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Questions tagged [ergonomics]

For questions about the ergonomics (human factors) of cycling and related activities, mostly related to the positioning and motion of the body and its joints to avoid injury and increase comfort and performance.

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36 votes
8 answers
15k views

How do I determine the correct position for my bicycle seat?

I have been suffering from IT band problems on my outer knee, which I'm pretty sure were caused by raising my seat height too much. I raised the seat on the advice of a friend who said that a higher ...
42 votes
3 answers
7k views

What is the optimal cadence?

I have heard that one ought to turn the pedals at 90rpm. However, I do so much slower, especially while standing, and would like to understand the argument behind this number (or any other number). So:...
4 votes
1 answer
315 views

Accuracy of pedal-based power meters when used with pedal extenders / pedal spacers

Is the accuracy of a pedal-based power meter (examples) significantly affected by using them with pedal extenders (example)? Thank you.
-3 votes
5 answers
395 views

Would a Rockefeller custom-build a frame? (If money were no object, is a custom frame always preferable to stock)

Even more briefly Suppose you're a Rockefeller. In other words, money means nothing to you, and a 100K-250K bill is an insignificant expense. You select a bike model and find you are between two frame ...
0 votes
3 answers
475 views

Are they called handlebar "upsweep" and "backsweep" because only one quadrant is usable?

The title says it all. Are the two rotations of MTB flat bars (question updated in italics) called "upsweep" and "backsweep" because only one quadrant is usable? Is there never a ...
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do I determine a suitable handlebar width on a fatbike?

Fatbike owners seem to be fond of using lavishly wide handlebars. They also don't just go from 640mm or 660mm to 680mm or 700mm, but often to 720mm or 740mm. I'm assuming their shoulders couldn't be ...
0 votes
2 answers
423 views

Sit bones and the saddle's curves

Consider two twins, a brother and a sister. They are of identical height. They have precisely the same arm length. Their legs (both femur and tibia) are exactly the same lengths. But, as would be ...
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Cycling jargon: "relaxed geometry", "slack geometry", and "aggressive geometry"

In one sentence… What is the meaning (and for which parts), the implications, and, if possible, the etymology of these three terms? In more words… When I hear this bike has more aggressive geometry ...
5 votes
3 answers
538 views

Can I think of bike fit purely as bike ergonomics, or is there a distinct or an additional aspect to the choice?

I used to take a simplistic view of choosing a frame size. It boiled down to choosing the largest frame that gives me sufficient top-bar clearance. On both road and MTB bikes, I can ride long ...
11 votes
3 answers
6k views

Is adjusting the angle of a drop handlebar a viable way to reduce wrist pain?

Those who spend a lot of time typing on a computer keyboard or playing on a music keyboard (piano, ..) learn that their wrists should remain as straight as possible. The idea is that the tendons that ...
2 votes
5 answers
3k views

How long should one wear a backpack while cycling

I have been cycling now for almost 6 years. I commute from home to work and I carry a laptop along with work clothes probably a sweater, an official shirt, and some bike tools. My estimated distance ...
20 votes
9 answers
9k views

How many fingers on the brake lever of an MTB?

I have seen people stop with one finger, two fingers or the whole hands on the levers. Is there a recommended number of fingers on the brake levers when stopping/anticipating an emergency stop? Do ...
2 votes
1 answer
224 views

Help me analyze my mountain bike body position, dealing with crippling elbow pain

I have been dealing with crippling elbow pain these last couple months which has been keeping me off the bike. I have super long legs and a short torso, riding a Large Orbea Rise mountain bike, 780mm ...
2 votes
5 answers
473 views

Why aren't there more bicycles and accessories designed specifically for women?

Why are there not more bicycles and accessories designed to ergonomically meet the needs of the female body? I'm not talking dresses or skirts. A range of skeletal features differentiate the female ...
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

I'm an absolute beginner in bike touring, about to buy a bike. Is it worth it to hire a bike fitting service before the purchase?

I'm an absolute beginner in bike touring, about to buy a bike. Currently I'm using local shared bikes and I always wanted to start my adventures on a bike, camping and so on. Given this, is it worth ...
2 votes
2 answers
619 views

What are, if any, the signature postural differences between riding a 26″ bike and a 29″ bike?

