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Basic Bike Fit Problems and Solutions . . . and when to see your friendly therapist at ALTA!

Your Cycling Challenge: tips to be at your best

If You Have: Pain in the front of your knee.
Then: You’re under extending in your pedal stroke.
A likely cause: Your saddle is too low.
Possible fixes: Raise your seat so there is only a slight knee bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

It could also be due to other fit issues or a muscle imbalance.

If You Have: Neck pain or low back pain.
Then: You may be too stretched out. You may have a leg-length discrepancy that is either skeletal or the result of muscle imbalance in your hip or leg.

Some causes: Stem too long. Saddle too far back. Handlebar too low.
Possible fixes: Get a fit check to find your trouble spot. Get a shorter or high-rise stem, or add spacers under the stem.  Check saddle setback.
Do Not: Slide your seat all the way forward—you’ll screw up the saddle setback and cause knee problems.

If You Have: Numb hands.
Then: You may be putting too much weight on the handlebar.
Some causes: Handlebar is too low. Seat is too far back or angled down, so you to slide forward and put more weight on your arms. Wrists are bent enough to compress nerves.
Possible fixes: Add stem spacers, or try a higher-rise or shorter stem. Level your seat. Focus on a light grip with straight wrists, and change hand positions frequently. Invest in new bar tape and padded gloves.

Do Not: Lower your seat or you could hurt your knees.
If You Have: Numbness/pain from the saddle.
Then: Position or saddle needs to be changed.
Some causes: Handlebar too low, causing you to rotate your pelvis forward to reach the bar. Saddle tilted too far up or down. Saddle too far back, so you’re riding on the nose. Your saddle doesn’t fit your anatomy.

Possible fixes: Raise handlebar with spacers. Level your seat. Check saddle setback. Try a different saddle—your weight should be supported on your sit bones, not the soft tissue.
If You Have: Pain behind the knee.
Then: You’re overextending in your pedal stroke.
Likely Cause: Your saddle is too high.
Possible fixes: Use seat height guidelines to find your proper position, and raise or lower your saddle as necessary. See a professional fitter (listed below) if the problem persists; it could be due to other fit issues.

Problems while riding could be because of your bike, or your body. If you have tightness, weakness, or imbalances, you could fuss with your bike forever and still be in pain. That is where ALTA comes in. A Functional Movement Screen quickly identifies problems with your body. Finding and fixing those …it’s your ticket to a pain free ride!

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