Bike Fit

Bike Fit


Process: Specialized Body Geometry (BG) FIT
Venue: Pedal Heaven, Fleet
Technician: James Bracey
Date: April, 2014

We sat down for an informal chat and went over details ranging from my riding experience, my aims and goals to what am I going to use the bike for, short or long rides, sportives, Grand Tours, etc.
We then covered any current or previous injuries that could impede on my riding position. All of my details were logged on the computer set-up in one corner of the room which also had two cameras linked to it – one side on, one head on – to film my position.
It was then time for a bit of stretching and measuring. Everything from leg length (turns out I have one leg longer than the other), flexibility, balance, hip rotation and measuring my rear end or if you want to be technical, my ischia bones, were measured and recorded in detail to enable perfect saddle width.

"Be one with your bike" - essential for maximising your performance
“Be one with your bike” – essential for maximising your performance

James used the cameras to analyse the curve of my back whilst I performed a simple ‘touch the toes’ exercise. This would later be used to help my profile and position whilst on the bike. A massage table, spirit level/beating stick (I assumed to get me into certain positions!) and some flexible rods for measuring angles, were all brought out and I was bent into all sorts of positions and angles to record my flexibility and range of movement (ROM), which in turn would be used to help set-up my perfect position on the bike.
This was a little more in-depth than I expected, but then after a good hour or so, my bike was brought back into the room and I was talked through the next part of the process in which we would be focusing on the 3 contact points between me and the bike: the pedals, the saddle and the handlebars.
The bike was set up on a turbo trainer in-between the two cameras and the correct width saddle, from my earlier measurements, was fitted.
Cameras are used to record riding position which can then be analysed on the computer
Cameras are used to record riding position which can then be analysed on the computer

One of the last ‘off the bike’ processes was to establish the kind of arch my feet had. The fact it took quite a while for me to do the simple, one footed exercise, easily led James to establish that I had a ‘High Arch’; at one point I could barely stand up on one foot! This was cured very simply by inserting the correct insole into my cycling shoes. A high arch basically means that as I push down through the pedal stoke, the initial power is lost pushing my foot flat; an insert would allow me to engage straight away and not lose any power, maybe not saving much, but every watt counts!

Inner soles and shims
Inner soles and shims

Sticking with the feet, it was onto the bike to look at my shoe/pedal set-up. We started off looking at cleat alignment and returned to the issue that one leg is longer than the other. A few things were needed to be addressed here. James fitted a spacer (or three) to my right cleat and then, with the aid of the cameras, we analysed my pedal stroke. My right leg, with the spacer now in place, was now pretty much bang on – phew!
My left leg was a different matter altogether. Normally your feet mirror each other with regard to the angles they rotate inward. However, it turned out that my right heel was pointing slightly out and my left foot was following it, also pointing inwards. By adjusting the angle of my left cleat and pushing it forward so the pedal axle was under the ball of my foot, we could bring it all into line.
Adjusting cleat position below some wall mounted inspiration of the almost clinical bike fitting suite
Adjusting cleat position below some wall mounted inspiration of the almost clinical bike fitting suite

The camera allowed us to view my pedal stroke and see the differences in the adjustments, all of which I could easily view and be talked through, whilst still sitting on the bike and pedalling away. James frequently paused the video link from the cameras and drew lines on the screen down from my knee, through my ankle and pedal to measure alignment.
Continued overleaf…
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