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  1. #1
    Senior Member j.foster's Avatar
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    What injuries are most likely to affect cyclists and how do you prevent them?

    Well just as the title says really. I just got me a new bike and i want to do some serious riding but i don't want to cause my self any long term injuries. I got the bike fitted and it feels real comfortable and looks right too but i'd just like to know what injuries tend to affect cyclists a lot and how to go about preventing them?

    I had been riding a badly fitting bike for a while and my knees and ankles click a lot when i move them and my ankles hurt a tad too sometimes so i'd like to make sure they don't turn into serious long term problems.

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    What injuries are most likely to affect cyclists and how do you prevent them?

    Being hit by a car is not recommended.

    Bicycling off of cliffs on a road bike is a "no no"

    I guess, other than the above, if the bike fits you really well, if you give your body adequate recovery time, if you have appropriate good-fitting saddle, shoes and gloves, then most of the "injuries" are mostly a personal matter.

    Some folks are susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome, some not.

    Some folks have knee problems, some not.

    Some folks have neck problems, some not.

    These three are the ones I see the most on BFN, plus, of course, the ever hotly debated chafing and saddle sores.

    It so depends upon the individual, and also upon the intensity and type of biking.

    If the bike fits you, if you allow for rest and recovery, then most folks are ok.

    Certain exercises (low back extensions, crunches) can help to build your body strength in important areas. Learning to ride in a relaxed manner, bent elbows, loose grip, straight back, is also important.

    I only have about 10,000+ miles on a road bike, and so far so good. No injuries. However, your evident "pre-injury" status means you will likely have to pay a bit more attention to those areas, and as you notice pain and soreness and strange noises, to take corrective action.

    Good luck with your new bike. Take some time to "break your body in" to the new bike and be sure to "listen to your body"and most of all have fun!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 10-03-04 at 06:27 AM.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  3. #3
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I'm currently treating a nasty case of Athlete's Foot that I developed from wearing an old pair of Tiva sandals. Granted, I probably would have developed it anyway, but it seemed to be exacerbated by cycling. Hot feet and too much sweat building up on the surface of the sandals and straps where they came in contact with my skin caused the skin to crack and kept me off the bike for almost a week.

    I just picked up pair of Specialized Tahoe MTB shoes and some Pearl Izumi cycle socks.These seem to keep my feet seated on the pedals much better than ordinary shoes and hopefully will aleviate the sweat problems.

    If your knees and ankles are clicking, my guess is you're not making good contact with the pedals. Getting a good pair of well fitting cycle shoes may help resolve the problem.

    Stacy

  4. #4
    Senior Member j.foster's Avatar
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    That would make sense about not contacting the pedals properly because i had been riding a city bike with ordinary platform type pedals and street shoes. My new bike is fitted with Time Impact pedals and i have a nice pair of shoes to go with it so i'm nicely glued in now, just gotta work on making contact all the way through the pedal stroke. would it be advisable to avoid riding my old bike with cheap trashy pedals now then?

  5. #5
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    I would resist the urge to fly without the proper warmup and warmdown. a new bike, esp one that now fits has you eyeing new max speed, etc. take the proper heed. stretch wisely. i don't know what season it is in your part of the world, but blustery and nasty would be my guess. pick your spots and have fun fun fun till your daddy takes your new bike away....
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  6. #6
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.foster
    That would make sense about not contacting the pedals properly because i had been riding a city bike with ordinary platform type pedals and street shoes. My new bike is fitted with Time Impact pedals and i have a nice pair of shoes to go with it so i'm nicely glued in now, just gotta work on making contact all the way through the pedal stroke. would it be advisable to avoid riding my old bike with cheap trashy pedals now then?
    Given the choice, it's probably better to develop a healthier riding style with your new bike than clicking your knees and ankles on the old bike. Once your body has learned this you may not have that problem when you ride the older one.

    But then why would you want to ride an old ill-fitting bike when you have a brand new shiney well fitting one?

  7. #7
    Fat Hack
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    These are obviously only my opnions:

    The most common, and potentially most serious injuries are knee injuries (front and/or sides), usually caused by (1) sitting too low, (2) a lack of stretching over a period of time, and (3) not warming up.

    Hamstring strains are also common, as are back soreness, and injuries to the back of the knee such as Baker's cyst.



    Fat Hack's tips for injury prevention:

    Don't sit too low (most important).

    Don't sit way too high.

    Don't have your handle bars too low, even if it does look cool.

    Warm up properly. The more intense your ride is gonna be, the longer you should warm up.

    Do some regular abdominal work. All that trunk flexion during cycling, combined with weak abs can really throw the pelvic tilt out of whack over a period of time, which can then cause back, hamstring and other problems down the road.

    Stretch regularly, but ONLY when you're warm. Stretching before your ride when you are cold is dangerous and totally unnecessary. The last bit of research I read said that it is important to stretch frequently, but not necessarily before exercise. Don't over stretch -- People do as much harm as good by over stretching. Many people new to stretching believe they have to really "feel" it, so they go too hard.
    The main stretches are "the big three": hammies, calves and quads -- then IT Band, lower back, glutes, groin....and if you still have time after all this, feel free to throw in some extras.

    Don't be scared to have a couple of days off ocassionally. It's amazing what one day off can do if ride a lot.

    Last of all, don't become a big fat hack like me -- it's hard work holding my gut in for a whole ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member j.foster's Avatar
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    Some good tips there thanks guys, so what's the best way to work on my abs then without causing my back any problems?

  9. #9
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.foster
    Some good tips there thanks guys, so what's the best way to work on my abs then without causing my back any problems?
    Crunches with your feet high, like on a chair. This is how George Forman (boxer) does them. Legs and knees at 90 degree bends.

    Do NOT lock your fingers behind your head. This can cause neck damage. Place your hands besides your head or folded on your chest.

    Keep your pelvis thrust so that as much of your small lower back is on the floor as is possible.

    Do the crunch slowly, letting your body down to a count of four (2 up and 4 down).

    Then do oblique crunches, pointing your right hand to your left knee, and vice versa.

    Also, you can do pelvic thrusts sitting on a big ball or even lying on your back on the floor.

    Also, the part about warming up mentioned by Fat Hack is extremely important. Starts the blood flow to the muscles, warms the muscles up, loosens tendons and ligaments. lso, cool down is extremely important - to allow the body to redirect the flow of blood so it doesn't "pool."

    Our gym has a great machine for lower back extensions, which have helped me greatly. You can also do these on the floor resting on your tummy, lifting head/upper body and legs/feet at same time.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    I've heard the exact opposite. That it (stretching) does absolutely nothing and may even decrease performance on the bike.

    I'll dig up the link. Was either on kenkifer or sheldon brown or somewhere.
    Flame away.

  11. #11
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    I've heard the exact opposite. That it (stretching) does absolutely nothing and may even decrease performance on the bike.

    I'll dig up the link. Was either on kenkifer or sheldon brown or somewhere.
    Flame away.
    Gentle stretching AFTER warmup may be beneficial - the jury is still out, but likely is beneficial in preventing injuries.

    Stretching BEFORE warm up is a defininte "NO NO!"
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

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