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.