girdle and arms.

Buttocks. By moving back and forth in the saddle, you can engage different muscle groups. This is especially useful on long climbs. Moving forward involves the quadriceps in the front of the thighs, while moving backward involves the hamstrings and glutes.