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Cycling FIT for LIFE Knowledge Base

Ten points for a comfortable bike position

Loose and without “sagging”

Relaxed arms: The arms should not be strongly supported, but should rest relaxed and loosely on the handlebars. They act slightly bent as a buffer when hitting the handlebars. The upper body must be held by the abdominal muscles.

Active tension: Shoulders and spine form an arch that does not sag, but curves upwards under active tension. The frame length fits when the knees and elbows almost touch each other in the lower link position and with the crank parallel to the down tube. At the start of the season, a shorter and somewhat steeper stem can be mounted for a more upright position at the beginning.

Select the Touring model: Have the appropriate frame geometry as well as your preferred model (slightly shorter top tube and a longer head tube) analyzed by an expert in a specialist shop*. If in doubt, sporty riders should choose a smaller frame size with a longer stem, so the bike is more agile and the handling is more sporty overall. Comfort oriented riders, on the other hand, tend to choose a larger frame because of the longer head tube.

Saddle position: The saddle is adjusted in such a way that the pelvis does not tilt when pedaling, but the leg still has a very slight flexion at the lowest point. The perpendicular from the knee should be exactly above the pedal axle when pedaling in the front position. The saddle is aligned horizontally and does not point down, otherwise the upper body slips forward and the arms must support the weight. This in turn causes the neck base to hang down between the shoulders and the muscles involved to tense up.

Saddle camber: The saddle camber (=level difference between saddle and handlebar) is about ten centimetres for ambitious road cyclists, but for touring cyclists the camber should be less (the less, the more comfortable).

Adjust handlebar width: The handlebars should be as wide as the distance between the foremost points of the shoulder joints.
Compact helmet: The helmet should not have a sun shade (as with a mountain bike helmet), this will reduce the field of vision or cause the neck to be raised more than necessary.

Avoid backpack: Wearing a (heavy) backpack places particular strain on the neck area due to the straps and has little relaxing effect. The most important utensils are best packed in the jersey pockets or stowed in a saddle bag. Carriers on the seat tube are not recommended for racing bikes with carbon seat post (quite often).

Clever choice of tires: Wider tires or sprung rear frames also provide for increased riding comfort. Marathon racers sometimes allow tires up to 32 millimeters wide.

Vary hand position: As compensation and relief, drive as often as possible in the top link position and not in the lower link position. However, please note that a racing bike can only be steered perfectly when riding downhill and that the brakes can only be applied optimally with a pull from this position for full braking power.

Text from FITforLIFE– This Blog article was made available to us from the Swiss Magazine FIT for LIFE. If you want to regularly read informative articles in the field of running and endurance sports, then click here.

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