by James Bicos, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist
A helmet is a cycling necessity, but you should also make sure you have the right size bike to avoid falls or stress on the body:
- Bikes come in all sizes. Depending on your build and need (road bike vs mountain bike) you need to choose the correct bike to fit your needs. Improper bike size can make it difficult to control and cause injuries from falls.
- Make sure the bike seat is level. Too much upward or downward tilt can put increased stress on the body and predispose you to overuse injuries. Make sure the bike seat is at the proper height – with the pedal at the lowest position and in neutral, as you sit on the bike seat, your knee should be completely straight if your heel is on the pedal. If the ball of your foot is on the pedal then your knee should be in 30 degrees of knee flexion. Improper seat height can lead to hip pain, knee pain or ankle problems.
- Make sure the handle bars are at the proper height and distance from the seat to avoid over-reaching, which can result in neck, shoulder, back, and hand pain.