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From the horse’s mouth – so to speak…

By in Road Cycling Holidays Comments Off on From the horse’s mouth – so to speak…

I am sure we could write endless details about our cycling holidays and how we believe they are the best available in the UK.  That would obviously be our opinion but sometimes it is great to see our guests say it for us.  So here is Derek showing you how much fun can be had on one of our trips.  Thank you Derek for allowing us to share this…

 

Has the ‘Tour’ inspired you?

By in Cycling challenge Comments Off on Has the ‘Tour’ inspired you?

Has the ‘Tour’ inspired you?

I don’t know about you but whenever I watch a fellow cyclist, or any other sports person do well I cannot help but feel that warm fuzzy feeling of achievement on their behalf.  One thing is for certain:   Chris Froome deserves the glory and should be soaking it all up and taking a well-earned rest.  Winning the Tour twice is an astonishing feat.

All the excitement has boosted my urge to get out and cycle, and I know it will have had the same effect on many people who are maybe looking to set themselves a challenge for the coming year.  Did you know that in the latest survey (http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics) about 8% of the population aged five+ cycle three or more times a week – that equates to around 4.64 million people.

There is obviously a big difference between just cycling to get to work or taking on a cycling challenge.  The dedication required to cycle the Land’s End to John O’Groats route is way higher than that of the leisure cyclist who cycles to the pub and back on a Sunday afternoon, but many people decide on this particular tour as the first one to do.  By riding for charity it adds to the incentives to get out on your bike even when we seem to have endless days of rain and other poor conditions. 

Many of our team have been on the journey of getting back to fitness and completing a challenge after a period of injury, illness or just to push ourselves further.  We can help guide you, offer training and kit advice but at the end of the day it is down to you.  So here are our top 5 inspirational tips we are going to pass on from Chris Froome’s performance on the Tour –

  • Set your goal and enter the challenge – you cannot complete it if you have not entered!
  • Believe in yourself – Chris overcame much criticism and abuse to win.
  • Get kitted out – it need not be expensive but the right kit can make training more comfortable and effective plus cycling in your undies can turn heads – you need to think about road safety here!
  • Join a club – Chris could certainly not have won on his own, team Sky were phenomenal. The advice, support and experience will advance your training physically and mentally.
  • Enjoy it – relish the new fitter you, boast about how many miles you cycled before breakfast and be sure to flood your Facebook page with images of you at the end of your challenge.

 

P.S. remember to also share them with us so we can share your glory too…

Go get ‘em tiger…..

I’ve just turned 40 – I’ve discovered Lycra – what’s to do….. GET ON YOUR BIKE!

By in Road Cycling Holidays Comments Off on I’ve just turned 40 – I’ve discovered Lycra – what’s to do….. GET ON YOUR BIKE!

Cycling the LEJOG routeIt’s that time in one’s life when it feels like the good years are behind you, but the great ones are ahead. You need a challenge, something to show yourself that you’ve still got what it takes to bring muscle power and will power together. But you also want to give back to the world around you.

A charity bike challenge is just what you need.

If you are reading this, the chances are you own a bike, love to get on your bike and relish the idea of a challenge on your bike!

One of the most popular challenges for most people looking to do a charity bike ride is the Land’s End to John O’Groats – otherwise known as the LEJOG (or JOGLE if you want to do it in reverse – cycling backwards is not a requirement!)

It’s not a challenge to be sniffed at – it’s a trip that takes in just over 1000 miles of some of the most beautiful countryside of the British Isles. You will cycle through North Cornwall, cross the River Severn, taking in the scenic views of Herefordshire, and on into Northern England and up to the Scottish Border. Pass through the hills of Southern Uplands, and, if you have the energy to lift your hands off your bars, wave to ‘Nessie’ as you near your final destination – John O’Groats. Phew! But it’s not all in one go; at the end of each day there is a bed and a hot meal waiting for you.

LEJOG tour groupSo you may not complete the trip in 44 hours, 4 mins and 20 secs as done by Gethin Butler in 2001 but by riding with Bike Adventures you will be in very safe and experienced hands. Our trip durations range from 9 days for very experienced cyclists, through 15 days to a more leisurely 21 days for those with time to relax and enjoy the beautiful British scenery.

Bike Adventures have been running the LEJOG tour for over 14 years and can help you every step of the way in getting your charity challenge off to a racing start. From the initial advice about training plans and the best way to go about fundraising, to having the best tour guides in the business, we are there to assist you.

