Wrongly positioned saddle can be right pain in the butt

May 28th, 2017 3:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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Make sure you have your bike, and particularly your saddle, adjusted properly before embarking on any long cycles

By Paudie O’Donovan


A 20-MINUTE bike ride burns 150 calories which means an hour uses up 450-500 calories – or the equivalent of an average dinner.

However, depending how much effort you put in and how hard you work while on the bike that could increase right up to 600 calories an hour.

Two weeks ago a group of us completed a five and a half hour bike ride and burned over 5000 calories in a single day.

However, it’s important that after a cycle like that to replace the lost calories with good food and to stay hydrated –otherwise weight loss starts comes into the equation.

The weeks are flying by and it really won’t be long until we all find ourselves registering for the Wild Atlantic Mizen Charity Cycle (WAMCC) on July 8.

Talking to the organisers, it seems to be very popular this year and on everybody’s agenda so checking the details out early to secure a place is probably advisable.

Last week I touched on some of the essential kit needed before you get going and I’m going to continue on that theme this week.

When it comes to cycling unfortunately it’s not as simple as running where you can put on a T-shirt, shorts and runners and head out the door.

The benefits of cycling are endless – but so too is the amount of gear needed for both safety and comfort.

Check list: Here goes….. bicycle pump, saddle bag for your spare tubes (if you can change a puncture), tools to change a puncture, bicycle speedo or computer, water bottle(s), chamois cream to prevent chaffing and overshoes for wet days.

Yes, that is a pretty long list so it is handy to organise this stuff the night before particularly if you are planning an early morning or pre work cycle.

There’s no need to panic, however, if you don’t have everything on the list straight away as you can accumulate them over time.

Besides during summer months you need less gear.

Bike Fit: Depending on what type of bike you cycle a bike fit is essential.

It can be a complicated process but vital to your cycling experience. You would not believe the amount of people cycling with their saddle positioned incorrectly. To save yourself back or neck ache caused by having it in the wrong spot I strongly recommend getting this done by a professional.

The number one rule is “comfort” – if you are not comfortable then you have a problem.

There are three things to keep in mind:

1. Correct saddle height

2. Seat position (fore/aft)

3. Handlebar reach

Believe it or not but only 1mm in the wrong position can cause rider discomfort.

If you overdo it in the distance and suffer from “jelly legs” then you’ve just overused your quads and hamstrings but if you feel discomfort in your lower back or glutes every time you get off the bike, then your fit is wrong and you need to get it sorted.

In this week’s training programme, your long cycle jumps up to 25k so make sure you have a route planned and enjoy every second of it.


Wild Atlantic Mizen Charity Cycle Training Programme

Week Three – May 29th to June 4th

Monday - Rest (you had a long cycle on Sunday)

Tuesday - 10/12k cycle

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - 15k cycle

Friday - Walk or Cross-train

Saturday - 20/25k long cycle

Sunday - RestTotal cycled this week - 45/52k over three cycles.


• Paudie O’Donovan is a qualified neuromuscular physical therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility. He is masseur to the Cork senior football team and runs a sports injury clinic at Quarryvale, Coolnagrane, Skibbereen. Contact: 086-2339618 or follow him on Facebook.

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