Breaking News: Riding your bike can be more enjoyable, and pain-free. Your bike just needs to ‘fit’. Bicycle fit services are becoming very popular; many shops nationwide are taking advantage of this necessary service.
Bike fits help all cyclists, from the casual rider to the professional athlete. A proper fit session will include the unique needs of the cyclist and adjust the bicycle accordingly. It consists of the latest methods developed by physicians, cyclists, and fit specialists.
It begins with how the rider moves on the bike given their individual abilities, limitations, and previous injuries. With a quality fit, riders can be bio-mechanically efficient, balanced, comfortable, aerodynamic, and they’ll breathe more effectively and also prevent injury.
Basically, a rider will use less energy and ride further, faster. Bicycle fitting has brought many people back into the sport, renewing a love for cycling lost to pain and discomfort. But beware, not all bike fits are equally effective or beneficial.
Some bicycle fitting systems use only mathematical calculations to determine bike size with general body measurements or simple observations. The most beneficial fit systems will account for flexibility, riding style, riding goals, previous injuries, and strengths/weaknesses.
Quality bike fits are performed by certified fit technicians and can cost $200-$500. It’s a good value considering an improper fit can cause life-long injuries and rehabilitation or physical therapy can cost thousands of dollars. Or, consider the money wasted on a bike that is never ridden because of constant discomfort.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ben Rollenhagen, MA, is a professor of Phys. Ed. and Sport at Central Michigan University and a specialized Certified Body Geometry Fit Technician.