Cycling Health: How to Remain Injury Free 

July 5, 2018

Staying healthy is important to our overall well being and happiness. Everyone knows this, but cycling health is a matter of staying healthy and injury free so that continuous fitness gains can be made and basically, you can just do more of what you love! Ride that is!   Fortunately, with some simple, routine actions, it’s easy to remain healthy and injury free. 

Bike fit: In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. Whether you’re just starting to ride or you’ve been cycling for a long time, consider the benefits of a professional bike fit.  Fit impacts comfort but also technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries.  If you aren’t sure what to look for, you may want to notice any bike parts that need to be replaced. Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving. Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike. Handlebars, stems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety.

Bike Inspection:  Just because your bike may not be making noises or shifting poorly doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some TLC.  Noises are obvious signals for inspection yet, regular bike maintenance is a necessity.  As you ride more through the summer season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection earlier in the year may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame. Remember to lube your chain and cables.  As unglamorous as chain lube is, it is a necessity.  It will keep your bike parts in working order and squeak free! There are many lubes to choose – wet vs dry lube.  As conditions vary, you may want to have a couple of different choices on hand.  Finally, inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. And, remember to inspect where the brake pads hit the rim; they should contact the rim evenly on both sides and not rub the tire in any way that may cause a flat.

Wheel Inspection: Obvious inspections includes tires, rims, and spokes. Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires.  But maybe you’re considering a new wheel set?  Or perhaps going tubeless on your mountain bike.  Sometimes making changes to your current setup can inspire motivation to get out there and ride.  Check out our video on Wheelset Buyer Guide for What You Need to Know.  Whether you are thinking about road bike wheel sets, mountain bike wheel sets or just getting some thoughts together on wheel buying parameters and how your wheel set will affect your overall ride and other bicycle parts, this video will guide your way.

Biofeedback: Remember, it’s not all about the bike!  Be mindful of bio feedback.  What is your body telling you? Have you recovered from your last training ride or training block? Do you need rest? Or, are you ready to get out there and put some major miles and efforts in?  If you’re not sure of the messages your body is telling you, read our post, Overtraining? How Nutrition and Sleep Play a Role in Recovery for insights as to the stages of training and what to do about them for best performance.  Fortunately, due to the advancement of technology, there are countless apps available to help dial in bio feedback measurements and evaluations on the fly. 

In a nutshell, if you take care of your bike and yourself, then you will remain healthy and injury free. Sounds simple, and it is, but you have to remember to do it. Safe pedals friends! 

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Recover Fast from Injury – Get Back on the Bike

February 27, 2014

Bike Fit at BikeParts.comEnthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.

Injury is among one of the most challenging experiences you can face as a cyclist. When you’re injured, you almost certainly can’t ride in the way to which you’ve become accustomed–and you’re often not able to ride at all. Obviously, the first rule of thumb is to avoid injury in the first place!  But when an injury or a crash happens, how can you recover from an injury faster?

In the same way that you have goals when you are training and competing, you should have goals set for your rehabilitation. Instead of focusing on what you are missing from not training, focus on what you have to do to heal faster.

Focus on nutrition.  You are what you eat.  If injury is preventing you from sticking to your cycling training plan, consider watching what you eat!  Not to avoid gaining weight, but to improve your recovery time.  The post, What Can I Eat to Recover from Injury?  illustrates the role of omega-3 fats, protein, glucose, and herbal supplements in injury prevention and recovery. What you eat can affect your mindset, motivation, and outlook.

Focus on strengthening your weakness.  Substitute your ride time for other supportive activities. Consider heading to the gym to lift weight and do core workouts.  Or, maybe focusing on stretching and yoga would be most beneficial.  According to the post, Yoga for Cyclist, cyclists need to focus on leg strength, which many poses in yoga target, but they also need to focus on flexibility and lower back strength.  If you are new to yoga, you may want to experiment with different types of yoga to see which works best for you. Yoga offers many varieties and styles from the slow pace of Hatha yoga, to the fast vigorous pace of Ashtanga yoga. All styles can be beneficial but the most applicable for cyclists are styles that focus on continuous movement. Styles such as Ashtanga, Power, and Kundalini are steady flowing, work through a full range of movements and build great muscle endurance.

Focus on your bike.  Can the Right Bike Parts Make a Difference in Injury Prevention? In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. Whether you’ve just sustained an injury or you are in recovery, consider the benefits of a professional bike fit.  Having the right bike parts and bike fit impacts comfort but also technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries.

Focus on Data.  Data, as in metrics, biofeedback, and a training log offer keen insights into your recovery.  The post, 5 Ways to Use Data to Recover from Injury, suggests different ways to track soreness, mood, fatigue, motivation, sleep hours, and sleep quality as key metrics in your recovery program.

Ultimately, training is all about stressing your body with hard workouts, and then letting your body adapt to that load. If you push too far, injury and crashes happen.  While many riders understand that recovery is key to getting back on the bike, oftentimes they fail to take their recovery as seriously as they do their training.  Heal faster.  Focus on overall recovery, stretching, hydrating, and resting.  Soon, you’ll be back on the bike in no time with added gains towards overall sports performance.


Injury? Winter Blues? Weather? How to Stay on Track When Missing Training

February 20, 2014

BikeParts.comKeeping up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult, not to mention the allure of keeping comfortable if you are fighting an injury.  Sometimes lack of motivation rears its ugly head during these challenging times despite our best efforts to press on.  Yet, this time of year, many cyclists – competitive and recreational – are fighting regular demons whether that is general fatigue, lack of time, or seasonal illness.

