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Physical Therapists Offer Tips for Proper Bike Fit in Support of National Bike to Work Day
Date:5/15/2008

Poor Fit Can Contribute to Pain and Injury Risk

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With gas prices steadily climbing, commuters may find that biking to work not only provides excellent health benefits but also drastically lowers commuting costs. In conjunction with National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging cyclists to help lower their risk of injury by ensuring that their bicycles are fitted properly.

APTA member Erik Moen, PT, CSCS, a Seattle-based "Elite Level" coach through the United States Cycling Federation, says, "The first thing I ask any patient complaining of bicycling-related pain is to bring the bicycle in to check for a proper fit. In most instances, a poor bike fit is at the root of their problem."

Moen says that the most common bike fit errors include saddle heights that are either too high or too low, handlebar reach that is either too long or too short, and misalignments of the pedal and shoe. He recommends that cyclists do the following to ensure that they have proper bike fit:

-- Saddle. Be sure that the saddle is level. If you are sliding too far

forward from a forward-tilting saddle, too much weight is being placed

on your hands, arms, and lower back. If the seat is tilted backwards,

you may place undue strain on your lower back and possibly experience

saddle-related pain. A physical therapist can measure proper saddle

height by measuring knee angle at the most extended position of the knee

in common pedaling.

-- Handlebars. Handlebar position will affect hand, shoulder, neck, and

back comfort. The higher the handlebars, the more weight will be placed

on the saddle. Generally, taller riders should have lower handlebars in

relation to the height of the saddle. Moen notes that riders should

re-examine their bicycle fit aft
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SOURCE American Physical Therapy Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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