WHAT IS A BIKE FIT?
What is a bike fit?
Bike Fitting is the process of fine-tuning adjustable components to specifically fit a rider's body and their unique biomechanics. These components include saddle, post, cleats/pedals, stem, bar, etc. A good bike fit always takes into account a rider's riding style, goals, injury history, mechanics, movement patterns, posture, etc.
The key is to adjust the bicycle to the most efficient position a rider's body will allow comfortably. Then educate the rider in the correct stretching, strengthening, and techniques allowing a more efficient position in the near future. Perfect for the beginner cyclist to the most seasoned racer!
Saddle numbness/pain, neck, hand, foot pain or numbness are NOT normal. "Fit your bike to your body and uncover what's going on with your body preventing a more efficient faster position. Our goal is for you to be as comfortable and efficient as possible." Research has shown us the most efficient position for a cyclist. But tightness, weakness, technique and injuries often prevent riders from achieving this position.
What is bike sizing?
Bike Sizing ensures that you purchase the correct size bike/frame. Should you be on a 56cm or 58cm road bike? Should you be on a Large or XL MTB? The bike companies maybe make 5-6 sizes in any given model. That's 6 frames to fit ALL of us! Our local bike shops do an excellent job of making sure you purchase the correct size bike.
Points of Contact
Road, MTB, cyclocross, hybrid bikes offer 5 points of contact including the feet, saddle, and hands. Triathlon and TT bikes offer 7 with the addition of aerobars. Quite simply, if the rider's weight isn't distributed correctly over these points, they will have issues. Not just comfort issues, but the bike itself will perform and handle poorly. Does your bike feel "sketchy" on descents? It may be poor weight distribution over the bike. Another example, we often find chronic saddle complaints have less to do with the saddle itself, but are more related to poor alignment of the foot on the pedal and poor postural awareness on the bike. If force isn't directed through the pedals correctly, it must go to the saddle or hands.
Of these contact points, the most important is how the foot hits the pedal. If not correct, weight will be redistributed to the saddle and hands likely influencing comfort, power and efficiency. With each of us having our own unique anatomical alignment and with the addition of cleats being very adjustable in width, rotation, fore, aft, and float it makes sense to be fitted by a physical therapist who can appreciate these relationships.