Most of us who cycle for fun would have thought cycling is an easy sport – just get on the bicycle, make sure it feels comfortable to sit on, then ride away. But things aren’t as easy as they look, because spending prolonged periods of time in a non-ideal cycling posture can result in injuries without you realising it, so today I’ll give you a run-down of what your body position should look like when you get on the bicycle.
1. The neck is slight extended, and is a compromise between how much you need to look up and whether you can tolerate that angle. In elite cyclists, they try to keep their neck relatively neutral with as little neck extension as possible to maintain a streamline body.
2. Your shoulders should be in a relaxed position (ie. not shrugging or stretched forward) with about 90 degrees between the arm and torso, the elbows are slightly bent and the wrists should be neutral when holding the handbar, hood or drop bars.
3. The lower back should be slightly bent and not completely flat or arched backwards.
4. When your foot is placed on the pedal in the 3 o’clock position, the front of the knee cap should be directly over the pedal spindle.
5. Your foot should be flat when placed on the pedal in the 3 o’clock position.
In competitive cyclists, there will be a tradeoff between comfort and aerodynamics (about 90% of the obstructing force on a cyclist is aerodynamic drag when pedaling at 30km/hr on flat terrain).