Click on the picture for verious body parts

Cycling pain

Neck Pain Shoulders Pain Back Pain Hands Pain Hands Pain Saddle Sores hafing Thights Knee Pain Leg Muscles Pain Foot and Ancles Pain

Unfortunately cycling pain are not strangers to each other. Riding a bicycle is an intense physical activity. It can put a lot of stress on major body parts and systems, mainly on your muscles.

Common Cycling Pain Symptoms

Here are some common complaints of cycling pain and how to avoid them.

Cycling Pain – Neck Pain

Read here more about neck muscle pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Bike that is too long Choose the right bicycle size See the article about bicycle sizing
Bicycle handlebars are too low Raise the handlebars. Use the right handlebars and stem By doing this you will not have to bend too much forward
Improper Riding Position (Posture) Change Your Posture on the Bike The more flexed a posture you adopt on the bike, the more extension is required from the neck. To support that – the neck muscles may tighten. That may lead to neck muscle pain or to fatigue.
Poor helmet adjustment (leads to poor cycling posture). Make sure that your helmet is properly fitted for your riding style. Helmet that is too low in front might block the view, and force you to tilt the head upward to keep the helmet from blocking the view forward.
Poorly fitted eyeglasses Wear biking sunglasses that perfectly fits to your face If your sunglasses are sliding down your nose, you will have to tilt your head up higher to be able to look through the glasses.

Cycling Pain – Shoulders Pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Saddle angle too low in front Adjust your saddle angle: Raise its front. This tends to make you slide forward as you ride, and you end up using your hands to push yourself back into position on the saddle.
Asymmetry body (one arm is longer than the other) Slightly skew the handlebars.
Top Tube too long Choose the proper bicycle frame size Bicycle that is too long will force your arms to be stretched forward. By this your arms will not function as “shock absorbers”

Cycling Pain – Back Pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Incorrect bicycling posture. Correct cycling posture Proper posture is one that not only allow and efficient pedaling, but also eliminate short and long term injuries and pain.
Core muscles are not strong enough Strengthen your core muscles When our core muscles are not strong enough our back have to carry the load, causing excessive back pain.

Cycling Pain – Numbness or Soar Hands, or Wrists Pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Riding without gloves Ride with bicycling gloves! Don’t ride bare handed. Riding with cycling gloves has many advantages. Please visit my page about bicycling gloves
Wearing unpadded gloves Wear padded bicycling gloves Use padded bicycling gloves provides cushioning (such as these gloves.
Using improper handlebar grips Use ergonomically optimized bar ends Once I’ve tried an ergonomically handlebars grips I can’t move back to conventional one’s. I am using the Ergon GP1 Performance Comfort Grips (See all Bike Grips & Accessories).
Improper hand positions on the bicycle handlebars Ride with your elbows slightly bent, not straight or locked Bent elbows will act as shock absorbers and help absorb the road bumps.
Saddle angle too low in front Raise the saddle’s nose This tends to make you slide forward as you ride, and you wind up using your hands to push yourself back into position. See also information about “shoulders pain”
Excessive pressure on the hands “valley” Avoid excessive pressure on the hands “valley” Make sure are holding your handlebars correctly. Incorrect holding posture may lead to excessive pressure on the nerves, and to injury.
Excessive gloves padding Use bicycling gloves that have the right amount of padding Ironically, instead of preventing cycling pain, wearing bicycling gloves with too much padding may lead to excessive pressure on the hands nerves, and to pain.
Incorrect wrist position Change wrist position (its not that easy to do) Hands that are bent too much upward may causing long term hands and fingers numbness (it took about two years for a friend of mine to recover from this injury!).
Holding the handlebars too tight Hold your bicycle handlebars with less pressure During long rides shake your hands periodically (one at a time…). Change your holding position. Get of the bikes from time to time. Take a rest.

Cycling Pain – Saddle Sores

Read more in my article about bicycle saddle sores

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Cause Cure Comments
Saddle that does not fit you correctly Use the best bicycle seat that is both comfortable and fits you properly. A saddle that is too narrow, too wide, too soft, too hard, has unfitted width or unfitted shape can be a real cause for bicycle saddle sores.
Be aware: Long ridings are quite demanding on a small saddle. It can cause cycling pain, and increase (in rare cases) the risk of biking impotence.
Unpadded bicycle riding shorts Use padded bicycling shorts or biking pants Improper cycling shorts may cause chaffing. Take the time to find the bicycling shorts that works best for you.
Improper seating position Change your seating position periodically Also try to change the saddle height, tile and forward / aft position.
Too many hours on the saddle Start with short rides, and gradually to increase your cycling distances It is also recommended to stop the ride occasionally

Cycling Pain – Chafing on the Inner Thighs

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Cause Cure Comments
A saddle that is too wide Select a narrower saddle Longer rides on an in-appropriate saddle, especially during hot weather may cause painful chafing on the inner thighs.
Saddles with excessive foam/gel Use a bicycle seat with less gel The best bicycle seat for preventing chafing is a traditional leather saddle.
Improper cycling shorts Wearing proper bicycling shorts Beware that shorts with excessive padding can make things worse!

