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Evidence-based Bike Fits

Cycling Blog

Evidence-based Bike Fits

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March 1st, 2016

We regularly find that many riders are happy to spend thousands of pounds on their bikes and their cycling gear but neglect to invest in a proper bike fit.  (A classic case of all the gear no idea perhaps!)  A bike that is fitted to your body and riding style can significantly improve your efficiency, speed, enjoyment and, most importantly, help you to avoid and eradicate aches, pains, injuries and niggles.

In our opinion, it’s better to spend less on your kit but more on having an evidence-based bike fit with a professional bike fitter before you start any significant training or embark on a long ride.

The key to getting a good bike fit is to choose one that is evidence-based.

Gebeomized bike fitThe key to a good bike fit is the word evidence-based.  Everyone is different….some of us have longer legs and shorter bodies, some of us have high arches or flat arches, some of us ride with different pressure on certain parts of the saddle.   Although computer-based bike fits have their merits (i.e. methods such as Retul and Apex), they don’t not take into account each person’s individualities and goals and are only as good as the fitter who is fitting you.   However, evidence-based bike fits take every aspect of a rider’s body and goals into consideration to fit his or her bike to their exact requirements – and as the name suggests – evidence based bike fits rely heavily on the evidence presented to the fitter via the use of specialist analysis tools – i.e. Gebiomized and Dartfish Software.

What’s involved in an evidence-based bike fit?

In short, an evidence-based bike fit covers two main aspects:

1. Rider interview and postural assessment

The bike fitter will ask a series of questions and make various measurement and assessments of the rider’s body and posture including the rider goals and history.  They will assess leg length and position of the feet. The bike fitter will also take into account any injuries/aches pains and history.

2. Gebiomized Analysis & Dartfish software

Evidence based bike fits 2

Firstly, the fitter will assess the rider’s pressure on the saddle using a gebiomized analysis tool.   This  analysis also gives a good indication of cleat positioning, pelvis rotation, pedal stroke and saddle height.  This involves using video technique and pressure measurement on the saddle which senses how and where you put pressure on the saddle and works out how you move.  This is is used in conjunction with Dartfish software which gives real time dynamic angles of your leg length, torso position, arm position and your centre of gravity.  From these analyses the fitter can work out the ideal position for you and your bike.

How can I book an evidence-based bike fit?

We recommend using Paul Smith (aka Smudge) of Cyclometrics who has fitted over 1,000 people to their bikes using evidence-based fits (from top level athletes to those just starting out).  Smudge is running a week of evidence based bike fits on the 8th April.  The slots are 2 hours long and cost £180 (a bargain compared with competitive bike fits).  The places are running out fast, so please book asap!

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