A professional bike fitting can transform your riding position - and speed. Here’s what to expect.
Let’s face it, cycling can be an expensive hobby! There’s always new components, kit, and bits to buy. So it makes sense to invest in the one thing which can make everything else work better for you: a bike fitting.
A professional bike fitting can absolutely transform your riding position and set up, making you more comfortable and efficient in the saddle. A good bike fitting will open up a lifetime of riding with less pain, fewer injuries, and more speed (for less effort!)
And you don’t have to buy a new bike to get a bike fitting. Take your existing bike and discover how a few tweaks to your set up can make the world of difference.
Why Get A Bike Fitting?
A bike fitting can help optimise your position on an existing bike, or help you find the correct size and set up if you’re in the market for a new steed. Whatever kind of riding you do (from sportives or enduros to triathlons or time trials), a bike fit session will improve your performance and race results. And it will make training more comfortable and enjoyable, too.
Too many cyclists put up with back pain, neck discomfort, sore wrists and a number of other aches and pains. There’s really no need. Most of the pain we associate with longer-distance cycling can be drastically minimised (or removed completely) if you get your bike and body set up correctly.
Not many of us are in a position to have a custom bike built. This means we’re riding stock bikes which have been made for standard body shapes, sizes, and limb lengths. But none of us are standard! So your bike must be personalised to you - and a bike fit is the best way to do that.
5 Benefits Of A Bike Fitting
1 Minimise injuries
2 Increase your power output
3 Make you are more efficient rider
4 Improve your aerodynamics
5 Reduce aches and pains
What Happens At A Bike Fitting?
Take your bike (obviously!) and any spare parts, accessories, and extra components that came with it. Wear cycling kit so your bike fit expert can see how you look on the bike. Be sure to wear your regular bike shoes. And take water - the bike fitting could take a couple of hours.
Your bike fitting will look at your skeletal frame and flexibility, limb length, core strength, and riding style to help you get more from your time on the bike. The fitting will start before you get on the bike. You’ll be measured from head to toe so the bike fitter can start to design your ideal bike position. Expect to have your feet, seat bones, leg length, arm length, and back measured.
During the bike fitting, you’ll be getting on and off the bike a few times. The fitter will ask you to sit on the bike and pedal at different speeds so they can observe your position, make adjustments, and reassess things. The end result will be a more comfortable, efficient, and powerful bike position.
Obviously the bike fitter can’t do anything to alter your body shape, size, and dimensions. But a lot can be changed on your bike! Expect to have alterations made to your saddle height, angle, and position, stem length and height, handlebar width, brake levers, cranks, and even your cleat position. You’ll be amazed at how the smallest adjustments will have immediate benefits.
Your bike fitter might also recommend that you see an osteopath or other physical therapist to help with your position and flexibility on the bike. A bike fitter has the unique ability to view you on the bike from all angles, so take their advice seriously and use their recommendations if you can.
How To Find A Local Bike Fitting
Some bike fitting services (like Retul) are known by name. But if you don’t have a brand-name bike fit service nearby, simply go to your local bike shop. They might have a specialist bike fit service in house, and if they don’t then they will be able to recommend one.