Cycling Pain – Knee Pain

See also bicycling knee pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Wrong (usually too high) gear selection Select a different (lower) gear With a too high gear there is an over stress on the knee.
Try to use a gear that allows you to pedal quickly, from 70 to 100 strokes per minute.
Incorrect Saddle placement Adjust the saddle height, tilt and forward/back position A saddle that is too high will cause the knee of the down leg to extend beyond the optimal 170 degrees angle, potentially causing pain in the back of the knee.
Incorrect placement of the bike riding shoes cleats Adjust the cleats so as to permit your foot to be at its natural angle, use cleats that allows foot rotation or ride without cleats. The lower leg twist resulted from misadjusted cleats will affect the alignment of the knee joint, and cause serious problems! Unfortunately I have my own experience with this (see my Rhine River Tour)
Cranks are too long Use the proper crank length Riding with too long cranks forces the knees to flex farther. This may cause problems such as knee pain.

Cycling Pain – Cycling Leg Pain

See the complete article about cycling leg pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Over load on your leg muscles Try to change your cycling speed (shift to a “lower” gear) The cause for such muscle pain is the accumulation of “waste products” such as lactic acid in the muscle.
Insufficient hydration Balance the lost salts: drink isotonic water drinks, consume salt capsules. Salt is necessary for the proper functioning of the body: beyond the direct effect on cardiac function and normal muscle contraction, Shortages in salty elements may well cause pain and fatigue in the legs muscles

Cycling Pain – Foot and Ancles Pain

Discomfort, hot, burning sensations, numbness, pain, ankles pain

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Cause Cure Comments
Inappropriate (usually too tight) bike riding shoes Wear wider shoes, especially with a wider front Buying shoes towards the end of the day when feet are most swollen might be a good idea.
Riding in soft-soled shoes (may cause ankles pain) Wear rigid soled bike riding shoes The ball of the foot is more capable to carry the pedaling load, more than the arch is. However, without wearing rigid-soled shoes this may become an issue, especially on long rides.
Inappropriate bicycling socks Use appropriate socks Thin bony feet may need thicker socks for padding the ball of the foot.
Bigger feet may benefit from thinner socks and more room.
Insufficient foot ventilation (may cause foot overheat) Wear cycling sandals Cycling sandals have come and have decided to stay. During warm months, cycling shoes just don’t cut in.
Cleats set too far forward (may cause ankles pain) Move the cleat backward The farther forward the contact between the foot and the pedal, the greater the stress on the Achilles tendons.
Bent pedal or crank, causing the foot to wobble back and forth as the pedals turn Fix the bent bicycle pedals and the bent bicycle crank
Saddle set too high (may cause ankles pain) Lower the saddle Saddle that is too high forces the cyclist to point the toes excessively to reach the bottom of the pedal swing, potentially causing ankle pain.
Flat-footed (may cause ankles pain) Use orthotic shoe inserts.

Articles About Cycling Pain

Cycling Back Pain – A back pain from cycling is one thing you did not expect from today’s wonderful bicycle ride. Back pain is another quite common type of pain resulting from bicycle riding. Read more.

Cycling Knee Pain – Bicycling knee pain is the most common cycling pain. Biking might put pressure on many parts of the body. Here’s how to handle cycling pain.

Cycling Leg Pain – If you experience from time to time a leg muscle pain or muscle contraction during your bike rides you’re not alone – many other riders feel the same. Let’s make some order here and try to explain exactly what happens when we suffer from leg muscle pain or from muscle contraction.

Cycling Neck Pain – Many cyclists are complaining about shoulders and neck muscle pain during and after the ride, although these parts of the body does not take a major role in the cycling activity.

Cycling Shoulder Pain – Neck shoulder back pain is a common problem for cyclists that have just started out, especially when they decide to push themselves to the limit without first knowing how to cycle properly. Read more about how to avoid neck muscle pain.

Saddle Sores – Have you ever set down with friends, trying to explain to them that the reason for your sudden unrest while sitting on the sofa is yesterday’s bike trip? Many cyclists suffer from bicycle saddle sores during and after a long ride. In the bicycle forums you can find many questions about saddle sores and how to solve saddle sores. Find here all the answers.

Tip: Warming up is essential to preventing cycling pain

Cycling Pain

The most important tip for preventing cycling-related aches and pains is to warm-up regularly.

You can have perfect cycling posture, a well-fitted bicycle and all the best cycling equipment in the world, but if you don’t get some blood into your muscles before you cycle, you’re going to end up with some painful cramps.

Take the time to stretch all your muscles before you cycle and you’ll enjoy a painless ride.

Books about Cycling Pain

For more information, there are some informative books about cycling pain. You can find them on several online book stores.

Cycling Pain
Cycling Pain
Cycling Pain


Each time you suffer from cycling neck pain, cycling leg pain, cycling knee pain, saddle sores or any other cycling pain which is related to bicycle riding, there are several actions that you can take to ease the pain, or even to prevent it.

If you have a severe pain it is always best to consult a doctor. With pain related to bike riding you should consult a doctor who is specializing in cycling pain.

<br /> Cycling Back Pain – All about Biking Related Back Pain<br />


Cycling Back Pain
All about Cycling and Back Pain

Cycling Back Pain

Cycling back pain can come either during or after the ride. In most cases this type of back pain is not serious, and will go away by itself or after making the required changes in your riding style, the bicycle or other equipment that you are using, or just getting in shape. Anyway, bicycling and pain are not strangers to each other.

There are many types of pain that can result from our great hobby, such as leg pain, bicycling knee pain, neck muscle pain and the most common bicycle saddle sores. Back pain is another quite common type of pain resulting from bicycle riding.

