Injury Prevention Tips for Cyclists

Physical therapists can recommend ways to prevent or recover from a cycling injury. Your physical therapist can assess cycleyour “bike-fit” to maximize your efficiency, reduce pain, and prevent injuries.

Bike Fit-Related Tips:

1. Frequently change your hand position on the handlebars to decrease stress to your upper body.

2. Keep a relaxed grip of the handlebars.

3. When pedaling, your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

4. Avoid rocking your hips side to side when pedaling.

Overuse injuries can be prevented when a bike is fit properly for you. Physical therapists can aid you in getting your bike fit and suggest individual stretching and strengthening exercises to maximize your bike efficiency. Common cycling injuries include anterior knee pain, neck pain, low back pain, hamstring tendinitis, hand numbness or pain, IT band tendinitis, and foot numbness or pain. A possible cause for low back pain and hamstring tendinitis could be inflexible hamstrings. If your saddle is too low you may be experiencing knee pain and if your saddle is too high you may have symptoms of hamstring or IT band tendinitis. Pedaling at a low speed may cause anterior knee pain, low back pain, or foot pain. Handlebar and saddle position are important in preventing neck pain, low back pain, and hand numbness. For example, if your handlebars are too low or at too great or short of reach this may cause neck pain. Please contact your physical therapist for an individualized evaluation and assessment on how to recover or prevent bike fit related injuries from happening.


1. Moen, Erik. July 2014. “Tips for Avoiding Bike Fit-Related Injuries.” Retrieved from
2. BikePT. 2011. “Bike Injury.” Retrieved from

About the Author:

Natalie Grant, D.P.T.
Natalie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from Michigan State University and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University. She has exceptional experience in treating orthopedic musculoskeletal injuries with use of evaluating impairments, functional limitations, and disability. Natalie’s approach is personalized and unique to each patient including manual therapy, functional assessment and treatment. She specializes in running injuries, hip and shoulder dysfunctions, knee and ankle pain, and sports related injuries. She has significant experience in assessing biomechanics of gait when walking and running with use of video. Natalie has recently moved from Chicago and is looking forward to hiking, biking, and running all over the Bay Area.

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