All cyclists can benefit from having a bike fit. That’s right, everyone. Whether you get paid to ride a bike to riding your bike casually on the bike path, a bike fitted properly will be more comfortable, be less prone to causing you injury and be more efficient.
Would you ride your bike more often if it were more comfortable? Ever think about that? Does your posterior bother you on a short ride? Do you experience any numbness, aches or pains while riding? Are these aches or pains only present on the bike or aggravated by the bike?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a bike fit is something to strongly consider. The reason is the bike, a machine, is a very adjustable thing. Changes can often be made to it to better accommodate your needs. Sometimes a different component of the bike needs to be changed for something else, but sometimes it just is a matter of adjusting what is there a few millimeters or a few degrees.
Probably the most common component to be fiddled with, complained about and changed is the seat or saddle. The saddle is THE main contact point on a bicycle. It can either disappear beneath you and is the last thing on your mind while pedaling miles and miles, or it can cause you to hate cycling.
If the latter applies to you, don’t give up. Believe it or not, there is a saddle that can make you smile while riding. During the fit process, a lot of time is spent on saddle selection.
A proper bike fit starts with understanding the rider. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to a proper fit. A good fitter will take time to understand the issues the rider is facing, what goals the rider has and take into account any past or present injuries. With this information and the information gathered during an exam assessing flexibility, range of motion and checking for a leg length difference to name just a few, a fitter can then watch the cyclist while pedaling on a trainer.
Dynamically fitting like this allows the fitter to see things while in motion and make adjustments based on what is seen taking into account the pre-fit exam. Basically the fitter can deduce from the exam why he/she may be seeing certain things and how to address them properly.
A properly adjusted bicycle can be quite comfortable and efficient. Now go get your bike fit and go ride!
- Sean Whipkey,
Skirack Bike Fit Specialist
Click here to learn more about Sean.