The Importance of Bike Fitting for Triathlon
I am still a newbie triathlete. I have one Olympic Distance Triathlon under my belt and was hooked from the moment the race started. I have lofty goals for racing this summer which includes racing my first Ironman 70.3 at the Timberman Triathlon. Now that I am jumping headfirst into the world of triathlon I decided it was time to get a real bike fitting and to add a tri-bar (aero-bar) set up to my bike ( I am not ready for a Triathlon Time Trial bike yet however that may be in my future).
I love my road bike. It’s a Specialized Roubaix that I got before I had kids. It’s nice and light with a carbon fiber frame and many carbon fiber components. Although I love my bike I had never had a professional bike fit before. Thankfully the owner of our awesome local bike shop Littleton Bike and Fitness, Dave Harkless is certified by Specialized to do the “Body Geometry” bike fit. Bike fitting can have many benefits for you for training and racing.
Benefits of bike fitting:
- better power and performance when riding
- reduction in overuse injuries
- proper body alignment
- riding without discomfort
- adjustments made to accommodate for things such as leg length discrepancy
- more comfort when riding.
The Bike Fit
The “BG” Fit involved a 2-3 3 hour consult with Dave, the “Fit Specialist” which included an interview to discuss prior injuries and problems while cycling. This was followed by a structural assessment of my body which included leg length measurements, forefoot angulation, knee position and several other measurements. Dave also assessed my flexibility (which is questionable!). Then he got me on the bike for a video analysis of me on my bike as it was set up.
Once we went through these steps he began to make adjustments to my bike which included seat post adjustment, pedal adjustments as well as adjustments to the bars to optimize my position for triathlon. Dave also made some adjustments to the position of the cleats in my shoes as well as adding an insole to my left bike shoe to help with leg length discrepancy. Finally Dave added the new aero-bar set up to get me in optimal position for racing a triathlon. Tri-bars are made to allow your body to be in a more aerodynamic position.
I am pretty excited to get more comfortable riding on my newly adjusted bike. Since snow is on the ground and Arctic temperatures have taken over New Hampshire I am going to be logging many quality miles on my bike on the trainer. It’s going to take a little bit of time to get adjusted to the triathlon set up because your body is positioned at a different angle. As a part of the BG Fit I will go in again to see Dave to make any other necessary adjustments after I have spent some time riding for awhile.
Have you ever had a professional bike fitting? Do you ride a bike for triathlon or for cross training?
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