Personal Bike Fitting

Bike Fitting

          Every professional cyclist gets fitted to their bicycle to enhance performance and to reduce the chance of developing joint and muscle pain. The method was a secret art known only by the team doctors and directors. Over time, standards of measurements and wider selection of component size variations have made changing your existing bicycle to fit you better much easier. I always recommend that when buying a road bike in particular that you have a professional bike fitting before you even begin the process of purchasing your bike. With mountain and city bikes, the fitting is done with different parameters based on the riders intended use and preferences for comfort versus performance.

          Andrew Pruitt of the Boulder Sports Institute has been doing this type of fitting for the professional cyclists for over ten years. He has developed a system of measuring systems and standards of measurements to determine when your position on the bike will achieve the results you want without putting undo strain on your joints and muscles. His work in preventing foot, knee and joint injuries and pain is world renown. The people at Specialized Bicycles in Morgan Hill, Ca. have adopted the idea that people should not have to hurt to have fun riding a bike. Their work with the Body Geometry project to make the interaction between human and the bike is designed to produce the results you want with the least number of physical side effects. With the new saddles designed by urologists, shorts with padding to work with the saddle, gloves to relieve ulna nerve pain, and now with the help of Andy Pruitt’s shoe modifications and bike adjustments, you are able to achieve your fitness goals while not having to worry about stressing out your body.

          One of the most important places to start in achieving your performance goals is to get the proper cycling shoes and pedals for the type of riding you do. Shoes with cleats attached to the sole make it easy to position your foot over the proper location on the pedal. The stiffness of the sole will make power transfer to the pedals better as well. What Andy Pruitt has done is make the shims and foot beds with alignment features to produce a more effective pedal stroke while reducing or preventing repetitive strain injuries.

          These new angled foot wedges can greatly reduce the lateral movement in the knee as it moves up and down with each pedal stroke. His work with computer analysis of the path that the foot and knee take as the pedals are turned has proved that these adjustments are working to align the knee more vertically over the foot throughout the stroke. The measuring tools he has developed to determine saddle height and saddle fore/aft positioning , along with stem length and height have made the  process easier and more accurate. I have been riding bikes since 1958 and noticed remarkable improvements in my average speed, reduction in foot pain and less effort needed to ride up hills after getting fitted with the Body Geometry fitting method.

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