Injury Prevention

In order to prevent injuries, pain, and simply tiring out from cycling, enthusiasts of this very popular sport need to be aware of the size of the bicycle they choose to ride, as well as the location of the handlebars and saddles on the bicycle.

On a typical bike, the saddle should be approximately 3cm higher than the handlebar, whereas the placement of a saddle for mountain bikes should be slightly higher by just a cm or so. Racing bikes will benefit from even higher placement of the saddle.

The handlebar can be raised to your preference, however you should be sure not to raise it past any warning levels or marks that appear on the stem show. Doing so could result in harm to yourself or your bike!

The saddle on the bike should be level. You should be seated so that the saddle ends cup your crotch. Sliding forward while riding will result in strain on your back and a great deal of weight load on the arms. A backward tilted seat will cause bad posture and can lead to lower back strain.

If you sit on the bike with hands placed on the hoods of the brake, your arms should be naturally positioned and unlocked, and you will be able to see through the handlebars where the front wheel hub is bisected by the handlebar. Should the handlebar protrude too far forward, your back will be strained.

Should this be the case, a shorter stem should be purchased. Women often experience this problem because they tend to have shorter torsos, as compared to men. A stem that is too short will result in the body sitting too far upright than what is likely needed. Wind resistance could be the result if this situation, though hurting the back is unlikely.

Riding in a bent over position, with a straight back, above the top tube is required when cycling. If you do not stretch your back out when riding you will end up in a hunched position above the top tube. Back pain can be caused this way.

Beginning cyclists often experience this problem when they are preparing to race. Gradually moving into this position can help prevent injuries because beginning riders are not usually able to ride in this position very easily.