Cycling is not only a popular outdoor activity, but also a fantastic low-impact exercise that offers numerous health benefits. However, improper cycling biomechanics can lead to various musculoskeletal problems and decrease performance. In this blog, we will explore the fundamental principles of cycling biomechanics and provide tips to improve efficiency and prevent injuries.

1. Bike Fit: The first step towards optimising your cycling biomechanics is ensuring a proper bike fit. Seek professional guidance or follow a bike fitting guide to adjust the bike’s components such as saddle height, handlebar position, and pedal alignment. Correct bike fit promotes optimal power transfer, improves comfort, and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.

2. Pedalling Technique: To maximise efficiency and reduce strain on your muscles and joints, the pedalling technique plays a vital role. Focus on the following key aspects: a) Pedal Cadence: Aim for a cadence of 80–100 revolutions per minute (RPM) to maintain a smooth and efficient pedal stroke. b) Pedal Stroke: Maintain a circular pedalling motion, engaging both the quads and hamstrings throughout the entire rotation. c) Foot Position: Keep your feet parallel to the ground and centred on the pedals. Avoid excessive pronation (inward rolling) or supination (outward rolling) of the feet.

3. Posture and Body Alignment: Maintaining an optimal riding posture and body alignment is essential to prevent unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints. Follow these guidelines:

a) Spine Alignment: Keep your spine straight, with a slight forward tilt from the hips. Avoid excessive rounding or arching of the back. b) Head Position: Look forward, keeping your head aligned with the spine. Avoid dropping your head or hyperextending your neck.

c) Arm and Shoulder Position: Relax your shoulders and slightly bend your elbows. Avoid locking your arms or gripping the handlebars too tightly. d) Knee Alignment: Ensure that your knees track in a straight line with your toes during the pedal stroke to prevent excessive stress on the knee joint.

4. Core Stability and Strength: A strong core is crucial for maintaining proper cycling biomechanics. Strengthening your core muscles (abdominal, lower back, and glutes) enhances stability and power transfer. Incorporate exercises like planks, bridges, and Russian twists into your training routine to improve core strength.

5. Flexibility and Range of Motion: Having adequate flexibility and range of motion in your lower back, hips, and lower extremities is vital for efficient cycling. Perform regular stretching exercises for these areas to improve flexibility and prevent muscle imbalances.

6. Gradual Progression and Recovery: Avoid sudden increases in training volume or intensity, as it may increase the risk of overuse injuries. Gradually progress your cycling workouts, allowing your body to adapt. Give yourself ample time for rest and recovery between rides to prevent overtraining and promote muscle repair.

Understanding and implementing proper cycling biomechanics can make a significant difference in your performance and long-term cycling enjoyment. By focusing on bike fit, pedalling technique, posture, core strength, flexibility, and gradual progression, you can enhance efficiency, prevent injuries, and enjoy the benefits of cycling to the fullest. Remember to listen to your body, seek guidance from a physiotherapist if needed, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and injury-free ride. Happy pedalling!

If you would like to get some more information for cycling/bike adjustment for your body, please contact us 07 4053 6222 to make an appointment with our physiotherapist.