Briefly One way of asking In the video accompanying Michael Jackson's "Black or White", people of various ethnicities are morphed to one another. Suppose you are looking at someone riding a ...
1 vote
2 answers
171 views

Ergonomics - road cycling on mountain bike

I am new to cycling and have recently started to bike to work. The distance is about 20 kms each way and I find that by the end of it my lower back starts to hurt. I do work at a desk job and I ...
8 votes
5 answers
4k views

Healthiest bike posture for slower long rides

I'm looking for some evidence on bike posture and overall best positioning for healthiest rides that might be "long" (say around 30km) but also where speed is not a concern - think of ...
9 votes
2 answers
12k views

How to carry a step-through/mixte bike

How can one carry a bike with a step-through/mixte frame effectively?-- In comparison, any diamond-frame bike is a breeze for me to shoulder regardless of weight (okay, carrying a 25+-kg roadster is ...
3 votes
5 answers
185 views

Pain on bottom foot when freewheeling for a time in a gravel descent

One of my favorite touring routs is on a rural route. It is 15 km* long, I take about an hour to complete it since a part of the first half is sandy and I need to dismount to traverse it. At the 10 km ...
5 votes
3 answers
782 views

Is there an improvement braking from the hoods from Shimano Sora 3500 to Sora R3000?

I'm struggling to brake from the hoods on my first drop handlebar second hand bike although braking from the drops is fine. I read on this site somewhere that older Shimano Sora ergonomics were ...
0 votes
1 answer
344 views

Balance of leg muscle usage while riding out of the saddle

Minor changes in cleat and saddle position can greatly alter the amount of glute, hamstrings, quads and calf muscle that are used when cycling while seated. But is the same true of positions when ...
2 votes
1 answer
302 views

Are Adjustable Stems With Reasonable Merit?

[Question overhauled after I realised it appeared snobbish, narrow and not in good faith, as pointed out by @gschenk . This sentiment originated due to a recent failure with a critical bolt mechanism ...
7 votes
3 answers
588 views

Proper Posture for Preventing Painful Posteriors on Penny-farthings?

After riding relatively short distances (about five kilometers), I’ve developed a literal pain in the rear. I suspect the hard seat is the primary culprit, and I’m sure I’ll be able to replace with ...
14 votes
5 answers
3k views

Correctly and incorrectly mounting a bicycle

I am very fond of mouting bicycles this way: Stand to the left of the bike. Put the left foot on the left pedal. Push forward with the right foot to set the bike in motion. Swing the right leg ...
8 votes
2 answers
14k views

Contradiction! Which back posture is correct for road biking?

It might be a basic question but I have searched and find no same question. The question is... There seems to be contradiction about the back posture for road biking. Some people suggest arch-...
23 votes
8 answers
872 views

How to choose a bicycle seat

I'll need a new saddle for my bike soon. I use it mainly for short commutes (30 minutes). About once a year I go touring for a few days, up 8 hours in the saddle. My current saddle just came with the ...
6 votes
5 answers
9k views

Can I install an upright handlebar (curved towards me) on a touring bike?

I bike around the city on a daily basis, usually for short distances (5 km tops, typically less than that). I currently have a cheap, battered down touring bike that is nevertheless doing the job ...
50 votes
9 answers
193k views

Is it possible to measure your sit bones at home?

Some bike shops have gel pads that you sit on to measure the distance between your sit bones. Is it possible to take this measurement on your own at home, or does this really require special-purpose ...
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Options to reduce reach on a gravel bike

I bought a 2020 GT Grade shortly after the pandemic hit. Bought it online, no test drive. It was a bit of a risk, but it seems to fit well enough with one exception: the reach feels a bit long. When I ...
1 vote
2 answers
566 views

Will short arm crank conversion work for me?

I own an 18 speed "Columbia Journey Comfort Bike". Since having 2 knee replacements I find that I do not have enough knee bend to pedal. I have raised the seat & still cannot even do one ...
2 votes
3 answers
230 views

Don't like upright position so which bike should I choose?

Hi I used to cycle quite a lot and about 26 years ago bought a men's trek singletrack 970 which I loved. That eventually got stolen, and I haven't ridden for many years, but when I tried out some ...
1 vote
1 answer
345 views

How to adjust hydraulic disk brake lever reach during bleeding?

