The relationship between cycling clothes and riding posture

You have carefully selected a cool set of cycling clothes, but you always feel like something is wrong while riding, as if there is a layer of “yarn” between your body and it. It may not be that the cycling clothes are not strong, but that there is something wrong with your riding posture. In this article, let’s deeply analyze the subtle relationship between riding posture and cycling clothing.

1. The relationship between cycling clothes and riding posture

The cutting design of most cycling clothes is designed according to the way the body stretches when riding, which can achieve the following functions to ensure our riding comfort.

Cycling clothes

(1) Support and protection

Cycling clothes can help riders maintain body stability and balance during riding by strengthening the support and protection of key parts, such as back support pads, and it can also avoid body distortion or fatigue caused by long cycling or bumpy roads.

(2) Reduce friction and drag

The fabrics used in cycling clothes usually have excellent breathability and stretchability, which can reduce the friction between the skin and clothing during riding. This not only helps the rider maintain a comfortable riding condition but also increases the riding speed and optimizes the riding posture.

However, even if some riders wear expensive cycling clothes, they do not achieve the desired result. This may be because the angle between the back and the shoulder is too large or too small when riding, resulting in the cycling clothes cannot support the back well, reducing its support protection effect. Generally, the back angle is 40° to 50°. For road bikes, the wrist joint angle should be at 90°,  and for mountain bikes, it should be 75° to 80°. For time trial bikes and triathlon bikes, the elbow joint angle is generally measured, 75° to 80° for time trial bikes and 70° to 75° for triathlon bikes.

Riding posture angles
Riding posture angles

2. The relationship between cycling pants and riding posture

Cycling pants

Cycling pants are usually made of elastic fabric, which can closely fit the rider’s body, wrap the muscles of the buttocks and thighs, and reduce the shaking of the muscles during exercise, thereby reducing fatigue. The tight-fitting design helps to reduce the friction between the legs and the fabric and it also helps to reduce wind resistance. This design not only helps improve the rider’s performance but also provides additional protection and reduces the risk of sports injuries. Cycling pants often have an inner pad, which can properly absorb shock, diffuse pressure distribution, and reduce discomfort and pressure while riding. 

Correct riding posture, such as slightly bending the knees, leaning forward, relaxing the arms, and keeping the spine naturally curved, can help reduce the rider’s physical burden and improve riding comfort and stability. These positions also help keep the pants in optimal shape and avoid excessive stretching or twisting, thereby extending the service life of the pants. The general bending angle of the knee is 108° to 112° for road bikes and 110° to 115° for mountain bikes. The extension angle of the knee is 35° to 40° for road bikes and mountain bikes.

Knee angle

If the rider’s posture is incorrect, the wearing effect and service life of the riding pants may be affected. For example, leaning too far forward or backward may put uneven pressure on the riding pants, leading to increased wear; excessive gripping of the handlebars with the arms may restrict blood circulation and increase fatigue; excessive knee bending or straightening may affect the fit and protection of your cycling pants.

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