What is a Bike Fit?
Bikes come in different sizes (much like clothes). You may have a bike that is the right size, but the fit position is not optimized for you. It’s important that the bike is adjusted to fit you and your own personal dimensions and riding style rather than your body being forced to accommodate a bike that isn’t quite set up right for you.
The process of adjusting the bike to fit you correctly is known as Bike Fitting (much in the same way you would have a suit tailored to fit you perfectly).
What should your riding position look and feel like?
When riding your bike you should feel powerful and efficient, with no pain or discomfort. Your pedalling should feel smooth and ‘easy’. You will feel stable and planted on your saddle and pedals.
Who is a Bike Fit for?
If the paragraph above does not describe your riding position then a Bike Fit may be for you.
A Bike Fit is not just for ‘professionals’ – in fact the opposite may well be true! Recreational riders looking to get more enjoyment/miles out of their riding are ideal candidates for a Bike Fit.
Our typical Bike Fit customers are perhaps looking to buy their first carbon road bike and would like to make sure it’s the right size and that it fits. Or, they may have signed up for Velo Birmingham or Ride London and want to maximise their chances of completing a challenging Sportive ride.
Alternatively, you may just feel uncomfortable when riding your bike and can’t quite get things right. Many of our customers come to us with underlying physical issues and want to rule out their bike as the cause of the problem before continuing with medical professionals to try and resolve their issues.
As well as dropped bar bikes we also fit riders on hybrid and mountain bikes.
People sometimes ask ‘What Fit system do you use?’ and ‘Do you use lasers?’
Our Bike Fitter, Stuart, initially trained with Cycle Fit using Trek’s Precision Fit process. Latterly Stuart has been trained by Tony Corke at Torke Cycling.
We achieve great, consistent results by focusing on Body Positioning. This is a knowledge-based approach to bike fitting rather than formula based. We look at cleat position, saddle height and fore/aft position and handlebar position. Saddle choice and foot correction can very often make a big impact on your Bike Fit too.
We don’t use any of the ‘off-the-peg’ systems which typically involve lots of cameras and measuring of angles etc. These systems can be lacking in precision and accuracy and very often rely on prescribing fit positions based on a database of bike fits – comparing your body to that of tens of thousands of other people. This is the opposite of what a bike fit should be – a Bike Fit should treat you as an individual and fitting choices should be based on you and your sensations and feelings – not how you compare to the rest of the world. These Bike Fit systems should be seen as a (very expensive) tool to do a job – but they are not the only tool available. They still rely on the knowledge and skill of the fitter to prescribe the correct adjustments to solve the fit ‘issues’ you are presenting with.
For the record we do use lasers – but not in the way you might expect! Setting up, measuring and recording your bike and fit position both before and after the session are extremely important and need to be done carefully. A laser is one of the tools that helps us achieve this. We may also take pictures and video footage as a tool to help reflect any changes in position so that you, the rider, can see how things have changed.
When should I have a Bike Fit?
The body typically takes around 3 weeks to adapt to any changes in position – sometimes longer. We don’t recommend having a Bike Fit close to a major event or ride that you are participating in. For many riders Autumn/Winter or early Spring are good times to schedule a fit.
In addition a Bike Fit should be seen as something that is ongoing. Any increase/decrease in fitness can necessitate a change in position as can an injury. We can also take a position you are happy with on an existing bike and transfer it to a new bike for you.
John, after Velo Birmingham, 25/9/2017:
“…the fit and all felt good, no hip pain. So a big thank you, not sure I would have managed it without the changes you made”
“No issues at all on the bike pain/numbness free. Thanks for your advice”
David, August 2017, from facebook:
“Bike fit was excellent, lots of really useful guidance; most importantly the service was professional and ultimately the bike now feels like it fits me perfectly.”
How do I book a Bike Fit?
Bike Fitting is by appointment only and is currently only available in our Birmingham store.
We currently offer a Standard Bike Fit at £99.
The fit takes around an hour and a half to two hours. Slots are typically available on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
|Bike Fit Process||Cleat Fit||Standard Fit|
|Pre fit questionnaire|
|Personal measurements taken|
|Assessment of range of motion|
|Measure and record bike set up|
|Install and adjust cleats|
|Saddle height adjustment|
|Detailed saddle position adjustment|
|handlebar height adjustment|
|Detailed handlebar position adjustment|
|Record final bike measurments|
|Summarise session by email|