TYPES OF BIKE FIT:
Bike fitting has become increasingly popular over the last few years. The reason for this is that people are beginning to understand the importance of being positioned correctly on their bike. The correct bike fit will improve your power, efficiency, comfort and most importantly reduce the risk of injury.
At BSS, all bikefits (Road, Time Trial / Triathlon / Track, MTB) start with a full background review including training history, injury history, goals etc. We then perform a full FMS (functional movement screen) to analyse movement patterns and identify movement dysfunction. We also check for structural and functional leg length differences and other alignment discrepencies prior to starting the bikefit. This allows us to gain a deep understanding of you and your body in order to effectively fit your bike to you (and you to your bike).
A good road bike fit is about getting the connection points accurate ( ie the points where your body touches the bike). For a road bike there are only 5 points of contact that can be adjusted: left and right feet, left and right hands, and the saddle. By placing these contact points in the optimal position for your individual body, you can have a successful bikefit and this should result in the 'Perfect ride" on your bike.
The actual bikefit includes a detailed look at the foot / pedal interface, saddle height and fore/aft as well saddle comfort and the 'cockpit': the stem, handlebars, hoods and break levers. This is done using goniometers, laser beam technology, and video motion tracking software.
Many people question the value in having a mountain bike fit, however when you consider the terrain that people ride over on their mountain bike and the length of time riders are on their bikes, it becomes just as important as a road bike fit.
As an ex National and International Cross Country rider, David understands first hand the demands that a cross country rider's body will undergo in a long ride or race, and can use this knowledge to help you be positioned more efficiently and comfortably on your bike.
As with a road bike fit, the MTB fit focusses on the same 5 connection points wih the bike and uses the same fitting equipment to complete the fit. The MTB bikefit includes a detailed look at the foot / pedal interface, saddle comfort and hand positioning. We also pay special attention to saddle height differences for Cross Country Riders and Downhill riders, as well as stem length and handlebar position / width. A BSS MTB Bikefit will prepare you and your bike for the demands of riding on even the toughest trails.
Rest assured, regardless of what bike you ride, all your needs will be catered for at BSS Bikefit.
As with the Road and MTB bikefit, a BSS Triathlon /Time Trial bikefit focusses on targetting the connection points between you and the bike. There are seven connection points on a triathon/time trial setup (refer to diagram on the left). A Triathlon / Time Trial bikefit differs from a road / MTB bikefit in a few ways including increased focus on aerodynamics, lower optimum seat height and fore/aft etc. Special attention is given to the positioning of the rider on the bike to ensure optimum seat height / fore-aft, handlebar positioning, aerobar positioning (aerodynamics) etc. As with Road and MTB fits, the Foot / Pedal interface is the basis of a good Tri fit. A BSS Tri bikefit will ensure that you are not only in an aerodynamic position on the bike, but will also setup you up in the most comfortable and power efficent way, leading you to great performances on your bike.
At BSS Bikefit we understand the differences between a standard road bike and a time trial bike and fit you accordingly . The main difference is the seat angle. A road bike has a seat angle of approx 72-73 degrees which is aimed at maximising efficient use of the leg muscles especially the hamstrings and glutes, however there is evidence to suggest that for triathletes this will reduce the ability to transition into the run effectively. Therefore, the seat tube angle for triathlon and time trial bikes is closer to 76 - 80 degrees which places the rider further over the cranks allowing for better aerodynamics and maximises use of the quads. This position also reduces the use of the hamstrings, which in theory allows for an easier transition into the run. There is still mixed research out there regarding this, however, the concensus is that the forward positioning of a time trial bike is not only more aerodynamic but also easier to commence running from.
The triathlon position is also generally more static than a road bike fit so it is important to make sure that this position is correct to ensure comfort and efficiency over the longer rides. From a biomechanical perspective, if you have to sit up off your aerobars for more than 10 minutes per ride you are better off riding a traditional road bike setup - the trade off between aerodynamics and power production. At BSS we will help you setup your bike in an aerodynamic position that is comfortable for extended periods of time.
In addition to all this, a lot is said about going from the bike to the run in a triathlon but Bikefit and Sports Science believes that the transition from the swim to the bike is equally important. Using biomechanical principals BSS can set you up on your bike in a way that will make the transition from swim to bike as efficient as possible by keeping key muscles relaxed and in position. This is something that other fitting systems do not take into account.
We may recommend that you undertake a hard swimming session immediately prior to the bikefit. This allows us to see the athlete when their body is already fatigued as it would be in a race situation. You may be surprised how different you will sit on your bike after a swim compared with before it.