Physio Bit Fit

With a recent increase in bike and home trainer sales around Australia during covid-enforced lockdown (Bicycle Network, 2020), it is a really good time to raise awareness about the importance of fitting a person to their bike.

Many people, particularly those newer to bike riding, assume their pains and discomforts must be a ‘normal’ part of riding and that they will ‘adapt’ as their body gets used to it. In some cases, this has an element of truth. In other cases, people will find themselves tinkering with their bike fit, trying different saddles, different chamois creams, various knicks, different gloves, sometimes to little or no avail.

Unfortunately this can be very off-putting (and expensive!) and I’m sure this has turned many people away from riding. Often these adjustments are just treating the symptoms of the discomfort rather than the cause which is why they’re forever searching for that magical fix.

So there’s the comfort element of bike fitting but a professional bike fit can also improve your efficiency and hence your power, meaning you can ride faster for less effort. It really depends on each person’s goals and bike fits are usually individually tailored to meet these needs, whether you’re a semi-professional road cyclist, a regular commuter or a weekend warrior.

What is a Physio bike fit?

Physios are very well-placed to perform bike fits due to our level of expertise in body assessment and tailoring each fit to a person’s specific needs.

Traditionally, bike fitters would use an anthropometric measure such as an inseam length, then calculate saddle height based on a formulae such as the LeMond method. While this can be quite helpful to set a base window of saddle heights, it does not take into account individual circumstances such as flexibility meaning that you may end up in a position that is not optimal for you.

We are able to factor in any past or present injuries, areas of discomfort, history of riding and your goals to ensure your fit is a comfortable, sustainable one for you.

What are common conditions bike fits can help improve?

Research shows that the most common injuries for cyclists are knee, lower back and neck discomfort (Clarsen et al, 2010).

A professional bike fit can also assist with hand tingling, ‘hot foot’ and saddle region issues.

Aspire Physiotherapy Bike Fit options

1. Comprehensive bike fit. Allow up to 90 minutes. This commences with physical assessment, including strength and range of motion testing. This enables me to identify any potential factors for discomfort on the bike. I then take detailed measurements, have a look at your cycling biomechanics and fit and make any adjustments that I recommend. Again, you will be emailed a thorough report with measurements and recommendations regarding both your fit and any factors identified through physical examination.

2. Follow up. Allow up to 45 minutes. The purpose of this session is to review any changes made to the bike along with any recommended treatment and/or exercises.

Why Aspire Physiotherapy?