Just a few years ago bike fitting was a time-consuming process that helped professional cyclists achieve the decisive extra seconds of performance through fine-tuning with millimetre precision. Today, however, more and more recreational cyclists, bike commuters and touring cyclists are making use of bike fitting.
In the amateur field this process takes much less time than in the professional sector, and the focus is not necessarily on improving speed and performance. Bike fitting in the recreational and amateur sector is instead aimed at:
• accurately finding the ideal seating position and all other adjustments
• the reduction of possible discomfort during cycling
• more efficiency through optimal power transmission when pedalling
• more cycling comfort and well-being.
Bike fitting - what's it all about?
Bike fitting is much more than just adjusting the handlebars and saddle. Basically, it is about adapting the bike and all its components to the rider's body - systematically taking anatomical and ergonomic aspects into account. Not only are factors such as body measurements included (static bike fitting), but the rider's movement sequences when cycling are also analysed (dynamic bike fitting). The high-tech measuring systems which are used take a large number of relevant parameters into account.
How does a bike fitting session work?
As a rule bike fitting starts with a conversation in which the rider's individual wishes and problems are noted down. Anyone who has in the past suffered from sitting problems or discomfort in the legs, knees, back or neck while cycling should definitely mention this.
The rider then takes a seat on a measuring system that can be used to determine the appropriate settings. Such a system has been developed by ergotec Bikeparts, for example, in the form of the ergotec scanner. In a real seating position and while actively pedalling, cyclists can feel how changed settings affect the riding experience and their well-being. At the same time they see themselves on the screen of the scanner system, and can visually understand every change in their posture directly.
Checking the saddle height and position by analysing the angle of the knee, as well as the height, position and shape of the handlebars and the effect of different grips - all important settings can be worked out in an amazingly short time. The results can then be easily and quickly transferred from the measuring system to the bike.
What are the benefits of a bike fitting?
The ergonomically perfect connection between the rider and the bicycle determined by bike fitting basically means more comfort and health during cycling. Cyclists who have experienced discomfort in the past often report a significant reduction in pain and more cycling pleasure.
Bike fitting is not only helpful when you want to optimise an existing bike, but also when you are about to buy a new bike or e-bike. For example, the measuring system can be used to find out quickly and reliably which bike size and frame geometry fits the rider's anatomy. In this way bike fitting becomes an important part of the purchase decision.
Who offers bike fitting?
Today there are numerous providers on the bike fitting market. The majority of service providers need about 1.5 to 3 hours for a fitting, and charge between 200 and 300 euros for it. Bike fittings for professionals are more complex and more expensive. Bike fitting apps are relatively new on the market, but they only offer a limited and highly standardised range of services compared to bike fitting experts.
Specialist bicycle dealers who have trained and gained a qualification in bike fitting are a good alternative to apps and expensive specialists. At such retailers, bike fitting is part of the specialist advice which is provided. Similar to the bike fitting specialist, these specialist dealers carry out bike fitting with a professional measuring system such as the ergotec scanner.
You can find specialist dealers with an ergotec scanner here.