My first bike was a Huge HDT 10. Whenever I rode this bike, I used to get lower back pain. Furthermore, the pain started after 20 to 25 km of riding. Cycling back pain is common yet can be avoided with a proper bike fit and other factors involved.
Now I ride a Merida big 7 & a Polygon road bike and with no back pain. Yes, I took a few basic and simple steps to curb this lower back pain of mine. The results are good and now I ride pain-free.
With that note in mind, let me tell you the effective steps I took to curb the back pain I had. This article has a lot of contributions from a lot of cyclists from the riding groups in my city which is Jaipur.
This is what they have to say!
“In my experience, many cyclists are riding bikes that are too big for them and many cyclists lack proper flexibility and/or their core strength is lacking. Take the time and have your bike fitted to your body. Back pain can also arise from anatomical causes like leg length discrepancy or misalignment of your spine”
Professional cyclists from the city of Jaipur
The Three Factors Leading To Lower Back Pain While Cycling
There are only 3 factors contributing to the pain, which I ignored the first time I rode my bike. Let’s take a look at these factors one by one.
Lower back pain due to improper bike fit
The most important factor contributing to back pain is the bike fit. A not a lot of bike shop owners do this, as they are more concerned about selling bikes than making you go through the proper bite fit. This is something that you should always do before purchasing a bike.
Let’s understand more as to why a proper bike fit is so important?
- Improve overall rider comfort
- Help prevent cycling-induced repetitive stress injuries
- Reduce or eliminate back, knee, neck, and wrist pain
- Reduce or eliminate “hot foot”
- Bike fit reduce or eliminate saddle discomfort and genital numbness
- Reduce or eliminate numbness in the hands and fingers
- Reduce rider fatigue
A good fit can also improve riding performance because it allows the rider to use multiple muscle groups in the most effective and efficient manner.
“Take help from a professional, do a proper bike fit and you have taken half of the factor which induces the back pain”
Core Muscle Stability can avoid lower back pain
Another factor and a big one after the bike fit. I am literally struggling at this and trying different exercises. However, if I take a look at my cycling journey, I have improved a lot and substantially reduced my lower back pain. However, as per my discussion with my professional cyclists, is important to have a daily routine of core exercises. Here is an exercise chart for your reference.
We recently had International Yoga Day and stressing the benefits of Yoga, It does help us in strengthing our core.
Click on the image for an enlarged view.
Many yoga poses can improve core strength and help you eliminate back pain when you cycle for long distances.
This image is just a guide for Yoga poses that can help you to get your core stronger.
Try these poses and I am sure you are going to feel you core getting stronger.
Riding Style of a cyclist
Lastly, it depends on the way you ride. A lot of people will try to educate you about correct riding styles, however, listen only to professionals. Over the years, I have met a lot of cyclists, and everyone has a different riding style.
I would say there is no set riding style to follow. A 100% ride guide is not available. However, you need to find yourself a riding style that suits your body and does not land you up in any trouble.
Ride with professionals, join a good group in your town. In case you are in Jaipur please check out my article on cycling groups in Jaipur.
Furthermore, while talking with professional cyclists and doctors who are into cycling, they stressed some important factors. Factors that will help you in curbing this lower back pain. They suggested that the cyclist should have a good night’s sleep, have a proper diet. They also suggested that warm-up and cool-down exercises are a must.
A cyclist should also take breaks and rest in the middle of the ride to avoid any chance of overstressing the body.
“So, in the end, I would say that the three contributing factors to your lower back pain are no bike fit being done, poor riding style, and a weak core. If you take care of these three things, the chances of pain happening while cycling would be less considerably”
Professionals cyclists and medical professionals: Please feel free to add anything that I may have missed, in the comments below.
This article is based on the contribution of my personal experience and with the help of my cyclist friends. Please consult professional medical personnel if you are experiencing lower back pain. Please take help from a professional cyclist, while doing a bike fit and choosing the right riding style.
So this brings us to the end of the article, if you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below. I would love to answer them for you. Happy cycling!
Hi Varun! Do we have good options for getting bike fit checked in jaipur?
I got my bike fit done by Guruji and Trilok, they can help you mam.