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Road Bike Set-up and Ergonomics Cambridge

Bicycle positioning for improved performance and injury prevention

luke bike

 

Bicycle ergonomics is a well talked about topic within the cycling world with regards to both performance and injury prevention.  You could have spent ££££’s on a bike that if not set up correctly could not only reduce your efficiency but also cause you an injury.

 

As much as it would be great to have a standardised set of measurements to use on every person that we see, everyone is different and needs to be set up with this in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

What is included in the assessment?

 

Prior to getting you on the bike, the following will be assessed in detail:

  1. Muscular stiffness
  2. Joint Mobility
  3. Core stability
  4. Dynamic control and balance
  5. Abnormalities in lower limb strength /stability/leg length discrepancies.

 

The second phase of the assessment will involve a slow motion analysis of your positioning on the bike. Joint markers will be placed on your body in order for us to measure angles once the data from the video analysis is uploaded to our system. The videos will be analysed and your position will be corrected until we are both happy with the end result, based not only on angle measurement but factors identified in the first part of the assessment (joint/muscle mobility/strength/control etc)

 

Following the bike set-up you will be given a personal exercise programme focussing specifically on your areas of weakness that we have highlighted during the assessment process.

 

This may be followed by a review after a few weeks to establish if any corrections need to be made to your positioning (this may be due to an improvement in core control since starting the programme or reduction in hamstring tension which has led to improved hip stability for example).

 

Roads to injury

 

Here are a few examples of potential causes of aches and pains when on the bike:

 

Take for example the hamstrings, due to their relationship with the pelvis, when tight they will act to tilt the pelvis backwards which will result in an increased amount of bend/flexion at the base of the spine as well as hip sway, causing stretching of the back muscles and increasing the likelihood of injury. If this is the case, your saddle must not be set too high as this would increase the tension on your hamstrings and cause further problems.  So before you can raise your saddle to an optimal level for efficiency, you first need to reduce the tension in the hamstrings.

 

Another example relates to Imbalances at knee level- if your knee is too far forwards in relation to the pedal or if the saddle is too low, this can place excess stress on the knee and result in muscular imbalances and subsequently knee pain.

 

So, there are many factors to take into account when determining the correct bike set-up, whether you are injured, looking to start cycling or are a seasoned rider who wants to improve their strength/performance. The assessments and rehab/training programmes are fully tailored to individual cycling needs, allowing us to work towards your goals.

 

If this is something you are interested in or wish to speak with myself for more information, please call 01223832808 and ask to speak with Luke (Physiotherapist) and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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