Granted, it is widely accepted in the health and fitness community that exercise has a positive effect on our mind body and spirit.  But how do you make these gains and keep your cycling training on track when you are missing workouts?  Let’s look at some practical steps to fight off those winter blues, manage time better, and overcome injuries so you are in your best form for the 2014 cycling season.

For starters, general fatigue, lack of time, and life in general will always play a role in preventing training and missing training days. So what do you do?  The post, Missing training – Adjusting the plan,  suggest a few options for recalibrating your weekly training schedule.  The big take away is the mindset.

“Often remind yourself of the big picture. It’s easy to beat yourself up over missed training, but if you have been steady with training, give yourself a break. Gaining fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days and losing fitness doesn’t happen in one or two days. It takes months of steady training to gain good fitness. A few days missed or logging a fewer less hours than planned for a week is a small blip on the radar.”

But that isn’t an excuse to curl up on that couch!  Motivation is key and weather variances can prevent steady outdoor training.  The post, Surviving the Winter as a Cyclist, shares some great “fortune cookie wisdom” in that the hardest part is just getting started.  “Whether it’s starting your workout for the day, or jumping back into training after you’ve been “off the wagon” for a while, getting going is tough. That’s the law of inertia. An object at rest wants to stay at rest. But on the flip side, once an object is in motion, it wants to stay in motion.

The key here – start pedaling.  Make a time commitment to stay on the bike for 30 minutes to see how you feel.  By then, most likely you’ll be into the ride and lack of motivation is disappearing.

And finally, if injury is preventing you from sticking to your cycling training plan, consider watching what you eat!  Not to avoid gaining weight, but to improve your recovery time.  The post, What Can I Eat to Recover from Injury?  illustrates the role of omega-3 fats, protein, glucose, and herbal supplements in injury prevention and recovery. What you eat can affect your mindset, motivation, and outlook.

If all else fails, remember, Spring is right around the corner!  Get a bike fit! Purchase new bike parts, and get ready!


The Quickest Way To Get Faster? Get a Bike Fit!

May 9, 2013

Leg strength, endurance, and fitness are at the heart of cycling speed, but without a proper bike fit, you are sabotaging your training efforts.  Whether you’re just starting to ride or you’ve been cycling for a long time, consider the benefits of a professional bike fit.  At Bikeparts.com, we know how important a bike fit is.  It is so important that we recently devoted an entire room in our Golden, Colorado Peak Cycles Bike shop just for bike fitting.  But in case you are unaware, fit impacts comfort but also technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries.  Your body’s position on the bike affects how you ride. It affects how much power you can efficiently deliver to the pedals. It affects how comfortable you are on the bike.

In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit.  So what is a proper bike fit?  It doesn’t simply consist of setting a saddle height and bar reach. In today’s market, bike brands are designing some top-end rides for us to enjoy, but with these bikes come different geometries.  Many cyclist replacing bikes or bike parts inquire about the following bike components and their role in an overall bike fit:

  • Crank Length
  • Saddle Tilt
  • Saddle Height
  • The Fore-Aft Saddle Position
  • Knee over the pedal axle
  • Handlebar Position
  • Stock frame sizing
  • Cleat positioning

Do you know how these bike components fit in YOUR bike fit?  That would be good to know. In our full comprehensive bicycle fits by George Mullen, every cyclist  benefits from a good bike fit.  

  • Beginners who aren’t familiar with how a bike should fit and feel.
  • Current riders who can’t get comfortable on their current setup or have nagging injuries
  • Competitive cyclists who are looking for marginal gains. There’s no doubt that more power can result from tweaking your bike position.  It is well understood that a good aero fit is the most cost-effective way to speed up your bike split.

With eleven years of fitting experience and over over two-thousand fits, George is has the experience, the tools and the advanced training to handle any fit scenario. Stop by the Peak Cycles bike fitting studio to schedule a fit.  Also, order any bike parts you need from a recent fit online at bikeparts.com.  We offer a  huge selection of road bike parts, mountain bike parts, BMX bike parts and more. If you need it for your bike, then we have it!


Can the Right Bike Parts Make a Difference in Injury Prevention?

January 31, 2013

bike parts for injury preventionEnthusiastic recreational riders and competitive athletes can make early season training errors.  Namely, taking on too much physical activity too quickly. Going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of physical activity can strain your muscles and lead to an overuse injury.  Understanding how to pace yourself while getting fit is crucial. What are suggestions for avoiding injury during early season training?

In a sport based on such a highly repetitive action, like pedaling, the first line of defense against injury is a proper bike fit. Whether you’re just starting to ride or you’ve been cycling for a long time, consider the benefits of a professional bike fit.  Fit impacts comfort but also technique which is crucial to preventing overuse injuries.

What to look for?  Notice any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Saddle injuries are the result of poor seat position, height, angle or design.  While your saddle    may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result of an improper fitting bike.  Handlebars, stems, and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety.

Also, keep in mind to pace yourself. Be mindful of your current activity level and build upon your program gradually.  During the winter months, it is tempting to opt for longer or high intensity rides when the weather is good.  However, compressing your physical activity for the week into a few days can lead to an overuse injury. Instead, keep to your ride schedule and spread out the workouts over a longer time frame.

Training is all about stressing your body with hard workouts, and then letting your body adapt to that load. If you do not allow your body to recover and adapt to the training load you’ve imposed on it, you simply will not be able to train and stress your body as hard the next workout.  While many riders understand that recovery between workouts is key to building fitness, recovery is also a commonly overlooked injury prevention tool. Recovery, defined as stretching, hydrating, and resting, are traditional tools used by athletes.  Some opt for compression gear, as in socks or tights, which are designed to improve recovery and aid in overall sports performance.

Plan for a successful cycling season by training right early season.  A good bike fit, steady riding, and active recovery paves the way for a healthy, injury free 2013.