As you begin logging more miles, aches and pains can start cropping up. The usual culprits: poor riding position, imbalanced muscles, a weak core or just another birthday. If you’re a seasoned cyclist, the culprit is generally wear and tear. Your body has grown accustomed to your bike setup and training regimen over the years, then suddenly you have knee or back pain. General aches and pains can be remedied with traditional treatments such as rest, ice and anti-inflammatories—and with the following fixes. Other steps to pain-free cycling are listed below.
Gear back and increase your cadence to take pressure off your hips. Follow the glute-strengthening advice in Knee (next slide). Do yoga poses like the pigeon, where one leg is bent 90 degrees in front of you and the other is extended behind you.
Generally, if it hurts in the front of your knee, your saddle is too low. Pain in the back means it’s too high. Spin an easier gear. Strengthen your outer glutes with lateral leg exercises like side lunges and side leg raises. Stretch your quads, iliotibial bands and hamstrings. Get a professional bike fit.
For numbness, loosen your shoes. Already loose? Try a wider shoe. For burning, slide your cleats all the way back, switch to shoes with a stiffer sole or try wider-platform pedals. Change your foot beds regularly. Change them once a year if you ride 5,000 miles or less; more often if you put in higher mileage.
Perform plank exercises to strengthen your core. Stretch your hamstrings. Check your bike fit to see that you’re not overreaching, keeping in mind that over the years you may need to tweak your riding position to compensate for decreased flexibility.
When you look at the front wheel with your hands on the hoods, your bar should obstruct your view of the hub. Relax your shoulders when you ride.
Ice the area and use anti-inflammatories. Stretch by placing the ball of your foot on a step and letting your heel hang off the edge. Hold for 20 seconds. Also, move your cleats back.