Getting Comfortable on the BikeErg

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Mar 04, 2021

The Concept2 BikeErg includes a saddle that works for most athletes, but a single saddle design may not work for everyone. We recognize that comfort while pedaling can greatly impact the time you spend working out. There are several things you can try to make cycling more comfortable if you’re experiencing discomfort, pain or numbness.

Give it Time

If you’re new to cycling, your muscles and tendons may need to adjust to working out in the seated position. We recommend stretching and warming up before and after your workouts. For longer workouts where you’re not racing, it may help to get off the BikeErg periodically and stretch every few minutes. Standing on the pedals from time to time can also be helpful.

Positioning

We provide some recommendations of how to initially set up your BikeErg. You can then make adjustments from this starting position. Some riders find a more upright position comfortable. Others may find that using other handlebar positions helps to get more weight forward and less weight on the saddle. Experiment with adjusting seat height, handlebar height and positioning. Sometimes just small changes can help you find better support and balance.

The BikeErg’s frame geometry is designed so that raising the saddle also moves the rider back, maintaining the correct relationship to the pedals. Most athletes will not adjust the saddle position, but others may want to fine tune their horizontal position and saddle angle. Adjustments can be made using a 9/16” or 14mm wrench (not included).

Clothing and Cushioning Options

Cushioning may be worth exploring, but with some caution: too much cushioning won’t provide enough support while you ride. Some athletes may also experience numbness with too much generalized broad distribution of pressure, which can cut off circulation. Bike shorts are a great option offering various levels of padding (called chamois), from ultra-soft to thin fleece. We enjoy extra padding in the Concept2 workout room for our long rides! We also recommend trying different shorts or workout gear: seams on underwear and certain fabrics may cause chafing or discomfort. Saddle covers or padding may be another solution to consider. Riding on small bubble wrap (the kind sent in packages) is one trick our teams suggest trying that is inexpensive and accessible.

Footwear and pedals can also affect comfort. It may be worth experimenting with clipless pedals, toe clips or different sneakers to see what works best for you. How you’re connected to the pedals can influence your alignment on the BikeErg. For example, cleat and pedals may differ in the amount of “float” or movement and rotation of the feet. Float allows your foot to rotate into a natural position to keep your ankles, knees and hips lined up in a natural position. You will want to find what works best for you to stay connected to the pedals.

Saddle Swap

You may decide to try other saddles that match your style of riding (such as upright riding or riding in the drop handlebars), physique (position of your sitz bones), or personal preferences (cushioning). Saddles can vary in width, shape, design and cushioning. Some have cutouts (for both men and women) to relieve pressure towards the middle of the saddle. There are a lot of factors to consider based on what you’re experiencing and what you’re looking to achieve.

We recommend talking to a bike fitter or bike shop specialist who can help you peruse the options. Keep in mind, what you experience during indoor training may differ from your road or mountain bike. We recommend bringing in your BikeErg saddle (and any other bicycle saddles you use) to discuss your options for indoor training. You can customize your saddle on the BikeErg with whatever works best for you. The BikeErg uses a standard post that accepts most saddles.

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