Types of Cycling Back Pain

There are two main types of back pain from bicycling: Upper back pain, and lower back pain. In this page I will focus on the 2’nd form of pain. In most cases the lower back pain is associated with neck pain, and is covered in my article about neck muscle pain.

While riding, the low back muscles are responsible for stabilizing and controlling the movement. If our back is not in its best condition and it is not flexible enough, we can expect to suffer from back pain.

Lower back pain is very common in both road bike cycling and in mountain biking.

What Causes Cycling Back Pain

There are several reasons for having a cycling back pain. The main factors that most likely contribute to lower back pain while cycling are incorrect riding style, non optimal bicycle fit and lack of core muscle flexibility and strength. Let’s discuss these factors one by one, and add some others as well.

Bike Fit and Your Posture on the Bike

In most riding styles, and especially in mountain biking and road biking, our back is arched, so that we have the ability to absorb the bumps. If you ride straight upright, spine has no way to “give” when the bike hits bumps. From the other hand, if we lean too much forward, bumps might cause the back to bow even farther in the forward direction. In both cases we can expect to have a back pain.

Bicycle sizing is a key factor that affect our back while riding. Many cyclists are not fully aware of the dramatic effect that riding a bike that is too small or that is too big for them might have on their health, and on the probability to suffer from health problems such as lower back pain while riding, especially on long and consecutive rides.

Generally speaking, every aspect of the bicycle geometry, such as the height of the bicycle handlebars, top tube length (or the length of the “virtual” top tube, in some bicycle models) may increase the pressure on the intervertebral disks, and have a negative affect on the biker’s back that can cause a back pain.

If you are interested to learn more about bicycle sizing you are welcome to visit my pages about how to fit a bicycle and about bicycle sizing.

Besides the size of the bicycle there are other bicycle related factors that can affect our back. A major cause for back pain is incorrect saddle height: If the saddle is placed too high our hips might rock from side to side. This can cause a back pain. Bicycle seat that is too low might have a negative affect no other parts of our body: this can cause a bicycling knee pain.

Lack of Suspension (Mountain Bikes)

From my own experience, another not so commonly discussed cause for cycling back pain is the lack of proper suspension in mountain bikes. Please refer to my articles about mountain bike shocks and about bicycle forks. If you are serious about mountain biking, you should consider riding o a bicycle that has shocks.

Another important bicycle part that you should consider evaluating is the saddle. I would recommend using the best bicycle seat. You can also consider using a suspension seat post.

The Riding Style

Did you know…?

Cycling Back Pain

Did you know that doing a bit of weight training can help protect you against cycling-related back pain?

Doing some deadlifts or weighted hyperextensions will condition your lower back muscles to support heavy loads, ensuring that these muscles are better prepared for the rigors of competitive cycling.

While climbing and sprinting we put a lot of pressure on the pedals, and there is a tendency to pull the handlebars up. This puts a lot of pressure on our back muscles. Strengthen your lower back muscles, and avoid overload.

Lack of Muscles Flexibility / Core Strength: We like bicycling, and in many cases do not add any other sports activity to our routing. Lack proper flexibility and core strength can cause lower back pain, as Road and mountain biking demands prolonged back flexion. Regardless of our bicycling level, core strength and stability should be something that we all have to maintain, and improve.


As you tire on a long ride our rising style changes. One of the changes is the tendency to put more load on the lower (and upper) back. We also often lean to the side of the downstroke, so the weight of the body can help the tired leg muscles. This also adds an extra load on our back. When you feel that you are tired, do not continue riding (like we did during our Rhine River tour). Take a break, fuel up, look at the scenery — riding is supposed to be fun.

Too Heavy Backpack

Here I have to admit: although I know that it is not the best way to carry cycling equipment, I like to ride with a cycling backpack full of water, spare parts and tools on my back.

Carrying a heavy cycling backpack loaded with water, spare inner tube and bicycle repair kit increase the risk of having a cycling back pain. Extra weight increases the amount of work your back muscles must do, causes cycling back pain. Try to carry the water bottle in a bicycle water bottle cage attached to the bicycle frame. Carry your bicycle repair tools in an bicycle saddle bag.

Non Cycling Related factors

There may be many other reasons for back pain, other than the cycling itself. It may be due to other physical activities. I am not intending to discuss this serious matter here.

For more information you can turn to online information sources, such as Wikipedia. As always, when it comes to health related issues my recommendation is to consult a sports doctor.

In the mean while, there are several products that you may consider using as a first aid treatment. Take a look at this excelent product.

Treatment for Your Back Pain

As with most muscle and joint-related problems, treatment for cycling back pain will differ depending on the source of the pain and the severity of the injury. Here are some of the most common treatment options for cycling-related back pain.

Massage Therapy

Cycling Back Pain
  • If your back pain is caused by a build-up of excess lactic acid in your lower back muscles, massage therapy is really your best bet.
  • There are many different kinds of massage therapy out there. You’re not looking for a relaxing oil massage. What you want is a deep tissue or sports massage specifically designed to relieve muscle soreness and dissipate lactic acid in your muscles.
  • If the pain is particularly severe, ask for your massage therapist to perform petrissage. This type of massage uses the fingertips to knead out specific kinks in the muscle and is a basic massage skill that every certified massage therapist should know. It’s great for treating cycling back pain. It’ll be a little more expensive as therapists work on one small area at a time, but the relief it brings is well worth it.

