Bike Tips: Your lower back

Ride your bike without a backache !

Have you ever had lower back discomfort while pedaling on your bike ?

Several factors influence the comfort of your back while riding. First, choosing the type of bike will have an influence on the curvature of your back when you are in position. A hybrid bike (with a straight handlebar) will make you have the strait back versus a road bike that gives you a more bent and therefore more aerodynamic position. The more aggressive and flexed the position, the more mobility you need in your lower back to accommodate this position. To make it more comfortable, here are some modifications that can be useful :

  • Positioning Tip : Adjust your saddle with a neutral inclination or slightly leaning forward. This position reduces the lumbar flexion necessary for a good aerodynamic position. Also make sure your saddle is at the right height. To do this, your leg should be straight or slightly bent when your heel is flat on the pedal.
  • Mechanical Advice : Equip yourself with a saddle of the right width. Ideally your saddle should be an equal width or up to 20 mm wider than the width between your two ischial tuberosity. A good sitting position limits the movement of your pelvis to the sides and improves the stability of your back.
  • Technical Tip  : Try to have as little swing as possible in your pelvis and body when pedaling.

With an optimal fit, it could still be possible that you have lumbar discomfort. At this time, there are several things your physiotherapist will need to assess to be able to support or correct your aerodynamic position, including the mobility and stability of your back.