Spring has sprung and cycling weather is finally here in the Northeast! Many cyclists and triathletes are gearing up for summer races and charity rides. In the clinic I have been seeing clients for a bike fits almost weekly. The common complaint I’ve been hearing is “My feet and legs go numb while riding, but that’s normal right?” My answer is “No, that is not normal and we are going to figure what is causing it!”
The first two places I check is the saddle and the cleats. Just like running shoes your saddle can get worn down. I call it “the squish test”. Your saddle should not be squishy. If it is, it’s time for a new one! I also measure the distance between my clients “sit bones” and then measure their saddle to make sure they are riding on the correct saddle. The correct saddle is crucial to your bike position and may be the cause of your numbness in your toes and legs. If the saddle is worn out or too wide it is going to cause excessive movements at the hips and the pelvis to rock which could irritate your sciatic nerve and cause pain down the leg. This also leads to wasted energy and could cause chaffing in the lady and male parts. On the other hand if your saddle is too narrow can compress your sciatic nerve as it exits the pelvis through the sciatic foramen.
Your cleats may also be a culprit for your pain.
If your cleats are worn down they can cause increased pressure on the foot. Also if your cleat is in front of your knee at the bottom of your pedal stroke, this can lead to numbness in the toes as well. A quick adjustment to the cleat can make a big difference! So if you’re getting numbness in your legs or feet it’s time to get a bike fit. Come see me at OrthoCore!