So, what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present and no present like time, so ‘Get on Your Bike’, choose your charity and tick the LEJOG challenge off your bucket list: https://www.bikeadventures.co.uk/bike-tours/road-cycling-lands-end-to-john-o-groats/

Saddle set up shouldn’t be a pain in the rear

By in Sports & Fitness Comments Off on Saddle set up shouldn’t be a pain in the rear

Our ‘Sports & Fitness’ blogs aim to deliver straightforward and effective advice to increase your cycling enjoyment and performance, and minimise injury risk. As we have said before there is no one remedy for all – humans come in all shapes, sizes and, of course, genders. Our cycling requirements are different too: comfort on long touring holiday rides or performance through events.

SADDLES

There are numerous saddles on the market offering various levels of comfort through innovative and gender specific design. The correct selection is a very personal one, so shop around and try out as many as you can.

Range of different saddles

SADDLE HEIGHT

Firstly ensure the saddle is fastened centrally on the rails and parallel to the floor, this can be checked using a spirit level resting on top of the saddle.

Secondly ensure shoe cleats are set centrally on the ball of the foot or directly on a flat pedal.

As a rough guide, with these details set the saddle height can be set 10cm lower than the inside leg of the rider to achieve a general position from which adjustments can be made.

 How to measure your hip span Angle at the knee whilst cycling should be no greater than 150 degrees

Alternatively, and more accurately, having set, as above, the saddle and cleat arrangement, and sitting on the saddle with the pedal at its lowest point and the knee at full extension, there should be an angle of no greater than 150 degrees at the rear of the knee. If this angle is too great the rider will begin to stretch out to reach the lowest stroke of the pedal, and the pelvis will rock from side to side on the saddle – leading to lower back, ITB and lateral knee pain.

When the pedal is positioned at 3 o’clock and in full flexion there should be an angle of no less than 70 degrees at the rear of the knee. Reducing this angle will result in muscular compression and strain in the pelvis, quadriceps and through the knee, reducing performance with considerable discomfort.

A note of caution when setting saddle height, never extend the seat post beyond the manufacturer’s recommended maximum extension markers. If extra length is required do not compromise, buy a longer seat post and avoid dangerous mechanical failure!

SADDLE POSITION FRONT & REAR

The next consideration is saddle position back and forward. The basic rule of thumb is again to align the centre of the cleat or ball of the foot with the centre of the pedal and then the centre of the knee over this position with the pedal in the 3 o’clock position when looking from the side. This can be achieved with the help of a willing assistant and a plumb line – see below.

Plumb line for optimum saddle position

As with all set-up adjustments they should be small, incremental and tested. Do not continue to ride through pain – trial and error will lead to your optimal position.

Once you have made your adjustments take yourself on a test ride and if necessary make adjustments on the ride testing and re testing, it won’t be wasted time, and it may save you in lost time through injury.

You may find that over time, as your strength develops and flexibility evolves, that your set-up requirements change; this is not unusual so don’t be afraid to change to match them. Recognising your cycling ‘evolution’ and making the right changes will help to minimise injury and maintain comfort on those long days out.

SEAT TILT

The seat should generally be in a neutral position i.e. parallel with the floor, however there may be some circumstances where minimal tilt is preferred but do be careful to consider the following:

Excessive forward tilt may increase pressure in the arms, wrists and hands causing fatigue and numbness as well as tilting your pelvis forward; this may lead to forward movement on the saddle, knee drift over the cleat position and potential knee pain due to increased stresses.

Excessive rear tilt may cause overreaching and increased gripping of bars leading to fatigue in the upper back neck and shoulders. With the pelvis tilting backwards there is the additional risk of low back fatigue also radiating through to the upper back, neck and shoulders.

Saddle angle for optimised comfort

CLEATS

Cleat position, or more generally foot position, can have a great impact with regards to injury, specifically glute and lateral knee pain.

The clearest way to think of this is to visualise your legs as pistons moving up and down in constrained parallel motion, any deviation from this motion can lead to injury. The deviation will be internal or external rotation of the cleat or foot causing misalignment of the joints and musculature of the ankle knee and hip.

You may remember that in a previous blog we discussed the high repetition count of the cycling pedal stroke? This is how minor misalignment leads to injury.

