Advice on Arm Pump, Saddle Tilt, Oval Chain Rings, and Cleat Placement — MTB Biomechanics with Dr. Adam Phaneuf

We check in with Dr. Adam Phaneuf to learn more about bike fitting and mountain bike biomechanics.

Dr. Adam Phaneuf is a Doctor of Chiropractic with a degree in Exercise Science based in Bellingham, WA. He’s also a bike fitter and has studied bicycle biomechanics.

In this interview we ask Adam:

  • Is it true that cycling is lower impact than other activities like jogging?
  • Do you think mountain biking is higher impact than road cycling?
  • What are some of the most common ride-related issues folks tend to have?
  • Are certain muscles, or body parts, more prone to injury or pain for mountain bikers?
  • Do oval chain rings work for reducing pain? Are there any biomechanical advantages to them that riders can benefit from?
  • How can riders know if it’s their form that needs to be changed, or if it’s something about the bike fit that’s wrong?
  • What is arm pump, and what causes it?
  • Can vibration on the bike lead to any health or pain issues? Can things like suspension stems or seat posts be helpful for some people?
  • How does bike fit change, if at all, based on the type or length of ride we’re doing?
  • What is the ideal saddle tilt for mountain biking? How do you dial that in correctly?
  • Are there pros and cons to trying a more rearward cleat placement for mountain biking?
  • What do you think about the idea of video/online bike fitting?

To learn more or connect with Adam and his team visit or on Instagram @apexbellingham.

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