You’ve probably heard the phrase, “it’s like riding a bike,” to say something is easy and that it may come back to you easily. While there is certainly muscle memory involved, riding a bike can be more complex than you think. Without the right posture and technique, riding can actually lead to physical problems that may make riding difficult in the future. The tips below come from foxintegratedhealthcare.com and focus on your spinal and full-body health when sitting on your bike. A long ride may still leave your muscles sore, but it doesn’t have to cause you long-term pain.
Pay Attention to Height
The height of your bike’s saddle is the most important factor in positioning on your bicycle.
To find the ideal seat height, lean your bike against the wall and mount it in place so it doesn’t move. You can adjust the height of your saddle using the quick release or an Allen wrench, until the seat is high enough so that when you sit on the bike, your knee is just slightly bent when your pedal is in its lowest position during a pedaling stroke. You don’t want to have to strain to reach the pedals, but bending too much in the knees will be much harder on your joints, causing you to use more strength for less motion.
Assume the Position
In addition to height, sitting properly on the saddle can make a huge difference in your physical health when riding a bike, especially on a racing bike or when transitioning to different positions on the drop bars.
If your bike fit is dialed in and your sitting position is proper, you will be able to slightly tilt at the pelvis to take a more aggressive riding position when you move your hands to the lower area of the drop bars. This allows for a much more aerodynamic body shape, making riding easier at all speeds. The dropped position is also one of the most stable on the bike, allowing for unparalleled control for a final sprint to a finish line.
Keep adjusting your bar height and seat tilt until you’re able to reach all positions on your drop bars without straining or feeling uncomfortable.
Frame Sizing Matters
While position and height of the saddle are critical, it’s important that these techniques are used in conjunction with a proper fitting bike. A bike frame that is too small or too large for your proportions will prevent you from sitting properly, causing potential damage to your body.
Bike frames are measured based on the height of your pubic bone, which is similar to your inseam measurement. You can find this measurement by measuring the distance between the bony protrusion between your legs, just behind your genitals, to the base of your heel, going along the inside of your leg. You can take this height and match it to the manufacturer’s size chart. If you’re between sizes, it’s best to size down and make up the difference by adjusting seat height.
So far we’ve covered the saddle from the perspective of positioning, but for you to have the best experience you’ll need the best mountain bike saddle for your personal needs. If you don’t like the top mountain bike saddles you might prefer saddles that are specifically designed for men.