Diagram of foot Diagram of correct cleat, or foot position

We have all ridden behind that person with splayed out knees and wide elbows, with this knowledge of alignment and position think what they would need to adjust…..!

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR ADJUSTMENT CONSIDERATIONS

PROBLEM
ADJUSTMENT
Rear knee pain Saddle down & forward
Front knee pain Saddle up & back
Lateral knee pain Cleat position & rotation
Front pelvis & hip flexor Saddle down & tilt forward
Numb parts! Saddle tilt forward or changed

REMEMBER THIS CYCLE OF CHANGE

=> SADDLE => BARS => CLEATS =>

EACH SET-UP ALTERED WILL AFFECT THE OTHER, SO BE SURE TO TEST THE NEW POSITION AND CONSIDER THE IMPACT!

For more tips, or to find out more get in touch with Martin Felix on Twitter

Cycling Holidays for 2016

By in Road Cycling Holidays Comments Off on Cycling Holidays for 2016

It may seem as if we are only in the early stages of 2015, but thinking about your adventures for next year can be great planning. If you’re already thinking about your cycling holidays and like to plan ahead then read on….

Plan your cycling holidays for 2016

The team at Bike Adventures have been out around the world trying out new routes, testing out the beds in the new accommodation and seeing the beer and wine are up to scratch. Now this is a not as much fun as you might think, it is a role we take very seriously – at the end of a long days cycling the last thing you need is a warm beer and a dodgy B&B.  The route itself also takes careful consideration, much exploration and often hours extra in the saddle to find that glorious country road with a shady avenue of trees or a slight detour to fit in a valley view that will give you a memory and photo that takes you back there for years to come.

Some of the many things though that make our holidays special is the other riders, friends for life are made, the tour guides who have an insatiable passion for cycling and sharing this with their fellow guests and the people you meet on the way – when we stop for refreshments or to bed down you can be sure we have picked that spot because of the great hospitality and shared love of the local countryside – we meet many characters along the way.  Some of our routes may have been running for more than 10 years and the team still enjoy riding them now more than ever.

The popular routes do become favourites and are often on a ‘must do’ list of classics for a lot of riders, if you missed out on your bucket list tour this year or the date clashed with Auntie Clair’s wedding then no worries, drop your details into our email list box on the left and be the first to set eyes on the cycling holiday calendar.

Coast to coast holidays: the Bike Adventures way

By in Road Cycling Holidays Comments Off on Coast to coast holidays: the Bike Adventures way

Group of people on their bikes about to start their coast to coast holidayAs a small island, the UK provides the perfect backdrop for coast to coast holidays (C2C) as well as ‘end to ends’. Many cyclists are keen to tick each of these challenges off their bucket lists; here at Bike Adventures we were left unsatisfied by the trips published in the guidebooks so came up with our own.

We felt that existing routes were too short and repetitive, and they didn’t make the most of the beautiful scenery that England has to offer. Our own unique routes are the result of our discord and will take you (and your bike!) from the East coast of England to the West coast.

Our main coast to coast holiday route covers just over 360 miles and, depending on the tour you select, can take anything from 5 to 14 days! We wanted cyclists to be able to truly experience the diverse nature of the English landscape so we have carefully devised routes that meander through beautiful villages, follow the shimmering canals and experience the undulations of the countryside in one tour. There really is no better way to experience this landscape than on a bike!

Our main C2C trip begins in Lowestoft on the North Sea coast, the most easterly point in the UK. From there we head inland and travel through pretty villages and past canals and windmills into Cambridgeshire. Where possible, we try to avoid major roads and towns with safety in mind – this brings the added benefit of time and space to fully appreciate the scenery with its changing aspects depending on the weather.

Cyclist riding through green English countryside during a coast to coast holidayWe then weave our way through central England’s rugged countryside where you’ll notice the route becoming increasing hilly as we approach Northamptonshire. If you are an inexperienced rider but the coast to coast is on your wish list, do make sure that you have prepared for the hills you’ll encounter – our guides will also be there for moral and material support all the way.

The route takes you through Shakespeare’s birthplace in the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon and then into the north of Worcester. As we approach Herefordshire and cross the border into Wales, the riding gets a little more challenging but the stunning scenery you’ll encounter will more than make up for it.

Our end point, St David’s Head, juts out into the Irish Sea and is considered the most western point in the UK. The small town of St David’s, with its dramatic coastline and spectacular sea views has been a major place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages and is a fitting place to end our trip. Raising a glass at the end of the tour is exhilarating – another achievement in the bag, lifelong friends made and legs like jelly, what more could you want from a cycling holiday?

