Get a Bike fit for 2023, book an appointment now
Making sure a bike fits has come a long way from just measuring your saddle height, dependent on whether you can touch the pedals or seeing if you can reach the bars. Nowadays, riders and scientists alike know that having an optimised position on your bike can lead to improved power output and more comfort over longer periods. In this article, we’ll look at what a bike fit actually is, how it’s performed and what benefits you could see from getting one.
What is a bike fit?
A bike fit is where you are fitted to your bike. Essentially, it goes beyond saddle height and provides in depth measurements so you can ride your bike more comfortably, help to prevent injuries from forming and even help old niggles if you’ve got any. Not everyone needs a bike fit, but if you think you could benefit from a more comfortable setup or want to be more aerodynamic, then it’s certainly worth considering.
To benefit from a bike fit you don’t need to be a professional athlete, nor do you need to be on a road bike. A bike fit can be performed on many types of bikes including mountain bikes or time trial bikes, for example.
How do we perform a bike fit at Specialized?
If you choose to have a bike fit performed at one of our Concept Stores, then we use either the Body Geometry Fit guidelines or a Retül bike fit. Which we use as it enables riders to maximise their comfort, power and endurance on the bike.
The Body Geometry Fit is performed on an individual basis, with an interview first to find out your goals, your needs as a rider and how you ride. Then, a physical assessment which includes an 18-step comprehensive process to determine your flexibility and the dimensions of your body.
Then, your fitter will perform a visual assessment of your position on the bike as you ride. This provides them with extra information about how to optimise your position. Finally, the bike fitting process. It contains 15 steps and will help your bike fitter personalise your bike position and equipment. By this we mean things like your stem length, handlebar width, shoes and cleat position, and more.
Once your bike fit has been completed, your fitter will arrange a follow up appointment after you’ve had time to adjust to your new riding position to make sure you’re happy with it. This time can also be used to answer any questions about your reviewed position.
The Retül bike fit uses 3D motion capture technology to measure your riding position with extreme accuracy, providing data to your bike fitter (and yourself) so you can make informed decisions about changing equipment.
How can one benefit your riding?
An in-depth bike fit can be wholly beneficial to your riding. It’s a way to learn about your body, how flexible you are, your strengths and weaknesses both on and off the bike. If you’ve been suffering from a long-term injury without finding the cause, a bike fit could help you identify just that.
It’s also beneficial if you’re planning on buying a bike. A lot of us are guilty of doing a very basic assessment on whether a bike will fit us before parting with our cash. Every brand is different, and a 51cm in a Specialized might be very different to a 51cm in another brand. Thus, having a bike fit before you buy can help you to assess whether your new bike is going to fit you properly and potentially save you thousands of pounds alongside aches and pains.
Finally, if you are a racer, there’s no better way to extract extra power than training – but if you aren’t maximising your position on the bike, you won’t be able to unleash your full potential. We’re not saying you’ll suddenly find an extra 100 watts in your functional threshold power. But every little helps and it could be those few watts that make the difference between victory and settling for second.
Fancy seeing what a bike fit is all about? Head to your local Specialized Concept Store where our friendly team will be able to answer any questions you might have about the process. Find your local store here.
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