With the sun finally out, it’s time to take your bicycle out for some fun exercise. Like any other workout, it is normal to experience some discomfort after a ride. However, some pains are avoidable. Before riding causes serious health issues such as back pain, you should look into making a few changes to your bike.
Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, the following tips will keep you safe and comfortable so that you can fully enjoy your cycling trips.
Sometimes you may position your saddle wrongly, and that causes pain or discomfort. The saddle angle should be optimal so that you don’t have to constantly position yourself to be in the middle of the saddle. Proper saddle positioning also ensures that you do not frequently slip forward and backward as you cycle.
Equally, you should adjust the saddle height appropriately because it affects the effort you have to put on your leg muscles as you pedal and how much you have to extend your legs. Having the saddle too high causes knee pain. On the other hand, your pedaling efficiency will decrease if it’s too low.
Some riders prefer to have the handlebars tilted backward or forward. It is vital to set them so that you are not stretching too far to reach them. This is fundamental in reducing the risk of back pain. More importantly, always ensure that you can safely operate both brakes and secure the handlebars on the stem before setting off for a ride.
Besides being very uncomfortable, cycling on low-pressure tires also increases the chances of getting pinch flats. On the other hand, when the pressure on tires is too much, you may have a very bumpy ride, which isn’t pleasing either. Therefore, you must always have a pressure pump, especially when going for long rides.
Alternatively, you can consider investing in wider tires. Since wide tires have a larger surface area in contact with the road, you will enjoy improved shock absorption.
Cycling for extended periods can cause injuries to your palms and hands. Wrapping the handlebars with bar tape helps avoid abrasions. You might want to consider thicker tape for extra cushioning. Additionally, you can buy gel inserts and put them under the tape for more comfort. The combination absorbs the shock, protecting your palms and nerves while letting you maintain your grip.
Failing to set your cleats up correctly can cause discomfort and pain in the ankles, hips, and knees. To set up the cleats, ensure that they are angled straight and in line with the balls of your feet. You can adjust them later, depending on the desired comfort.
Using on-wall bike racks comes in handy both in your home and when you have to park your ride outdoors. Innovative solutions such as portable bike racks reduce the chances of the bicycle falling compared to leaning it against a wall. Additionally, you can lock your bike to the rack when you park it, thus enhancing its security. You’ll have a more enjoyable experience riding when you have less to worry about.
It’s important to remember that sometimes the discomfort experienced during rides may not be due to the bike but because of your cycling gear, or lack thereof. It’s essential to have the proper equipment, from padded shorts, gloves, and the right shoes. Equally, your body posture while cycling will affect how you enjoy the experience. Do it right!
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