Bike Fit

We as humans are very complex people both physically and mentally.

One thing that cannot be ignored though is that we are largely a system of biomechanical levers and this is true for what ever physical motion we make. Cycling is of course no exception. If you ride a bike or want to ride a bike, then a bike fit could go a long way to improving those cycling days, whether you ride for fun, fitness, race or just commute.

I’ve been an osteopath for over 20 years and a cyclist for longer and I have a passion for both. As I’ve evolved as an osteopath, I’ve also evolved as a cyclist and my bikes and equipment have changed considerably. But it's not always about the equipment, it's about you the individual person with your own unique way of moving and thinking.

When it comes to bike fitting this is what I’m interested in, you the individual cyclist.

You may not be the next tour winner or world champion, but what we can search for is the best we can be to realise our potential for comfort, performance and safety on the bike. We are all very different people with different shapes, sizes, flexibility, injuries and unique motion patterns.

So really it’s not all about the bike, it’s about how you interact with it that counts.

To make this interaction as good as it can be, here at Bexley Bike Fit, I’ve invested in the latest Serotta International Cycling Institute (SICI) size cycle which was the first of it’s kind in the UK.

It is an excellent bike fitting tool and the design and engineering has made great strides in bike fitting.

It is extremely adjustable with mm accuracy and has an integrated computrainer allowing power output and heart rate to be monitored with Spinscan, left and right leg power and pedalling motion can be analysed.

The Bike Fit Process

This will take up to two and a half hours and will begin with a discussion about the type of riding that you will do and your cycling aspirations. You are the focus in any bike fitting process and so your cycling and sporting history in general will be noted including any injuries you currently have or have had in the past that may be significant to your cycling experience.

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An examination of you both on and off the bike will be carried out which will include an insight into your foot type and size, hamstring flexibility, hip range of motion and spinal range of movement. Any asymmetries will also be noted and taken into consideration.

This assessment is essential to gather the information that is relevant to you now and when you cycle and in the future when considering any adaptations that can be made.

The use of this information is key. During the bike fitting you will spend time on your own bike (if you have one) and a longer period on the size cycle when adjustments can be made whilst on the bike so that any changes can be made instantly.

Observation of your position, power, pedalling and motion pattern can be made and where possible altered accordingly. By changing the foot/shoe/cleat interface, great improvements can be achieved along the leg’s kinetic chain thereby often improving power and comfort. These alterations can be achievable by using wedges (both in and out of the shoe) or by providing additional support to the foot by using SIDAS footbeds (orthotics placed into the shoes that can add greater comfort and stability).

Sidas Footbeds

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Sidas footbeds are insoles/orthotics that are customised to fit your feet. They can offer greater comfort, stability and can enhance your bike fit.

An impression of your feet is taken whilst in a neutral position, which is achieved by using a laser light. Once the footbeds have been heated they are molded exactly to the impression that has been taken. Following a 'setting' period they can be cut and fitted into the cycling shoe.

The benefits are numerous and with improved stability, knee tracking and power transfer to the pedals could also be improved.

Sidas footbeds and the technology behind them have been used largely in the skiing industry for ski boot fitting. They can be used to great effect for cycling, running, general sports and in everyday life.