Andjustment Tips for your Bicycle

Adjustment Tips for Your Bicycle

Set up your road bike correctly! 

You've bought a beautiful new road bike and can't wait to do your first miles. But before you start doing laps on your new bike, you should adjust it to suit you. But how do you adjust a road bike correctly?  Especially for women, the adjustment of the individual parts should be checked and readjusted, especially after a purchase, in order to avoid problems and pain.

Adjustment tips for the bicycle saddle

 
Women often have seating problems, be it pain in the seat area, back or even the tailbone. But this should by no means be normality, because pain while cycling is not, as is often said, normal. With the right saddle position and especially the right saddle on the bike, the sitting position will also change and thus help to eliminate the pain. The most important thing is that the width of the saddle is correct in order to achieve the right distribution of pressure. A saddle that is too narrow will cause the hip to move back and forth a lot, which can then lead to pain.
 
 

Numbness in your hands? Find the right handlebar setting

Long rides often cause pain or numbness in the hands. However, this can be counteracted with the appropriate alignment of the handlebars, thus eliminating the pain. The handlebars should not be too high, as this puts a lot of pressure on the wrist and thus also causes problems with the carpal tunnel. However, tilting the handlebars too far down is also problematic, as this puts too much pressure on the little finger and the ring finger. But not only the inclination plays a role, but also the width. Women in particular tend to always ride handlebars that are too wide. However, this is not good because it can cause the wrist to tilt inwards, which can then also trigger feelings of numbness. 

You can read more about numbness in the hands here. 

What do you have to consider with the pedals?

The correct foot position is extremely important when cycling, because the movement in the foot is the greatest when cycling. However, pressure pains or numbness often occur in the foot. To counteract this, the pedal must be adjusted correctly. Conventional pedals usually only allow a very straight, parallel foot position, which can lead to a very strong one-sided strain on the feet. At SQlab we therefore offer pedals with different axle lengths to give the foot as much space as possible so that it can adopt a natural foot position.

 

In general, the correct adjustment of the parts of a bicycle, such as the saddle, handlebars and pedals, is essential for a good riding experience but also for a healthy riding style. To avoid pain while riding, it is important that your bike is perfectly adjusted to you.

The pelvis

When sitting normally, the sitbones support the body‘s weight and have the capability to withstand high pressure. This should also be the case when riding a bicycle. With an athletic riding position, the perineal area of men and the lower positioned pubic bone arch of women on the saddle.

The well branched out network of nerves and blood vessels of the perineal area reaches from the anus via the genitals to the upper pubic bone arch. On the sides it reaches past the pubic bones. 

These are capable of carrying a small weight – but a pressure reduction is essential. An even pressure reduction in the perineal area and the pubic bones is achieved through the lowered nose of our SQlab step saddle concept.

The sitting position

When sitting, the sitbones (areas marked in green) serve the purpose of supporting the body’s weight, hence they can endure a high load and pressure. They should also be utilised in this way when riding a bike.

 

In a dynamic riding position the contact point moves from the tip of the sitbones, forwards along the pubic arch to the pubic bone and the central perineal area is used for resting on for both genders. Women however, typically have a lower pubic arch which can result in higher pressure from the saddle nose when riding in a dynamic riding position. The surface area the riders weight is resting on is especially critical in a very dynamic and forward riding position and in such a case the riders weight should not only be supported in the centre but also on the pubic bone.

 

The sitbone and pubic bones both come together from their widest points in a “V” shape. This means the more dynamic the riding position, the narrower the saddle is allowed to, and should be.

Already in 2002 we developed a simple equation which uses the distance of the sitbone tips in dependence of the riding positing to calculate the perfect saddle width. This method has meanwhile been established globally. The method may be interpreted slightly differently from different saddle manufacturers and many leave the adjustment equation away all together, but our basic concept is used in all of these measuring methods.

 

The flexibility of the spine has much less influence on the positioning of the pelvis as often assumed. Spine and pelvis should remain in a natural position relative to each other and not be forced into a certain position, even if the body is very flexible.

 

Especially with the SQlab step saddle it is no longer necessary to tilt the pelvis backwards as the typical pressure zone of the perineal area and pelvis arch no longer pose a problem due to the lowered position of the saddle nose. The energy which is often required to hold the pelvis upright while the upper body taks a dynamic and forward position is no longer required with the SQlab step saddle and can instead be used for pedalling and propelling the bike forward. In addition, there is substantially less load on the spinal discs.