Four reasons why you need a bike fit
Everyone loves a good bike upgrade. Anything to help us climb easier, ride faster or stay in the saddle for longer durations. While there are countless products that promise to help you on your way towards these common goals, some are more effective than others.
If there’s one thing that almost certainly will help you become the best you can be, it’s a professional bike fit. The aim of this service is to tailor your equipment and position perfectly to your physique, maximising comfort and efficiency as you ride.
Here’s four reasons why a bike fit should be at the top of your wish list.
The trouble with buying a new bike ‘off the shelf’ in your local bike shop, or even online, is that you will find you are riding a bike which is most likely totally unsuited to you. Everybody is different, from arm length down to foot size, so naturally the geometry that works for one person, will not fit another. However, there are plenty of things that can easily be altered to maximise your comfort on the bike, of which saddle height and tilt, stem length and handlebar width are the most obvious.
Aerodynamics and power output are two areas that define our sport, especially in the pro ranks. Professional riders will undergo a bike fit pretty much every season to try to identify areas where marginal gains can be made. For an amateur, a bike fit could offer up far greater improvements. The simple act of raising the saddle to the optimal height can enable you to get maximum power out of your legs and also improve comfort in the saddle.
A poorly fitted bike can lead to soreness in the hands, feet, knees, shoulders and lower back, all things which can dramatically affect your desire to keep riding. The good news is that these are all ailments which can be addressed with a professional bike fit. Injuries sustained due to things like incorrect saddle height are the easiest to fix, and by so doing, every aspect of your riding experience will improve.
How does Specialized ‘Body Geometry’ fit work?
Body Geometry fit is the most comprehensive system for connecting rider to bike through ergonomically designed and scientifically tested customisation. The service can take up to 2.5 hours and starts with an interview when you will discuss your individual needs with a trained specialist and evaluate your strength and flexibility.
An 18-step physical assessment is the next phase in which the technician will collect the data which will indicate necessary alterations. Throughout the whole process virtually all the bike fitting tools we use in a Body Geometry fit are created by Retül, a specialist bike fitting team that became part of the Specialized family a couple of years ago. Retül has been specialising in bike fits since 2017, bringing over a decade’s worth of experience to the table.
The physical assessment is followed by a ride analysis to properly assess your position on your own bike, then comes the 15-step fitting process. The technician may advise that you invest in a new saddle, stem or even cranks of different length, but the additional expense is unlikely to be significant. Once you’re all ready to go, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled for a review of your new position.
As it happens, autumn and winter are a great time to schedule a bike fit. Coming after a season of riding, now’s the time to reflect and assess what can be improved for the season to come. The time of year when we all put in lower intensity base miles is the ideal opportunity to adapt to a new position. With a fresh bike fit, 2018 starts now.
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