After doing thousands of fittings over the decades it’s time to make it clear when one might need to consider a refit or fitting review. One misconception is that ones optimal cycling position is set in stone once you have had a full Biodynamic Fitting. Many elements will conspire to change the interaction of the body and the bike. Some of these elements are physiologic in nature and others are simply mechanical.
Here’s a list of mechanical changes that can trigger the need for a fitting review:
Shoes Different brands and models will vary in the thickness of the sole. This will change the seat height and foot/pedal relationship and we should at least do a cleat/pedaling mechanics session.
Pedals Obviously a totally different pedal system will require a cleat fitting, including a look at seat height. Just changing one model of Shimano SL type pedal for another, (105 upgrading to Dura Ace for example) will not require any attention. Upgrading from older Look pedals to Look Keo?s will require a cleat fitting.
Crankset The crank length is a critical driver for knee/hip range of motion. If you change the crank length there will be a noticeable change in knee and hip function. Stance width or Q factor which varies from 140mm to 160mm and can be a critical fitting element for some people, particularly those with a shorter leg length.
Saddle Unless you are replacing your old saddle with exactly the same model there will be fore aft, angle and height issues to address. There can be as much as 2cm variation in saddle thickness, (rail to top). You will need to adjust the seat post height to maintain your actual saddle height. The saddle fore aft position will change if the shape of the new saddles wider or narrower in planform as you settle in at a new spot. Saddles do not always age gracefully and we do see discomfort issues related to the collapse of the plastic base and compression of the foam, causing saddle that once were comfy to become a new and less friendly shape.
HandlebarThere are many shapes of handlebars and the proper selection can have a major impact on horizontal reach and vertical drop. Assuming that the width is correct, (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46cm) the effective reach can vary by 2cm and the drop by a similar amount. This can have the same effect as a 2cm stem length change!
Brake/shift lever brand/model For example when Shimano went from 9x to 10x the lever body changed and added nearly a full centimeter to the effective reach, causing many of us to shorten the stem or handlebar by 1cm!
New Bike – Of course a completely new ride is a great time to review the fitting situation. Ideally before you buy the new steed, but certainly consider a fit check if you didn?t sort it out before the purchase.
Physical changes will also require a new look at the bike fit parameters.
Apparently there are some among us who are actually getting older each year! The body changes slowly and after a while these changes can require some accommodation in the way you fit the bike. In our experience the aging cyclist will typically lose a bit of upper body height, flexibility and strength and the fit will require a more relaxed body angle and slight abbreviation in reach. The saddle position tends to stay the same as the lower body dimensions shift less over time.
Loss or gain of body weight As the body gains weight there is generally a loss of flexibility and the reach to the handlebar often needs to be shortened a bit and sometimes raised to afford a comfortable position on the bike. Conversely the loss of weight will often allow a lower and longer position on the bike. These adjustments are usually moderate but are of course scaled to amount of weight change.
Increase or decrease in strength This will affect the ideal body angle that you can support. Generally the stronger you are the lower your torso angle can be and still feel comfortable. If you have an extended period of inactivity there can be a considerable loss of strength specific to cycling posture. One interesting example is the gain in strength and flexibility from participation on other sports. A great season of cross country skiing will shift the strength to different muscle groups which can affect knee tracking.
Increase or decrease in flexibility We have seen some remarkable improvements in cyclists who are proactive in stretching and strengthening using Yoga, Pilates and general training programs.
Injuries Almost any significant injury to the musculo-skeletal system can change the muscle tension balance and thus shift your posture on and off the bike. This would include torn rotator cuff, sprained ankles and broken bones of almost any type.
- Fit check/refit $90 per hour.
- Cleat/pedaling mechanics fitting $60
Typically a fit check will run 45 minutes to an hour and a half. We can often give you a pretty good idea of the time and cost as we interview you for a fitting appointment. You must have had a complete Biodynamic Fitting at Cronometro to take advantage of the refitting.
Call 608-243-7760 to book your Biodynamic Refit.