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how to fit your bike correctly
Photo by Coen van den Broek on Unsplash

Learn How to Fit Your Bike Correctly With These Simple Tips

Did you know that riding a bike that doesn’t fit your body can cause and exacerbate nerve and orthopedic problems?

Avoid nerve and joint pain with the following tips!

Before We Begin: Ask for Help

If you are spinning at a gym or in a class, ask for assistance from cycling instructors if you need help you setting up your bike. Everyone needs help doing this when they begin!

If you are cycling at home, come see us at the clinic or have us come out to your house! Clinic owner Heather Jeffcoat, DPT does custom fit assessments in her Sherman Oaks office and our other locations across the greater Los Angeles area.

Where is Your Tush?

Before you even sit on the bike, know where you should be sitting!

Your sitting bones should be seated on the back (widest part) of your bike saddle. Sitting correctly on the bike will be one of the most important factors to keeping you from developing orthopedic or nerve issues.

downstroke correct

Seat Height: Not too Low, Not too High

The height of the seat should facilitate optimal power through the leg without straining the body.

  • Set the bike seat to hip height
  • Get on the saddle
  • Look at what your knee is doing on the downstroke (leg extended):
    1. Proper Height: There is a slight bend in the knee when you are at the bottom of the downstroke.
    2. Too High: Your butt will be shifting off the seat (left and right) as you push through the downstroke. This constant weight shift against the seat will cause irritation and possible injury to the pelvic floor muscles. If the seat is too high it will also bump up against you when you are in a standing position. Again, this constant pressure and bumping will injure and irritate the pelvic floor.
    3. Too Low: If your seat is too low you will have increased flexion in the trunk, which could create increased back, neck or shoulder pain over time, or worsen other underlying orthopedic or disc issues.

Handle position

  • Should be high enough that you have the option to extend, but can also intermittently round your back to rest it during the ride if you have not build up enough endurance.

Seat Location

  • Should allow for your thigh to be about 15-20 degrees forward on your lowest part of your downstroke
    1. Too far forward: you will feel like it is bumping up against your perineum
    2. Too far back: you will feel like it is causing you to overreach the pedals ahead of you on the downstroke and handlebars.

Need More Help? Consult with a Therapist Today

Having your bike at the incorrect seat height, seat and handlebar position can exacerbate or even cause nerve problems. Clinic owner Heather Jeffcoat, DPT does custom fit assessments in her Sherman Oaks office and in the greater Los Angeles area.

In addition to proper bike fitting, therapists will also evaluate your spinning form and posture. Incorrect form and body alignment will lead to pain and stiffness immediately, or over time. Therapists will help you correct these irregularities in movement to make sure to keep you spinning for a long time, pain free!

**Bike fit and form consultations are 30 minutes for $100 and are considered wellness services only and cannot be run through your physical therapy insurance benefits.

**Please note that the Peloton fit service is currently only available in our Sherman Oaks location. In home consultations can be arranged for an additional fee, and are dependent on location from our Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills and Montrose offices.

You can find more great info on how to fit your bike correctly by clicking here. If you would like to come in for a physical therapy assessment, these can be arranged by calling any of our offices. Contact us today!

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

Testimonial by S.S., age 54

Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by Mary L.

I started seeing Heather to treat my Interstitial Cystitis in November 2016. At this time, I was extremely miserable, in constant pain, and felt as though no one was listening or understood what was going on with my body. I have just finished my last appointment and I can honestly say that my life has completely changed for the better because of Heather and her team of PTs! I live almost completely pain free, and when I do have flare ups, I am able to treat them at home on my own. I am so grateful that this office was recommended to me a honestly cannot recommend them enough!

Read more: Testimonial by Mary L.

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by J.B.

My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what I learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

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