The average pro bike racer is in the saddle around 30 hours for a hard training week, about half that for an “easy week.” The Tour de France covers around 3500 km (2200 mi). If we’re talking about mere mortals: logging 10 to 15 hours a week in your cycling training plan would get you the respectable head-nod within your local racing scene. Seven to 10 hours/week would keep you fit as a fiddle. But whether your weekly rides total three hours or 30, if your bike doesn’t fit you properly, you could be in for a world of pain.
A poor fit might start with something fairly innocuous like saddle sores, mild discomfort, or a weak pedal stroke, but it can quickly progress to knee and back injuries or worst of all … slower speeds and reduced power! In short: there’s a long, negative list of very bad things that can easily be avoided with the right fit and accessories.
If you google “How to fit yourself on a bike,” you’ll get plenty of advice. Pages and pages of advice via step-by-step tutorials, videos, etc. But we suggest consulting a professional for several very basic, yet key reasons:
EVERY ATHLETE IS DIFFERENT
One person’s femur length, hip flexion, arm-reach, core muscles, pelvis width, etc. is quite different than another’s. When things are out of whack (which can be hard to diagnose just by just looking down at your bike/body) your body will attempt to compensate and that’s when folks get injured.
A PROPER FIT ENSURES COMFORT
Comfort leads to enjoyment, which leads to more riding, which leads to puppies and butterflies (or puppies and cyclocross) and World peace.
A WELL-FIT BIKE IS A FAST BIKE
That’s right. If you’re not riding with an optimal fit, you’re likely sacrificing speed and power. Why would anyone ever want to do that?
A good fit might mean swapping out certain things like handlebars, saddle, stem, pedals, shoes, etc. This is referred to as “bike personalization” in Fit-Land. If you’ve been a cyclist for a while, you might have an arsenal of spare parts and accessories in your garage. But if not, not to worry! A professional bike fitter can make suggestions, swap out accessories, and make these adjustments for you, right at the shop or their studio so you can “try before you buy.”
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