The Importance of Bike Fitting for Mountain Bikers: How to Prevent Back & Neck Pain
Mountain biking is not an activity for the faint of heart, and there’s no doubt about that. However, even the boldest adventurers have to feel comfortable while out on the trails. Fitting the MTB to suit your body and promote a healthy posture is a big part of that and can help prevent back & neck pain. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Fit Your MTB Properly
Fitting your new MTB properly begins when you first go bike shopping. Before hitting the shops, you need to establish what your needs are, as well as a rough budget. Due to the advance of manufacturing technology, you can find suitable alternatives at just about any price point. Whether you want something affordable, or a high-end product, you will find a bike for sure.
In fact, as illustrated by an article published on MountainBikeReviewed.com, you can purchase a reliable mountain bike for under 200 dollars when you consider your options carefully. Of course, if you are willing to splurge, you can spend as much as a couple thousand dollars on a more robust and better quality MTB.
Depending on how much money you have on hand, the market will certainly provide you with possibilities. However, finding a mountain bike in your range is just the beginning. You also need to consider its size and adjustability to ensure that it fits your build properly. Asking a sales assistant is a good way to establish that, but you shouldn’t rely solely on his or her aid.
The first thing to consider is frame size. Just like clothing items, mountain bikes are available in three standard dimensions, namely small, medium, and large. Medium frames are in the 16 to 18 inches range, and they are suitable for people who are of average size. This means that, if you are between 5’4” and 5’10”, it should suit you just fine.
Petite riders whose height is below 5’4” will benefit from small frames that measure between 13 and 15 inches. Finally, if you are a gentle giant that surpasses 5’10” and is well into the 6-foot territory, you will require a large frame to feel comfortable. These are of 19 inches at least and can go above the 21-inch mark if necessary.
Then, you need to consider the main contact points. When you sit on the mountain bike, which are the body parts that touch it directly? The answer is the hands, the feet, and the bottom. You keep your hands on the handlebars, your feet on the pedals, and your bottom on the saddle. thus, these are the three sections of the MTB that you will need to adjust.
All of these needs to align perfectly with the posture of your body so that you can enjoy a comfortable riding experience. If you fail to do so, it can lead to complications in the long run. The most common ailments triggered by an improper fit are neck aches and lower back pain, but fortunately the right adjustments help you avoid them entirely.
Spinal Health Benefits
Making sure that your mountain bike fits your body’s requirements to a T is highly beneficial for your spinal health. As mentioned above, failing to do so leads to lower back pain, as well as discomfort and tension in the neck. This is caused by improper posture, which in its turn originates in riding bikes that are either too big, or not properly adjusted.
Thus, it is safe to state at this point that bike fit is the most important aspect to consider when wishing to prevent complications at the level of the musculoskeletal system among MTB riders. A 2010 study has established that discomfort in the spinal region among cyclists is produced by an unnatural position that causes strain in the area.
The conclusion of this research was that proper bike adjustment is the surest way to prevent such ailments and ensure that spinal health is preserved among riders. Therefore, the only way to keep your back comfy when you go out on the trails is to pay attention to the size, fit, and adjustment of your MTB. It is the easiest way to ensure that you stay protected throughout.
The Bottom Line
Finding the proper fit for your MTB starts when you’re shopping for one. Choose a MTB that is the right size for your height so that you don’t end up hunching over or reaching for the handlebars. Adjust the three major parts that come in contact with your body, and you are bound to maintain your spinal health intact. Otherwise, the pain won’t shy away from a