If you would like to tackle our coast to coast route, take a look at the range of tours we have to offer. Our tour guides are knowledgeable and have an infectious enthusiasm that fills every trip with fun and adventure.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your cycling holiday in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Lands End to John O’Groats: What’s it all about?

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For many people completing the famous route from Lands End to John O’Groats, also known as LEJOG, is a lifelong ambition. Riding from the very southwest of the country to the tip in the northeast is an incredible achievement, but it certainly isn’t a challenge to be taken lightly.

Signpost at John O'GroatsThe acclaimed journey dates back to the 1870s when two brothers walked the distance! However, the route didn’t become a well traversed one until the 1960s. Since then, completing the ‘End to End’ has become a challenge that many people want to complete.

The traditional distance by road is 874 miles and takes most cyclists 10-14 days, however there isn’t an official route to follow so the ‘End to End’ distance can vary. At Bike Adventures, our tours tend to be just over 1000 miles, where possible we try to avoid major roads and traffic. This gives you the chance to truly experience and appreciate the beauty that can be found in the English countryside.

The fastest time recorded on a conventional bicycle was set in 2001 by Gethin Butler, who completed the distance in just 44 hours, 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Don’t worry, our tours give you a little more time to travel from end to end! Depending on your own personal preferences and level of experience, you can choose to complete the distance in as little as 9 days, or if you’d prefer to take a more scenic route, you can ride it in a leisurely 26 days.

The trip traditionally begins in Lands End because it gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the winds that predominantly travel from the south-west of the UK. If you’re lucky, you could be flying all the way to John O’Groats! However, you can do it all in reverse and tackle the steep inclines found in Devon and Cornwall at the end of the trip, when you’ll probably find that your fitness has improved too by then.

In taking on this big, bold challenge, you’ll be following in the cycle tracks of former England Rugby Captain – Lewis Moody and Olympian – James Cracknell. The route has also been tackled by David Walliams, Jimmy Carr, Fearne Cotton, Miranda Hart, and other celebrities as part of a team relay to raise money for charity.

If you fancy getting on your bike and riding from one end of the country to the other, get in touch with our knowledgeable team and we can help you to achieve your goal.

Cycling doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck!

By in Sports & Fitness Comments Off on Cycling doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck!

Whether you’re starting out or have spent hours in the saddle it’s likely you will or have experienced neck pain at one time or another. The question is why does this occur and what can we do to elevate it?

Fundamentally the human anatomy is not designed for cycling. We have evolved to stand and move on two feet in an upright position with our spine and neck acting as a shock absorber. So immediately we mount a bike our anatomy is compromised.

Cycling pain in the neck

If you examine the image above you see the cyclist has a forward curvature of the spine (Kyphosis) and, in order to look forward, hyper-extension of the neck – you begin to see why neck pain can occur!
In this position musculature within the upper back, neck and shoulders is driven to work harder to support the imbalanced weight of your head (approx 4.5 to 5kg).
Some of the weight of your upper body is supported through your arms onto the handlebars but even this load can create muscular tension.
We have all seen riders with their shoulders around their ears and arms locked out! All issues which add to the mix.

So what can you do about it?

We discussedGet the right cycle fitting to suit you previously the importance of professional bike fittings in minimising injury potential. So now let’s look more specifically at the areas which may help relieve neck pain.
Front end length and height relative to the saddle (E, D, C) are the main considerations in set-up, assuming correct frame size and saddle position (we’ll cover this in detail next time).

Adjusting the cycle handlebars

There is of course no one size fits all position – there are too many variables in individual anatomy and ride requirements, from aggressive racer to holiday tour riding. So when making adjustments to your riding position make them small and incremental, test them over a week or two and correct them where necessary.
First let’s look at length. Front end length (reach) reduction or increase can be achieved by altering the headset length (extension) and/or angle (angle A).

Make the right adjustments to your cycle helps

The second consideration is handlebar height, which can be increased or decreased with the addition or removal of headset spacers.

Thirdly, handlebar type and brake hood position can play a part in poor set-up. Consider optimum handlebar width to be in-line with your shoulder width, unduly large or small bars will also impact the loading into the upper back, neck and shoulders. Brake hoods can offer support in the neutral riding position but incorrectly positioned they will influence the front end length, height, support and reach as previously discussed. Be sure not to set them too high, making braking on the drops unsafe.

