It always makes me happy to see lots of people cycling. Most cyclists I acknowledge and then instantly forget, but others stay with me a little longer. This is usually because something’s struck me as odd about the way they’re going about their commutes; this isn’t me judging, but hoping some of these lessons will find their way back to them.
While there isn’t a right or wrong way to cycle, there are things that can make the experience better, or worse. So here are five common things I see other cyclists doing, which just cannot be comfortable or enjoyable for them. How many are you guilty of?
Riding the wrong size bike
You wouldn’t wear shoes that are the wrong size, and it shouldn’t be any different for your bike. A badly-fitting frame makes for an uncomfortable ride, though you may not even notice it at first. But over time, you’ll feel it.
A bike that’s too big will cause you to overstretch, placing strain on your lower back. Throw on a backpack, and you’re signing up for endless back troubles. The angle between your arm and torso should be about 90 degrees. Look in the mirror or ask a friend to check.
A bike that’s too small will feel cramped and difficult to ride. If your wrist almost touches your knees as you pedal and steer, that’s a sign that your frame’s too small. If your knee is really bent while your foot’s at the bottom of the pedal stroke (think 6 o’clock), then your saddle is too low.