Chiropractic Treatment

Cycling Back Pain
  • If your back pain is caused by an injury to your joints or spine, chiropractic treatment is your best bet.
  • Chiropractic treatment involves the application of carefully measured force to painful joints or pressure points along the spine. This will help to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and restore lower back mobility.
  • If you are suffering from pain as well as restricted lower back movement, the odds are high you need to see a chiropractor.
  • Chiropractic treatment can be very painful, but when performed by a certified professional, it’ll do plenty of good in the long run.

Change in Diet

Cycling Back Pain
  • Cycling back pain can sometimes be caused by nutritional deficiencies. Sportsmen, especially those who participate in strenuous sports like cycling, require larger quantities of essential vitamins and minerals than people with sedentary lifestyles as their bodies are subjected to far greater stress.
  • One crucial vitamin for athletes is Vitamin D. A high intake of Vitamin D reduces the risk of muscle and bone pain. The human body is capable of producing Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight, but as this occurs in very small quantities, athletes are strongly advised to ingest Vitamin D supplements on a regular basis.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been linked to chronic back pain. This deficiency is quite rare, but if your back pain is accompanied by numbness or a tingling feeling, you may need to see a doctor about getting some Vitamin B12 jabs or a Vitamin B12 nasal spray.
  • Cycling back pain can be alleviated by ingesting herbs like white willow bark which, once digested, convert to salicylic acid. Salicylic acid reduces joint and muscle inflammation.


Cycling Back Pain
  • This is obviously a last resort. Very few cyclists will require surgery to remedy their back pain. If a surgical procedure is needed to alleviate the problem, then the injury is far more severe than a mere muscle or joint strain. The patient is probably suffering from a disc problem.
  • Bulging or herniated disks are hardly ever caused by cycling. They are usually caused by lifting heavy weights with incorrect posture. These problems may, however, be exacerbated by poor cycling habits.
  • If you find that the pain is spreading from your back down to your legs and is frequently accompanied by numbness, you may be suffering from a disc problem. See a doctor and find out if surgery is needed.

Preventing Cycling Back Pain

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. Now that you know more about the different causes of back pain and the strategies you can adopt to avoid back injuries, you should quickly begin to correct any bad habits you have before back pain develops. Adopt a well-rounded training regime that strengthens your lower back and abdominal muscles instead of one that just targets your legs. Consume food and supplements rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Last of all, when in doubt, see a doctor. They’ll be able to diagnose your specific ailment and prescribe treatment tailor-made for your type of injury!

Books About Back Pain

Take a look at these excelent books about back pain:

Cycling Back Pain
Cycling Back Pain
Cycling Back Pain

Last Word About Cycling Back Pain

Lower back pain is quite common among cyclists. The good news is that by making some minor adjustments in the bicycle fit, changing our posture on the bicycle, strengthening our back and making some changes in our cycling style and technique we can prevent most cases of lower back pain.

There are some other reasons for back pain that are not directly related to bicycle riding. Just like in any other health problem, my recommendation is to consult a doctor who specialized in sport injuries.

<br /> Cycling Knee Pain – Over Load On The Knee Muscles<br />


Cycling Knee Pain
How to Handle Cycling Knee Pain?

Cycling Knee Pain

Does she suffer from cycling knee pain?

During the third day of my Rhine River tour, almost at the end of a long bicycle riding day in which we rode 70 miles, I started to feel a severe pain in my right knee. This pain did not stop until the end of our trip and totally disappeared only three months later!

After I returned from the bike trip I decided to learn more about cycling knee pain. I found out that there are many articles, forums and web sites about cycling and pain. Still, in most cases, I did not find any source of information was complete, informative and especially easy to read, and understand. In this webpage I will try to produce just that.


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Bicycle riding is a relatively safe sport for the knees. While jogging, our knee joints are under tremendous loads, due to the fact that periodically the foot land on the ground.

During cycling, the leg moves smoothly and continuously. Note: You can read more information about the subject in the article about running vs. cycling.

Taking this fact into account, it is quite surprising that cycling knee pain is so common among cyclists. Whether competitive or amateur, most of us bicycle riders have suffered from cycling knee pain during our careers.

The good news is that cycling knee pain is usually a temporary phenomenon, and it can disappear after a while, with or without treatment. In some rare cases, though, the problem of cycling knee pain may worsen and even prevent you from continuing cycling!

The knee joint is in the middle between the foot and the pelvis, and thus affected by both. When using cycling shoes with cleats, the foot is connected directly to the pedal, and the actual movement of the knee is defined by the way the shoe is attached to the pedal, by the length and the width of the crank and other parameters. Riding technique, such as using “power pedaling,” can also affect knee movement.

Did you know…?

Cycling Knee Pain

Did you know that older cyclists are more susceptible to knee pain?

Knee pain usually occurs when the back of the kneecap is worn away by constant flexing movements such as pedaling a bicycle. The thing is, this sort of wear and tear occurs naturally during the ageing process as well. Thus, if you are a middle-aged cyclist, you’ll want to take special care of your knees!

The Structure of the Knee

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Cycling Knee Pain

The knee joint connects the thigh with the shin and is a “single-axis” joint, as it is able to move in one plane only by flexing and bending (as opposed to the hip, for example, which is a “three-axis” joint). In addition, knee joint surfaces are flat (unlike other joints that are built with concave and convex surfaces), and there-fore the stability of the knee depends only on the strength of its muscles and ligaments.

