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Cycling Aches and Pains

Knee Pain

If complaining of knee pain, most customers will experience it on the anterior (front) surface, either above or just below the kneecap. For some, this may be just due to overuse after time off their bikes and will respond to rest, easier efforts and applied ice. If the condition does not improve, the most likely cause is patella or quadriceps tendonitis due to the saddle being set too low.

Back Pain

Lower back pain whilst cycling can be either very simple or very difficult to resolve. The simple solution is to raise the handlebars, which will reduce any hyperextension of the lower back and reduce stresses in the inter-vertebral discs. In many cases, lifting the bars just a few mm and improved back flexibility through spending more time in the saddle can be all that is required.


Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain is usually due to excessive weight on the hands or the reach to the bars being too long. To reach the controls, the elbows may need to be locked and the shoulders rolled forwards. The locked elbows will then become far more efficient at transmitting road vibration into the upper body.

Foot Pain

One of the most common foot discomforts experienced by BikeDynamics customers is along the outside edge, usually after two or three hours of cycling. Occasionally this is due to poor cleat position holding the feet 'toed in', but the more usual reasons are either a strong fore-foot varus or that the load paths from knees to feet are offset, as shown here.


Saddle Discomfort

The most frequent cause of saddle soreness is a saddle that is set too high. As saddle height is increased, hamstring flexibility will eventually limit how far the knee can extend, which means either the heel will need to come up or the hip will come down. Ankle flexibility will also have its limits so the hip will need to drop as the foot goes through the bottom of the stroke.

PDF Download

You may be interested in some of the contents of the BikeDynamics library, including our new downloadable DIY guide. 45 Page PDF download describing all the observations, simple measurements and calculations required to do your own Dynamic Bike Fits.