Bike Fit Physio

Bike Fit Physio

Article by John Miller

Cyclist Information

Would you like to cycle more comfortably and efficiently? Would you like to power up hills, sprint faster, cruise for longer with more energy spare at the end of your ride? It’s all about putting your body in the most optimal position to ride your bike comfortably and fast! A professional bike fit physio will help you become a better cyclist with less discomfort or pain.  Professional and elite cyclists use bike fitting to add the 1% they need to stand on the podium.  The difference can be as much as a 15-20% improvement in your average or peak speeds for recreational cyclists.

What is a Physio Bike Fit?

A Physio Bike Fit aims to fit YOU PERFECTLY to … YOUR BIKE!

Most bike shops will size you for a bike based on some simple and quick body measurements. This will determine your most likely bike frame size, which is always a good start. But is this actually the best bike fit for you?

Most bike mechanics work off guidelines provided by bike manufacturers. But, we are all different shapes and sizes. Some of us have long legs, a short trunk and long arms.  Does that mean you need a different bike setup for someone with long legs, a long trunk and short arms? Probably. But if we start to add in a few other factors such as previous injuries, and where you can no longer safely bend etc., then your optimal bike fit could be different from even your identical twin!  That’s when a quality bike fit physio comes into their own.

What Size Bicycle is Right for Your Height?

Most manufacturers use your inseam or standover height plus another 5-10 cm. It’s a pretty good start, but we know this measurement can be a little misleading when we see a natural variation in the pelvis heights and your hip joint articulation level. In most cases, the standover bike fit formula is more accurate for female sizing. Male sizing is less accurate due to your pelvis shape.

Never Buy Too Big!

The golden rule is that we can usually build up a bike, but it’s hard to shrink your bike frame!

Will a Bike Fit Make You Faster?

If you have considered getting the most out of your cycling, then in most cases, a professional physio bike fit will optimise your cycling power and efficiency, making you both faster, but also increase your endurance. Plus, you’ll be more comfortable on your bike.


A professional bike fit will help you to:

  • Increase your speed and efficiency;
  • Descend hills with advanced control;
  • Ascend hills with less effort;
  • Ride painlessly for longer. No more cramps, knee, back or neck pain;
  • Avoid hand numbness;
  • Ride longer in more comfort.
If that sounds like what you need to enjoy cycling more, please consider a session with our bike fit physio, John Miller.

Article by John Miller

Professional Bike Fit

Your bike fit physio will explicitly tailor you and your bike. Cyclists are often surprised how a few subtle changes can make their ride more comfortable, efficient and effective. Now, who doesn't want that?

A professional bike fit will address several components:

  1. Assess your riding style and level. E.g. Recreational, aggressive elite, road, track, MTB.
  2. Take into account your injury history. (e.g. back pain/surgery, knee pain)
  3. Measure your body's anthropometry. (e.g. body dimensions)
  4. Identify your ideal bike frame size.
  5. Analyse your current bike set-up - then compare it to your ideal setup.
  6. Assess your current flexibility. (joint, muscle and neural)
  7. Analyse your current muscle control.
  8. Analyse your optimal riding position via slow-motion video analysis.
  9. Work with you to improve your setup, riding technique and pedal efficiency.

We'll also include a detailed bike fit report with an action plan for any recommended bike modifications or exercises you can do. It's about fitting you better to your bike so that you can work together efficiently and comfortably on the road, trail or track.

Who Should have a Bike Fit?

  • Elite cyclists.
  • Serious recreational cyclists.
  • Cyclists who are suffering pain or discomfort, eg.
    • knee / back / hip / shoulder / neck / wrist pain
    • crutch/perineum pain, numbness or pins and needles
    • hand numbness or pins and needles
    • fatigue cramps
    • can't reach the drops comfortably
  • Cyclists who have adapted their cycling motion from average:
    • wandering knees
    • saddle sliding/tilting
    • straight arm
  • Cyclists who wish to increase their cycle efficiency (more power for the same energy).

Bike Size vs Bike Fit

Most bike shops are usually very good at quickly measuring a few of your body parts to determine the best bike frame size for you. They'll then adjust your pedals and seat height to where things should hopefully be. While this quick system will work for most people, it may not be so for cyclists who spend a few hours on the saddle or want to become faster or more efficient.