There pads called the meniscus cartilage located between the femur and tibia. They also contribute to the stability of the knee joints and allow smooth movement. Meniscus ligaments are usually not affected during a routine bicycle ride, but can be damaged when you fall off your bike or as a result of an accident.

In simple terms, the role of the front muscles of the knee (the hamstring muscles) is to straighten the knee. The role of the opposing muscles (the antagonists’ muscles) is to bend the knee.

Read here more about the knee structure.

What Causes Cycling Knee Pain?

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Inappropriate gear selection

A major factor that can cause strain in the knee is over-load of the knee muscles, caused by the use of gears that are too low or too high. Try to use a gear that allows you to pedal quickly, from 70 to 100 strokes per minute.

Incorrect Seat Position

A seat that is too high, too low, too far forward, or too far back can also cause cycling knee pain. A saddle that is too high will cause the knee of the down leg to extend beyond the optimal 170º angle, potentially causing pain in the back of the knee.

A seat that is too low or too far forward might reduce the ability of the knee muscles to produce the required force for the ride. It may therefore divert the knee outward, causing pain in the front of the knee.

Improper Foot Position on the Pedal

Improper foot position on the pedal (or improper cleat alignment) can cause pain on the inside or outside of your knees.

After learning about cycling knee pain I found out that this was the reason for my bicycle knee pain.

If you have “duck feet” (your feet point to the outside when you pedal) and you use shoes with straight cleats, your legs twist inward, forcing the knees to twist in the same direction. As a result the knee movement will not be in a straight line but in the form of figure eight.

During long rides (such as bicycle tours) this might become a real problem, as it causes knee erosion.

Wrong Crank Length

A crank that is too long causes excessive knee flex, beyond the knee’s ability to bend. This causes the down leg’s knee to twist outwards, causing unwanted lateral knee movement. On the other hand, a crank that is too short can cause excessive load on the knee muscles.

Difference between the Width of the Pelvis and the Pedal Axis Width

For most of us, especially women, the pelvis is wider than the width of the pedal axis. As a result, the hips tend to twist inward while riding. While the hip joint is able to adapt to this change, the knee joint suffers from unwanted lateral loads.

Leg Length Discrepancy

Differences in individual anatomy may also result in cyclist knee pain. Cyclists with slight differences in leg length may have bicycle knee pain because the seat height is only adjusted for one side. Shoe inserts or orthotics can help correct this problem.

How To Prevent or Minimize the Risk of Cycling Knee Pain

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Select the Right Seat Height

The height of the bicycle seat affects the functioning of the knee. Adjust the height of the saddle so that your down leg will extend to an angle of 170º.

Changing Forward/Back Seat Position

The optimal seat position is such that when your front foot is in its most forward position, the knee is just above the crank axis. Adjust the seat forward or backward.

Select the Proper Crank Length

Most adult bikes are equipped with 165 and 175 mm cranks. Make sure that the crank fits to your leg length. Consult the experts in your local bicycle shop or read some material about bicycle sizing.

Choosing the right gear ratio

For many cyclists (including myself), a low gear/low resistance/fast spin is more comfortable than the opposite. Due to their still-undeveloped knee muscles, children should avoid “power riding” completely and should not use cleats.

Use Shoes with Cleats

Using shoes with cleats allows the leg that is moving upward to participate in the pedaling, thus contributing to balanced knee movement.

Align the Cleat

If you are pigeon-toed (if your feet point inward), your feet will be forced by the pedals and the cleats to move in a parallel plane. There will be a slight twist in your leg causing lateral forces on the knee.

To allow your legs to move in their “natural” plane you should take one of these preventive actions:

  • Align your cleats.
  • Use cleats that allow foot rotation (some of the more advanced cleats are like that).
  • Ride without cleats.

Products for Cycling Knee Pain Treatment

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Books About Knee Pain

More information about knee pain and other types of cycling related pain can be found on several informative books. Take a look:

Cycling Knee Pain
Cycling Knee Pain
Cycling Knee Pain

Last Word On Cycling Knee Pain

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Cycling knee pain during and after cycling is one of the most significant pains related to cycling. The good news is that this type of pain appears in most cases only during long rides and also tends to disappear after the ride.

As in all other cases of cycling pain and injuries, you should consult with a sports doctor and get professional advice.

You are invited to read some of my other related articles, about:

<br /> Cycling Leg Pain – Do You Have a Leg Pain While Cycling?<br />


Cycling Leg Pain

cycling leg pain

If you experience from time to time a cycling leg pain, or muscle contraction during your bike rides you’re not alone – many other riders feel the same, including me.

Did you know…?

Cycling Leg Pain

Did you know that lactic acid buildup is the primary cause of cycling leg pain?

An easy way to minimize lactic acid buildup is to perform cool-down stretches after cycling.

Another great way to counter lactic acid buildup is to go for regular deep tissue sports massages which help to push the lactic acid out of your sore muscles.

One moment you feel on top of the world, full of joy and happiness after another successful bicycle ride, and immediately afterwards you start to feel a sudden annoying cycling leg pain, or even worse – your muscles just stop functioning properly, at least for a while.

Let’s make some order here and try to explain exactly what happens when we suffer from muscle pain in legs or from muscle contraction: what are its causes, and more important, what can we do to avoid cycling leg pain.

Do You Suffer From Cycling Leg Pain?

