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cycling while pregnant: when knees and belly touch

April 25, 2011

Baby Belly at 25 weeks

Yes, the day has come. I was cycling home last Thursday when I was struck by an odd sensation. I had to pause for a second before realizing what it was: my knees and upper thighs were brushing against by belly with every up stroke while pedaling. Oh man. :)

I was using the Peugeot Mixte, which has a more leaned forward position than the Raleigh so my belly hangs lower and there is less distance between my legs and torso. With the Raleigh’s more upright seating, this hasn’t yet happened. I’ve been thinking that the upright position of the Raleigh would become increasingly desirable for cycling while pregnant just because it keeps the belly up and forward rather than slightly down and hanging. But despite this advantage in geometry, the Raleigh has been increasinly losing favor to the Peugeot Mixte because it’s much heavier and harder to ride on hills. Being pregnant has left me with less force and lung capacity and I’ve come to love how light and easy to ride the sportier Mixte is. So there’s the conundrum…

Fast and light bike with my belly meeting my knees or heavy and more tiring bike but with better posture?

I’m not sure which one wins yet, but I do know one thing: I still love cycling, it still feels great, and I’m nowhere near giving it up yet ♥

Orange you glad it's Spring Yellow, Red, and Navy
15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2011 06:23

    First, how are you feeling?
    As I started reading this entry I was thinking exactly what you went on to write, different bike might make all the difference in the way you are positioned. That already discovered, do you usually have hills in you commutes? Is impossible to borrow or rent a bike that would be more comfortable for your last trimester?

  2. April 25, 2011 06:28

    Sorry for all the typos. ” a different…” and “Is it possible to borrow…” i’ m typing from a touch screen and having some difficulties.

  3. Erin permalink
    April 25, 2011 08:58

    At 34 weeks, I like sitting more upright and just riding more slowly. You might want to try a few days in a row on each and see what your body tells you.

  4. April 25, 2011 09:26

    I love hearing that you are still out on the bike!

    Do what makes you happy! Personally, I think I would defer to comfort and be a little slower. I currently ride a road bike, but when my belly gets larger, I am hoping to finally indulge in the mountain bike I’ve been wanting for a more upright posture. It will be fun to have while the kid is learning to ride!

  5. Melissa @ HerGreenLife permalink
    April 25, 2011 11:07

    I’ve ridden my hybrid Schwinn over my road-style Kona almost exclusively since getting pregnant, but mostly because my Schwinn is the “old” bike that I didn’t mind riding when the streets were gunky in winter. Now that it’s nicer, the Kona sounds tempting, but I think I’ll run into the thighs bumping belly issue.

    I’ve come to accept my slower pace and the heavier bike, except for the fact that I have to carry the bike up and down the basement stairs, which is getting trickier.

  6. April 25, 2011 11:30

    go with whatever makes you more comfortable! keep it up lady you are a rock star! ***virtual high five***


  7. April 25, 2011 16:18

    I’m curious if the Mixte could be adjusted (handlebars and saddle) to create a more upright riding position? You look absolutely beautiful btw. Love the colors of the dress in that first photo.

    • April 25, 2011 18:10

      Sue – what a great idea! Then I’d have the best of both words: a more upright position but still a lighter and easier bike. Thanks for the tip! I don’t know why that didn’t even cross my mind.

      • Gen permalink
        April 26, 2011 13:21

        Actually, you could simply change the handlebar stem for an upright touring one. One of the preggers at the bike store did this and it worked out great.

      • April 26, 2011 15:15

        Thanks for the tip, Gen! I think I will either raise the handlebars or temporarily exchange them altogether, based on what my options are. These are great suggestions!

  8. April 25, 2011 18:32

    You are welcome – you may even be able to get your LBS (for free) put on a completely different handlebar with grips that come out a little further for an easier reach, on a temporary basis. You never know, they may be willing to help you out.

  9. April 25, 2011 22:12

    Perhaps you can just ride realllly slow on Raleigh? Luckily for me, my lighter bike (Amsterdam) is even more upright and reclined than the Pashley so I took to riding that one exclusively in the third trimester. Comfort!


  10. Charlotte permalink
    May 5, 2011 09:29

    I raised the handlebars on my commuter *considerably* and it helped, though by the end the bike felt TINY and I still ended up knee-ing my belly.
    Baby didn’t mind, though I didn’t love it.


  1. cycling while pregnant: when knees and belly touch « Simply Bike | Cycling News and Events
  2. cycling while pregnant: when knees and belly touch | Bad knees

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