These two pages (shown below) are taken from a standard work on general health, so nothing the average person can’t understand. You can easily see which posture is good, which is bad, which is recommended, and which is not.

The first page shows the best way to do various things and maintain spinal health; the second page shows what happens if you don’t take this advice ~ it’s not good news.

Below, the images on the upper page are adapted to show the Cleland riding posture next to the crouched position on a conventional mountain bike.

It doesn’t take much to work out which posture is best for your spine in the longer-term. And these pictures show a static situation, add in the dynamics of riding over rough terrain, and the potential damage can become considerable.

The damage being done to your spine and wrists, even if you ride from a very young age, will not begin to cause you problems until at least your late forties/early fifties. In some it will occur at an earlier age, others, later age.

The posture you use for riding is your own choice.

However, to make a proper choice, you need complete information. For some reason, advice coming from ‘cycling experts’ seems to ignore the advice coming from physiotherapists. You’re unlikely to find this information anywhere else in the cycling world.

(Please comment below if it is published elsewhere, I’ve searched for years!)

BACK TO TOP or return to HOME PAGE


9 Responses to Spinal

  1. Pingback: traiteur rabat

  2. Pingback: Lordosis… | Cleland > L A N D S E E R

  3. Leonid says:

    After years of putting up with the pain in the ass (and back, wrists, arms, and especially neck) that is my hardtail in its current configuration, I’ve recently begun to understand things that should have been quite obvious; but learning to think for myself is taking much longer than it did to simply accept a bunch of long-established myths and fashion choices as reality. But I am still young, so I look forward to many years of riding that I can enjoy. Now I just need a long stem to replace the little stump that came with the bike, and/or taller handlebars. I have bmx bars that might work.

    While I agree that improper posture for repeated and long periods can do much damage, I wonder if avoiding such impropriety at all costs doesn’t result in a weaker back in the long run. It seems to me that occasional periods of sitting, lifting, or riding with improper form works the various muscles and joints in ways to which the body is unaccustomed, and can therefore make for a stronger, more flexible body when proper form is observed as the rule.

    Thank you for sharing so much knowledge. I have much to learn, and much to unlearn.

    • grahamwallace says:

      You’re on the mark there, Leonid! Keep up the thinking for yourself, and don’t stop experimenting.
      Have you read through the Landseer blog on http://www.crosscountrycycle.wordpress.com

      • Leonid says:

        I have it bookmarked and will read it. Right now I’m enjoying my bike like it’s a new machine. Found a longer stem and shimmed a bmx handlebar into it, then shortened the bar’s ends a bit. It’s still not as high as I would like, but is a huge improvement on the standard setup. I like that I can use the crossbar on the bmx bars for a different posture, and even the tubes going down from there can be used for a more aerodynamic ride. I have an idea for a bmx-type handlebar with a square lower section tilted slightly forward, upper bars sweeping back.

  4. Hello, I found your article in Google by searching for mountain bike posture. I am one of the people who did some damage to myself over the years on the Mountain Bike and now ride a recumbent. I ride a lot of bike paths where older people cycle to stay in shape and they just look so miserable. When they see me on the Recumbent they all want to know where I got it and what it rides like. Most of them didn’t even know the options exist. So much of the bicycle industry tailors only to young hot shot racer types who are more worried about how they look while riding than how they feel while riding. I ride head up, looking straight ahead at a leisurely pace and really enjoy cycling again. Thank you for the excellent illustrations. I’m actually in the process of converting my old mountain bike to an upright riding position by adding Cruiser Bars and Grip Shifters… I already like it a lot better, even though I’ve had to swap out all the cables. I hope to keep it around so that people who visit can use it as a “guest bike”.

    • gmacleland says:

      My personal view, based on experience, is that the ‘typical’ bicycle is an instrument of torture. This may seem a strange comment coming from a dedicated and enthusiastic lifelong cyclist. If you want me to divulge the most secret information, force me to ride a mountain bike and I’ll have no hesitation in spilling the beans.

  5. Janet says:

    Well done. that makes it very clear and simple. I hope many UK & US bicycle riders look at it; in other parts of the world the upright position is normal. That’s why you don’t see many 60 pluses on MTBikes, they have all got back trouble!!!

  6. Pingback: Here it is… | Cleland Cycles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s