Diagram of handlebar measurements

The mechanical changes to front end set-up discussed are relatively straight forward requiring minimal equipment or expertise. However if you are unsure talk to your local bike mechanic.
Finally, try to remain relaxed in your riding position, neck, shoulders, arms and grip soft. Over a long ride you will drift away from this position so check yourself every now and then.
From an exercise perspective the occurrence of neck pain can be minimised through effective strength, stability, flexibility and mobility training through the whole spine. Remember to think about the muscular skeletal interconnections generating the stresses.

MOBILITY:

1. Side Flexions – Walking around on hands

Walking around the hands

2. CAT Spinal Flexion & Extension

Spine flexion cycling exercise    Spine extension

3. Flexibility

Flexible cyclist 1  Flexible cyclist lady 2  Lady flexible cycling 3 Flexible cycling

– Lateral Flexion
– Forward Flexion
– Rotational forward Flexion
– Rotation

4. Stability (core strength):

Planking exercises for cyclists

As you can see there are numerous versions of the plank and its progression. The key thing to remember is alignment, visualise a straight line from your ankle through your knee, hip, on up into you shoulder and neck. Any sag or elevation in the midline and you will have lost the hold.

 

 

 

 

The Roller is also a useful tool in developing spinal mobility and stability, it has endless uses in self-treatment and is a valuable tool to have in your cupboard. We will revisit the roller throughout my blog.

Using the roller for exercise  Exercising with a roller on your back

Regular sports massage will help improve muscular flexibility and function, so source a recommended Sports Massage Therapist or search the Sports Massage Association (SMA) website. Regular treatment is proven to enhance performance and minimise injury.
One final thing I tend to discuss with clients – the eyes. Sounds odd, but your eyes have a broad range of motion which is often neglected. So do try to use the eyes’ range of motion, not just the neck.
Next time I will look at saddle set-up and position, its impact on the various common injuries and what we can do to elevate them. I hope this article has been of some help and you don’t have to worry about neck pain again!
Remember there are numerous resources on the net dealing with the issues above, so take a look. I often refer to https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/

If you would like to discuss further check out my twitter @MFFELIX 1966.
Happy Cycling!

What to pack for a cycling holiday in the UK

By in Road Cycling Holidays Comments Off on What to pack for a cycling holiday in the UK

So, you’ve signed up to one of our tours, paid the deposit and are already lusting after the English/Scottish/Irish breakfasts promised to you every morning (or is that just me…?), now you perhaps find yourself wondering what happens next. Well, whether you’re a seasoned rider or someone looking to tackle a new challenge, you need to consider what you are going to take with you on your cycling holiday in the UK. Here are just a few things to consider:

Weather

It will come as no surprise to you to see that ‘weather’ is at the top of our list of considerations for UK tours. Our infamous and unpredictable weather is going to play a big part in your trip, and so it should also form a significant part of your kit list.

The UK has many quite country lanes to cycle

Depending on the time of year that you’ll be riding, you’ll need to pack a range of clothing that will enable you to ride comfortably and enjoy your holiday. Despite the UK’s bad reputation for poor weather, it is not uncommon to experience long periods of hot, dry weather. In these situations it is imperative you have a supply of light clothing available to you. You’ll also want to have sunglasses and sun block handy.

However, you may also experience the characteristically wet weather (sometimes in the same day as glorious sunshine!) and for these occasions, you need to be well equipped with clothing that will keep you warm and dry. For those of you who have opted for the UK Coast to Coast tour that will take you through the notoriously wet Wales, you’ll particularly want to take note!

Many of our tours will leave you riding for long periods of time in very exposed areas so pack a supply of waterproof and windproof clothing. Due to this exposure, it is advisable to carry additional clothing with you.

First aid (for you and your bike)

The need for first aid and a bike tool kit will vary according to the level of support provided on your holiday. Fully supported tours are accompanied by a support vehicle, containing a comprehensive tool kit, spare parts and a first aid kit.

However, the support vehicle doesn’t follow closely behind the group and it is still advisable to equip yourself with a basic first aid kit and tool kit.

If you are riding an independent route, then your level of supplies will naturally be much higher. Be sure to pack yourself spare parts, tools and a first aid kit.

Unsure about what is included in your holiday package? Take a look at the ‘What’s Included’ tab on your tour page or get in touch.

