Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Bike Injuries Caused by Incorrect Sitting on a Bicycle

What is the best sitting position on a bicycle?

Seat height
If the seat is too low, increased knee flexion throughout the pedal cycle increases patellofemoral and suprapatellar bursal loading, leading to knee pain. Posterior muscles of the lower limb such as hamstring, gluteal, and gastrocnemius have to work in suboptimal length-tension range.

If the seat is too high, muscle power of the lower leg will decrease as the muscles have to work beyond their optimal length-tension range. Compensatory kne hip extension causes the rider to rock the pelvis from side to side to maintain stability on the bike. This will cause the hip adductors, gluteals, spine, and upper body muscles to fatigue. 

Seat fore/aft position
If a seat is too far forward, there will be an increased compression force on the musculature and structures in front of the knee. This will also create a muscle imbalance between hip flexors and hip extensors.

A seat too far backward will lengthen hamstring and gluteal muscles. This will inhibit muscle contraction and will decrease the muscle power.
The more upright position is less aerodynamic, and 10-15 degree anterior inclination of the seat reduces the stress on the lower back.  

Variable measurement based on rider experience and comfort. The rider needs to have the flexibility and control to maintain the desired position. Track riders will be very stretched out while mountain bikers will be more upright.

Cleats/pedal interface
A cleat with low stack height provides effective force transference. This will lower the risk of injury. Cleat setting has to align the hip, knee, and ankle.

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