Training: 7 common cycling problems

Fitting your bike correctly should help you to prevent many common cycling pains and injuries. However if you are looking for the root cause of a specific problem, these 7 points of advice from bike mechanic and experienced leader at Discover Adventure should help:

1) The Problem: STIFF NECK

  • It's likely that your riding technique needs some work. To prevent this, you might consider bending your arms slightly whilst riding, therefore relieving some tension. 
  • Alternatively this might be due to the height difference between your saddle and your handle bars. Experiencing a stiff neck can mean that saddle is too high relative to your handlebars. Consider reducing this by lowering your saddle height. 

2) The Problem: LOWER BACK PAIN

  • As above, it could be that the height difference between your saddle and your handlebars is too great, so consider adjusting your saddle.
  • Alternatively, you may want to try standing up out of the saddle periodically to vary your riding position.
  • Lastly, take a look at your saddle position. If you are experiencing back pain it's likely that your saddle is too far back 

3) The Problem: KNEE PAIN

  • Adjust your saddle, it could be too far forward or, too low. 
  • Alternatively you could be riding too hard for your level of fitness. Consider scaling back your training and refer to a training guide for advice on building your cycling fitness. 

4) The Problem: NUMB HANDS

  • It's likely you are applying too much weight to your hands. This again could be down to the difference between your saddle height and handlebars being too great.
  • Check that your saddle isn't pointed down at the nose, if it is, you could be sliding down it and therefore leaning on the handlebars. 
  • Alternatively consciously move your hands around on the handlebars whilst you are riding to prevent them being in a fixed position. 

5) The Problem: NUMB FEET

  • Try inserting some softer insoles into your cycling shoes.
  • Or, your shoes could be too tight - try adjusting the fit or maybe its time to purchase some new ones!
  • If you're using cleats, try positioning the cleat so the ball of your foot rests slightly ahead of the spindle of your pedal.


  • It's likely that the nose of your saddle is too high.
  • Your saddle could be the wrong profile or shape for you. In this case, the best thing to do is refer to a good cycle shop for their expertise in getting one to suit you.
  • Lastly try periodically riding out of the saddle to allow flow to your crotch area.


  • It could be that your weight is too far forward on the bike.
  • Or once again the height of your saddle relative to the handlebars being too great.

We hope this helps you solve any issues you may be experiencing, and any potential injuries when getting on your bike. Happy cycling!




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