A bike fitter can improve your comfort, stability, performance and safety.
Here is a look at what is "below the surface" of the fitting process. The last element we discuss here is perceptual capacity. As a cyclist, your perceptive capacity is a strong determinant in the outcome of your fit.
Here are 4 vital elements I address as a fitter:
- Symmetry Meets Asymmetry
- Getting to the Core
- My Two Roles in the Fit Studio
- Perceptive Capacity
Symmetry Meets Asymmetry:
Your bicycle is a symmetrical instrument. Your human body is a uniquely asymmetrical instrument. Your body’s unique asymmetrical structure and movement on a symmetrical instrument put you at risk to over-use injuries as you execute thousands of pedaling repetitions.
Your body faces challenges as it strives to adapt it’s asymmetries to the symmetry of your bike. Your bike fitter can reduce or remove these challenges by adjusting your points of contact with the bike – the saddle, bars and pedals.
Getting to the Core:
All movement is sourced from your pelvic core – both on and off the bike.
The first priority in bike fitting – for road or triathlon – is to maximize your potential for a stable pelvic core so you can – as symmetrically as possible – “translate” your body weight into pedal force, as you safely control your bike and enjoy relative comfort.
As a bike fitter, I can only maximize your potential for stability. You must possess adequate functional strength and cycling technique to realize that potential. (For more on this: Strength Training for Cycling Health.)
Bike fitters are not magicians, but brilliant things can happen in the fit studio.
I have two roles in the Fit Studio:
- Bike Fitter
- Technique Coach
As a fitter, I provide you with a stable and neutral platform.
A stable platform is vital. (Far more vital than aerodynamics.) That stable platform is a seamless interface between your pelvic core and your bike.
Stability enables you to ride comfortably, produce power efficiently and control your bike effortlessly. On this stable platform, you can develop and articulate a "vocabulary" of riding positions appropriate to your abilities and goals.
Please forgive me, but I repeat what I said just above: My first priority as a fitter is to maximize your potential for a stable pelvic core so you can – as symmetrically as possible – “translate” your body weight into pedal force, as you safely control your bike and enjoy relative comfort.
A neutral platform refers to a bike that is set-up to accommodate your fitness level, range of motion and biomechanics. It is “neutral” in that you are not challenged or coerced by the bike’s set-up to favor a particular posture, movement pattern or riding position that is inappropriate or detrimental to your relationship with your bike or your goals.
When your bike is stable and neutral, it disappears because it is an extension of your body.
The bike fitting process can address and alleviate the common discomforts and pains associated with cycling. Comfort improves performance, as well as enjoyment. For more on this subject: Bicycle Comfort: Addressing Common Cycling Pains.
In almost every bike fit, I will also assume the role of technique coach. In the fit studio, here is my role as a technique coach:
Assist you in developing and increasing your perceptual capacity – particularly your proprioception.
Perceptual capacity is the key to growth, improvement and mastery in every area of life. This includes the very subtle art and skill of cycling. The surest way to ride faster, farther, safer and more enjoyably is to develop your perceptual capacity.
The Zendurance Cycling Self-Study Guide helps you to improve your performance, enjoyment and safety as a cyclist by challenging, developing and strengthening your perceptual capacity. (This will make your bike fitter very happy.)
For a discussion on the differences between bike fit for road and triathlon: Bike Fit: Triathlon vs Road
Bike Fit Beta
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