Bike Fitting Services

Professional Bike Fit – The Rationale

Bike fitting is both an art as much as a science.

Bike fitting in the raw form is purely a bio-mechanical output. Workable angles need to be in place for the body to maximize on leverage. The angle rotation of the pelvis to the bend in the knee will lead to changes in riding techniques and the production of power. By allowing the body to “breath”, this will pave the way for the athlete to attain his or her own genetic potential.

For the rider, there are three contact points on the bike. In the case of the time-trials and triathlons, there are four. They are namely, at the handle bars, pedals and saddle and the aero-pads. The special relationship between these three or four contact points will determine two other factors. They are namely comfort and power output. These two factors will in-turn determine your efficiency. A strong relationship exists between these 2 parameters and a balance will need to be found. If a rider were to score high in both areas, we can almost predict that the athlete will certainly attain his/her full potential with the assistance of a structured coaching programme.

Comfort

In cycling terms, this word is synonymous to sheer riding enjoyment. With this new found enjoyment, you will want to cycle at more frequent intervals and for a longer duration at every session.

In times of muscular fatigue, more often than not, other parts of the body that had not been directly involved with the pedalling motion start to ache. These are the other muscle groups which are recruited for the purpose of providing upper body stability. This is a clear sign that the athlete is not properly fitted to his or her bike.

A more common tell tale sign of discomfort, will start to surface in the first half an hour of an easy cycle, will be when the upper or lower back starts aching; shoulders starts to get fatigued; the sole of your feet hurts; knee discomfort; numb fingers. If the athlete encounters any or a combination of the mentioned areas of discomfort, there is a very high chance that the position can be improved by paying a visit to a professional bike fitter.

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Power output

Most riders will think power transfer as the only factor to for a fast ride. More often than not, this effort will include the proper coordination of your muscle groups found in your legs and other indirect parameters.

From the contraction of your muscles to the torque applied to the crank is a series of complex levers and hinges that allows the transmission of force. From the use of specific angles and saddle positioning, we will be able to determine your optimal power output you are able to get out of every stroke. This is what we call the smoothness of a pedal stroke.

The length of the crank will influence the cycling efficiency of the rider.

We take a look at the diagram below:

If a short rider (5'6") were to use a length of crank meant for a giant (6'), what will happen is that the pedals (hence the feet) will travel in a larger circumference. The rider will hence have to sit lower in order to accommodate to a lower base position (foot at the bottom most part of the stroke). This is honestly not the issue. The issue occurs when the foot is in the upper half of the rotation. I need to side track here in order to explain the implication of too long a crank length.


crank Illustration:
Think of yourself squatting with your knees fully bent and your knees bent halfway. Which of the two positions will enable you to lift a heavier weight? Of course this is an exaggeration. What we’re getting at is that the smaller the angle behind the knees, at that point of rotation versus the same individual using a shorter crank, the weaker will be the force available for straightening.

 

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Efficiency

Another factor that will determine the level of riding efficiency will be the aerodynamics of the rider and bicycle. As a rider achieves fitness competency, he or she will be able to maintain a higher speed for a sustained period of time. Riding in a position which is too upright (which is also more comfortable) is one sure way to kill speed. On the contrary, having too stretched a position (excellent for a low drag coefficient) will certainly invite back aches.

A balance is achievable between aerodynamics and power output. The only way to arrive at this illusive balance is by having a trained set of eyes observing your pedaling technique on a cycle-trainer. This may or may not be followed by adjustments on your cockpit length or saddle positioning.

Injury prevention

Cycling is a repetitive sport. The constant need to achieve efficiency requires the athlete to keep practicing till he or she attains that state of unconscious competence. The price is non other than hours and hours of relentless training. The side effect of this relentless practice is strain injuries due to overuse. One way to minimise the onset of overuse injury is to minimize the strain on the particular joint and share the load to other joints hence reducing the chance of injury. This is especially true for the athletes training for endurance events.

How many riders in the world can say that they are truly confident that their positioning is as efficient as it will get? How many riders can say that injury due to repetitive usage is not an issue for me?

The take home message – Get Professionally Fitted!!

Please download the PDF file for more of the Professtional Fit Details.

Bike Fit Details & Pricing Structure

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