However, sometimes they get things wrong for YOU! Your body isn't the same as someone else's. People have short legs, long trunks and dodgy knees, and somehow that has to fit your bike as best we can make it. How often do you sit in someone else's car and have to adjust the seat and mirrors?

Right Bike Size - Wrong Body!

Unfortunately, even though you may have the right bike size, your body may not always fit it comfortably! For example:

  • Cyclists who are too stiff or inflexible can't attain that ideal cycling position.
  • Cyclists who possess poor muscle control or endurance are vulnerable. You can't maintain a comfortable cycling posture for the length of your ride.
  • Cyclists in pain.
  • Cyclists with a physical limitation. They can't achieve a comfortable optimal cycling posture, e.g. previous surgery, leg length difference.

The point is a professional bike fit is very individual. We're here to help you ride better: faster, easier, longer and in total comfort!

More information:

Bike Fit Brisbane

Bike Fit Options

Cycling Injuries

Book Now!

Call Us or Book Online 24-hours

Article by John Miller

Professional Bike Fit Options

PhysioWorks Offers 4 Levels of Bike Fitting

  1. Platinum
  2. Gold
  3. Silver
  4. Bronze

How Long Does a Bike Fit Take?

Your professional bike fit is comprehensive and, therefore, does take time. But we'd rather be too thorough and get things right! We will need you and your bike for between 1.5 and 2.5 hours - depending on the level of fitting you require. We'll also provide you with a detailed report that we'll send to you after further analysing your videos etc. That way, we can save you time by just doing the assessing and measuring during your bike fit consultation.

PLATINUM

Full Professional Bike Fit

Standard Bike Fit & Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screening

Allow 2.5 hours

Combining your standard bike fit (Gold) with a cyclist musculoskeletal screening (Silver) and your bike frame sizing (Bronze) is the best and most efficient way to either optimise your cycling or eliminate any pain or cycling discomfort.

Suppose you are suffering pain or discomfort with prolonged riding or would like to prevent injury or optimise your cycling efficiency (lowest energy expenditure for cycling output). In that case, we highly recommend the Full Bike Fit option.

We Recommend the Platinum Full Professional Bike Fit for:

  • Elite cyclists
  • Competitive cyclists
  • Serious recreational
  • A cyclist is suffering pain, discomfort, pins and needles, numbness, cramping or muscle fatigue.
  • You are optimising your bike fit for efficient power / minimal energy expenditure.

Your Full Bike Fit includes:

  • Measuring YOU (Bronze).
  • Measuring your BIKE.
  • Complete Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screen (Silver).
  • Plus, all the components of a Standard Bike Fit (Gold).
  • A thorough assessment report of your current status
  • Your initial phase of corrective exercises.
  • A recommended treatment plan.

Need a Bike Fit Report?

Your bike fit physio will prepare a report for you outside of your consultation to save you time at the clinic. Additional costs apply.

GOLD

GOLD is our Most Popular Bike Fit Option!

Standard Professional Bike Fit

Professionally Fitting You to Your Bike

Allow 1.5 hours.

A professional bike fit takes time and accurate analysis. Bike fitting is all about ensuring that YOU fit YOUR BIKE optimally.

We Recommend a Gold Standard Professional Bike Fit for:

  • a cyclist who does not experience any pain or discomfort when you initially ride your bike, but you do experience some soreness or ache with longer rides.
  • You are optimising your bike fit for efficient power / minimal energy expenditure.

Note: If you experience pain when you initially start riding your bike, you should have a typical physiotherapy assessment consultation. You may have a significant musculoskeletal problem!

Your Standard Bike Fit includes:

  • Measuring YOU.
  • Measuring your BIKE.
  • We are checking if your bike is the right size for YOU.
  • We are analysing and modifying your bike to fit you best.
  • We use slow-mo video analysis of your cycling setup and style.
  • We provide an optional thorough report of your current status and any recommendations.

Your bike fit physio will prepare a report for you outside of your consultation to save you time at the clinic.

What to Bring:

  • YOU - in cycling attire: shoes, knicks and tight-fitting top.
  • YOUR BIKE - We'll pop you on a wind trainer, so be ready to ride!

SILVER

Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screening

Allow 1.0 hours

We focus your cyclist musculoskeletal screening upon your body and its ability to comfortably and optimally cycle. We'll inform you what is right, what could be improved, and how to improve any deficiencies.

