Do you need a professional bike fit?

In this blog Race Team athlete Jason Walkley talks from experience about the important role that a bike fit can have in your enjoyment and performance levels on the bike. Jason is a long time customer of Bridgtown Cycles who are sponsoring the Tri Training Harder Race Team with 2016 Boardman bikes along with providing bike fits for the Race Team as well as coaching staff out in Portugal.

Jason, training on his Boardman TTE in
the Algarve, Portugal

A professional bike fit is one of the best investments a serious cyclist can make and is something I highly recommend for all riders. Those new to the sport will be amazed at what a dramatic difference the correct fit
can make when it comes to comfort, performance and overall enjoyment of cycling.

Spring has sprung, and it’s finally time to start adding distance to your training rides. Most people look forward to a season full of long days in the saddle. But nagging aches or pains can suck the enjoyment right out of cycling and turn a long ride into a REALLY long ride.

Gone are the days where, as a kid, you would sit astride the ‘cross bar’ (now known as the ‘Top Tube’) and providing you could touch the floor whilst on tip toes and at bare minimum reach the handlebars then the bike fitted you. In today’s high tech world of gadgets, CFD’s, aerodynamic modelling and profiling, computerised bike fits are widely available for a small amount of cash in relation to what you can spend on a bike itself.  People tend to overlook this aspect as they see this £200ish as an expensive option, but then think nothing of spending anything up to £10,000 on a bike.

But who needs a bike fit?

Anyone who plans to spend any length of time riding a bicycle will benefit greatly from a professional bike fit. A proper fit can:

- Improve overall rider comfort
- Help prevent cycling-induced repetitive stress injuries
- Reduce or eliminate back, knee, neck and wrist pain
- Reduce or eliminate “hot foot”
- Reduce or eliminate saddle discomfort and genital numbness
- Reduce or eliminate numbness in the hands and fingers
- Reduce rider fatigue

A good fit can also improve riding performance, because it allows the rider to use multiple muscle groups in the most effective and efficient manner.

Jason at Bridgtown Cycles during his fitting process
for his Boardman TTE

What happens during a bike fitting session?

The first step in the process is the rider interview. Taking into account your history as a cyclist (and an athlete), your cycling goals and any injuries you’ve had that can affect your comfort on the bicycle. From there an assessment of your flexibility and measurements of various parts of your body are made. 

A typical fitting includes:

- Setting clipless pedal cleats in the correct orientation and fore/aft position
- Setting your seat height and fore/aft position
- Evaluating shoes and insoles
- Determining correct stem length, handlebar height and handlebar width
- Rider asymmetry
- Saddle review
- Video Analysis

All this together will build a solid base on which you can really progress your training and gain minutes in previously lost time on your peers.

Some of the issues people have whilst cycling are the following:

- Muscle overloading in the arm
- Pain & Discomfort in the elbow
- Wrist ache
- Pins and needles
- Lower back pair
- Shoulder discomfort
- Neck Ache
- Penile numbness
- Saddle sores
- Glute numbness
- Sit bone pain
- Constant hunting for a comfortable position
- ITB Syndrome
- Muscle Tightness
- Knee pain

The list goes on and on……. Need I say more?

We as a team at TTH are incredibly lucky to have support from Mike ‘The Bike’ Taylor and his team at Bridgtown Cycles in Cannock ( and their in-shop bike fit studios ( Mike’s credentials as a bike fitter are astounding, he works with Lucy Gossage, Scott Neyedli, Tom Lowe and 4xIronman World Champion/13x Ironman Winner Chrissie Wellington to name but a few, but also numerous top Age Group athletes across the UK. 

Mike and his team will fit the bike to the rider and not the rider to the bike. For a comprehensive bike fit session please give our TTH Team sponsors a call on 01922 411180 or via the website links above.

Having worked with Mike for the past 6 years on my fit I can honestly say it is one of the best ‘bang for buck’ gains money can buy.

Hope your winter training has gone smoothly and now spring is here we can all get out a bit more and really get our teeth into some good training for the upcoming season.

Train smart!