By understanding these misconceptions about bike fitting, you can learn how to avoid things that could be hampering your progress as a cyclist. You'll also understand the process and science behind bicycle fitting and its value to you, regardless of your riding ability.
Myth No. 1"I only need a bike fit if my position is uncomfortable or if I have just purchased a new bike." 1 of 11
Bike fitting is an ongoing process. Your body is always changing from its fitness, flexibility, weight and strength. It's recommended to get a fit at least once a year. If you have just purchased a new bike or have recovered from an injury or surgery, a bike fit is important in optimizing your performance on the bike.
Myth No. 2"It doesn't work. I have already received a fit before, and it didn't help." 2 of 11
It's important to understand that the term "bike fit" is used in many different contexts, as there are several different philosophies of fit and levels of fitting expertise. Some bike shops may advertise a "bike fit" but are only offering a few minor adjustments, or the person performing the fit was never professionally trained.
A more in-depth fit takes two to three hours and involves:
• An interview on your medical history
• flexibility testing
• range of motion
• spinning on the bike as we analyze your biomechanics and make adjustments to the bike and your position
Myth No. 3"I have a big event coming up and I don't want to get a fit now because it could affect my performance." 3 of 11
When you have an event coming up, make sure you work with a bike fitter who will ensure that the proper adjustments are made to make you more efficient on your bike without making major changes.
Myth No. 4"I have tried many different custom insoles for my feet, but keep getting numbness and tingling, hot feet and discomfort. Maybe I haven't found the perfect insoles." 4 of 11
Issues with your feet usually result from improper cleat placement, saddle placement, and other adjustments on the bike. We spend a great deal of time working with your feet to make sure your feet are not only comfortable but to improve your overall efficiency on the bike.
Myth No. 5"If I lower my stem and get as low as possible, it will make me more aero." 5 of 11
Being hunched over in what people typically think of as an "aero" position could be hindering your performance. There is a scientific formula for what angle your hips can be in before you lose power on the bike. Think about crimping a hose and the water not coming out. This is what you can do to your power on the bike by putting yourself in this position.
During a recent experiment we conducted, Melissa experimented with lowering her stem on a Cervelo P3 time trial bike. After the test, we found her to not only be less aero, but she was extremely uncomfortable in this position.
Myth No. 6"My lower back is bothering me, so I probably need to raise my handlebars." 6 of 11
We have often seen people make adjustments to their bike based on "symptoms" and have not only aggravated those symptoms but created new issues. Raising the handlebars does seem logical but in some circumstances can actually create more pressure in your lower back.
Myth No. 7"My hands keep going numb. Maybe it's either my gloves or I'm getting old." 7 of 11
Your hands are full of many nerves and unfortunately, cycling puts a lot of pressure on these nerves. Sometimes using padded gloves can help alleviate pressure on these nerves and reduce the numbness in your hands, but many times, this is caused by a fitting issue.
A proper fit reduces the amount of pressure that is put on your arms. During a fit, we may adjust the distance and height your handlebars are from your body. We may also pick a new handlebar to improve your fit, as they come in many sizes and shapes (round or flatter).
Myth No. 8"I need to buy a bike first and then get fit to the bike." 8 of 11
You can do it in this order, however we recommend getting a fit first and taking your fit measurements to find your perfect new bike.
Bikes have many different geometries between brands, and even models within a brand. Depending on your riding style, flexibility, goals, and fit measurements, we can help narrow down which options would work best for you and your budget.
Myth No. 9"Bike fitting is expensive." 9 of 11
We'll admit, cycling isn't a cheap sport. However, when you consider the costs of a new bike, wheels, or clothing, a bike fit is a minimal investment. Investing in a fit can also prevent future costs of getting injured or not riding your bike because it was too uncomfortable.
Myth No. 10"I only get discomfort when I go longer distances on my bike...should I just ride shorter distances from now on?" 10 of 11
Riding longer distances should be enjoyable yet challenging. A proper bike fit will ensure that no matter the distance you are riding, you are optimized in comfort and performance. You never have to resort to shorter distances on your bike rides, unless you absolutely want to.