Like many cyclist, when i brought my lovely bike it came with a quick fit. Could i reach the brakes? Check. Could my feet reach the pedals? Check. I even splurged and got a womens specific bike. I was good to go, and thought nothing more of it. Until got back from NZ and saw all of the photos that came through, everyone looked great on the bike and there was me, sprawled out like a cat attempting a yoga pose. But still, i didnt feel bad or sore on the bike, and I thought my speed was fine so what could i really get out of a “proper” bike fit? In the end curiosity got the better of me and I started doing some research.
I started with asking around the club for recommendations, and boy did i get a lot. So i jumped online and asked the forums where the best fit in Sydney was, and got more options given to me still! Many had different set ups, from computer sensors to old school measurements to qualified physios. In the end I went with “Pave the Way” in the city. I chose this company because they were midway in terms of price, had come recommended and weren’t a shop. This last point was a consideration as i had been told that people had had to buy new saddles, stems etc with their fit and i thought a shop may have a greater incentive to add these extras on (but maybe thats just my jaded perspective).
So i booked my appointment with Tom at Pave the Way. I turned up on Thursday morning not knowing fully what to expect, afterall i thought my bike fit okay as it was. First of all Tom discussed with me what it was that i wanted from my bike fit and what my goals were for the upcoming months. We then went through what kind of riding i did and how far i cycled each week on average. Once we had gone through all of this it was time to jump on the bike (which had been set up on a trainer). Tom then stuck all of these little velco dots on me that could be read by a spirit level looking thing on a tripod which fed all the data back into his laptop. All very sci fi. I spun around for a bit and then it was time to look at the numbers!
Soooo the results were in and it turned out i was pretty all over the shop on the bike. I was sitting too far back on the bike which made me over compensate and reach forward to the handlebars (think back to that cat trying to achieve downward dog). However one positive was that my knees were tracking really well.
Then the magic happened…
While sat on my chair Tom went to work on my bike. Moving the saddle forward and up and slamming the handlebars right down and moving the shifters up a bit. It was like one of those renovation shows, there was even a tape measure and spirit level getting involved!
He finished up and i looked at my bike, it was completely different. It looked more racey, but that wasnt the best bit. I jumped on and it was like riding a new bike. Suddenly my center of gravity was further forward, my hands could reach the hoods better and i actually felt like i was sitting on the bike properly.
Again i went for a spin on the trainer and the numbers came back in looking much better. Tom then went and created a little 3D mock up of my bike with all of its new measurements using another magical computer tool so if i ever took the bike apart it could be put back together in the correct way.
The whole process took about 2hrs and Tom was great at explaining every step and why everything was being done that way. I have only briefly touched on some of my favourite points from the fitting session.
The ride home was amazing, I had more power up hills and because i was better balanced i could really attack corners better. The only regret i had after the fitting was not getting it done sooner, the difference it has made is huge.