All your Bike Fit Questions answered by Physiotherapist Karen Shaw.
What are the most common errors in bike fit and what problems do they lead to?
Probably the four most common errors are a saddle that is set too high, handlebars that are too low or too far away, a bike frame that is too large, or poor cleat position.
Having the saddle set too high can cause knee, hamstring or back problems.
Handlebars that are too low or too far away put undue stress on the lower back, neck and hands.
A bike frame that is too large leads to undue stress on the lower back, neck and hands similar to the handlebar issue above.
Poor cleat position primarily results in knee problems but can cause ankle/ achilles tendon issues also.
Why have a bike fit?
As the great Sir Chris Hoy once said “riding a bike in the wrong position is a bit like trying to run in somebody else’s shoes”
A bike fit needs to be tailored to the individual, for comfort, performance and injury prevention.
Why choose a physiotherapist to do a bike fit?
As physiotherapists we are experts in human movement and can adapt your fit to the unique capabilities of your musculoskeletal system. Physiotherapists are well positioned to blend the performance demands of your riding versus comfort and musculoskeletal limitations to determine the best bicycle fit for you.
For initial setup we can individualise your bike fit to not only your specific body measurements but also your individual core strength and flexibility, experience level and in consideration of your previous injury history.
If your fit is to address injury, we can tailor your fit to protect your injury and then assist you with progression to a more aggressive fit on recovery if desired. We can also provide you with an individualised exercise program to assist your recovery and progression of cycling.
How often should you have your bike fit reviewed?
Typically we suggest you have your fit reviewed 6-8 weeks after your initial fit. This can vary depending on your cycling experience, current distances and if there is an injury involved.
If you are cycling for performance results your fit may need to be reviewed every 4-6 months thereafter to adjust to your body getting stronger and more capable.
If you get a new bike, you should also have a new fit especially if it is a different brand or model of bike.
I want to look like Chris Froome on my bike, can you make this happen?
Believe us, aero is not everything! Often cyclists strive for a fit that looks good and is aerodynamic but their body isn’t capable of maintaining the position and they end up in pain or even injured. Flexibility, core, previous injuries and body type all affect your optimal comfortable setup. It is possible to gradually progress to a more aggressive set up if you are willing to invest in time spent on specific strength exercises off the bike.
You can now book your Bike Fit with Physio’s Hannah & Karen online. If you struggle to find a suitable time please call Reception on 9589 5305 as we are flexible with out of hours appointments.