When you begin cycling, whether while purchasing a new bike from a bike shop or after getting used bike from a friend, most people will recommend getting a bike fit for the new ride. You’ve heard the term “bike fitting” before, but what exactly does that mean?
Bike fitters have usually gone to a school or gone through a class and have learned how to set a rider up on their bike so that their seat height, bar drop, and seat set back are in a good working range. Bike fittings can cost from about $150-$500, depending on the fitters’ skill and/or depth of the fit session. You can also call us directly to see what saddles could work for you best for your set up, or potential set up, and your body type.
There are many helpful articles and videos on the internet of how to position a rider on the bike, but the most important thing is to find a fitter that is willing to build a relationship with you and will understand what your needs will be in the fit session.
We believe, as do virtually every fit school, that fitting has to start with a comfortable saddle. The saddle that came on your bike may or may not be the correct saddle for you. There is no one perfect saddle for every person’s body type.
If you’re finding cycling to be uncomfortable and thus unenjoyable, there is a high chance the reason behind the discomfort is your bike positioning, bike fit, or your saddle. Bike positioning is often and easily overlooked in both cycling and in triathlon, but is incredibly important in many ways.
During your bike fit session, be verbal about how your crotch feels on the saddle and the setup of the saddle. Don’t be embarrassed to speak up! Your crotch will thank you if you take the time to make sure it is comfortable. Most shops will have demo saddles available for you to test so you can try them out and make sure you are getting the right one! For women's special needs, reading our Innie and Outie Article can also help you figure out what saddle will work for your body best.
Here are just a few things a professional and refutable bike fitter can help with:
- Fitting your bike to your body
- Setting up your bike in a position for your type of riding
- Choosing the right saddle for your body and riding style
- Cycling shoe cleat alignment and hot spot elimination in the feet
And most importantly…
- Overall Comfort!
Some things to remember for your fit session:
- Your Cycling Goals – What do you want to get out of your cycling experience? Want to be more comfortable overall, get faster, or become more aero? Make sure the fitter knows what your goals of the fit session are and be verbal about how different changes feel—especially if it deals with your comfort! Remember that bike fits are never truly finished. As your fitness, body, and goals change, your bike fit will change as well.
- Crank Length – Shorter crank lengths not just have many benefits but plays a very crucial part, especially for cyclers with shorter legs.