During a crash I have bent my adjustment knob on Sram Code brakes and now after bleeding the lever is a bit too far away for my liking. The knob is bent and can't be turned. If I'll reduce the ...
0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Neck and shoulder discomfort [closed]

I have a Raleigh Strada hybrid with flat handlebars. Have recently been getting some discomfort in the neck and shoulder area which I suspect is down to poor posture on the bike. Are there any ...
2 votes
6 answers
5k views

The palms of my hands really hurt

I understand that the pressure on my hands causes it. I also understand how the nerves run through my hand. What I don't understand is how to implement the advise of, "Take the weight off your hands" ...
1 vote
1 answer
160 views

How should a bicycle fit? [closed]

What are the characteristic features of a bicycle well-fitted to its rider? Are there a standard set of "rider positions" that we talk about in bicyle ergonomics? What are the standard tolerances ...
8 votes
3 answers
184 views

Bicycle design for a crooked hip

One of my hips turns out a bit more than it ‘ought’ to. It doesn't affect my walking, but on a bicycle it means that my knee on that side must transmit force at an unnatural angle. It was less of a ...
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

How to prevent my bike from tipping over when using just one pannier?

I often carry gear in a pannier on my bike rack, as in the photo below (not my bike, but same pannier design. My actual bike frame is very different; I'll upload my own picture tomrrow): I have two ...
7 votes
5 answers
9k views

Cycling position for commuting

I'm looking into buying a commuter bike. Observing other bikers I see some are hunched over their bikes and some are almost vertical. What is considered the best position for commuting? [I will be ...
11 votes
5 answers
46k views

Securing sliding bar grips without hair spray?

I have some Bell anatomic handlebar grips that tend to slide (rotate) on the bar. I've read that using hair spray is useful, but tends to be rather permanent. I'd like to make the grip tackier but not ...
0 votes
1 answer
196 views

Calves overcoming glutes function, is this a set up problem?

I've noticed that I usually become really tight calves while my gluts don't work at all. It is specially so when I accelerate in my singlespeed while I'm stand up or when I climb. Sometimes I get my ...
7 votes
3 answers
688 views

Are recumbents good for your back?

I am in my late 40s and yes I have a sore lower back. Most likely from too many bicycle rides on incorrectly sized / fitted bicycles. I am thinking of getting a recumbent for my daily commute to work. ...
8 votes
3 answers
8k views

Should one buy a used Brooks saddle that is already broken in?

I understand that Brooks saddles (and similar leather hammock/sling style saddles) break in as they are used so that they conform to the particular shape of a riders sit bones, crotch, etc., and that, ...
1 vote
3 answers
185 views

Which kind of bicycles is better and comfortable for shorter communtes, 4-5 km daily

This kind straight handles or this kind?
5 votes
4 answers
3k views

Recommendations on how to make grips more comfortable?

I find that on longer rides on my Trek FX3 that my palms (particularly my right palm) go numb from the pressure I am exerting on them. I appreciate that part of this is related to my posture and the ...
11 votes
4 answers
5k views

Should I use a narrower saddle on a road bike than I would on my hybrid commuter?

I ride a hybrid (Trek Fx 7.3) as a daily commuter and have found a 143mm saddle to be the right width for me. However I am looking into getting a road bike for long rides and am finding 130mm ...
10 votes
2 answers
279 views

How do I make sure I'm sitting straight on a recumbent?

I have recently (at the time of original posting) taken up cycling a recumbent (a now discontinued Azub Eco 20" bicycle). My perineum thanks me, but immediately after a ride I feel a bit lopsided (...
1 vote
2 answers
180 views

ergonomically sound seat types or features?

Are there seat types or seat features that are ergonomically better for certain kinds of ailments such as lower back pain, knee pain, etc.? For example, perhaps cushioned seats might be better for ...
6 votes
3 answers
580 views

Is a fitting worthwhile for me?

I'm a guy with banged up knees. I'm trying to decide if it is worthwhile for me to splurge for a high-end bike fitting or go with a more ordinary fitting or skip getting a fitting altogether. ...
2 votes
1 answer
394 views

Correct sitting posture for my bicycle

I recently bought the below bicycle 26 inch https://www.trackandtrail.in/cycles/mach-city/ibike-7-speed/ My Height is 5:11, after riding for one week i started feeling pain at upper back below ...