Fitness

Why You Should Get a Bike Fitting

I started riding clipless a couple months ago and during my last long ride, I experienced knee pain that cut my ride in half and I didn’t dare get on my bike until 2 weeks later when I got a full bike fitting. I knew it was probably a combination of things: my problematic knee that I hurt when learning to snowboard years ago, problems from my over-pronation in my feet, my saddle height, the position of my cleats and the fact that I am very active, so last Sunday, I got my first “full” bike fitting at West Point Cycles.

Why You Should Get a Bike Fitting

Getting hooked up and digitialized on a computer that recorded dynamic measurments as I cycled. Because I work in the gaming industry, I was sad that there weren’t too many customization options (like being able to customize my gear and hair color) and I came out looking like a stick figure. Sigh.

I never had a bike fitting before because they are expensive and I never really had any issues with my bike— until I started riding clipless. A bike fitting at West Point Cycles cost $150 but you know what? It will probably be one of the best things I will ever invest in and I will really know after testing out my new modifications over the next few weeks …and you know the best thing? West Point Cycles will let me come back in the next few months if I’m still experiencing problems but I’ll be back either way. We made some pretty big adjustments on my bike and I already felt the difference with one ride.

…Although my ride yesterday today was a fail because I actually fell before I even started… when I was not even moving yet and fiddling with my GPS with one foot clipped in and luckily, there was only one person watching my misfortune. I fell really hard on my left knee and didn’t realize it was a bloody mess until I got to work. No wonder it was hurting so much. Harharhar. This deserves a blog hashtag: #stuffthatonlyhappenstome

Anyway.

The 2-hour fit consisted of an interview, a flexibility assessment, shoes/cleats/insoles fitting (got inserts which made a HUGE difference in comfort), saddle adjustment, stem adjustments, static measurements, digital imaging with dynamic measurments and of course, they give you all the notes and measurements to bring home with you. One thing I didn’t do that I will come back for in a couple months (already included in the price) is a saddle fitting because I’m being a responsible adult and will pay my income taxes first before dropping serious cash to make my butt feel good.

My Certified Fit Technician was Andrew Fullerton and when I asked him what were the top 3 reasons to get a bike fitting, he replied:

  1. Comfort – I had my cleats and saddle height adjusted and a new stem properly fitted and I can already feel the difference. I also tried a different saddle and I will definitely be back fot it very soon because the saddle I tried felt like my butt was in heaven. I never had problems with my saddle before but after trying a different one, my current one is starting to feel very uncomfortable. It’s NOT in my head okay… I need a new saddle. Harharh.
  2. Efficiency with improved performance and technique. Dynamic numbers, angles and the eye of an expert will tell you what you’re doing wrong and advise you on how to fix it.
  3. Injury Prevention – You could be doing something wrong for years and not know or you chose not do anything about it but it would just get worse and worse over time and finally snap. Getting a proper fitting or learning the correct techniques early on will save you a lot of trouble.

Other reasons to get a bike fitting:

  • It’s interesting and you learn a lot!
  • Peace of mind. I’m paranoid about my knees and would’ve not gotten on my bike again until I had it professionally fitted.
  • You get a detailed report to take home with you which you can reference to when looking at new gear.

Who should get a bike fitting:

  • Serious recreational riders who ride frequently (eg. multiple times per week).
  • Active people like me because you’re more prone to injuries.
  • People training for a race (like the Gran Fondo Whistler).
  • People who are experiencing any kind of pain when cycling (especially those with the “I’ll get use to it attitude”).

Have you ever had a full bike fitting done by a professional? What were your experiences?

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