THE IMPORTANCE OF A BIKE FIT
Did you guys realize that summer started? Mostly if you’ve looked at a calendar recently you’ve noticed that all these events you signed up for last winter are a lot closer than you maybe want them to be. If you’re like me you’re trying to cram in the training miles now with the long warm days. This activity of suddenly adding a lot with your bike fit. One of the difficulties with bike fit is we don’t always know f miles at a time to your routine is a good way to reveal possible problems things are wrong until we start piling on the miles. Then we don’t want to change anything because we’re afraid to mess with what we’ve been doing. Sound familiar? Well friend, here’s some quick points on bike fit to help you think through it a little more.
- Bike fit is for all cyclists. Don’t think that because you’re not a “racer” or “elite rider” that bike fit isn’t for you. If you ride your bike recreationally then you owe it to your body and mind to get fit for the sake of having more fun with fewer worries .
- Bike fit changes over time. If you had a fit years ago, don’t think it should be the same today. I had to change my saddle position due to changes in my left knee which resulted from the way I stand leaning on my left foot all day. I am disciplining myself in the way I stand but the changes occurred without me knowing. Age, injury, lifestyle, weight, and flexibility are all dynamic things that can affect your bike fit. If it’s been a while and you’ve got some big events planned for the year, think about a new fit.
- Yes, you should be concerned about performance. No you don’t have to be a Strava hunting robot but performance is ultimately about getting from point A to point B in an efficient manner. A good bike fit should allow you, the engine of your machine, to function more efficiently. This means you have more fun and struggle less. If you use the “performance doesn’t really matter to me” excuse then why don’t you just ride an old beach cruiser with rusted bearings and no chain? Performance matters because it serves as a scaffold for your fun.
- Don’t be a know it all. Yes, you may be an experienced cyclist. Yes, you may know how to read the internet but at every event I work I see people with glaringly poor fits who refuse advice. It’s possible your weird fit works for you after years of sticking to it or it’s also possible things could be better. It’s simple. If things could be better maybe you owe it to yourself to try to make them better. It’s OK to ask for and even pay someone for help. No, really. There are people who are very good at this.
- Be sensible. Fittings and saddles and stems and handlebars and insoles can get expensive real fast. Make sure your fitter is sensible and respectful to you. If you get the feeling the fitter is only trying to sell you more stuff it’s OK ask them about it. You shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable with what they are suggesting. The simple fact is fitting is part of a business and is thereby designed to make the store money. That is fine and good but only if you’re OK with what they’re offering. Perhaps you need a safe word with your fitter, you know, something that says “whoa, this feels like it is getting out of control, let’s step back and make sure it is reasonable.” Mostly what I’m saying here is fitters aren’t powerful magicians that you can’t question. (BTW this holds true for mechanics. Be sensible but don’t be a know it all; it’s a good rule for life anyway)
- Remember what it’s all about. The fit is for your fun. Fitting shouldn’t become a stress point, psychologically or financially. You’ll reap the rewards of a reasonable investment made.
Jason Gardner is lead Whisperer at Jinji Cyles. TE members always get 10% off and advice and smiles are always free.