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Why you need a professional bike fit

Passionate or hobby cyclist in Northern Ireland but have never had a professional Bike Fit?

Professional road cyclist hunched over the handlebars.

The position of the rider on the bike affects everything from comfort to power output, and even small adjustments can make a big difference in terms of reducing pain and discomfort during rides.

But so many cyclists have their saddle at the wrong height, or handlebars and pedals in the wrong position because it hasn't been properly fitted to their dimensions.

By investing in a professional bike fitting service, cyclists can ensure that their bike is set up properly for their individual needs.

In this article, I explain the benefits of a bike fit service to your performance and to your enjoyment of cycling.

What is bike fit?

Bike fit is the process of adjusting a bicycle to fit a rider's body dimensions and biomechanics. A proper bike fit can help improve comfort, efficiency, power output, and reduce the risk of injury.

A bike that is not fitted properly can cause discomfort or pain in various parts of the body, including the neck, back, shoulders, hands, wrists, hips, knees, and feet.

An improper bike fit can also lead to poor cycling performance and inefficient use of energy.

Is it worth getting a bike fit?

The primary purpose of BikeFit is to improve your ride and your comfort. You should be able to maintain a relaxed position on your bike with minimum effort.

Many cyclists erronneously believe that confidence on the bike can only come from being in great shape and logging tons of hours in the saddle so that you feel comfortable when someone is riding 2 inches off your wheel. While these two aspects are important, let's not underestimate the feelings of confidence that come with being strong and secure on your bike. Tom Danielson's Core Advantage - Tom Danielson & Allison Westfahl p67

If you want more power, more comfort, and less pain while riding, then consider investing in a bike fitting session.

Customer review of a bike fit session in Hillsborough at All Active Pilates & Physio.

Tell me all the benefits of a bike fit session?

Get help with proper positioning

Correct positioning helps to ensure maximum efficiency when pedalling and minimises muscle strain. It also ensures that you are in complete control while out on the road or trails, no matter how challenging they may be.

Proper positioning also helps to reduce stress on joints like the knees and prevents wear and tear in the long term.

Improve the power in your pedal stroke

A bike fit session can help to reduce any unnecessary movement or friction points, making your power transfer more efficient.

A professional fitting will also help maximise your pedal stroke giving you better momentum and a much smoother ride.

It will also help you go at maximum speed with minimal effort!

Make sure your bike frame is the right size

No two cyclists will have exactly the same position or proportions.

Having a bike that has been checked and fitted to your measurements can help reduce any discomfort caused by incorrect sizing as well as making sure you can effortlessly and comfortably reach all controls.

A bike fitting will check frame size and seat height to make sure your bike is tailored to your personal specifications and preferences.

Increase your comfort levels

Bike fitting will increase your enjoyment and comfort by double-checking that all contact points, such as your saddle and handlebars, are suited to your individual body shape and size.

This means that you won’t develop painful pressure points which can make even the shortest ride uncomfortable and unenjoyable.

Explain what happens in a bike fit session?

During a bike fitting session, various measurements are taken to determine the optimal position for the rider on the bike.

These measurements may include leg length, torso length, arm length, hip angle, knee angle, foot angle, open shoulder.

The fitter will then adjust different components of the bike such as saddle height and tilt, handlebar height and reach, pedal position and cleat alignment to achieve an ideal position for the rider.

Your biker fitter may also use motion capture technology or pressure mapping systems during pedalling motion to analyse your ride.

Physio and Bike Fit expert doing a Bike Fit session. Man on a road bike. Northern Ireland
Bike Fit session at All Active Pilates & Physio - Dromore | Northern Ireland

Bike fit sessions for road bikes

If you're a road bike user then a bike fit session will look at the following:

  • Comfort posture

  • Minimum pressure at the contact points

  • Weight distribution and balance

  • Handling of the bike

  • Minimal additional stress from the cleat position

Bike fit sessions for mountain bikes

Generally, the fit priorities for mountain bikes are the same as for road bikes, but more consideration is given to the handling of the bike due to extreme conditions and speed fluctuations encountered off-road.

Bike fit sessions for Triathalon bikes

Triathalon riders can cover huge distances so ensuring the bike is aligned to your body is even more important.

In a triathlon bike fit session your Bike fitting expert will be looking at,

  • Comfort post riding

  • Strong aerodynamics

  • Sustainable position for long distance

  • Low stress on glutes

  • The ability to eat and drink while riding

  • Minimal additional stress and clean position

Bike fit sessions for commuter bikes

For people commuting by bike, comfort is going to be key, as is the ability to stop and manage inclines and descents. In these sessions your fitter may examine the following:

  • Comfort and posture

  • Vision/ability to turn to see traffic

  • Accessibility of brakes and gears

I just ride a mountain bike with my children on weekends, do I need Bike Fit?

No matter what type of cycling you do, whether commuting to work every day or taking the occasional leisurely spin along countryside lanes, getting professionally fitted for your bike is always worth it to prevent pain and get more enjoyment out of each bike ride.

There are many types of bikes and many types of cyclists, each Bike fit session will take into consideration the individual requirements of each rider.

Why not transform your ride and bike fit across Northern Ireland with a professional Bike Fit session?

Bike Fit Sessions. Available now. Dromore. Hillsborough. Northern Ireland
Book Standard or Full BikeFit session

Bike fit in Northern Ireland

Our sports physio Andrea is passionate about cycling, her full Bike Fit session includes the biomechanical assessment.

You will leave knowing your optimum bike position, therefore, preventing common pains in your knee, hip and lower back.

Book a Standard Bike Fit or Full Bike Fit session in our treatment centres in Northern Ireland. We currently off Bike Fit in our Hillsborough or Dromore clinics.

Or book in to our 30 day online programme for cyclists. 6 Pilates for Cyclists sessions focusing on improving mobility, strength, flexibility and core strength plus 2 bonus shorter sessions using the foam roller and spikey balls.

Free exercise booklet

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