What’s a healthy cycling posture?

Whether you cycle to the supermarket, to work or simply for fun, a bike usually brings you reliably from Point A to Point B. But how should you set up your bike to prevent injury?

“Posture on a bicycle is generally a matter of personal preference,” says orthopaedist Dr Christin Siebert, noting that what’s good for your back, legs or arms depends on various factors.

Cyclists should spend some time thinking about how to set up their bike to ensure maximum comfort and protect their joints. Photo: dpa

One factor is having a medical condition. If you suffer from hip osteoarthritis, for instance, a saddle that’s too low can cause joint irritation since the greater bend in your legs will press the head of the femur, or thigh bone, into the bone’s socket, Siebert says. This can be painful.

If you have back problems, it’s best not to lean too far forward while cycling, she advises.

The type of bike affects posture too. You will naturally sit differently on a mountain bike from on a road bike or city bike, for example.

Some people prefer to sit almost upright when cycling. Siebert discourages this, however, because the more upright your posture is, the straighter your outstretched arms will be.

“Your arms should ideally be at a 90-degree angle to your upper body,” she says. This minimises strain on your shoulders. – dpa