Pure Physio Blog

Want To Cruise Along Like Cadel? First Things First – Set Up!

Published on
11 Aug 2015

Bike pic

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For me, there is nothing better than hopping onto my bike and cruising down Beach Road, a relaxing weekend ride by the countryside or cycling past the morning traffic on my commute to work. To imagine all of this without the hassle of niggling injuries would make this picture even sweeter!

For me, there is nothing better than hopping onto my bike and cruising down Beach Road, a relaxing weekend ride by the countryside or cycling past the morning traffic on my commute to work. To imagine all of this without the hassle of niggling injuries would make this picture even sweeter!

The Basics

Niggling injuries as a result of riding are very common. I often find that the source of these pains are often attributed to poor bike set up, we must keep in mind: bikes are not one size fits all!

Cycling, like running, involves some muscles working to hold the body in the optimal position, whilst others are used to generate power. If you can utilise the correct muscles for stabilisation and for power and torque development, you will not only significantly reduce the risk of injury, but enhance your cycling performance.

Setting It Up

Obvious external factors such as seat height, saddle width and handle bar orientation are crucial to bike set up. However, it’s the not so obvious internal factors such as leg length, ankle range of motion, spinal flexibility and control, muscle strength and control in the glutes and core that are crucial in achieving the correct individualised bike set up. Seemingly insignificant factors such as incorrect handle bar and stem size can often cause issues from a set-up point of view, particularly seen in females.

Whilst I and many others would love to have our bikes set up just like Cadel Evans, this will only lead to further injury concerns without the conditioning and flexibility required to ride with this set up.

Putting It To The Test

Weaknesses around the lower back, pelvis and hips are usually the major problems contributing to the onset of cycling injuries. Considering most of us spend up to 10 hours a day sitting at a desk job, we usually develop tight hip flexors, weak glutes and poor lower back and trunk control.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good exercise progressions to build up your cycling conditioning and activate the correct muscles, helping to maximise performance and minimise injuries. First off, however, you must identify the weaknesses, and then start your exercises at a level you can perform properly and build up from there…we can help you here!

Come on in and visit one of our physio’s for a bike assessment and you can be riding like a pro in no time.

Catch you on Beach Rd – happy riding!


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