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Finding a bike that’s good for your back

Our understanding of back-friendly cycling has changed somewhat over recent years. While in the past, the focus was very much on design elements such as full suspension and lightweight construction, we see things a bit differently today. Alongside these elements, it’s our individual needs and the interplay of bike components that define what a back-friendly bike is. The key questions to consider here are:

  • What type of bike do you prefer?
  • What routes/surfaces will the bike predominantly be used for?
  • How much distance do you intend to cover?
  • How fast do you aim to go?
  • Do you have any physical requirements?

This shift in perspective moves the focus away from the general concept of a “back-friendly bike” towards that of an individually-adapted bike that is good for your back. And, consequently, the attention also shifts from the bike manufacturer to the bike retailer. Blanket statements such as “the bikes from this manufacturer are back-friendly” are no longer warranted. It's now more about the idea of being in good hands with a retailer who can find a type of bike to suit you from the wide range of bikes on offer, and who is able to optimise that particular bike’s ergonomics by adding components and making the exact individual adjustments needed.

The right bike accessories

In addition to this change in perspective, the extensive choice of bike components now available also favours the individual approach. Manufacturers have, over the past few years, optimised the ergonomic quality of grips and saddles and expanded their selections along differentiated lines. There are an abundance of handlebars, stems and seat posts to choose from. This means it is basically possible to fit the rightsaddle and the rightgrips in any position, which means that the “ergonomic rider’s triangle” of saddle, handle bars and pedals can be adjusted to suit every person’s requirements.

A competent retailer should be able to offer an optimal solution considering criteria such as ergonomic positioning, riding behaviour/dynamics and individual needs. The basic bike and components (handlebars, saddle, seat post, chain set and pedals) should ensure correct cycling posture and movement after custom adjustments.

Bike adjustment made easy

Interested in adjusting your bike properly at home? That’s not a problem with the right tools:

Fitting Box

The “Fitting Box” is one option here. It helps you to adjust all components correctly; an essential requirement for comfortable cycling. Pain or discomfort can be significantly reduced or even avoided by doing this. The box contains instructions, a plumb bob, a spirit level, 4 measuring templates, a quick guide (poster), a measuring tape and marking stickers. This means you have all the tools and information at hand to adjust your bike for an ergonomic riding position.

CyclingRight.com

Another tool is the CyclingRight.com website. This advice site makes it really easy for you to find the perfect solution for your type of bike and the right bike adjustments. And if reading isn’t your thing, all adjustments are clearly explained in short explanation videos. And the great thing is that the videos are all adapted to the selected bike type. You’ll also find short text summaries of each video’s contents. So, with the help of five steps, almost any bike can be optimally adjusted in just under fifteen minutes.

But CyclingRight.com offers even more than that. It includes a section that helps you to pinpoint the pain that occurs while cycling and its cause. Appropriate solutions are then suggested.

The site also features exercises to strengthen muscles relevant to cycling and tips for choosing the right type of bike, as well as concise information on various components and models, e.g. handlebars, saddles, grips and pedals.
This online tool means you always have a practical guide with you – even when you're on your next bike tour.

Checklist

Bicycle adjustment aids

Minimum requirements

  • The bike adjustment help tool is intended to provide you with quick, straightforward instructions on how to individually adjust your bike to meet the following ergonomic criteria:
    • The right seat height, seat angle and horizontal seat adjustment – for example with the help of a seat template, spirit level, measuring tape, plumb-line, calculated values in a table and a manual with illustrations or via short explanation videos
    • The adjustment of the handlebar/seat distance – for example with the help of a length template, seat template, table of values and a manual with illustrations or via short explanation videos
    • The handlebar height – for example with the help of a measuring tape, a table of values and a manual with illustrations or via short explanation videos
    • The cockpit setting – for example with the help of an angle template, a table of values and a manual with illustrations or via short explanation videos
    • The shoe positioning – for example with the help of a manual with illustrations and a shoe templatee or via short explanation videos

Also appropriate

  • The bicycle adjustment aid should be suitable for various bicycle types and different users
  • The bike adjustment help tool includes an individual pain analysis with suggested solutions

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

Ergon International GmbH*
Universitätsstraße 2
56070 Koblenz
GERMANY
Phone +49 261/899 99 80
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ergonbike.com

Wilhelm Humpert GmbH & Co. KG**
Erlenstrasse 25
58739 Wickede/Ruhr
GERMANY
Phone +49 2377/91830
Fax +49 2377/918390
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ergotec.de

Further information

The alternative: Stepper bicycle

For example, if you no longer cycle for health reasons or are looking for an alternative to conventional cycling, you should consider a stepper bike. It combines the advantages of cycling and running with each other and is even easier on the back and joints than the bicycle because of the upright posture when riding.

Further information click here.

Ten reasons for the e-bike

E-bikes or pedelecs continue to be the bicycle industry’s booming segment. According to the Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV), they had a 23.5 per cent market share in 2018 – with a rising trend. What makes the tailwind from a wall socket so appealing? The pressedienst-fahrrad has compiled ten of the leading arguments. Click here and read more!

Video

Pictures

Correctly adjusted bicycle