Cycling is healthy, environmentally friendly, inexpensive and fun. That's why in the spring millions of people swing their bikes again. But what many do not know: cycling on a bicycle that has been set incorrectly can sustainably and permanently damage your spine. Because cycling is only really healthy if man and machine are optimally coordinated. And since you can not change the anatomy of humans, logically, the bike must be adapted to individual needs - not the other way around.
What to look for when buying a new bike
On which special features you have to pay attention when buying a new bike, we explain here:
- seat height
- saddle position
- saddle angle
- Handlebar height and tilt
- seat length
Good bikes can be adjusted individually
The optimal seating position for your back results from six different parameters, which must be individually adjustable for a good bike. Specifically, these are seat height, saddle position, saddle inclination, handlebar height and inclination and seat length.
The seat height is the distance between the saddle and pedals. He should be so long that the legs are never fully stretched when pedaling. When the pedal is down, the heel should just reach the pedal.
With a bike optimized for the back, you can steplessly push the saddle forwards or backwards and adjust the saddle position. Ideally, with the pedal in the horizontal position, a plummet from your front kneecap would have to run straight down the center of the pedal bearing
How should you sit on the bike?
The more upright you sit, the more the body weight is shifted to the buttocks, the pressure on the ischial tuberosities and posterior part of the saddle is particularly high. When pedaling, ie a high-low movement, the ischial tuberosities are loaded alternately. That's why the saddle has to adapt to this movement.
An air-sprung saddle (eg Airseat) helps with these movements, reduces seat discomfort and reduces possible pressure on the urethra. Due to individual buttocks and gender-specific differences between men and women different saddle shapes are to be considered.
However, the best fit saddle shape is of no use if the saddle is positioned incorrectly, e.g. B. by wrong saddle inclination. Important here is the saddle nose. If it is too high or steep, then the pudendal nerve is pressed and it can lead to numbness and inflammation. If it is too wide, then the thighs rub sore when sitting.
Incidentally, the more slanted the posture, the more important is the shape of the saddle nose. When the saddle nose pushes, a saddle with a shorter nose or a saddle with a slightly downward tip helps, but be careful not to slip forward. Recommended when choosing the saddle expert advice, preferably combined with a long test drive.
Handlebar height and tilt
The adjustment of the handlebar is of particular importance, because it determines the angular position of the back to the pelvis. Recommended is an upright sitting position. The handlebar height is adjusted by pulling the stem out of the fork or changing the setting angle of the stem. The correct steering angle ensures a comfortable hand position and relief of the joints. Very good is a handlebar that allows variable grip positions.
Remains the seat length. That's the distance from the saddle tip to the middle of the handlebar. This should be about three fingers longer than the forearm from the elbow to the fingertip. Here, however, also applies: Above all, the upright posture and the personal feeling is important.
The suspension of the wheel
Not only for people who love comfort: the full suspension has found its way into everyday cycling today. It reduces shocks and impacts due to road bumps. That spares the spine. The German Sport University in Cologne has studied the effects of suspensions on the spine and found that with fully sprung bicycles the shocks are reduced by 35%.
A full-suspension bike has a fork and a rear suspension, which spares the entire holding apparatus of the cyclist; Driving safety is also improved and the service life of the bike is extended. Of course, a full suspension must be adapted to the body weight of the cyclist.
If you follow these tips when buying a new bike, nothing can go wrong, and you can cycle well into the spring!