We often get asked by our clients after how many years they should consider a new Bike Fit. There is not always a straightforward answer to this but there are some factors that indicate that it might be the time to take another look at your riding position. Below we talk about four of the most common.
It is not uncommon to have a change in goals. For example, we often see riders who have enjoyed taking part in 300km mass-participation events, such as Vätternrundan, and now what to compete in circuit races or road races which are of a much shorter duration. Conversely, many triathletes often test the waters with a Sprint or Olympic distance triathlon but then quickly want to progress to a full Ironman (or more!). With the shorter events speed is paramount and often a more aggressive position will be advantageous. However, for longer events the sustainability and comfort of the position will be of higher priority. For many cyclists / triathletes their optimal position for the shorter events will not be maintainable for longer durations and will need to be adapted accordingly. The sustainability of a rider’s position can be assessed using off-the-bike biomechanical assessments, Leomo motion analysis software or pressure mapping.
A change in strength, flexibility or movement co-ordination
Strength, flexibility and movement co-ordination are all factors that have a profound impact upon a bike fit and ultimately your bike position. For example, riders who are not very flexible in their hamstrings will often require a lower saddle height, relative to riders who are more flexible. On a similar vein, riders with more core strength and greater movement co-ordination (or proprioceptive awareness) will often be able to maintain a more aggressive, long and low position. The great news about these factors is that they can be improved through training, both on- and off-the-bike. At PFP you will always be given a set of targeted exercises to help you improve any weaknesses you have in these areas. If you have done the work, it may be time for a new fit and a more aggressive position!
Following an injury or a crash
As cyclists we’ve all been there whether it be a small niggle, broken collarbone or something a little more serious. Although cycling is often a great form of rehabilitation it’s important to take things slow and not to rush your recovery. This doesn’t just mean dropping those hard intervals from your weekly plan, the bike fit may also need to be adapted. You need to take into account any loss of strength or range of movement caused by the crash / injury and adapt the bike accordingly. The position can improve as you do!
The arrival of a new baby
For many women, an important time to have a new bike fit is after having a new baby. Child-birth can be a traumatic experience for the body and may lead to changes in the female anatomy which may impact upon how you sit on the bike. A position that worked for you previously may no longer be comfortable and you may need to look at relaxing your position (in the short-term) and / or changing your saddle, with which saddle pressure mapping can be very helpful. You may also want to incorporate some core-strength work into your training following child-birth as these muscles may have become weakened (particularly if you had a caesarean section). This could impact upon your posture on the bike, and the overall sustainability and comfort of the position.
If any of the above sound familiar or things have just started to feel a little different / not quite right on the bike it might be worth you considering a new bike fit. Remember you and the bike need to work and grow in harmony!
If you have questions as always please do not hesitate to get in touch. We always love to hear from you.
If you would like any more information about our Bike Fits or any of our other services please get in touch.