Bike fitting. A trick of the trade, there are often very mixed reviews about bike fitting, so we’ll help lay some out for you & help you understand why a bike fit could be suited to you. We recently looked at the effects of Osteopathy in cycling, but to keep ahead of the injury, a bike fit could really help.
It’s no secret that you need a bike that fits to get the most out of your body. If you’re a road racer, you’re not going to race fast on a BMX size bike, and a downhill biker would be no use with a road bike geometry, that’s common sense. Although it’s not just performance riders that need a bike fit. Even leisure riders should consider a bike fit to avoid injuries and discomforts when they’re out in the saddle.
The main things a bike fit works to do are:
- Prevent injuries in a rider.
- Make a bike comfortable.
- Optimize power output.
- Enhance efficiency.
- Improve bike performance.
- Improve aerodynamics.
Although for different riders different things will take priority depending on your end goal.
There are certain elements of the fit that you can get away with for a long period of time, without noticing a detrimental effect. A few inches on the saddle height, cleat position. It all sounds like very minor stuff, but if you think you’re already riding well, imagine how good you could ride with a proper fit.
As we move into winter now is one of the best times through the year to look into getting a new bike fitted. The fit can be supported with a good strength and conditioning programme in the gym, and as the training gets more repetitive whilst working with higher volumes, the body begins to feel the strain. The low intensity block most riders do at the beginning of winter is an ideal time for you to adjust to the new position.
The biggest stigma with bike fits are the cost, you may have 2/3/4 bikes that all need fitting and that’s no cheap job. But here’s the thing, a lot of people will spend over £2000 on
a bike to get the right one, why not make sure it fits you properly in the process?
Bike fitting certainly isn’t a money spinner thrown out by local bike shops. These guys have all kinds of knowledge to help your skill set. And it applies to all disciplines from mountain biking to triathlon.
Could changing your cleat position knock minutes off your run by saving your calves?
Could you get an extra minute on a time trial by changing your saddle height?
Could you improve your downhill technique by moving your bars?
And there’s so much more to it than gaining time. A good bike fit will prevent the injuries setting in. Making sure the ergonomics are right for your body to perform under the stress of cycling. It can save knee trouble, hip problems, back issues. The things that we all fear will come round and bite us can be saved by a simple fit.
But it’s not as simple as loosening a few screws and knocking stuff about, everything is going to have a knock on effect.
If you move your saddle back it’ll change your foot position, back angle, knee bend, bar height. And the answer is going to be different from person to person.
A common misconception is that the Retul bike fitting equipment is a definite measuring system that gets it right instantly. In fact it’s more of an advisory system to estimate what may or may not work for a rider, and it’s the specialists that do the rest. This is why when you go for a bike fit, you shouldn’t just check for a Retul system, you should check to see how much experience the fitter has, and who he or she has worked with in the past.
You wouldn’t attempt to buy a dodgy bike for half the price, so why knock off the bike fit?
Paying the price for a good quality helmet might save your life, but paying the price for a good quality bike fit will save your body. If you’re a neighbour of CycleStore we’d recommend dropping by to see if our bike fit will suit you.