You may start feel cycling leg pain during the ride. It will probably disappear a few minutes after you stop cycling, or at the end of a long, challenging climb. This is called an “immediate muscle pain”.

The cause for such muscle pain is the accumulation of “waste products” such as lactic acid in the muscle. Lactic acid is formed in the muscle in almost every physical activity, but during a very intense and continuous bicycle ride the production rate of the acid exceeds the rate of its evacuation. At this point we start to feel muscle fatigue, and pain.

If you experience a cycling leg pain during an intense climb, try to change your cycling speed. Shift to a “lower” gear to reduce the load on your muscles. Avoid a sudden stop: reduce your pedaling rate gradually, and let the muscle get used to a lower load. Only then – stop riding completely. Try to give your leg muscles a rest during the day or two after the ride. If you are in the middle of a bicycling tour, and you have to continue riding, try to make the following day an easy one.

A good treatment to cycling leg pain is to rub your legs with cream containing glucosamine, Arnica and MSM. These creams are quickly penetrates into your muscles, relieves the pain immediately. (It worth a try, but my own experience shows that you should not expect an immediate relief).

Sample Glucosamine, Arnica and MSM

Pain After the Ride

Cycling Leg Pain

Delayed cycling leg pain appears several hours after the ride, and can last for another 48 or 72 hours. The cause of such pain is microscopic tears in the tissues of the leg muscles.

This phenomenon is normal, especially after a long and intense ride. It is actually the recovery phase of the muscles, after they were damaged during the ride. The direct reason for pain is inflammation and temperature rise in that muscles.

What can we do about delayed cycling leg pain? Perform leg warm up before each ride, do stretching before and after the riding and give your muscles the required recovery time. In most cases, the pain will disappear by itself after a few days.

What to do if You Still Have Muscle Pain in Legs?

What happens if you did everything as explained above and you still feel fatigue and a sense of “muscle contraction” in the legs after the ride?

The best way to know the source of the pain is by checking each potential cause, one by one. The main action you should take is to change and improve different aspects of your diet: it might help you to get rid of your cycling leg pain problem.

Drink Water!

Water is essential for all forms of life, and human are not exception. Water assists in digestion and adjusts the body’s temperature. It also removes toxins from the body. Failing to drink enough water while riding might hinder your performance and capacities. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, general fatigue, dizziness, fatigue and cycling leg pain. Make sure you carry and drink enough water while riding.

You can read here more about bicycle hydration.

Balance the Lost Salts

Water is not the only element being lost through sweat while riding. Have you ever noticed how salty your body gets after a long ride? We exude a fair amount of salt when sweating. Maintaining a balance between water and salts in our body is essential. Salt is necessary for the proper functioning of the body: beyond the direct effect on cardiac function and normal muscle contraction, Shortages in salty elements may well cause pain and fatigue in the legs muscles.

Here are some solutions to complete the salts:

  • Isotonic water drinks: Sports drinks such as Gatorade, PowerAde and others, or homemade drinks (made by diluting fruit juice with water, and by adding a pinch of salt) contains salt. They also contain some glucose for taste and energy. These elements are essential for the proper body functioning during bicycle riding. Oh, and they are tasty too!
  • Salt capsules: These capsules are my favorite! Every capsule contains different amounts of salts and should be consumed during the ride according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Magnesium: You can consume magnesium on a daily basis to get the recommended amount per day (from 300 mg to 400 mg, depending on your sex and age), and check if there is a positive effect on your muscles during the ride.
  • Nutritional supplements: The market is flooded with many other nutritional supplements such as Glutamine (helps the immune system function), BCAA (specific amino acids which are supposed to slow down the process of muscle fatigue) and more. It is possible to add such capsules to our bicycle riding diet menu, but it is very important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Eat and Drink Properly

Make sure to follow the guidelines listed in the article why is nutrition important. The most important days in which you should be strict with your diet are a day or two before the ride, the days during the ride, and a day after the ride.

Read more on the subject of cycling nutrition in these articles:

Books About Leg Pain

More information about leg pain can be found on several informative books. Take a look:

Cycling Leg Pain
Cycling Leg Pain
Cycling Leg Pain


If you experience a fatigue or a cycling leg pain during a bicycle ride you should listen to your body. Try to understand the root problem by checking every possible cause. This research may be a bit long and even expensive, but ultimately it is well worth it.

<br /> Cycling Shoulder Pain – How to Avoid Shoulder Muscle Pain<br />


Cycling Shoulders Pain
How to Avoid Neck Muscle Pain

Cycling shoulder pain is a common problem for cyclists that have just started out, especially when they decide to push themselves to the limit without first knowing how to cycle properly in the first place. So before you go ahead and try your first ten miles journey on your brand-spanking new mountain bike, you may want to keep these tips in mind:

Signs of Cycling Shoulder Pain

There are actually two kinds of back pain that you can experience when you first start cycling: upper back pain and lower back pain.

As these two types of back pain are different, I would leave for now the subject of lower back pain. If you are interested in learning more about this type of back pain you are invited to visit my article about back pain from cycling.

Right now I am going to focus on upper back pain. The signs of this kind of back pain might include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A burning sensation in shoulders.
  • Localized pain near the shoulder blades.
  • “Tight” neck muscles.
  • Painful muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder region.
  • Numbness in any of the aforementioned regions.

The key point here is that you feel these discomforts in the neck, shoulder and/or upper back area.

