Proper Body Positioning on a Road Bike
After you have gotten your bike fit, proper body position while riding is the next area to focus on. Even though body positioning may seem like a basic skill, it is something that can cause frustration and pain among all cyclists.
A good neutral riding position starts with your head and goes all the away to your feet. Paying attention to your posture on long rides, including our 200 miles, to make sure you have not gone back to old habits is key to feeling good at the finish.
- Relax your shoulders and bring them down away from your ears. When you have been climbing, you’re pushing hard and may notice your shoulders stiffen and creep up.
- When you relax your shoulders, bringing them down away from your ears, it will free up your head making it much easier to turn and look for traffic. It actually helps you stay more alert!
- Bend your elbows. Bent elbows allows your arms to act like suspensions. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Keeping your elbows bent will also reduce strain in your shoulders and allow you to ride with less pressure in your hands.
- Maintain a straight line from your elbows through your fingers on the brakes. There should not be a bend in your wrists.
- Maintain a neutral spine. Your back should be relaxed, keeping a fairly straight line between your hips and your shoulders. The best way to check this position while you are riding is to ask yourself: Is my core engaged? If your abdominal muscles are taking a break while cycling, it could result in a slouched riding position that could put pressure on your hands, shoulders or parts of your crotch.
- Have your knee tracking over the ball of your foot/pedal. If your knees are bowing out to the side when you ride, it may look a little funny and it will definitely cause inefficiency and pain.
If your hands are going numb, and your bike fit is correct, it could be because of your body position while riding. Generally, your fingers and hands will go numb because they are not getting proper blood flow/circulation.
- Check that you are riding relaxed, with bent elbows.
- Riding with your arms straight places weight on your hands and not on your handlebars.
- Check your wrist alignment.
- Engage your core!