I recently had a ‘bike fitting’ and now I am now riding stronger and more comfortably. During the fitting, a specialist adjusted my seat height and placement, using various static and video measurements. He also made numerous other suggestions about my set-up and riding technique, all of which are helping me ride better and more easily.
Like many of us, I ride thousands of kilometres every year, so I was a little sceptical when my bike mechanic recently suggested that I should have a bike fitting. He was concerned about my saddle height and said that a specialist would look at various aspects of my bike set-up. I had been making adjustments to try and ease some stiffness in my wrists and triceps. I had also been thinking that with all my practice, I should be riding better than I was. So, I decided that a bike fitting might just help.
After looking online at a few local options, I booked into my local physio, Justin Walsh (Glebe Physio, glebephysiotherapy.com.au), who is an exercise physiologist and a triathlete. We have been very happy when we used Justin before, so I was pleased to see he offers a specialist bike fitting service too.
I turned up to the session with my bike, shoes and nicks. After some measurements and observations, Justin set up my bike on a static trainer. He stuck green dots onto me at some key hinge points and videoed me in action. Here I am – the “Before” case, if you like:
He then made numerous adjustments to the bike, lowering and pushing back the saddle, and checking various other characteristics such as foot angle, clearance and cleat position. After a few iterations, he had me sitting back more comfortably on my ‘sit-bones’. He flipped over my stem, relieving some pressure on my wrists and engaging the glutes more. We also discussed my getting a ‘cut-away’ saddle. He noticed that I was slightly favouring one leg and that I opened out my knees just a little during each pedal-stroke; fixing these will help me to improve my technique.
Here I am with these adjustments made – the “After” photo:
Note how I am now leaning forward further. He says this makes my glutes do more of the work. My previous, more upright posture had my hamstrings bearing most of the load; now I am using my quads and glutes more effectively as well, resulting in more power.
I guess that when you have a bum as big as mine, it pays to take advantage of it.
The examination was very detailed; it took more than a couple of hours. My private health insurance paid almost 2/3 of the cost. I am very pleased with the results and am glad I had it done.