Frequently Asked Questions about Bike Fits
Who can benefit from a bike fit?
Cyclists of all abilities can benefit from a bike fit. Recreational through elite cyclists can enjoy a more efficient and less injury-prone position. Bike fits can improve your performance on the bike and reduce pain in your knees, back, neck, etc. Cycling should be a pain-free sport and your position on the bike is an important factor. We like to make the bike look like you, not make you look like the bike. Your body is unique and may or may not be symmetrical. The bike should make up for your uniqueness or asymmetry. The correct position for your friend probably isn’t the best position for you.
Are BCSM bike fits different from bike shop bike fits?
Many reputable bike shops can give excellent bike fits and we have developed a balanced relationship with select shops. The primary differences are the medical knowledge and years of training of the staff at BCSM. Although good bike shops can fit healthy individuals, they don’t have the medical knowledge that our staff has, which aids them in diagnosing and treating leg length discrepancies, patello-femoral disease, forefoot varus, neck and back pain, and other medical conditions that can effect your comfort and performance.
Do I need to have a bike to get a bike fit?
Not necessarily. We have recently added a new service that allows us to find the ideal road, mountain, or TT position for you, without the constraints of your current bike frame. This fit is our Size Cycle fit, and is geared towards the customer who would like to purchase a new bike, but doesn't know where to start.
Will insurance pay for a bike fit?
If you are involved in or would like to begin physical therapy at BCSM for cycling related pain or a cycling injury, it is possible that your physical therapist would include a medical evaluation of you while cycling and perform a medical bike fit as part of your therapy. Feel free to contact the BCSM insurance office for more details.
What is the difference between the 3D bike fit and other bike fits?
The 3D-bike fit incorporates our computerized 6-camera optical capture system. With reflective markers placed around various joints of your body, the cameras record you riding your bike, which will be mounted on a trainer. The computer then sets up a 3D model of you. From this, we can look at you from any angle and get numerical data regarding your cycling gait. This alows us to quantify the movement of each limb segment. For example, we will know if there are significant differences between the movement patterns of the left and right knees. Also, the 3D bike fit involves collecting data while you are pedaling under typical riding efforts, not just spinning easily. The other bike fits involve taking measurements while you are still. The 3D-bike fit gives us the most accurate information regarding your position on the bike. It also gives you more feedback to see what you look like before and after your new position.
It doesn’t hurt when I ride, is there any reason to still get a bike fit?
The old saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, doesn’t apply when it comes to your position on the bike. We see many cases where people have been riding in a wrong position for years without pain, only to have a sudden onset of knee pain. Although we can help people after the onset of pain or injury, we would prefer to have corrected their position proactively. Getting fit to your bike may prevent future injuries from occurring. Additionally, a properly fit bike may enable you to perform at your best.
How do I prepare for a bike fit?
Make sure your bike is clean and in good working condition. If your bike is not functioning properly, it can be difficult to do a good bike fit. Bring or wear your cycling clothing, because we like to fit you while you are dressed as if you are going out for a ride. Please do not wear baggy clothing, as that makes it more difficult to measure limb angles and assess knee alignment. Check your cleat screws! Before you come, make sure you can remove your cleats from your shoes. If your cleat screws are stripped, we can't adjust your cleat position, which will likely be a significant part of your fit.
If you are scheduled for a Size Cycle fitting you also need to bring your shoes, pedals, and a saddle for your appointment.
The bike fit is not a fitness test, so you don’t need to alter your training or nutrition prior to your appointment. However, we will make you work a little. Sometimes greater workloads can bring out certain abnormalities in your cycling gait.
I have two bikes, can I get fit on both?
If you have more than one bike, there are two options. From your bike fit visit, you will get a sheet that has all your bike measurements on it. From the information on this sheet, you should be able to duplicate the new position on your other bike(s). If your other bikes are for a variety of cycling (mountain, time trial, road), the position may be slightly different between them, but we still can show you how to set your other bike(s) up using the measurement sheet. If you do want to get fit on both bikes, we offer a discounted rate. Each additional bike must be scheduled as a seperate appointment for either $200 or $300, depending on whether you would like the second bike to be a performance ($200) or 3D ($300) appointment.
Who performs your bike fits?
We have several excellent staff members who perform bike fits at BCSM. Below is a brief outline of them and their experience.
Andy Pruitt, Ed.D.
Tami Dick, PT CSCS
Jason Amrich, PT, OCS, CSCS
Sean Madsen, Biomechanist
Avery Marzulla, Biomechanics Technician