Causes of Cycling Shoulder Pain

This type of upper back pain is caused primarily by three things: poor posture while cycling, overuse injuries due to repetitive motions and plain old blunt trauma.

Did you know…?

Did you know that a loose helmet may cause neck pain while cycling?

This is because loose helmets tend to obstruct your field of vision, forcing you to tilt your neck upwards in order to see well. This is why achieving a great helmet fit is so important. If you realize that your bike helmet is causing you neck pain, check out our selection of bike helmets and buy a new one.

The first two problems occur when a cyclist either sits up too straight forward while cycling. The last problem occurs when a cyclist rides too rigidly and lets the shock of the impact do greater damage to muscle groups.

Other causes include a saddle that does not fit your height, a loose or tilted saddle that causes you to rock about, using handlebars that don’t match the reach of your arms, misaligned bicycle pedals that don’t match the cycling motions of your legs, lack of stretching prior to cycling and/or weak muscle groups.

Treating Cycling Shoulder Pain


The first thing you can do to treat the upper back pain is to stretch intensively before and after any cycling session. Reach out with your arms and pull them back with your shoulders. Do this about half a dozen times. Now pull your arms to your chest, let your elbows stick out to the side and pull your elbows back as far as you can before letting your arms bounce back forward. Do this half a dozen times. Then “shrug” your shoulders up to your neck and pull them down to the ground behind you. Do this half a dozen times. Once you’re done with the whole thing, repeat the cycle twice.

These stretches open up the blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the different muscle groups in the upper back region, priming them for cycling or disentangling them after a long arduous session of cycling. Take a look at this video about Cycling Stretching Routine, Flexibility Program for Cyclists:

Hot Compress

The next best thing you can do is to apply a hot compress to the areas where you feel pain or numbness. Stretching may physically loosen up the blood vessels compressed by cycling, but a hot compress uses heat to dilate the smaller vessels that cannot be opened up by physical means.

The heat also helps desensitize the nerves affected by the repetitive motions, reducing the uncomfortable sensation of pain and/or numbness. If the pain is due to blunt trauma, like when you accidentally bend your neck at an awkward angle after hitting a bump, then immediately applying a cold compress will do the trick. This prevents swelling and quickly alleviates the pain caused from direct injuries such as the one mentioned above, although you’ll still need to apply a hot compress when the injury starts healing on its own.

Foam Rollers, Acupressure Mats and More

If you’re really experiencing back pain despite the practical measures mentioned above, then you may want to consider getting a few products designed specifically to alleviate pain caused by intensive and repetitive motions. Take for example foam rollers. These useful little devices can be used to manually “roll out” the muscles, blood vessels and nerves affected by repetitive cycling motions.

Acupressure mats produce the same effect but use smaller studs to apply pressure to specific points around the back. These are pretty convenient for when you want to alleviate back pain even while at rest. Take a look at these products:

Cycling Shoulders Pain
Cycling Shoulders Pain

Preventing Cycling Shoulder Pain

Now all the aforementioned measures won’t work if you keep making the same mistakes over and over again while cycling.

The first thing you need to do is assume the proper cycling position – something that can only be done when your bike fits your body. You should be able to reach out to the handlebars comfortably (not awkwardly) even while slightly bent forward.

You should be able to bend forward with your back loose and limber while cycling, and this is only possible if the seat is steadily fixed and perfectly matches your height. You can get all this done by visiting your bike shop and having them adjust the bike to your physique.

The last thing you can do to prevent pain is always, always stretch prior to cycling. This primes the muscles and gets the blood flowing, all of which minimizes the risk that small injuries will occur inside the muscle groups. You would be surprised at how a little stretching can go a long way to preventing pain in the long run!

Books about Neck Shoulder Back Pain Treatment

Cycling Shoulder Pain
Cycling Shoulder Pain
Cycling Shoulder Pain

Products for Cycling Shoulder Pain Treatment

<br /> Saddle Sores – How to Solve Saddle Sores While Cycling<br />


Saddle Sores
How to Solve Saddle Sores While Cycling

bicycle saddle sores

Bicycle saddle sores – what a pain!

Have you ever set down with friends, trying to explain to them that the reason for your sudden unrest while sitting on the sofa is your yesterday’s bike trip?

Did you know…?

Saddle Sores

Did you know that if saddle sores are left untreated, they may fester?

If you do not sterilize your sores on a regular basis, they may become infected. Your doctor will then have to drain the abscess of pus and other fluids which is a very painful procedure. Treat your sores regularly using creams and gels containing benzoyl peroxide or erythromycin.

Many cyclists suffer from bicycle saddle sores during and after a long ride. In the bicycle forums you can find many questions about bicycle saddle pain. Take a look at two examples:

“I am a bike rider for a long time, and recently I’ve decided to expend my riding territory and to challenge myself with longer rides (20 miles and up) on my mountain bike. I have a fitted bicycle and a high-quality Specialized bicycle saddle. Still, after about an hour of bicycling I start to feel uncomfortable on my saddle. This feeling is gradually increasing to an intense pain in my bottom. At this point all I want is that the ride will be over. I would like to know how to solve saddle sores while cycling, and what can I do to prevent bicycle saddle pain on my future rides. Is stopping the ride from time to time can help? Should I replace my saddle or my riding technique?

Thanks ”


“Over the past year I suffered from a friction with the seat while riding causing doormat and pain, forcing me to stand up on my bikes, or even to stop biking in order to relieve the pressure. I would like to add that I’ve replaced my bicycle saddle three times and I still suffer from bicycle saddle sores.


