A bike fit, or bike fitting, refers to customisation of a bike to achieve the optimal positioning of the rider. It is both an art and a science, and enables enhanced performance, improved ergonomics, safer riding with fewer injuries, better comfort, and greater power output.
Not all bike fits are the same – and each is dependent on the type of bike and its use. Here is a basic explanation of the different types of bike fit based on the bike…
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A customized road bike will be fitted to suit the type of riding you do – sprinting, climbing, distance, recreational and everything in between. The main aim of this bike-fitting service is comfort and the prevention of injury. Comfort equals performance. It involves a detailed and comprehensive analysis of biometric factors and personal anatomy to achieve the most effective, efficient and comfortable riding position for the style of riding you participate in.
What is the difference between Time-Trial and Triathlon bikes?
They are very similar but have to follow different certification rules. For example, under UCI regulations the saddle of a TT bike must be at least 5 cm behind a vertical line drawn through the bottom bracket (cf. Rules 1.3.011 to 1.3.025), there are constraints on the size, shape, and orientation of frame members, and so on. Triathlon bikes are certified under a different set of rules depending on the race being run and allow a greater degree of integration of components (such as water bottles that are designed to fit within the frame in a way that enhances aerodynamics). Currently, any UCI-certified TT bike can be used in a triathlon but not all triathlon bikes are allowable in UCI-sanctioned races.
Triathlon is an endurance activity and positioning must be sustainable, while affording aerodynamic efficiency. Also accounted for in a customised triathlon bike fit are considerations such as reaching for sustenance mid-ride and also running off the bike.
Time Trial (TT) bike
With this bike, it’s all about aerodynamics – an aggressive riding position that is nonetheless sustainable for the rider. This bike fit identifies the premium combination of aerodynamics, power and comfort.
Mountain bikers ride in a vast array of conditions and utilise many different riding skills. Gravel tracks, climbs, technical downhill descents, obstacles and narrow single tracks necessitate a wide variety of skills and a bike that is built for all conditions. The bike needs to be fitted uniquely to accommodate saddle comfort, postural comfort, control, power, manoeuvrability and safety to prevent pain and injury. The right mountain bike fit will make the bike feel like a part of your body – helping you stay upright and moving.
Safe commuting on a bicycle relies on a comfortable position, so that the rider’s focus is on the traffic and surroundings rather than their own body. Safe and comfortable positioning via a professional bike fit amplifies your ongoing safety on the road.
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