Last week I had a bike fit on my new bike at Specialized Concept Store Göteborg. My last bike fit was less thorough, and was 3.5 years ago, so I had been looking forward to this for a while. The bike fit was a Specialized BG Fit bike fit, which is like many bike fits in most ways, but is Specialized’s own way of doing it and is the same across all BG Fit stores, and even used on Specialized’s pro-team riders.
I recently bought a bike fit book, and have been enjoying learning a lot about how small changes in position can make a big difference. I have also made minor adjustments based on this, but unfortunately I cannot be as accurate measuring myself as a professional would be. That is why I was excited when I booked my bike fit!
Tobias (Tobbe) from SCS Gbg recently went on a Specialized BG Fit course in Denmark, so that he could start doing the Specialized BG Fit bike fits at the store. On the course, his instructor was one of Specialized’s best bike fitters, someone that has performed bike fits on many of the riders in the pro peloton!
I wasn’t sure what to expect, because I haven’t been keeping up with my stretching since the end of the road racing season, so I hoped my currently-reduced flexibility wouldn’t affect the final outcome…it didn’t 🙂
We started off by measuring a few anatomical things, looking at how my knees tracked, how my feet splayed when in a neutral position, and how flexible I was, among other things. Based on all this, Tobbe suggested I had some slightly-supportive insoles in my shoes and then I got on the bike.
Tobbe set the bike up with an initial position based on all the measurements and then we started to fine-tune the saddle position based on the angles of my legs at different positions in the pedal stroke. This included saddle height, saddle angle, saddle setback (how far behind the centre of the cranks the seat is), and cleat position.
After the saddle position was sorted, we looked at the drop and reach, which is the difference in height from the saddle to handlebars, and the distance between the saddle and handlebars, respectively.
There were many minor changes to my position following the bike fit, and two larger changes: the insoles, and a wider saddle. I will try out the wider saddle for a while, and compare it to my current saddle (the same saddle but 143 mm wide instead of 155 mm wide). Tobbe also suggested I could increase the reach in my position if I wanted, so I will try this position for a while and then consider trying out a longer stem to compare.
I have done two short rides on the bike since the fit, and feel really comfortable – the insoles feel good and when on the hoods the saddle felt nicer as well (I will have to test it more though). I have also transferred the changes in saddle position to my other bikes, so that I am using the optimal position on all my bikes 😀
After having the bike fit, I really recommend it. I was already very close with my old position, but I have had a few knee issues during the season, so I hope that the changes will address that – Tobbe did say the insoles and the slight drop in the saddle height should help, but time will tell.
Why should you have a bike fit?
To find the optimal position for you when riding. This could be to reduce the chance of injury, increase power output, increase comfort, make your position more aerodynamic, or a combination of these.
Who should have a bike fit?
Everyone! But not everyone needs the same level of bike fit. Some people might just need to get their saddle in a fairly-decent position, but others require a much more thorough bike fit. There are even some bike fits where they measure power output in different positions (I think this is more applicable for time trialists though).