As you may or may not know I work at Cyclefit, Europe’s leading cycle fitters. As leading experts in the world of cycle fitting, Cyclefit often provide training to aspiring bike fitters.
This Monday, James from our partner store Pearson Cycles came in to consolidate his training. I was volunteered as his guinea pig. Morgan, Cyclefit’s resident physiotherapist and bike-fitter oversaw the session.
I had previously had a ‘on your bike’ cyclefit a couple of years ago with Phil, but I had never had a full cyclefit on the size cycle, so I was pretty excited to see.
First of all James asked me a bit of medical history; past injuries that might affect my riding, and assessed my flexibility. He also asked me about my riding and what my cycling aims are. These are all factors that determine the style of fit and my ability to attain certain positions on the bike. There is no point, if you are a long-distance sportive/endurance rider, setting your bike up really aggressively like your the world time trial champion, especially if you have poor flexibility or weak core strength.
After exploring my aims, flexibility and cycling history James checked my feet and legs to see if I had any leg length discrepancy or foot problems that could affect my fit.
My legs are both the same length but my feet are a bit wonky and I can benefit from custom footbeds to support my arches and stabilise my feet. I was also surprised to find that my feet are almost two sizes bigger than I previously thought; my existing cycling shoes are two sizes too small!
It was then time to hop on the size-cycle. This is an adjustable jig that doesn’t look much like a bike but is really adjustable which makes fine-tuning a fit really easy and precise. James set the jig up initially just based on approximates taken from measurements of my inseam and height. He then stuck some dots on me (on my ankle,knee and hip joints) and got me to start pedalling.
Cyclefit utilise a program called Dartfish which is a motion capture technology that allows the fit technicians to film my movements from front, back and side views. This is a really good tool for the fitters as they can slow down the feed and compare the different positions, but for me it was really interesting being able to see myself cycling. During my fit we found that I drop my left side on each pedal stroke which destabilises my hips and core. The software was really useful to help explain this to me and it was great to be able to see the before and after clips when James corrected my imbalance through using shins and a wedge on my cleats.
The whole session took two hours and by the end of it I was in a much more powerful position. We had changed my saddle as my existing one positively encouraged poor posture and also fitted custom eSoles footbeds along with many other tweaks that will have set my position just perfect for my current fitness, strengths and aims.