Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching bike fits are designed to optimise power and aerodynamics. Fitter George Fox answers some of the most common bike fit-related questions
Who needs a bike fit?
Anybody and everybody! The level of your riding doesn't really matter – a lot of the time injured riders get fitted but many others get fitted every season, every time they get a new bike or simply when they feel it is the right time.
Fitting has two very distinct sides to it in my opinion: one is injury prevention/cure and the other is performance. The former is self-explanatory; the latter is aimed at taking you to the next level – you’re not struggling but you just want to go faster!
Our bike fit starts with an off-the-bike assessment. Within this we're looking for key things that might be a limitation when it comes to a time trial or triathlon position. This will help us figure out what is physically possible on the bike.
We then move on to the bike to take some baseline photos, so we know where the rider’s starting point is. Following this we begin to look at biomechanical factors such as finding the right angles for key joints, and this helps us establish the most efficient and strongest pedal stroke.
Once we've established the correct saddle and cleat position we move to the front end. We'll make adjustments and changes based on our extensive wind tunnel experience: we know what works with certain body shapes. The key part of this is that we fully understand the demands of the events on the body: as we're competing at a high level ourselves, we know what is physically possible to hold and what isn't.
How will you work out what's the best position for me?
It’s all down to your body shape, your flexibility and our experience.
There are certain factors we'll take on board from generic bike-fitting systems but those are designed to fit somebody to an 'average' position. The chances of you actually being that average person are very slim, so we would not fit you to an average position – rather, we find the right one. And remember that because we’re aiming at a high level of performance that could mean a more extreme position than you’ll get from an average bike shop fit.
Do you use a wind tunnel or do aero testing?
We do indeed! We use and recommend the wind tunnel as an evolution of bike fitting. It is the next step after a bike fit, it confirms the changes made in a fit and looks at putting a number on your aerodynamics that you can use to plan races. Wind tunnel testing is not included as part of the Performance Bike Fit, so check out our bespoke wind tunnel packages at the Boardman Performance Centre at the bottom of the page here.
What happens if the fastest position isn't the same as the most powerful?
That is exactly what we're here for. So there is always a compromise: the discipline you're getting fitted for is nearly always the biggest determining factor in what is physically achievable. However it is always about finding a balance between power and aerodynamics and a lot of this comes down to our experience when we're making these decisions.
Does everyone end up going faster after a bike fit?
Not always! Triathlon is an amazing sport, and a lot of the time we're looking to make people more aero on the bike in order for the athlete to actually save energy on the bike while travelling at the same speed, meaning that they can run faster.
How often will I need a bike fit?
Most athletes opt for once a year, but it depends on how you're getting on. If something isn't right then you may be tempted to go more regularly, but adapting to the position is also pivotal.
How much does it cost?
Our Bronze level fit is £220 and this is our main bike fit.
Our Silver fit at £290 encompasses the whole Bronze fit but includes Sidas custom carbon insoles done within the fit.
Our Gold fit is £420. This is our Silver fit with a ride out with me after the fit. Within the hour’s ride I will look at the pacing of a 10-mile time trial, how to use the conditions to your advantage and how to put the new position into practice. Which we reckon is priceless knowledge.
If you’d like to learn more about the bike fitting packages we have available at Matt Bottrill Performance Coaching please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ button below and a member of our team will be more than happy to help.