Jan. 21, 1922, 12:09 p.m.
Bike Fitting 2021
The art of the optimal bicycle set-up
Although professional cyclists spend hours optimising their position on the bike, recreational cyclists often overlook this crucial step. Training and racing, no matter for how long or how intense, will have impacts on an athlete’s body. Arguably, all types of cyclists would benefit from being fitted correctly to their bicycles for two key reasons:
1. reduce the chance of injury; and
2. increase their ability to produce optimal power output when needed – or simply to go faster with less effort.
Since Retul launched their bicycle fitting system in 2007, there has been a huge increase in fitting systems and businesses offering services to help cyclists get the most out of their position on the bike. Some examples are Bikefit, Guru cycling, Bicycle Geometry and Leomo – the latter launching a new motion kinematics analysis technology December 2020.
These fitting systems assist the bicycle fitter through static kinematics, 2-dimensional kinematic measurements and motion capture to determine the rider’s optimal saddle height, saddle set-back, reach to the handlebar, and drop to handlebar from the saddle. An experienced bicycle fitter will also be able to adjust the set-up based on individual needs related to personal cycling discipline and range of motion limitations.
When cyclist’s are considering their position on the bike, the main question I get is around back angle. The optimal will vary based on individual needs and discipline. For example, Retul suggests a back angle range from 16 degrees (Time Trial) to 55 degrees (MTB). The best way to analyse set-up is in a dynamic functional manner while the rider is pedalling. This can be achieved by expanding on the motion capture Retul system through the use of Leomo (motion analysis) and GP Bike mapping system (saddle pressure).
An experienced bike fitter can add watts to your power output and help to prevent injury through correct set-up for each individual rider. But what about when you leave the bike fitting studio. To help clients, I have created a new app called Measure My Bike that saves bicycle positioning data, allows you to apply these measurements to any new bike and creates a log of your bicycle history.
But no matter what system is used, all riders would benefit from being correctly set-up on their bicycle by offering optimal functional power efficiency, greater comfort, decreasing the potential risk of soft tissue injury, resolve existing problems and help riders reach their personal goals on the bike.
Moving Forward MeasureMyBike