Think about how many hundreds of hours or thousands of minutes you spend on your bike each year. Consider of how many thousands upon thousands of pedal strokes that equates to. With all of the time you spend on your bike having a great fit that makes you feel comfortable, promotes good form and prevents injury is essential. A great fit can make the difference between the bike feeling like an extension of your body versus a cumbersome and uncomfortable machine that feels like a burden to ride. If you are not comfortable on your bike, then chances are you won’t want to ride it as much and you won’t be getting the sheer enjoyment out of it that you should be.
The average price of a comprehensive bike fit is between $300-$400 and although the price tag seems steep, in the end it is a worthwhile investment. Think about all of those pedal strokes; the repetitive motion day after day. If you are not positioned properly and your form is off then you are like a ticking time bomb, each pedal stroke bringing you closer and closer to inevitable discomfort or injury. Incorrect bike fit can cause a slew of issues, ranging from improper and inefficient form, to saddle sores to lower back and hip issues. Over time, this incorrect positioning could definitely lead to serious injuries requiring physical therapy, surgery or significant time off the bike.
Furthermore, if you are a racer or someone looking to be somewhat competitive with your riding, having a good fit can ensure that you are getting the most speed you can get out of your bike. You want your position to be as aerodynamic and efficient as possible, so you can put out the greatest amount of power using the least amount of energy. If your fit is incorrect, it can cause you to lose valuable seconds or expend extra watts here and there which could add up to the difference between being on the podium or not in an important race or event.
Lastly, bike fit is not a static thing, your fit will change over time. The fit that was done on your bike four years ago will most likely not be the ideal fit for your body today. Many experts say that you should be refit on your bike every six months to a year. In an ideal world this would be great and if you are a professional athlete with bike fitters constantly at your disposal then go ahead! Getting your fit checked every couple of years however, is probably a very worthwhile investment. Your fitness, flexibility and weight will change over time and these are all factors that will affect your fit. If you have a significant change in your body, for example, if you lost fifty pounds, then you should definitely get refit as your body shape has changed dramatically enough to warrant another look at your position on the bike. Once you invest in your fit give it some time to settle in and make sure that your bike fitter includes some adjustments to that fit once you have ridden the bike for a couple hundred miles. The new fit may require some tweaking to get it exactly where it needs to be, which is totally normal.
Having a great fit done on your bike will make the ride more enjoyable, help prevent injury and allow you to get the maximum amount of power you can out of your beautiful speed machine.