Physioactive visits Bites & Bikes to find out why bike fitting is important

With biking becoming more popular in this pandemic even physiotherapists recommend a good bike fit to avoid injuries.

During the current pandemic a lot of people have picked up cycling. This is of course a good thing, but with biking being so popular now, the injuries have also increased. A good way to prevent bike injuries is to make sure that your bike is properly adjusted to your body, the process of bike fitting. To learn more about this we went to visit Bites & Bikes, the leading bike fitting shop in the greater Jakarta area.

What is Bike Fitting?

Cycling is a repetitive motion. In an hour, a cyclist may pedal 5000 revolutions. Over time, an improper bike fit may lead to discomfort, pain, and eventually injury.

Bike fitting is the process of adjusting a bike for a cyclist for optimal comfort, performance, and efficiency.

There are some cyclists who complain of the buttock, back, lower limb, upper limb, and neck pain associated with cycling. Often the cyclist may have tried pressure garments to relieve areas of pressure like gel pads in gloves, gel seat covers, upright handlebars. Often these are band-aid solutions.

Additionally, cyclists often experience overuse injuries such as cyclist’s palsy, cyclist back, and Anterior knee pain as a result of an incorrect cycle set-up.

Bike fitting is for anybody who cycles. A good bicycle fit goes a long way to prevent overuse injuries and helps muscles and lungs function at their best ability, all improving performance, and enjoyment.

Factors to consider during a cycling fit:

Foot position

When placing your foot on a flat pedal, the ball of your foot should be just in front of the pedal spindle, allowing the rider to stay balanced when standing on the pedals. Having your foot further back on the pedal (more contact near the toe) places the Achilles at a disadvantage allowing it to fatigue quicker when standing on pedals and can lead to Achilles problems.

Foot position relative to the bike spindle

Saddle height

A very important part of a bike fit is the saddle height. A simple way to get your basic seat height is by having your heels over the pedal spindles, your heels should stay in contact with the pedals throughout an entire backpedal stroke. If you lose contact with the pedals or have to rock your hips to maintain contact, your saddle is too high. Then with the foot in the cycling position your knee should have a slight bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. This keeps your knee joint stable and protected.

Saddle height measured using straight leg and heel

Stem

Some people prefer a more upright position especially those with back issues or flexibility issues. This can be addressed by adding a spacer to the stem to bring the handlebars up higher.

Handlebar position

A bike fit is about fitting to you to allow for individual anatomical variations. The handlebars should be in a comfortable lean forward position that doesn’t strain your back, neck, shoulders, or wrists.

Final Results

As you can see the final results look much better than the original position.

Final bike fitting results

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