As the beautiful Colorado spring emerges, so many of us plan to return to our bikes to enjoy this beautiful landscape. An aspect of biking that we can tend to take for granted is our own unique alignments. Do yourself a favor and complete the following check-list before you take your first ride this Spring to prevent yourself from lower back, knee and even neck pain!
#1 – Seat Height Sit on your bike with both feet on the ground in front of the pedals (wear cycling shoes if appropriate). You measure 1 inch between the bar and your body. Sloped frames are given 2 inches.
#2 – Seat Positioning Sitting on your bike observe your knee angle on your down stroke 10 to 20 degrees is the goal. A straight or locked-out knee means that the seat is too high, a knee bent more than 20 degrees indicates the seat is too low.
#3 – Foot Positioning The optimal position is for your kneecap to be directly in-line with the ball of your foot. Kneecap behind your foot – move the seated up; knee in front of the foot – move the seat back.
#4 – Posture Take a seat on your bike – hands placed firmly on the handle bars. If your arms are straight with locked-out elbows, then the stem is too long and should be lowered. The goal is to allow a comfortable 45-degree angle for your back.
#5 – Core Strength Once steps 1-4 have been complete - pull your stomach in toward your lower back, elongate your torso, slide the shoulder blades down your upper back and keep your chest slightly lifted while riding.
Now get outside and ride!!