after many years of cycling I am going for my first ever bike fit at a local professional provider. Recently I have developed some knee pain which I have never had before. I hope to eliminate the source for this by having my bike specifically fitted.
Now, what to take care of? Are there any things you would recommend to look specifically into? Anything I d need to remember and ask for? etc.
I could be wrong but for knee pain I’d want them to look at my cleats. Another thing pointed out on one of my fits (again to do with the cleats) was a leg length discrepancy. Somehow I never noticed but after it was pointed out it was bleeding obvious. The imbalance beforehand might have caused my one and touch wood only knee problem (ITB).
Any decent fit should start at the cleats, especially with knee pain. Tell them all your niggles and annoyances, not just the painful things. Tell them your aims (ride faster? ride further? more comfortable?). Be prepared to change things like bar width or saddle, forget everything you thought you knew about what you like and don’t like!
I’ve bit to an excellent bike fitter on two occassions, and both times I’ve been surprised by how small the adjustments we made actually were. One take away was to see that I waste energy if I have too much play on my pedals/cleats, so I’ve now got two sets of shoes with Shimano cleats - one with yellow for long days on the bike, and one with red for when I want things to be super stiff (compromising comfort for firmness). And - being a “slam that stem” kind of guy - I was surprised to realize that I’m actually more aero with a 2 mm higher stem since I then sit more relaxed on the bike, thus lowering my shoulders.
The biggest benefit, at least in my experience, is that you gain great insights in how minor tinkering here and there can have a big impact, and which things you should adjust to address knee pain, back pain, etc. After my bike fitting sessions, I always ride with a small multitool in case I feel like adjusting seat height, angle of handle bar, cleats, etc.
If your bike fitter is good, the biggest gain you get will not be the ultimate fit (it doesn’t exist and changes throughout the season), but that you learn more about yourself and how you interact with your bike. Keep your ears open and ask lots of questions!
Fits all vary, but here is the basic template you may see from Body Geometry or Retul versions:
- Discuss the reason for the fit including any future goals or current problem areas.
- Come with your real list of priorities or concerns with your body and riding experience.
- Include any changes or adjustments you have made in your own fitting process prior to this fit.
- Be open and honest, because this is the foundation of the fit and will drive the fitter along the way.
- Review of your body alignment, range of motion and any other markers that may impact direction of the fit adjustments.
Capture Initial Bike/Shoe Measurements:
- Record all bike and shoe measurements to have for future comparison or to allow resetting to original setup as needed.
Rider On Bike with Discussion & Changes:
- Rider on the bike with review by the fitter.
- Pedaling stops/starts to check various details, make adjustments, and recheck.
- Fitter should solicit feedback from you, and then share their thoughts and reasoning.
- Here, as with all parts of the fit, you want to be very open with feedback. Make sure you are clear on what you like or don’t like with any change.
- This is where you must be as interactive as possible, to address all the good and bad of the changes with your goals in mind.
Capture Final Bike/Shoe Measurements:
- Record all bike and shoe measurements to have for comparison or to allow resetting to the new fit needed.
Hey, thanks a lot for these valuable points. I posted this on short notice so actually the bikefit was today.
Great experience, 5hours extensive programme, briefing, talk, body analysis, loads of measuring, some data stuff, on the bike, cameras, computer, more data…aejusting, return to earlier setup, trying again, analyzing data, readjusting… etc…etc.
That was fun…yes, learned a lot about my body and how the body interacts with the bike…
Cockpit turned out to be fine, but the cleets and seat needed to be adjusted. True, even minor tweaks changed the overall feel a lot. And I got some custommade inlays for my shoes - very relieving.
Now I am testing the new setup, a different seat (wider and shorter) and will be returning for a review in one week.
So overall an amazing experience giving me some assurance that now the setup is really fine and the rest is up to me
Have to say: best invested money for my bike so far (next to TR)
Thanks for your input
I would just add discussing any medical issues in the past; things like knee surgeries, separated shoulders, broken collarbones, etc. The more the fitter knows about you the better.