Are you hurting and feeling uncomfortable on your bike?

Are you hurting and feeling uncomfortable on your bike?

On this episode of the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast we chat to our cycling coach, Devlin Eyden about being uncomfortable on the bike and what to do when it starts hurting and how to become saddle fit.

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Transcript

Brad Brown:         Welcome onto yet another edition of the Ask Coach Parry Cycling podcast, I’ve got Devlin Eyden with us once again today. Devlin, welcome back, nice to touch base once again and a wonderful question in from a newbie cyclist who has recently started but saying that they’re absolutely hating it because they can’t get comfortable on the bike.

They want to know, is this normal, is there anything they can do to get more comfy? This is also quite a common thing amongst new cyclists.

There's more to bike setup than lifting the saddle

Devlin Eyden:      It is indeed, yes, again the first step would be, is to get the correct bike setup. You do get from time to time, you need to realise that a bike setup is a little bit more than lifting the saddle to where you think is right and getting out on the bike and going.

There’s a lot more that goes into it and from a bio-mechanic point of view, to see also what sort of imbalances you might have in your body in terms of structural imbalances and then making sure the setup of the bike is set for you and you as a particular rider, rather than getting you to adapt to your bike. That is the first key, is the correct bike setup.

Then a couple of things on the bike itself. The correct saddle, there are various saddles out on the market. I think the key thing here is to make sure you find, again, something that suits you and the kind of rider you are. When I talk about different kinds of saddles, firstly there’s female specific saddles for the ladies out there and then also the difference in width of the saddle.

Select the correct saddle for you

You don’t necessarily need to be a bigger cyclist to need the wider saddle, some of the more, the smaller elite guys will still need a wider saddle, based on pelvic structure as well.

The correct saddle choice for you is going to be key and with that goes a good pair of cycling shorts. Make sure that the kit that you’re working in, the cycling shorts that you’re riding in is suited for the kind of riding you’re doing, especially if you’re going to be spending a large amount of time out on the bike as well.

Generally it’s the contact points on the bike that I would look at, put a little bit more focus on, so with regards to the saddle and cycling shorts, a good pair of shoes, make sure that your cycling shoes are correct as well, not too tight.

Making sure that you’re riding with a good pair of gloves, something that has a little bit of protective layer as well, to make sure that the hands aren’t going numb on the bike and then obviously, not really on the comfort side of things, but the helmet to make sure that you’re protecting your skull, obviously.

Bike setup is an ongoing process

Correct kit and then also just getting back to the point on bike setup, one thing that we tend to get wrong is bike setup is not a once-off. We as riders, over the years, as we adapt to the training that we’re doing, we get fitter throughout the year. Sometimes throughout the winter our bike stands and does nothing and we lose that fitness to a degree. We start getting a little bit less flexible or well, or with more training, a little bit more flexible throughout the year.

A bike setup is an ongoing process. I would typically recommend 2-3 bike setups over the year to make sure that the slight tweaks are constantly happening and you’re always comfortable and efficient on the bike as possible.

You need to also remember, on that note, if you do transport your bike around or take your bike to a bike shop for a service, there is a slight chance that things are changing. Someone altered the saddle height, changes your handle bar setup slightly, again, those are some things that regularly need to be checked and make sure that you do know if there are any changes, so that you can also put it back to where the setup initially had it.

And if it hurts keep riding

BB:         It’s interesting too Devlin, to be honest, there’s no real substitute for time in the saddle too. Often when you first start out, your backside hurts and unfortunately, one of the ways to get that pain away is to keep riding, it’s one of those things that your body adapts and it does get easier.

DE:         Correct. Again, it’s what we call saddle fit, so yes, it’s just spending time in the saddle, you do harden up to it a little bit and yes, it’s just a case of getting used to it over time.

BB:         That’s the good news and the bad news all rolled into one. Devlin Eyden, thank you very much for your time here on the podcast once again.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to get in touch and if you’ve got a question you’d like answered, the website to get to is coachparry.com, you can submit your question there, if you’re looking for a tailor made training package for you, if you want to get better on the bike, all you need to do is head over to that website, coachparry.com/cyclingtraining, that’s where you can get it.

Until next time, from the two of us, it’s cheers.

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