The importantance of a proper bike fit; Professional bike fittings.
When cycling–particularly when road cycling–I’ve wrestled with chronic lower back pain. Almost like clockwork, after only about 6 or 7 miles into a ride I begin to feel that familiar and annoying ache.
About a month ago I put some effort into doing a basic bike fit, and the results of some very minor tweaks have been nothing short of astonishing.
Simply by lowering my saddle height very slightly–we’re talking about 5mm here–my lower back pain has almost completely vanished! It’s now 30+ miles before I feel any back pain at all, and when it does come it’s nowhere near as severe as it once was. At first I thought it was a fluke, but now there’s no doubt in my mind that the small saddle height adjustment is responsible for the change.
This Global Cycling Network video is a great primer for doing a basic at-home bike fit:
By the way, the Global Cycling Network videos are always extremely high quality and very informative. I highly recommend subscribing to them on Youtube.
Of course a basic bike fit is just that–basic. If just a few minor tweaks made such dramatic difference, then I can only imagine what a comprehensive professional bike fit could do! I suspect a proper fitting would not only allow me to be more comfortable on longer rides, but would also make me more powerful and efficient.
There’s a guy here in Central Florida, Adam Baskin, who I’ve heard great things about. Adam does (among other things) professional bike fittings using the Retül 3-D Motion Capture system. Adam owns Cat One Fitness, and is affiliated with Winter Park Cycles.
I was talking to Tic Bowen the other day (he is a manager at Winter Park Cycles), and he said Adam has done fittings for him and most of the guys there, and it’s definitely worth the money.
I’m thinking pretty seriously about having this done. Have any of you had pro bike fittings done? If so, were you happy with the results?
Here’s a pretty detailed overview of the Retül system: