How To Maintain Proper Road Bike Posture

Most adult milk commercials on TV benchmark on the idea that their products can make your grandma’s bones stronger. Promoting the idea that their milk solution can help in preventing weaker posture, they always use the situation of older subjects and regard them as their market.

On Citytv Youtube channel, Chiropractor Dr. Greg Uchacz shows us the right way to ride so that we aren’t feeling pain after a trip on our bicycles. Check the video below:

How To Keep Proper Cycling Position

Posture may simply refer to how we hold our body when sitting or standing, but it is more than that. We often overlook the importance of it, but having and maintaining a good posture is also an indication of how disciplined one we are. Making a habit of maintaining our posture properly is also an investment in health especially as we grow older.

Keeping a proper posture poses a lot of health benefits. Sitting and standing in the right position makes the blood flow actively. This positive habit extends to keeping the nerves and blood vessels healthy.

Our muscles, ligaments, and tendons become more flexible when we maintain a good posture. You’ll also thank yourself later for maintaining the correct posture since it can help you prevent back and neck pain in the future.

But how can we say that we are having a good posture? Aside from the general idea that it is about maintaining proper alignment of your body when standing or sitting, good posture is also about ensuring and training ourselves to hold our body against gravity.

We should also take note that as we strive to keep a healthy posture, we should experience the least strain and tension on muscles and ligaments. Another benefit of maintaining a good posture is keeping bones and joints in the most ideal alignment. This also includes preventing our supportive structures such as muscles from wear and tear.

Maintaining proper posture is also a key factor for bikers to sustain their energy, vigor, and body structure in the long run. Keeping the ideal road bike posture also results in feeling great even after riding a distance.

Triathlon cyclists

We may see some cyclists carrying it well among themselves. They can easily make it appear as if cycling is effortless and simple. Although it may come naturally to some, attaining that gliding look takes time and practice. But the good news is, that this trick isn’t just for professionals. With the ride cycling position, you can make cycling look easy and manageable. What’s better is you can feel it too.


    Want the best cycling experience?
    Sign up for the latest bikes, gear, and accessories reviews out there.

    By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy
    and European users agree to the data transfer policy

    Aside from looking great with the correct posture, you can feel relaxed and keep your balance on the bike when you learn and understand how muscles work. Furthermore, though there is no standard cycling posture, ensuring that you do it appropriately depending on your body structure can also prevent you from injury.

    We have different strategies and body structures so it is already given how we cannot have the same posture. But then, at the end of the day, there are some basic rules that apply to everyone.

    Next to identifying and ensuring that you are riding a bike appropriate for you and your riding style, identifying and keeping the proper bike posture is something you have to settle too.

    Importance of Maintaining Proper Bike Posture 

    Being as effective and effective as possible is the simplest approach to traveling quicker while using less energy.

    The very first thing you must concentrate on when cycling is staying as relaxed and discomfort as possible. Always remember that pressure is your enemy! We should have known and observed it already from many cyclists who progressively puff up during a ride. They reduce efficiency as their muscles require more than what is needed.

    What are the benefits of having less tension and feeling relaxed due to keeping the right cycling position? Here are some to remember on the list:

    To Have More Control Over the Bike 

    One of the key reasons for maintaining the ride bike posture is because a proper riding posture reduces excessive movement, especially when you maintain your hips and shoulders level.

    Maintaining an appropriate riding posture allows you to manage how much each arm moves during a turn or when pressure changes from one side to the other. A good posture also allows you to turn more smoothly while biking.

    Cycling efficiency implies being able to optimize the strength of each stroke. Thus, hardly any of your hard work or labor would be in vain. It is easier for the body to move the bike when you have the correct posture.

    To Prevent Injury 

    Keeping the right cycling posture is important to avoid injury because it helps maintain your body’s natural alignment, which lowers stress on joints and muscles. It is also easier to get back up after a fall or tumble when there is much less weight on one side of the frame. An Experienced Chiropractor can explain how posture specifically affects your cycling as it relates to pain and injury.

    Several injuries can be avoided if you maintain proper road bike posture, from your back to your legs. Individuals who cycle do so for hours at a time. And the burden of a wrong posture can take a toll on their back, shoulders, and neck. On the other hand, when you are correctly positioned, there is little tension on the many parts of your body, reducing the possibility of injury.

    To Make the Ride Comfortable 

    We ride a bike not only as a form of exercise but also to feel relaxed and stay away from stress. If the experience is making you uncomfortable while doing so, then there is a good chance that you aren’t riding it properly. Cycling is not supposed to make you uncomfortable.

    This does not just affect you from having proper cycling posture, but it also makes you feel uncomfortable which can affect your mood and emotions as well. Help reduce strain and tension on your muscles and joints when you ensure that you keep your biking position properly.

    To Keep Your Spine Healthy

    Cycling in the appropriate position will help keep your spine straight and in better shape, preventing excess pressure on any specific column. This reduces pain in both short-term and long-term riding conditions, such as if you ride regularly.

    Maintaining the right road bike position results in less tension is applied on some areas, which in turn avoids potential ailments like back strain or spinal disc herniation.

    To Make Breathing Easier

    A good cycling posture can make it much easier to breathe since it maintains the airways open. There will be reduced stress in your chest and rib cage when you do so, and it can help you in achieving ideal diaphragm movement. As a result, even after a long ride, you will never be out of the air.

    Another crucial reason to maintain an appropriate riding posture is to avoid hunching your back and other posture issues when biking. This can also result in breathing difficulties. You would be unable to move around freely and become tired quickly if you do so.

    To Make Cycling More Efficient

    A good cycling posture will make it easier to pedal and ride a bike because you are using less energy. You won’t be reaching for the handlebars or stretching your back to reach forward, which also means that there is no pressure on the lower back.

    How to Achieve Proper Cycling Position

    While no particular bike position is perfect, there are some basic recommendations you can follow to achieve good cycling posture. Let’s examine what proper biking posture looks like and what you can do to strengthen your road bike posture.

    friends biking

    Bend elbows

    If you keep your elbows locked out as you ride, it will be difficult for you to enjoy the ride. Hence, adding a slight bend will act as suspension, avoiding any road bumps from throwing you overboard.

    You don’t have to form your elbows like wings. Just keep them tucked into your sides. Doing so will reduce the stress on your shoulders and put less pressure on your hands and wrists. Always keep in mind that as you move, your wrist should not be bent.

    If you form your elbows properly, it can also help you absorb impacts when you bump on surfaces. You can also observe your hands getting lighter. Another benefit is that it prevents you from feeling the strain on other parts of your body.

    Another reason to keep your elbows relaxed and bent is that it helps you to move your upper body freely rather than limiting your movements.

    Keep knees in line with foot

    Your knees must not bend outside at any time during the pedal. It’s not only ineffective but also painful knee problems. Keep your knee in line and over your football when cycling.

    You should symmetrically fit your knees and feet. The ball of your foot must go the same way as the pedal spindle. Your knee should be close to your foot when pedaling. Your knees should point straight ahead rather than bending. You are more prone to have knee pain when you bend your knees.

    Keep shoulders relaxed

    Many cyclists will notice their shoulders slowly creeping up to their ears while riding, putting excessive stress on their back, neck, and shoulders.

    This can also cause problems when you need to do a shoulder check or move your head around. By keeping your shoulders down and relaxed, you will actually stay more alert and comfortable when biking.

    We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your shoulders relaxed as much as possible to reach and maintain the correct road bike posture. If it is excessively stiff, it will put extra strain on your back and you will soon be losing motivation to bike due to discomfort.

    Though it may appear absurd at times, your shoulders should be away from your ears. Some bikers think that raising their shoulders is a better practice, but this poses more risks and suffering from neck and back pain. Needless to say, it can also make it more difficult to tilt your head when seeing past you.

    Keep a neutral spine

    A neutral spine is another important element to keep the bike up in a strong position. This means that during the entire trip you should keep your back erect as much as possible. This prevents you from tilting and rocking. This has a stable position as well.

    One of the most typical blunders many newbie riders make is to bend back on a climb. To maintain a steady spine, use your core muscles to provide stability. You need to aim your back reasonably straight to maintain a proper bicycle posture. It should not be locked or strained into a row, though. The most frequent mistake is to let the rear go externally. It can produce long-term difficulties when it’s kept like this.

    It’s really a struggle to keep your back straight enough, but that can be addressed when your core is engaged.

    How to Improve Cycling Position 

    Especially for beginners, achieving the proper cycling position can be such a struggle. If you find it challenging to keep and maintain good standing in terms of posture, you can always decide to improve. Just remember everything takes time and effort to correct misconceptions and malpractices.

    If you really want to improve and achieve the correct cycling form, you have to devote time and effort aside from ensuring that you are comfortable riding the bike you have.

    Focus and Reflect

    When you’re riding your bike, pay attention to your body. What areas of your body are tense? In what ways is your body misaligned or even out of its natural range of movement?

    Concentrate on relaxing your muscles and breathing, and examine each aspect of your posture one at a time.

    Do Some Stretching Exercises 

    It is important to stretch before and during the course of the ride to have a healthy range of motion and flexibility. This can help you to move freely and efficiently.

    Stretching can help in aligning your thick and thin muscles back into their proper position and state after movement. You must also remove the lactic acid build-up that causes soreness through stretching. As you do regular stretching, you also increase your flexibility. One of the long-term effects of stretching is attaining an aerodynamic position.

    Conduct Strength Training 

    Stretching, but not strengthening, is required for muscles that are strained, like the quadriceps and lower back. Instead, the muscles that are not affected by exercise, like the abdominals and gluteal, gain the most from strength training.

    Your core has to be active in order to maintain your spine straight and to assist in the movement of your legs, so it is necessary to work it off the bike.

    Improve Flexibility

    Flexibility, on the other side, may generate imbalances in the body, resulting in structural abnormalities.

    In order to maintain good posture, it is critical that you must be able to properly hold your body position for the duration of a bike ride. For best results, you should be sure to stretch and strength train.

    Choose the Bike that Fits You

    Maintaining the proper bike riding posture has a lot to do with the right bike fit as well. You will not be able to ride comfortably if your bike is too big or small for you. Getting a professional bike fit isn’t bad if you’re not sure your bike is the proper fit.

    Cycling Posture Exercises 

    Ironman Loop 

    When it comes to maintaining your bike posture, nothing is better than stretching. Make sure to warm up and cool down before and after any bike exercise. Moreover, here are more proven ways to keep your cycling posture intact.

    Upper Trap Stretch 

    In order to draw your shoulder toward you, reach across your head and pull the top of your shoulder towards you. Repeat the exercise to complete two sets.

    Strength Training 

    Cycling calls for significant upper-body strength, endurance, and power. You can perform push-ups, pull-ups, or inverted rows to work on your key parts. You can perform a cycling-specific strength training plan if you have the time and gym facilities. It will help you have more stamina and energy when riding your bike.

    Quad Stretch

    It is also a good idea to perform a quadriceps stretch when you feel stiffness within muscles that are forced when riding. To do this, stand in front of a wall with one foot on the ground and then drag the other foot across it. In order to support yourself, move your hands in front of you as you lean forward, then lower yourself until you feel a sensation in your thigh.

    Hold it for about 20 to 30 seconds on one leg before moving to the other for another set. Do this exercise on both legs, lowering the legs for two sets, before repeating the exercise on the other leg.

    Isometric Cervical Extension

    Most bikers find Isometric Cervical Extension as an effective neck muscle stretch effective.  Hold your head up and remain standing or sitting in an erect position. After you have taken a deep breath in and out, lower your chin up to chest level and hold it there for a moment.

    Hamstring Stretch 

    Most people would describe hamstring exercise as an easy one, but it’s incredibly effective at improving posture on the bike. Lie down on your stomach, cross your left foot behind your right, and put a band around your left ankle.

    Raise your left leg and hold it in the air while keeping it up to the maximum with your left hand. Allow to rest for around two seconds, then repeat the process on the opposite leg. Also, stretching the hamstrings is an important routine for bikers because this muscle area is often disregarded during cycling.

    Kneel on one knee and place the other on the ground flat. Lower down to the ground by bending your knees and resting your calves on the floor. Touch the wall for balance. Begin by moving slowly until you notice a sensation of stretching, and then maintain the position for twenty to thirty seconds. For a total of two sets, do this stretch on both legs, first bending one leg and then the other.

    Doorway Stretch

    From the name itself, doorway stretch is being done in a doorway. To do so, you should place one foot on the ground while maintaining a solid grip on the door frame to help maintain your balance. Keep yourself close to the wall or door frame to help pull yourself through.

    Slowly walk to increase the scope of motion in the hips, hamstrings, quads, and calves.

    Why You Should Check Your Bike Frame

    If all of these procedures still do not make a change, you may consider changing your bike fit already. Changing your bike can effectively relieve neck, upper back, or lower back pain, even if you have followed all the posture suggestions.

    And before you jump into buying a new bike, you should know the basics of having a good bike fit. Knowing this will help you buy a proper bike that will support your posture and make riding the bike painless.

    How To Assess A Bike For The Proper Fit

    When purchasing a new bike, it should come with an ergonomic fit kit for the previous one. Then, as the user, you must evaluate the parts of the bike, such as the handlebars, saddles, and seats, to discover what will work better for them.

    The frame construction of your bike significantly affects your bike riding posture. As a result, whenever you receive a new bicycle, you should make sure it fits your body or get it assessed by a bike fitter. Also, if allowed, ride it to test if it suits you or not.

    Even though getting a professional bike fit from an expert is way more effective than doing it yourself, it is still better than not doing it. So here we list down a few things you can assess to ensure the bike has an overall comfortable fit.

    Bike Size:

    You cannot expect to have a proper posture on a bike that is too big or too small for you. Therefore, the first thing you need to check is if the bike is the perfect size for you.

    Any good bike seller will ensure that you get the perfect sized bike for yourself. However, even if they do not, you should have the relevant knowledge to judge it for yourself.

    If you are going for a more traditional bike frame with a horizontal top tube, consider allowing approximately one to two inches of space between your crotch and the tube.

    However, these days bikes with sloping tubes are more readily available. In these bikes, you should consider giving an allowance of about two inches.

    Next, also be concerned about the bike’s length, whether it is suitable for you or not. You can make slight alterations in the length of the bike stem. However, a too-long or short bike is not appropriate for your bike posture in the long run.

    Reach To Handlebars:

    Having a comfortable reach to the handlebars is essential to maintaining the correct cycling posture. In addition, it prevents upper body aches and will give you a good riding position.

    The conventional concept is that the top of the handlebar should hide the view of the front hub. If this is so, your reach is okay. However, it has now evolved and is no more a rule of thumb.

    The more modern idea is that when you fix yourself comfortably on your bike’s saddle, you should effortlessly reach a road bike’s tops and brake hoods. Likewise, in the case of a mountain bike, you should easily reach the grips.

    Your elbows should not be locked. Instead, they need to be slightly bent. Your core should comfortably support the lean of your torso.

    The position of your seat also plays a role in maintaining a neutral spine. The clench securing the saddle to the post must be centered in the saddle rails and not pushed back or to the front. You should ensure the seat is at the correct level and not facing up. It is okay if it is leaning a little forward.   

    Seat Height:

    The inappropriate height of your bike’s seat can also cause backaches. And if ignored, the pain can become a long-term dilemma.

    One way to fix this is to place the crank arms so that they are parallel to the seat tube. Next, you should sit on the seat and place the heel of your foot on the pedal. If you cannot reach the pedal, the seat height needs to reduce.

    However, consider raising the seat’s height if your leg is bent at the knee. Your leg should be straight while comfortably reaching the pedal.

    The other way is a tad tricky. You can also use a mathematical formula if you use clipless pedals. First, you need to stand barefoot on the floor with your back against the wall. Next, snug a book between your legs, spine facing away.

    You should measure the difference between the floor to the top of the book spine. It would be best if you now multiplied the distance by 0.883 and then subtracted 4mm. The result you get is the seat height you should have.

    This distance should be measured from the center of your bike’s bottom bracket to the top of your bike seat.

    Key Takeaways 

    Maintaining the correct biking posture is critical to ensure your spine stays healthy in the long run. Straining your back with the wrong body position can be detrimental to your health. Cycling is a fun exercise. You would not want it to become the reason behind your troubles.

    The article provides comprehensive steps and proven strategies on how to maintain and improve your bike posture. However, as repeatedly stressed throughout, it would be best to prioritize selecting the most appropriate bike fit for you from the very start of your cycling journey.

    It is worthy to remember as well that no matter how much effort you keep to maintain your road bike posture if you do not follow basic stretching routines before and after you ride, your health might be compromised as well.

    Hope you learn a thing or two from us today. For more biking tips and discussions, check out more of our blogs here.

    About the author
    How To Maintain Proper Road Bike Posture — Bike Hacks