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Foot on the pedal

November 17, 2017

I cycled the Portuguese Cosatal Camino in September of this year. All the preparation got me thinking of how much thought the average casual cyclist puts into how they fit their bike. ‘Bike Fit’ has long been a serious consideration for professional riders. In more recent years it has become popular with casual riders as well. It is an art and a science.

Since the first Penny-Farthing rattled along the road we have the same three points of contact with the bicycle; the saddle pedals and handlebars. It is important that the cyclist is positioned correctly by virtue of a proper bicycle set-up. Therefore the important assessment areas are:

·         Saddle height (and forward/ back adjustment)

·         Crank length (the standard is fine for most leisure cyclists)

·         Position of foot on pedal

·         Upper body position.

There are a varied number of cycling pursuits, and an equal number of bike types:

·         Road bikes

·         Mountain bikes

·         Hybrid (mixes the two above)

·         Touring 

The type and level of activity will partly dictate optimal bike position. However the basic considerations are the same for all cyclists.

                As a podiatrist I am mainly interested in the lower limb and pedal contact with the foot, but the overall bike fit will govern how the power is transmitted to the pedal.  If you are having pains that you think are related to cycling, give me a call. Better again if your New Year resolution is to take up cycling have your ‘bike fit’ checked.  And don’t forget to bring along your bike.