7 Bicycle Fitting Tips to Make You More Comfortable (and Faster)

10
Mar
2010

As you know, I’m in the process of getting myself professionally fit on my road bike via a virtual fit with Victor from Bicycle Lab.  I am having Victor guest post today to share his wisdom on setting yourself up properly on your bike.  The results of my fit will be posted soon.

7 Tips to Make You More Comfortable (and Faster)

By Victor Jimenez (the Bicycle Lab)

Though there is no substitute for seeing an experienced bicycle fitter. There are a lot of simple things you can do on your own.

Adjust Your Seat Height

A properly adjusted seat height is the most important aspect of bicycle fit. A rough starting point is with your foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke you should have around a 30 degree bend in your knee.  This will give you a pretty close approximation of your saddle height from the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle.

Adjust the Cleats on Your Shoes

While you can play with this on your own. I strongly encourage you to have the cleat position professionally evaluated. If set up incorrectly you will be waisting power and in some cases cause muscle strain and injury. But if you choose to adjust on your own. The basic idea is to set the rotation of the cleat so that the center lines up with your natural gait.  The fore and aft adjustment is dependant on your style of riding, body asymmetries, among other variables.

Raise Your Handlebars

Yep you read correct.  A higher bar height will open up your torso to hip angle and help with saddle comfort. Lower-back, hamstring, and hip flexibility are key to this positioning in this area. Improve your flexibility and improve your position. Raising your bars is also a good thing to do when you are not riding as much. Your flexibility will change as your fitness changes.

Level Your Saddle

Your saddle should generally be level or the nose pointed slightly up. If the saddle is uncomfortable in this position there may be something else in your position that needs to be adjusted.

Level Your Bars

The drops of your handlebars should be roughly level or slightly up. This helps keep all the hand positions open.

Tilt Your Aerobars Up Slightly

By tilting your aerobars (if you use aerobars) up slightly most people will find a more relaxed position for their upper body. Aerobar set up is a complex issue, because of differences in design and use.  For more information on Aerobar set up, please contact me.

Put Insoles in Your Shoes

Most cycling shoes have no arch support at all. There are many off the shelf brands to choose from or even better get a custom made pair that is molded to your feet.

Victor Jimenez is a bicycle fitting specialist and the owner of Bicycle Lab. Bicycle Lab specializes in one-on-one bicycle fitting and building high end custom road and triathlon bicycles. Classes and clinics on cycling skills and techniques are also offered to individuals, teams and coaches. Bicycle Lab is based in Carrboro, North Carolina. Victor can be reached at victor@bicycle lab or  Go to http://bicyclelab.com and sign up for the cycling tips newsletter.


Enjoy Your Ride

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6 Responses to “ 7 Bicycle Fitting Tips to Make You More Comfortable (and Faster) ”

  1. Jennifer Marsha on May 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    hey,I obtain that your blog is quite beneficial and useful and we were interested if there is a possibility of acquiring More article content like this on your web log. If you willing to aid us out, we would be willing to compensate you… Best regards, Jennifer Marsha

  2. Rebounder on March 22, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Extremely interesting blog post thanks for sharing I just added your website to my favorites and will check back :) By the way this is a little off subject but I really like your blogs layout.

  3. Bryan on March 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Nice post Victor. I’m not using insoles in my cycling shoes and need to. I didn’t even think about it until after I had watched Victor’s video on shoe fit.

    • darrylislovingthebike on March 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

      I know Bryan…..such a simple thing like putting insoles in cycling shoes….and I’ve never thought of doing it. I guess that’s why Victor is a pro at what he does.

  4. darrylislovingthebike on March 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for the great post, Victor. I already know that I’m going to be going out to buy some insoles for my shoes. How many of you readers are using insoles in your cycling shoes?

  5. Paul Dungy on March 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Do you plan to keep this site updated? I sure hope so… its great!

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