Changing the world one wheel at a time

Body/Bicycle Fit Trouble Shooting Guide

As a mechanic you’ll be asked to help with a variety of athlete needs. Some of those relate to minor aches and discomfort experienced while riding. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of common complaints from cyclist and potential causes and solutions.
This material should be considered as only a guide. Any symptoms of pain while riding should never be ignored and if are persistent or reoccurring should be referred to a proper health care professional.

Rider Complaint Where to Look for the Problem
Stiff neck * Riding technique needs work, (i.e.) bend arms slightly, relax.
* Drop distance from the saddle to the handlebars is too great.
* Top tube / stem combination is too long.
Low back pain * Saddle too high.
* Handlebars too low, drop to the bars too great.
* Riding technique needs work, (ie) rider is bobbing while riding. Instruct the rider to “get out of the saddle” periodically.
* Saddle too far rearward
* Top tube/stem combination is too long.
Numb hands * Too much weight on hands, drop to the bars too great.
* Riding Technique, (i.e.) rider needs to move hands around on bars while riding.
Knee pain * Riding technique needs work, (i.e.) rider is pushing too big of a gear or climbing in too big of a gear.
*Rider is riding too hard for their level of fitness.
* Saddle too low
* Saddle too far forward
* Cleat needs to be rotationally aligned with a Rotational Adjustment Device.
* I/T band problems, refer the rider to a sports physician.
Numb feet * Needs softer insoles in cycling shoes.
* Cycling shoes too tight, toe box of shoe can be stretched to make more room
* Cycling shoes too small.
* Position the cleat so the ball of the foot will rest slightly ahead of the spindle of the pedal.
Neck pain/ pain between shoulder blades * Stem too long
* Top tube too long
* Riding technique. Rider needs to relax (i.e.) flex arms slightly, move hands around on the bars.
Numbness or abrasion in the crotch area * Nose of the saddle too high, (adjust to level or slightly nose down)
* Saddle is the wrong profile or shape for the rider.
* Riding technique. Instruct the rider to periodically get out of the saddle while riding to allow flow to this sensitive area.
Bicycle handles “squirrelly” or wobbles at speed * Drop distance from the saddle to the handlebars too great.
* Rider’s weight too far forward on the bicycle.