For a road cyclist, maintaining a balanced and tranquil body position may be a specific skill. Even experienced riders have difficulty with it, and it cannot be very pleasant for beginners. We usually look at optimal body position after a good bike fit when analyzing pain during riding. Although it may appear simple, remembering to relax your shoulders while out on a long ride or exercising can help you avoid neck pain the next day.
What Is A Good Neutral Position On A Road Bike?
The head is the beginning point for a healthy neutral riding position, extending to your feet. Check in with your body position now and again on long rides to ensure you haven’t relapsed into bad habits.
Relax your shoulders and move them away from your ears. If you’ve been climbing for a while, you might notice your shoulders stiffen up and start to creep back up.
Lowering your shoulders away from your ears frees up your head, making it simpler to swivel and keep an eye on traffic while also helping you stay focused!
Check to see if your elbows are bent! Just like on a mountain bike, relaxed, bent elbows act as suspension. Unlike a mountain bike, you should keep your elbows tucked in to your sides rather than spread wide like wings. Maintaining a bent elbow relieves shoulder pain and allows you to ride with less hand pressure.
On the other hand, your wrists should not bend. Keep a straight line on the brakes from your elbow to your fingers. If this is problematic, your bike setup could be a problem, which you should discuss with your professional bike fitter.
Maintain a neutral spine position. What does that mean, exactly? In some ways, it’s akin to yoga. If you’ve ever tried the Cat or Cow yoga poses, you know that either of those positions on the saddle can induce pain and inefficiency on the bike. Relax your back to keep your hips and shoulders in a somewhat straight line. The simplest way to check this stance while riding is to ask yourself, “Is my core engaged?” You may find yourself in a slouched riding position if your abdominal muscles relax when cycling, putting pressure on your hands, shoulders, and even areas of your crotch (eek)!
Make sure your knee is over your foot/ball. Pedals It may appear entertaining if you bike with your knees bent to the side, but it will almost surely end in inefficiency and pain.
How Often Should I Use The Drops?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of riding a road bike is putting your hands in three distinct places! Road bikes are designed to be ridden by a stationary rider over extended distances. As a result, the handlebars are purposefully meant to appear that way. With multiple places to put your hands, you may adjust your body positions and modify your center of gravity, allowing you to work for different muscle groups and change your center of gravity.
Descents are made for drops! Landing on the road necessitates lowering your hands to the “drops” on the handlebar. It may, however, be unsettling at first. You can reduce your center of gravity and put extra pressure on the front wheel by lowering your hands to the bar. This will increase traction and balance while pedaling downhill. You’ll also have a better grip on the brakes!
You’ll spend the majority of your time in the hoods. While keeping a comfortable riding position, riding in the hoods allows you to shift and reach the brakes easily.
If there is no traffic, only ride with your hands on the tops of the handlebars. On the other hand, this position can help you recover and breathe more easily during long, steady climbs. Riding with your hands on top of the bars in traffic or downhill isn’t a good idea because you won’t have as much control over the bike, even if you have brakes.
When I ride, why do my hands become numb?
We hear it all the time on group rides. When you come to a halt to take a drink of water, your hands are numb. Why? If you’ve decided that your bike’s reach is suitable, this could be a problem with your body position rather than a bike fit issue. Check if you’re riding with your elbows slightly bent and relaxed. When you ride with your arms straight, you put a lot of weight on your hands and handlebars. Examine your wrists for proper alignment. Blood circulation in your hand may be impeded if your wrist is bent. Activate your central nervous system! Reminding your abs to function will help reduce some of the strain on your hands!