A good bike fitting
A good bike fitting is essential to improve pedaling efficiency, enhance performance (i.e. aerodynamics and speed), and avoid pain and injuries that can result from long hours spent on the bike. To achieve proper fitting, several factors have to be considered, including bike geometry, cyclist’s body shape, type of event (long distance road racing, time-trial, triathlon), as well as the cyclist’s physical capacities (strength and flexibility of muscles involved in pedaling). In addition, a good pedaling technique is fundamental to yield a higher energy efficiency, and ensure safe and smooth biomechanics that will protect the cyclist’s muscles and joints.
- Pedaling efficiency relates to how much energy is used vs. how much is generated to move.
- Aerodynamics is an important factor to minimize the drag created by air flow. Time trials or triathlons require very agressive positions on the bike, thus demanding a specific type of fitting, that have yet to meet UCI regulations.
- Injuries resulting from a bad fitting are frequent (knee, low back, neck…). A saddle too high or too low, cleats poorly adjusted, handlebar too low or too far are important factors that need to be corrected.
- Beyond bike fitting, it is important to assess the cyclist’s physical capacities to ensure safety and comfort in the desired cycling position. For example, fitting for a time-trial or short distance triathlon may be beneficial for speed, but requires good back flexibility and may bring strains on the knees. Sometimes, a compromise has to be found between comfort and efficiency.
Every cyclist, from the beginner to the elite, will benefit from a good position on the bike. Too often, bike shops perform bike fittings based on calculations but they do not have the expertise to look at the cyclist himself. This approach would be satisfactory for a recreational cyclist, but less so for cyclists who put several thousands of kilometers on their bike every year. At MyoActif, you can trust the kinesiologist’s critical eye. We bring a special attention to the person who rides the bike, his physical capacities and pedaling technique, to get the most out of the machine and the human body!
A bike fitting session includes :
- Cyclist’s profiling :
- Experience, objectives of the season
- History of past injuries
- Biomechanical assessment (posture, flexibility, curvature of the back, knee alignement, foot and ankle alignment…)
- Bike fitting :
- Saddle height and forward/backward setting
- Validation of types of pedals and cleats adjustments (if needed)
- Validation of height and width of handlebar, length of stem
- Assessment and optimization of pedalling technique (using video analysis)