Bike Fit FAQ
What should I bring with me to a bike fit?
Your bike (of course) and the clothes that you normally ride in — shoes, shorts, jersey, and you can bring your helmet especially if you’re having any neck symptoms. Form fitting clothes work best since we’ll hook up the infrared markers to you and we don’t want them to flap around and affect any of the movement data.
You may also bring pertinent medical records to discuss and any information from previous bike fits you’ve had done elsewhere.
Do you fit mostly bike racers and people that are really serious about cycling?
While I do a lot of bike fittings on racers from age groupers to professionals, a majority of my fittings are done on “regular” riders who just want to be more comfortable on their bike and are very recreational.
Is it easier to fit pros than weekend warriors?
It’s not easier, but different. There are different considerations when fitting a pro, and often I’m dealing with a significantly different set of skills on the bike. While many times a racers’ mechanics are simpler, there is a microscopic focus on power and efficiency.
With the boom in cycling participation the last 20 years, though, racers make up a very small percentage of riders on the road. Now there are many thousands more riders who would classify themselves from “occasional” to “serious recreational”, and they bring with them a greater variety of body types and movement issues.
That’s why in order to be a skilled bike fitter today, you need to know a lot more about the body and what’s considered aberrant movement (and how to treat/manage it!). The days of being “knowing a lot about bikes” or just being a bike shop employee who does fittings are over.
Is a bike fit necessary for a mountain bike?
Mountain bikes do tend to be more relieving of strain on the body because the rider position is more upright, the rider is forced to change positions and stand more as well as change cadence more often due to the terrain.
I’ve always said that road bikes are repetitive stress injuries waiting to happen for exactly opposite reasons — the position is usually more aggressive and riders tend to change posture and vary cadence less.
But a mountain bike fit is certainly not without merit because many of the same mechanical and movement issues that plague road cyclists also apply on the dirt — the bike still has to be pedaled.
They account for 30-35% of of the fittings I do.
Do you do partial bike fits, like just a cleat fitting or saddle adjustment?
No, and the main reason is because a good bike fit is based on regional interdependence. Which is a fancy way of saying that a change in movement at the foot can affect everything up the chain to the hands and vice versa. So just looking at the cleats or just the saddle will never solve the problem. If we’re trying to resolve some symptoms in the feet, we really need to look at the whole body — we might need to move the saddle or the bars or the cleats or possibly all three, and it quickly becomes a full bike fit.