We Recommend a Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screening for:

  • Elite cyclists, high-end recreational, or competitive cyclists wish to prevent a cycling injury or improve their cycling performance.
  • You are a cyclist who is suffering pain, discomfort, cramping or fatigue.
  • You are optimising your bike fit for efficient power / minimal energy expenditure.

Your Cyclist Musculoskeletal Screening includes:

  • Joint flexibility and hypermobility testing: spine and limbs.
  • Muscle power testing.
  • Muscle control testing.
  • Muscle endurance testing.
  • Muscle timing and activation order assessment
  • Muscle flexibility and tone.
  • Neural tissue extensibility.
  • The impact of previous injury or surgery on your cycling ability.
  • Corrective exercises.
  • Your subsequent treatment plan.

BRONZE

Professional Bike Sizing

Allow 0.75 hours

What bike size should you purchase?

Your physiotherapist will accurately measure your anthropometrics. Then, they will advise you of your best bike size and recommended crank length etc.

For more information, don't hesitate to contact our reception team or bike fit physio for their recommendations.

Bike Fit Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a bike fit gift voucher for yourself or as a Gift Voucher for your cycling enthusiast, please get in touch with Sandgate PhysioWorks.

More information:

Bike Fit Brisbane

What To Expect With A Professional Bike Fit?

Cycling Injuries

Book Now!

Call Us or Book Online 24-hours

Article by John Miller

How Should You Setup Your Bike?

While we are happy to provide you with general guidelines on setting up your bike, we have observed that these guidelines will help some cyclists but not all. We highly recommend a professional bike fit if you are suffering pain or discomfort while cycling or if you'd like to optimise your cycling efficiency.

More information: Bike Fit Brisbane

General Bike Setup Guidelines

Riding Position Set Up

A comfortable and efficient riding position is vital. Your bike must be correctly set up and adjusted. A tailored bike will suit your particular body size and shape; you will feel more relaxed and can ride longer distances with less effort. The notes below are the most common settings that work.

Foot Position

  • Centre the ball of your foot over the pedal axle.
  • Small feet and high cadence pedlars place the ball of your foot slightly behind the centre.
  • If you have clip-less pedals, you can make this adjustment by clipping your shoes into the pedal and adjusting the cleat fixing bolts.

Saddle Position

Set the saddle height the following way. With the crank arm perpendicular to the ground and heel (shoes on) on the top of the pedal:

  • Your leg should be in the straight "locked" position.
  • Allow for oversized shoe heels or extra-thick soles.
  • Your saddle top surface should be parallel with the road surface.

Saddle Front/Back Adjustment

  • Sit on your bike in your normal riding position with the cranks in the 3 and 9 o'clock positions.
  • Position your saddle correctly. The correct position is where your tibial tuberosity (the bump at the top of the shin bone) is 1cm behind the pedal axle.
  • You may need a plumb line and a helper to make this adjustment, and you may have to readjust saddle height if you move the saddle significantly.

Stem and Handlebars

  • Correct stem height can be somewhere between level with the saddle height or 6 cm below. The preferred range is 2.5 to 4.5 lower.
  • Check your knee clears your elbow with the cranks at 3 and 9 o'clock position.
  • To ensure good chest expansion and breathing, your handlebars should be shoulder-width.
  • Some riders may prefer a more upright riding position with a higher stem position on a mountain or hybrid bike.
  • Extra-wide flat-type mountain bike handlebars may give more stable control on unsealed roads, but you may find them uncomfortable on long rides over sealed roads.
  • Bar extensions and narrower handlebars will give you a greater variety of comfortable hand positions and place your upper body in a slightly lower position to reduce your overall resistance to the wind.

Reach

  • If the handlebars are too far away, you will be very uncomfortable.
  • Sit on your bike in your normal riding position, and your arms should be at 90 degrees to your torso.

Adjusting to Your New Position

It takes time to settle into the new position, and you may still have to do some fine-tuning. Overall you should feel much better when you ride and less strained when you arrive back home.

What if None of this Works?

If you can't get comfortable after making these adjustments and riding for a while, then your bike may not be the right size for you. It would be best if you considered visiting a physiotherapist with a particular interest in bike setup or a cycling store professional.

More information:

Bike Fit Brisbane

What To Expect With A Professional Bike Fit?

Bike Fit Options

Book Now!

Call Us or Book Online 24-hours