You should get a professional bike fit because you are already making the financial and time investments into cycling and riding without an accurate fit on the bike can negate those investments. Having an accurate fit on the bike ensures that you are not only comfortable but are also going to minimize the chances of having an overuse injury.
The last thing you want with something that you do for fun, or career even, is to not be able to ride because you didn’t take care of a minor adjustment that needed to be done on the bike. A professional bike fitter knows the ins and outs of everything related to fits whether it’s an anatomical irregularity or just a sore back or knee while riding. They can get you rolling faster and help prevent any overuse injuries.
Reasons for a Professional Bike Fit
The reasons are many for why you should get a professional bike fit and how you value each of them will depend on where you’re coming from. Find the reasons why you need a fit and then find an expert bike fitter.
Comfort on the Bike
The number one thing with riding a bike is that it has to be comfortable. Whether you’re just riding around town or racing full tilt, no one wants to be in a position on the bike that is uncomfortable. Even a small discomfort, such as a sore butt from the seat, is something that should be corrected because if it isn’t it can lead to other problems as your body will naturally try to correct for the irregularity. Even if it’s performance you’re after, being comfortable comes first as your performance is going to suffer if you can’t get into a comfortable position to achieve your maximum output on the bike.
Personal Anatomy Irregularities
If you have anatomical differences such as a leg length discrepancy (one leg is shorter than the other which is more common than you might think), inflexibility, or other not so normal things going on, getting a professional bike fit is about the only way that you can properly correct for those irregularities. There are a number of approaches and tools that can be used to assess these problems as well as correct them. If you don’t correct these issues or attempt to correct them without the proper knowhow, it can easily result in injury which can be harder to fix than a simple overuse injury.
Another big reason to get a professional bike fit is to accommodate past injuries. These injuries can range from knee pain to lower back issues. An expert bike fitter is going to be able to position you as to make sure that there is not any added stress on the problem area. You will be amazed by how much a professional bike fitter knows and how they can change things around to accommodate your specific issues. Also, just having a proper bike fit will help to insure that these injuries don’t come back and to give you piece of mind about it as well.
Everyone rides for different reasons but the majority of us do like to go fast and see just what we can get out of our bodies whether racing for the town line with buddies or for a finish line in front of thousands. Having an optimal fit will ensure that you are generating the most power along with endurance. If your position is even just a little bit off in one area it can significantly impact your power output which can also result in injury because the tendons and muscles are placed under added stress.
Value of a Professional Bike Fit
The value of a professional bike fit is never the actual cost that you pay for it. It is what you get out of it; the comfort of the ride, the injuries avoided, the performance gains. These all are extremely important measures and in addition to these a fit will also save you time and money directly.
Saving Time and Money
If you don’t have a good fit on the bike sooner or later you are going to suffer an overuse injury. This is going to not only take away from time riding but will also take time to heal. Whether it be on your own with icing, stretching, and other remedies or with a visit to the doctor. If it is a particularly bad injury you could need further analysis and treatment including MRI’s and physical therapy which are far more expensive than a professional bike fit. Accounting for problems and issues before they occur is always the best way to approach any situation. Of course issues do arise but with a professional bike fit they are far less likely.
Getting a professional bike fit is well worth the investment. It will pay dividends in the short and long run as you will be comfortable on the bike as well as have a higher degree of power and endurance. You will also then have much less of a risk of developing any injuries which will keep you on the bike where you belong. Find a good professional bike fitter and make the most of their knowledge and expertise. When you do, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get one.