For a long time now professional bike fitting has continued to be a very personal ordeal whereby a fitter uses a range of different methods and accepted practices to manipulate your body into an accepted shape, that will avoid injury and enable you to ride comfortably. If that is what you’re looking for then there is a good chance you could visit nearly any fitter in the country and you’d be safe with what you leave with.
Here at MBPC we do things a little differently. ‘Accepted’ ranges are great for avoiding injury, however time trialling and triathlon are quite extreme sports, the training, lifestyle, decisions and performance to go along with them are also quite extreme. You might guess where we’re going with this? Well yes, you need to avoid, or sometimes even fix injuries, however to match your extreme sports decisions you will likely need a position that when compared to a safe fit is quite extreme.
Knowing what you want from a bike fit is crucial. Aerodynamics, comfort and injury prevention are the most common desirables. Typically, with the bike fits we have completed here at MPBC, aerodynamics is the most important factor that the riders are looking for. But what we do goes further than that. To manipulate a human into a biomechanically optimised position often needs a mechanical change. Too often we see a rider who has been fitted with the equipment they have, and often this simply does not work, now it might be the cheapest most cost-effective way of doing things, however if you’re already paying for a bike fit then you may as well get it right the first time!
So, when fitting cyclists and triathletes we utilise a whole host of different extension poles to look at how this affects your overall biomechanics. We use a wall of helmets to find the best solution for your head position, not just what everybody else is wearing! In addition to these we also host a whole range of angled shims, pads and other mechanical changes that can aid the biomechanical goal of the fit.
Holding your position is very trainable, there is no doubting that. But how to hold it, that’s an art. Having a tutorial solely on how to hold your position and how to train your body to hold it is a massively under rated part of the fit, this is pivotal to a rider leaving us and heading out onto the road holding the position they left us with, not what ‘feels’ like the position they left us with.
It would be very easy to post a comparison for a before/after for each of the riders we fit, but the reality is that a lot of the time the tutorial adds as much value as the mechanical changes we make themselves. The key thing to remember is that everybody is so individual and can contort their bodies into such different shapes that posting those comparison shots may lead riders down the wrong path with trying to ‘copy’ a position!