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How can a bike fit prevent injuries?


Throughout this page we will concentrate on bike fit specific issues. Obviously, there are other causes of injuries and things we have to do as cyclist to prevent them such as correct rest and nutrition but we will stay firmly in our area and focus on bike fitting.


Many people think that pain, numbness and discomfort is just part of cycling. Something you have to put up with if you want to be the fastest or just perform at your peak. They see pro cyclist in extreme positions and don’t fully understand that their bikes are specifically set up for them.


By ignoring numbness, pain and discomfort you risk generating injuries that will keep you off the bike. Also, you might be suffering unnecessarily. We have found that in every case to date, a better fitting bike has also meant improved performance (more on the performance gains page).


What is normal and what is not?


We all get tired muscle after a tough session and sore sits bones after a 100 mile ride, that is part of cycling, but what if these aches and pains are consistent? What are the usual culprits?


Consistent or persistent pain/discomfort will be there every ride, no matter what you do and for how long. Alternatively, it could be something that appears after a short to medium period of time.


For example, within 10 minutes of cycling you get pain in the side of your knees. This isn’t right and most people would know it’s not right. But what is causing it and how to fix it? This is the question that brings people to us. This particular issue could be caused by crank length, cleat position/setup/ saddle height/position/tilt etc etc.


There is no one size fixes all and you’ll see this if you have ever read the comments sections on social media when someone asks how to fix a particular issue. The sheer volume of solutions is staggering and in a lot of cases contradictory. Everyone is different, starting in a different position and in most cases on a different bike. As you will see if you read our ‘What is a bike fit page’, we spend a lot of time working out how you work and what you currently look like on the bike. This is for the very reason that one type of pain can be caused by so many things.


Example 2, you’re OK on a short ride but by the time you get to an hour you can’t feel your hands. The list of causes is as long as the knee issue. This time though you’ll probably find that the adjustment needed is less. However, if that small adjustment means you can ride without the numbness, isn’t it still worth it?


Example 3. This one tends to catch people out a bit. You’re riding along with no issues; it doesn’t matter how long you’re on the bike it’s great. The next day you can’t walk because of an issue with a (enter your own pain here). You can’t work out what you’ve done. Chances are, it’s something that’s misaligned, working in an incorrect way or working too far an extent of its range of movement. Let’s use the knee again. Your crank is too long so you have a very acute angle at the top of the stroke. Whilst you’re warm and working it’s fine but when you stop that repeated over use at a tight angle leave you in no doubt it’s not correct.  


Little niggles and discomfort often lead to injuries and a lack of enjoyment on the bike. Unfortunately, by the time people look for help, they’ve suffered for too long. Don’t leave it, if it’s not right then it’s not right. We can help you get back to fully enjoying our sport.

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