Ensuring an athlete is comfortable on the bike is essential to cycling, and is a great way to improve performance. Whether you are a beginner or an elite cyclist, a bike fit will help keep you on the bike for longer. A bike fit is conducted by taking body measurements to uncover any asymmetries. These include but are not limited to leg length, torso and arm-length. Once body measurements have been taken, the next step is looking at the athlete on the bike. Measurements will be taken, including knee angle, positioning of the foot and the amount of reach to the hoods.
A bike fit is important because it has the potential to reduce the chance of injury and improve any existing strains. The most common injuries in cycling are knee and lower back pain. Recent research has shown that there is an association with poor bodily biomechanics as to why people get knee injuries during cycling, and those that suffer from lower back pain have increased lumbar flexion when cycling. Simple bike adjustments can reverse these affects.
What the athlete does off the bike is also important. Ensuring that regular stretching, foam rolling and strengthening exercises are put into place are strategies to keep comfortable when riding. Physiotherapy can design an individualized program based on what is found during the bike fit.