APEX Bike Fit – out with the old, in with the new!

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my new blog!

I am Luke, the Head Bikefit Technician @ Bikefit North East / Infinity Cycles. I have been providing the fitting service at Infinity Cycles on the Apex Bike since early March with some incredible early results. I will be updating this blog with news, articles and some of my opinions on the world of bicycle fitting, on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy reading…..

Traditional bike fitting methods have been around for a long time and little has changed, these methods use equipment like a goniometers, a plumb line and a ‘fitter’s expert opinion’. Like everything else they develop, new fitting techniques are present and the facilities and technology is available to allow these techniques to be executed.

How do we know that these, newer techniques are better? In everyday life we see so many examples of how technology improves and enhances our way of living, there is no better example of this than in cycling. Bicycle frames and wheels are continually being made lighter, components are improving year on year, so why should we continue to use traditional fitting techniques when they are not 100% effective? Science is becoming ever more advanced and accuracy is increased, so why rely on outdated text book theories and an “expert opinion”?

There are many traditional fitting methods and most of them are driven by the correct logic, however due to humans being very inconsistent and not symmetrical they cannot be used effectively on the majority of the population. The Lemond fitting technique, for example, is frequently used by fitters to establish saddle height. This method involves taking the riders inseam measurement and multiplying this by 0.883. This may provide us with a consistent way of setting saddle height, however it sets everybody at around 96% of full leg extension, which for a small amount of people could be okay but for the vast majority of cyclists out there it is not! Leg length is not the only influencing factor of saddle height- other things to consider are flexibility, existing injuries, biomechanical issues and leg make-up (ratio in length between femur – upper leg and tibia – lower leg), these are factors which many tradition methods do not account for.

Most people will have knowledge of the fact they have one foot bigger than the other – this phenomenon is present throughout the human body and this is something that we need to account for when looking at fitting a person to a bike correctly. What happens when you strap a non-symmetrical person to a symmetrical bike? We will see imbalances and irregular forces going through kinetic chains in the body and this is when we find riders experiencing pains and discomfort when riding the bike.

There are three factors in cycling, which coincide with each other; power, comfort and efficiency, this is what drives our decisions at Bike Fit North East -we don’t compromise any of these factors, we utilize them. We can use facts and figures to prove positional adjustments have been beneficial and we are able to monitor power, comfort and efficiency accurately.

At bike fit North East we want everybody to walk away from their fit in the optimum position to suit their anatomical makeup. This is where the APEX jig is a godsend. It allows me to get the very most out of the rider using power, heart rate and torque analysis, alongside my in depth bio mechanical knowledge to provide the perfect fit!

If you have any thoughts, questions or would like to book an appointment, please drop me an email on bikefit.infinitycycles@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks for reading.
Luke – Head Bikefit Technician.