I shelled out quite a bit on a Bike Fit session at my LBS recently.

Not that I was buying a new bike but I was hoping to get some analysis and improvement of riding position and stroke etc.

I'm due for a follow up session in a few weeks but I'm a bit doubtful of the approach.

When I got on the bike and went down on the drops, which is my normal riding position, the first thing he did was start raising my seat height and suggesting I should ride on the hoods.

Now I do sometimes ride there to change position or relax but I've always thought that riding down on the drops was more aerodynamic and if you could do it comfortably then you would be faster.

He suggested that having the body more upright means more power in your legs but there must be a trade-off in aero performance.

I've put the seat up as he suggested but I find that I'm still happier in the drops and when I do sit up more then at best there is no effect and at worst my HR increases 4-5 bpm to maintain the same speed.

I just don't see why you would see someone riding comfortably in a low aero position and make the first thing to put them more upright.

Any thoughts ?


Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago

some interesting things about bike fit 'ere (if you've not seen already)


Tony Farrelly [2883 posts] 6 years ago

I've had a couple of bike fits over the last few months, the last one on Friday.

Both took the approach of fitting the bike to me. Both started looked very closely at my flexibility and the type for riding I do and aspire to do and at my current position on the bike. The one I had on Friday a Trek Bike fit also involved a lot of questions about aches and pains that I might experience when cycling and along with various measurments of my limbs trying to deduce if my position on the bike made any contribution. Turns out I am pretty flexy, but my bars were waaay too wide and my cranks too long - just changing those two things made a massive difference that I could feel straight away.

The thing that both had in common was that they focussed on fitting the bike to me rather than me to the bike. One point of departure, partly due to the different bikes I was being fitted on was that, the first fit I had did try to cure me of the bad habit of ridng with my arms and wrists locked out - because there was an easy solution a bar with a slight sweep. While the second after looking at my upper body strength on the bike concluded that while it would be better for me if I didn't do it riding that way wasn't masking some other weakness or problem and it didn't seem to have done me any harm so far either so they didn't try to fix it. Not that putting a sweep on a drop bar is that easy to do anyway.

Here's a link to the piece we did on the Santos bike fit http://road.cc/content/news/19219-video-santos-bike-fit-pt-1

ilovemytinbred [161 posts] 6 years ago

Get the seat height done first- (its sort of a seperate issue although it affects the bar set up later). I generally set the fore and aft where i want it too. Then set the bar reach/height.

I would agree that you dont want a position where you are happiest in the drops all the time, climbing or extended efforts etc. I am prob in the drops 30% hoods 60% and tops 10% although i dont know if this is typical and most of my riding is not race pace.

If your position is really as you decribe and you have an open hip angle for good power generation then I would lower your bar.
As it stands you have the drops that are powerful and moderately low/aero. Its prob no use to use the hoods or tops much at all?
Drop the bar and your hoods are moderately aero and you can generate good power. Then when you are descending fast you have a lower position to take advantage of. Use the tops for long prolonged climbs.

Some bike fits tend to go on the side of an upright posn. Dunno why, I guess most peple dont want to go fast they only want comfort (you should get both) It may however be that you would generate more power slightly more upright (in which case just use the hoods more like the guy suggested) You have to remember that any change in posn will take some time to show if its more powerful as your body has to get used to it. So I suggest keep using the hoods until your followup and monitor your progress the best you can.

onereallynicespeed [1 post] 6 years ago

i had a bike fit session last year at live to ride in frome with richard.i had knee pain which drove me nuts so decided to take the plunge.it was the best £100 ive ever spent.my saddle was way to high and stem to long.the knee pain was from over stretching and rocking from side to side on pedal strokes.i seem to be part of the bike like being sat inside it if that makes sense rather than perched on the top of it.i always found that turning into corners at whatever speed was very nervous.richard said that the adjustments arent set in stone so movement to suit yourself afterwards was my choice.ive lowered the stem slightly more than it was but that was after riding for a while.i too have good flexibility but it really did help in alot of areas.cheers barry.

VeloSolutions [6 posts] 6 years ago

The issue in the UK, and in fact most of the cycling world is anyone can wake up one morning and call themselves a bike fitter, even worse they can go on a course [normally lasting no more than a few days] and call themselves a "Professional" or "Qualified" bike fitter.

It takes year of experience to understand the science and art of Bio Mechanics & Bike Fitting.

Please see article on road.cc