These common questions have many answers in the forums. In this article I will try to summarize most of the information about this painful issue of saddle sores.

What is Bicycle Saddle Sores?

There are two types of saddle sores:

  1. Sore and pain resulting from pressure on the buttocks tissues and bones. While pedaling our thighs and skin that is under your “sit bones” is rubbing against the saddle.
  2. Chafing on your buttocks and in the groin area, especially when biking during hot and humid days.

Bicycle saddle sores have many reasons. Some of them are related to the saddle shape and size, other are related to our bicycle sizing, to our riding technique, or to other reasons.

Possible Causes of Bicycle Saddle Sores

Too Many Hours on the Saddle

Many hours on the saddle without being used to it creates pressure on the buttocks tissues, which results in pain. To prevent this it is recommended to reduce the amount of hours on the saddle. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to start with short rides, and gradually increase your cycling distances. It is also recommended to stop the ride occasionally in order to give your buttocks tissues time to recover. Perform a series of stretches and relaxation while you stop riding. If you prefer to continue riding just stand on the bicycle pedals from time to time for a minute or two. It might help.

An Unfitted Saddle

A Saddle that is too narrow, too wide, too soft, too hard, has unfitted width or unfitted shape can be a real cause for bicycle saddle sores. My advice is simple: Don’t save on saddle: Buy the best bicycle seat! It does not mean that you have to take a mortgage to buy a saddle. Stay away from excessively wide saddles or saddles filled with shift able mushy gel, which can move around and may rub your inner thighs. The “best bicycle seat” should be wide enough to support the sit bones.

Your best bicycle seat can only be found through trial and error. Hopefully, your bike shop will have a saddle test-ride program or liberal trade-in policy. See the article about finding the best bicycle seat. Here are some quality bicycle saddles that might help:

Wrong Saddle Height

Set your saddle to the proper height. Saddle that is too high will cause friction as your sit bones will rock over the saddle as you pedal. Just be aware not too set your saddle too low: you will loose some of your pedaling efficiency, and it might also lead to bicycling knee pain.

Wrong Seating Position

If you seat in the front of your saddle there might be too much pressure on your crotch. Take pressure off this sensitive area: sit mostly toward the rear where your sit bones get maximum support. Change your seating position periodically. During climbs move farther back on the saddle. Sit in the middle of the saddle when you are bending low.

Wrong Handlebars Height

Try to lower your handlebars. Handlebars that are too high cause an imbalanced split of your weight load between the saddle and the handlebars. Just make sure not to lower the handlebars too much as it might lead to neck muscle pain.

Improper cycling shorts

Improper cycling shorts may cause chaffing. There are many shorts brands and chamois types. Take the time to find the bicycling shorts that works best.

  • If you’re getting sores in the areas of seam-to-skin contact, wear seamless-chamois bike riding shorts.
  • There are bike riding shorts that are designed specifically for the anatomy of woman, as they have a liner with no center seam.
  • If your shorts are even slightly loose they will mess with your skin. Even with tight shorts you might feel some play in the chamois area around your butt.
  • Some are wearing two pair of shorts on bike rides for double the padding.
  • Try to wear bibs instead of regular shorts. They lack of compression around the waist.

Here are some cycling shorts that might help:

Saddle Sores
Saddle Sores
Saddle Sores

Chaffing due Insufficient Lubrication or Poor Hygiene

To avoid this, Lube to reduce friction. Coat your skin and / or chamois bicycling shorts with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly (or any commercial product such as Chamois Butt’r or Bag Balm®) before going for a long ride. Cover under your sit bones, and any place that might rub. Always wear clean shorts for each ride!. If you seem susceptible to saddle sores, you may find it helpful to dry your skin, and then to wash your crotch with antibacterial soap and warm water before lubing up.

For me, the most effective way to prevent chaffing during the ride is to put some type of powder (such as baby powder, gold bond extra strength powder or a layer of assos chamois cream) on my skin down there to dry the area, before I put my shorts on. It works, and feels great! Here are some products that might help:

Saddle Sores
Saddle Sores
Saddle Sores

How to Treat Bicycle Saddle Sores?

You have just returned from a great bicycling trip (they are always great, aren’t they?), your adrenaline level is high, but: you suffer from bicycle saddle sores. How can you treat this troublesome pain? It would be great if we would know how to solve saddle sores before it starts. Now, that your have it, there are several things that we can do to ease the pain and to make the recovery time shorter.

Get out of your sweaty shorts as soon as possible after a ride. Before you take a shower, swab the area with a little rubbing alcohol. Then shower or clean up with soap and water. Dry well and put on comfortable loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe.

After the shower, put anti-bacterial salve or Bag Balm® on the hot spots. Appling Bag Balm® to irritated areas will help heal the superficial wound and prevent it’s from getting worse. You can also treat your sores with an acne gel.

Take some time off the bike to help it heal. It’s far better to lose one or two days on the bike than risking two weeks of cycling due infection. If you are in the middle of a bicycling tour and you suffer from a bicycle saddle sores you may try using Preparation H. It’s not going to help get rid of it, but it will help shrink the swelling and numb it. If a sore is getting out of control, ask your doctor about a course of oral antibiotics. And, as always with bicycling injuries, it is best to consult a doctor. Try to find one that is expert on sports injuries.