for Bike Comfort
Cycling technique is the third way to ensure bike comfort.
Addressing and alleviating pain associated cycling isn't just for recreational cyclists either. When you are comfortable on your bike, you ride faster, longer and with more agility.
Let’s look again at the common cycling pains and how to address them through deliberate awareness of your cycling technique. On this page, I also describe how the Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide can address specific comfort issues through cycling technique.
I urge you to visit Cycling Technique for Cycling Performance for more specifics on cycling technique.
Saddle soreness and numbness:
- Saddle selection
- Saddle positioning
- Saddle silence
- Weight the pedals
Selecting a saddle for your anatomy and riding style is essential. The Zendurance Cycling Self Study Guide provides you with information and perceptive criteria for evaluating a saddle’s shape and fit for your body.
Once you have selected the ideal bike saddle, you must create a working relationship with that saddle:
- Use your saddle effectively as an anchor point to stabilize your pelvic core while you pedal and navigate safely.
- Develop the awareness and discernment to select riding positions on your saddle for specific conditions, pedaling biomechanics and cadences.
The Zendurance Cycling Self Study Guide provides structured guidance for developing this subtle awareness, as well as training guidance for minimizing weight in the saddle by maximizing weight on the pedals. After all, if you can keep more of your body’s weight on the pedals, you have less in the saddle!
Cycling knee pain:
- Improve knee tracking during the pedal stroke
- Improve proprioceptive awareness and stability in your feet
- Develop a smooth efficient pedal technique
You must closely examine and monitor knee tracking and maintain vertical hip-knee-ankle-foot alignment as you pedal.
Improve dynamic joint alignment as you pedal: Ride on a stationary stand, with a mirror positioned head-on, and observe your knee tracking as you pedal. The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide offers guidance for using this method of improving your knee tracking.
On the open road, you can’t exactly dangle a mirror in front of you while you ride, to monitor your knee tracking. You must develop cycling specific proprioception. I concur with world re-known bike fitter Steve Hogg: We humans have a surprising lack of proprioceptive capacity in our feet. The resulting instability in your feet can cause lateral movement in your knees as you pedal. That means less power and an increased risk of injury.
The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide helps you to improve your awareness and proprioception for dynamic joint alignment and stability.
Zendurance Cycling does not promote a single “ultimate” pedaling technique.
Rather, it provides you with guidance for increasing your awareness and examining your pedaling technique and how you respond to specific tasks. It offers guidance for self-improvement – for responding to specific conditions by optimizing your relationship with your bike. This includes posture, alignment and riding position, as well as pedaling biomechanics.
For more on pedaling technique: Pedaling Technique: The "Holy Grail" of Cycling.
When your hips, knees, ankles and feet remain aligned as you pedal, you are more efficient, more enduring, more comfortable and faster.
Shoulder and neck pain:
- Improve your posture and alignment
- Maximize your pelvic core engagement
- Develop and refine specific riding positions
- Eliminate habits of chronic tension
Posture and alignment are a foundation of Zendurance Cycling.
They result in maximal pelvic core engagement so you can support the forward pitch of your upper torso and diminish your reliance on your hands, arms and shoulders to provide that support. As you develop awareness and strength, you may be able to adjust the fit of your bike for more performance-oriented riding positions.
Chronic tension in the neck and shoulders is often due to habit. It can persist even when you develop functional strength and correct posture and alignment. The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide provides guidance for alleviating this kind of habitual tension with specific focal points.
When your upper body is relaxed and supple, you not only feel comfortable, you are more stable, you can respond quickly, and your respiration is much better. When you breathe well, you perform well! The scenery starts to look more colorful!
Hot spots and discomfort in your feet:
- Improve foot and ankle stability
- Evaluate and improve your foot-to-pedal interface
- Increase the transfer of power through your feet
These ailments usually indicate an inefficient transfer of power from your leg and foot into your shoe and pedal.
The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide offers guidance for evaluating proper shoe selection, cleat placement and foot-to-pedal interface.
Your posture and alignment, as well as your pedaling biomechanics and the subtle nuances of your riding positions can all affect your foot-to-pedal interface and your ability to transfer power. The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide provides intensive investigation of all of these.
In the discussion on knee pain (just above), I emphasized cycling-specific proprioception and sited Steve Hogg who feels that we humans have a surprising lack of proprioceptive awareness in our feet – the essential portals for power transfer from your legs to the pedals.
Develop proprioceptive capacity in your feet to significantly improve your pedaling efficiency.
The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide can guide you towards developing “intelligent feet” through a collection of drills, sensing exercises and focal points.
Low back pain:
- Improve posture and alignment
- Develop optimal pelvic core engagement
- Refine your fore-aft saddle positioning
- Develop stable riding positions
- Refine your pedaling technique
Low back pain can be remedied through a combination of correct posture/alignment and functional pelvic core strength.
These two elements are interdependent: You can’t have one without the other. Zendurance Cycling starts with pelvic core engagement and spinal alignment. These result in a strong pain-free low back as well as efficient and enduring pedaling power.
Developing good cycling technique requires mindfulness. This quality is critical in any pursuit of excellence – including cycling performance and bike comfort. The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide provides you with tools to develop your optimal cycling technique.
Cycling Technique for Cycling Performance offers more specifics on cycling technique.
Bicycle Comfort: Addressing Common Cycling Pains
Zendurance Cycling Home Page