An improp­erly fit­ting bicycle, and a too-​​low seat can also raise the risk of knee injury, says Greg Cloutier, MPH, Project Man­ager for the Human Per­for­mance and Exer­cise Sci­ence Lab at North­eastern University.

Fre­quently I see cyclists gri­macing as they bear down upon the pedals, and I wonder if they think the bulkier, stronger mus­cles they build this way will make them faster cyclists. If so, they are wrong. While a mod­icum of muscle is nec­es­sary, the thing that enables one to climb steadily, or pedal all day, is power.

Strength and power are two dif­ferent things. Strength is force, which is what you need to lift weights, or what a boa con­strictor needs to squeeze the life out of its prey. More strength means you can lift more weight, but without more power, you’ll quickly reach a limit on the number of lifts you can do.

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