As healthy as bicycling is, riding a bicycle is ironically unnatural, at least from an on-the-bike perspective. The process of mating rider and bicycle in perfect harmony – called bike biomechanics – is a complex equation involving many factors, which can result in far-reaching performance enhancements for competitive cyclists and enjoyment benefits for recreational cyclists.
Bike biomechanics takes into account joint, muscle, load factors, angles, equipment, point-of-contact positioning, pedal force measurements, and biomechanical calculations to formulate the ideal position of every part of both bicycle and rider so that they fit together as one in the most efficient manner possible.
As every body is different, so too are the factors used to determine correct bike positioning. Since a rider’s position on the bike directly effects how their body moves, optimal positioning is critical to performance and comfort.
To make some sense of how biomechanics effects performance, consider your on-the-bike breathing. Changing your saddle height actually affects your air intake requirements by changing your body’s efficient use of the air you have. By lowering your oxygen requirements for the same physical effort output level, your body becomes more efficient.
BikePT classes teach physical therapists the fundamentals and advanced concepts in bike biomechanics. We begin with the basics in our Bronze level classes, then progress to more complex fit issues in the Silver class, and reinforce this knowledge with event experience and practical application in our Gold level class.
We’ll also be exploring this topic right here on BikePT.com