As not all bikes are created equal and each of us have different levels of strength and flexibility having a bike that fits you regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced cyclist is important for comfort, enjoyment and performance.
Here are 5 reasons for getting a bike fit.
- Reduce the risk of injuries
When cycling either on the road or off-road there are 3 places that your body is attached to the bike – your feet, sit bones and hands. It is this combination of body placement on the bike, the bike dimensions – whether it is too small/large, seat is too high/low and your flexibility that will influence the amount of force put through your soft tissues. As cycling is repetitive in nature and you are pedalling at 80-90 pedal revolutions per minute over a 2 hour ride this adds up to 9600 to 10800 revolutions. If your set up is less than ideal more load/stress will be placed on musculoskeletal structures and this can lead to an overuse injury. The most common sites being your knees and Achilles tendon.
- Increased comfort
Many riders whether novice or experienced think that being comfortable on your bike and performance is mutually exclusive – you can have one or the other but not both. It doesn’t have to be like this, as the goal of having a bike set up is to find the centre position of your bodies range of motion and then adjust the bike so as to put you in the most neutral position. This central positioning will lessen the forces being put though your body and lead to a more comfortable set up.
- Increased physical performance
Comfort and performance should go hand in hand. With a bike set up optimised to the individual you will be able to produce more power, be more comfortable and less wear and tear will be transmitted to your body.
- Faster recovery
With an individualised bike set up there will be less abnormal force/stress placed through soft tissue structures leading to less damage of these tissues resulting in a quicker recovery. It is only when we recover from exercise that we become stronger/fitter/faster.
- It is difficult, if not impossible, to fit yourself on a bike
We only feel something such as pain, when something is going wrong. However, the absence of pain isn’t enough to tell you that you are actually in the middle of your range of motion. Since pain often doesn’t show up until you’ve been riding for a while, perfecting your bike fit by yourself is a very difficult thing to do. If you experience pain, discomfort, tightness, numbness in any part of your body neck, back, feet and/or hands while or after riding or have any questions about bike set up, strength and flexibility training for cycling