Adjusting Handlebars to Prevent Numbness and Soreness

Adjusting Handlebars to Prevent Numbness and Soreness

June 12, 2019

Any long-term cyclist knows that soreness may just be part of the sport. However, if you’re experiencing excessive numbness or soreness, you may have an improperly fitting bike. Visit a bicycle shop to make sure all your components are properly adjusted and minimize soreness after long rides. You want to limit stress on your body so you can enjoy a long, pain-free ride. Follow these tips for adjusting your bike yourself, and visit a local bike shop to pick up any bike accessories in Naples, FL that might help with comfort:

  • The right size frame: Before you can make any adjustments, you’ll want to make sure you are riding the right size bike for your height. No number of adjustments to the frame will help the soreness if you are riding the wrong size. When straddling the bike with both feet on the ground, there should be at least one to two inches between the top tube and your crotch. If there’s less, you’ll hurt yourself when trying to hop off the seat. If there’s more, you may not be able to move the seat and handlebars up far enough.
  • Handlebars: Cruiser and mountain bikes have handlebars that allow you to sit upright without hunching over, which can be uncomfortable. You’ll also be more likely to fly off the front of your bike with sudden stops. The handlebars should be at least as high as your seat, but likely above it so you can ride upright. If your handlebars are too low, you’ll be pushed into them, placing more stress on your wrists, arms, neck and back. You can raise your handlebars by loosening the screw on the top of the stem, then tapping with a hammer to release the mechanism inside. The vertical hash marks on the stem will indicate the maximum marks to which you can raise the stem. Raising them too much may limit the amount of slack in the brake and shifter cables. Keep in mind that if you raise the seat, you’ll need to raise the handlebars, too.
  • Seat: The seat is another important component to a properly fitting bike. When you’re pedaling and your leg is all the way down, your knee should be slightly bent. If your knee is locked, your seat is too high and it could be hard on your knees. If your knee is very bent, your seat is too low and you’ll lose power when riding. You may not know that you can also change your seat angle. You don’t want the seat to be tilted down, because gravity will be working against you, and you’ll put unnecessary stress on your wrists, arms and neck to stay upright. Keep it level or one or two notches up.

If you need help adjusting your seat, or if you’re looking for a new, better-fitting bike and need to find a bicycle shop, check out Big Momma’s Bicycles. We’re a full-service bicycle shop offering bike sales and rentals, along with critical repair and tune-up services, as well as a full range of bike accessories in Naples, FL. Come by today to learn more!

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