Finding the appropriate position for your ride
Precision fit doesn’t provide the same fit regardless of bike model, rider or style; it is tailored to fit you and your needs. Precision fit involves fitting around injuries, flexibility, desired riding style, and usually
a combination of these. One of the key questions we ask during a precision fit is what do you want out of your bike fit.
This is where we find out how you want your bike setup for you, which is greatly influenced by your aspirations. Do you want to beat last season’s time trial personal best, are you entering a 100 mile sportive in the summer, or are you just looking for a comfortable ride around town. It is important to think about what is suitable for you and your event. As an example, you would not aim to ride a 100 mile sportive in an aerodynamic time trial position, and if you did, you would probably be riding in a lot of pain and discomfort. A simple way to put it is can you sacrifice comfort for time, or can you sacrifice time for comfort.
The time trial position is a very aggressive position, which requires good levels of core strength and flexibility. It is a hard position to maintain and can often require a high pain threshold. For a time trial position, aerodynamics is one of the most important factors and for short time trials, we would aim to get you into the most aerodynamic and efficient position possible. Professional cyclists such as Bradley Wiggins can maintain these highly aerodynamic positions with an ironing board like back for mile after mile, but for most other cyclists this just isn’t sustainable, and time can be lost when you’re constantly shifting your position around during a ride. The right balance of comfort and aero needs to be found for each individual rider.
The sportive style position in contrast to the time trial position is very much comfort orientated with power being the secondary factor. The average rider can easily spend 8 hours riding a 100 mile sportive; 8 hours riding in an unsuitable position can be detrimental to your physical well being, time and most importantly your enjoyment. Providing you have the correct bike and size (see previous blog), we can then get you well set up for your sportive. We would aim to get you into a comfortable position, without compromising too much on power output. Again with the sportive position there is a balance to finding your ideal position, we use flexibility and your cycling experience to help us find this position.
The racing position uses a combination of principles from the time trial and sportive position. Power output is important, which comes from being in an efficient position to be able to utilise the correct muscle groups throughout the race. Comfort is again an important factor, but can take a back seat depending on the rider. Needless to say if you are riding in pain and discomfort, then your performance will be affected. With seasoned or aspiring racers, we usually expect a high level of flexibility and core strength, which allows us to find your ideal position without compromising on your power output.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the commuter/shopper style position. This position is entirely comfort orientated and unlike the previous positions, it is unlikely to evolve over time spent on the bike. This style position is an example of how versatile cycling can be, and that most people can find a position to accommodate their cycling needs. It is a great starting point for those who are new to cycling.
As you can see there are many different possible riding positions available for cyclists and within these categories is a range which we can use to find your ideal position. Your cycling position can evolve over time and miles as well as with work you do off the bike. Little tweaks may need to be made along the way to achieving your cycling goals!