A bike fit is like going to the tailors and having dress pants altered, perhaps you think it is a waste of time and you could just wear them off the rack but how much nicer is it when they really fit you properly.
How you hold your handlebars, sit on your saddle and even something as simple as pedal cleat position can drastically effect your comfort on the bike. You would be surprised just how much your comfort directly effects your performance. The two main reasons to have a professional bike fit done are to avoid injuries and improve performance, a third might also be efficiency but I think that falls under performance.
Here are a few common discomforts you might have experienced on your bike:
- Knee pain while riding is often a sign of incorrect saddle height and or wrong cleat position
- Neck pain, handle bars are to low or perhaps your aero position is set far to aggressively
- Lower back pain from your saddle position being to far rearward
Making sure your knees are tracking straight through the entire pedal stroke has to be one of the most important things because if it is not proper you will get injured and have decreased performance. A simple item like a mirror can help you correct any strange tracking issues you might have and my coach will often place a mirror in front of us while we are riding to help show exactly the importance of keeping your “knees in”. As knee joints get tired or weak your knees can start to track outward causing problems in inefficiency with your pedal stroke.
As you can see even with my fit last year my left knee was tracking out of alignment, this was because my saddle height was a too low and I was not able to fully extend my leg.
Read the rest at Spencer’s Blog.