THREE WAYS A BIKE FIT CAN TRANSFORM YOUR PERFORMANCE

Wondering whether getting a bike fit is worth it? We chat to performance bike fitter, Lydia Dant at Phoenix Evolution bike fitters to discover more

Image credit: Pro cyclist and GRTW coach, Claire Steels. Check out her core workouts on our platform here

When you buy a bike, it comes with stock parts built to manufacturers standards but is not specific to your body. The longer you spend in the saddle therefore, it stands to reason that getting the bike fitted to your body is a price worth paying.

A proper bike fit can be the difference between wanting to ride your bike and not wanting to ride your bike,’ explains Lydia Dant, performance lead at Phoenix Evolution and the 2021 winner of Outlaw Nottingham Triathlon. Prices can vary from £150 upwards but everyone will gain the benefits of a bike fit and you don’t need to be pro.

‘A good bike fit involves an extensive understanding of you the rider, and personalised to you taking into account not only your physicality but also the goals you are aiming to achieve in cycling.’

Improve Your Riding Comfort

A good bike fit is fundamentally about improving comfort on the bike which in turn means you will want to actually cycle more. ‘Focus on the ‘touchpoint trilogy.’ Think about the three parts of your body that interact with the bike – your bum on the saddle, your feet touching the pedals and your hands on the handlebars, these three areas all have the potential for an adjustment that can mean greater comfort’ explains Lydia. ‘You don’t have to accept discomfort.’

Optimise Your Positioning

‘Not being able to reach your brake levers or change gear easily will affect how you can can handle your bike,’ says Lydia. ‘A bike fit will help to optimise your positioning so that you feel more in control.’

This can translate to developing more confidence on the bike, for instance cycling downhill or taking drinking from your water bottle or taking on nutrition whilst cycling. Give our bike handling drills a go to build confidence on the bike.

‘It can also help to make you faster and more efficient by putting your body in the best position to utilise the power that is already in your muscles.’

Prevent Injury

Cycling is a repetitive movement exercise, which can result in injuries over time.

‘If your alignment is even just a little bit off, that can add up to an injury,’ says Lydia. ‘Even small, incremental adjustments, of millimetres can make a huge difference to your position on the bike and help to decrease your risk of injury.’

‘Make the bike fit YOUR body and not the other way around.’

But Lydia has one more word of advice;

‘If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to make adjustments – ask yourself, could I be more comfortable? Even if that just means adjusting the height of the saddle or changing the angle of the handlebars. Get to know your bike, ask questions and don’t settle for the one size fits all approach.’

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