Transporting your bike

Depending on how you plan to reach the start of your holiday, you will need to ensure that you pack your bike to meet with airline, or train company’s guidelines. Bikes should be packed securely in a box or bag and you can expect to have to remove pedals.

For an additional fee, we can save you the hassle of transporting you bike and deliver it to the starting point of your trip. All you need to do it pack up your bike and we’ll sort the rest. At the end of your holiday, we’ll arrange to drop you bike back home to you.

Food and drink

The need to stay well hydrated during your tour goes without saying, a water bottle is a vital part of your kit list. For those of you who are on a fully supported tour, the support vehicle carries water on board for you to top your bottles up.

Breakfast is included in all our UK holiday packages and restaurants or pubs are easily found near your accommodation each night. Guides will also highlight suitable places for you to grab a bite to eat, but during some tours these places can be few and far between so it is a good idea to ensure that you have a supply of snacks and energy bars.

Safety equipment

Although helmets are not compulsory on our tours, we do highly recommend that you wear one as an added safety precaution.

Cycling with a helmet is highly recommended for our cycling tours

You might want to consider (if you haven’t already) purchasing high visibility clothing. Although you generally won’t generally be cycling in the dark, high vis clothing is useful for the days when the weather comes rolling in.

Other considerations

As well as all the equipment you need for yourself and your bike, you’ll probably want to carry some money, a mobile phone and a camera.

If you are a UK resident then taking out insurance is optional for most of our trips (excluding the Ireland, Mizen Head to Malin Head trip), however you may want to explore the cost of getting basic cover.

We hope this helps to get you started with you packing but if we’ve missed anything, please feel free to get in touch.

Reasons to consider a bike fitting

By in Sports & Fitness Comments Off on Reasons to consider a bike fitting

 Hello all – Martin here, Bike Adventures’ resident expert on all things training, fitness and sports injuries.

With more people in the UK than ever taking to cycling there has been a growth in associated businesses from cycle tourism to specialist bike fitting services.

Our question in this blog is why get a bike fitting? Is it right for me?

Most new cyclists think bike fitting is only for the elite rider, and many experienced riders think they know best!

But in both cases there is a lot to be gained from engaging a professional to study your bike setup. If you’re not convinced the first thing to consider is the cost of long term injury: time out of the saddle missing the thing you love most, and the financial cost of ongoing treatment for injury.

It is highly likely that poor bike set-up and sizing will negatively impact your body, be it back, neck or knees. Believe it or not, humans are not actually designed to ride bikes; really our feet should be placed on the ground where weight distribution through the muscles and spine are evenly balanced. That said, our bodies are extremely versatile and will adapt to new conditions; this can be helped by a considered bike fitting.

When discussing this with clients I get them to visualise the repetitive single plain rotational action of cycling. You only have to do the maths to understand the issue:

A one hour ride at a moderate 70rpm equals 4200 potentially negative actions on a misaligned limb or joint.

When you start to multiply this over longer sportive rides of 5 plus hours or multi-day trips like our LEJOG it’s easy to see where problems might arise.

So, yes, in my opinion bike fitting is important for all, to minimise the risk of injury.

But here is where it gets a little more complicated, because good bike fitting should be developed around not only your physical dimensions but your riding style. By this I mean are you looking for peak performance, max power output or touring comfort? There are obviously many positions between but you get the idea. It’s a fine balance between performance output, comfort and potential injury which you as an individual have to make allowances for.

So if you do decide on a bike fitting be sure to do your research: make sure the provider fully understands your needs, and remember these needs may change course over time, requiring further adjustment as your goals and cycling evolve.

Here’s a list of 12 specific areas a specialist should consider:

1)         Frame size

2)         Bar width

3)         Headset length

4)         Headset angle (height)

5)         Saddle height

6)         Saddle position (front to rear)

7)         Saddle position (tilt)

8)         Saddle type

9)         Crank arm length

10)      Pedal type

11)      Cleat tension

12)      Cleat position 

On a final note, key areas of fitness which will also minimise the potential for injury are FLEXIBILITY (the one everyone loves to hate and can’t find time for) and CORE STRENGTH. Flexibility allowing unrestricted full range of motion of muscles and core strength stabilising movement, control and alignment.

There are numerous resources on the net for both, so take a look. I often refer to http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/. In the next blog we will start to look more specifically at individual injuries. Happy Christmas and safe cycling!