Bike riding can be uncomfortable for many riders and in some cases can dissuade cycling aficionados from riding as much as they like. In the bike fitting world it’s common to hear ‘my butt hurts’, ‘my back hurts’, ‘my knees hurt’, and more. All it takes is a neck kink or a little wrist pain to want to leave the bike in the garage!
To solve these issues, bicycle fitting has become a big business with multiple fit systems and methodologies in the market. Major cycling manufacturers have also taken notice by making bikes with geometries that can span a larger audience beyond racers.
One of the aims with fitting is to ensure the rider is in optimum position to produce power while maintaining comfort on the bike. However, if we focus too much on bringing the bike closer and closer to the person we may not be entirely solving the comfort problems long term. In many cases comfort issues are not entirely caused by the bicycle but rather from issues with biomechanics and flexibility of the rider. Compound this with the fact that repetitive motion on the bike can make a rider less flexible, coupled with the aging demographic of riders getting stiffer they are forced to change their fit to a more upright position, which decreases optimum form for power output.
What if there was a way to maintain power output while staying comfortable long term on the bike? Enter yoga! Yoga can help solve uncomfortable situations on the bike from both a long and short-term perspective.
Regular yoga practices aimed at maintaining range of motion, muscle length and core stability can go along way in staying comfortable on the bike. In many cases riders who gain flexibility are able to migrate toward more aggressive positions as well as ride longer and for more consecutive days in a row.
Getting started in yoga has never been easier thanks to the specific Yoga for Cyclists classes we’ve developed to keep the body tuned up and comfortable on the bike.
If you are more comfortable you will have more fun and the performance benefit is the icing on the cake.
About Taro Smith, Ph.D
Taro is a physiologist, yoga teacher, and former bike racer. He designs specialty content for YogaGlo to benefit a broad range of yoga practitioners. He is the co-founder of Boulder Cycle Sport, a nationally renowned cycling retailer and 90 Monkeys, a professional yoga school. Connect with Taro on the bike via Strava TSmith and on LinkedIn Taro Smith – See more here.