Whether you are a recreational or competitive cyclist a proper bike fit is the most important aspect to having a good ride. Many of the common complaints people have while cycling can be alleviated with a proper fit. Your body makes three points of contact with the bike: pedals, saddle and the handlebar. If your body is not properly aligned on any of the three points of contact excessive strain is placed on the body. Most numbness while riding is caused by compression of nerves. Proper positioning on the bike can take pressure off of delicate areas where nerves are more likely to be compressed.
A proper bike fit can also decrease the risk for future injuries. Knee pain while cycling is frequently caused my improper cleat position and saddle height. Poor leg alignment while cycling creates excessive strain on the knee during each pedal stroke. Increased stress on joints with repetitive motions can result in chronic injuries if left unaddressed. Improper handlebar height and width can be a contributing factor to neck, shoulder and back pain while riding. By modifying the position of the handlebars you can decrease the amount of forward bending resulting in decreased stress placed on the spine and shoulders.
For those looking for a competitive edge a proper bike fit can maximize force production to improve pedaling efficiency. Muscles have a sweet spot where they can produce maximal force. Proper alignment on the bike can ensure that muscles are positioned to maximize force production at crucial points during the pedal stroke. A good fit also decreases muscle fatigue and optimizes endurance.
A proper bike fit is the key to having a good experience while riding. Small changes to customize your bike to your body make significant improvement in comfort and performance on the bike. Don’t let your bike sit in the garage collecting dust because you are uncomfortable riding.