Bike fitting

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by IzzyG, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    Heya guys, I have a question. Is it worthwhile to get yourself fitted professionally after buying a bike? The specialist I talked to stated that he'd look at cleat positioning, saddle height, stem length and such. However, I am rather comfortable as I am on my bike, except for a little problem. After 25-30 mins of riding, my fingers go numb. This leads to inability to grab the brakes. Someone told me that I should wear some nice cycling gloves which helps with its gel padding. Another stated that my stem might be too long.

    What could be the causes of this? Elaborate please. Would raising my handlebars help? And when someone states the stem is too long, which stem is he talking about? Thanks.

    Izzy G.
     
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  2. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    Heya guys, I have a question. Is it worthwhile to get yourself fitted professionally after buying a bike? The specialist I talked to stated that he'd look at cleat positioning, saddle height, stem length and such. However, I am rather comfortable as I am on my bike, except for a little problem. After 25-30 mins of riding, my fingers go numb. This leads to inability to grab the brakes. Someone told me that I should wear some nice cycling gloves which helps with its gel padding. Another stated that my stem might be too long.

    What could be the causes of this? Elaborate please. Would raising my handlebars help? And when someone states the stem is too long, which stem is he talking about? Thanks.

    Izzy G.
     
  3. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    Scratch the idea of raising my handlebars. They can't be adjusted. Oh and I'm riding a Triathlon/TT bike.

    Izzy G.
     
  4. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    Scratch the idea of raising my handlebars. They can't be adjusted. Oh and I'm riding a Triathlon/TT bike.

    Izzy G.
     
  5. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Bike fit being done by a proffesional is, in my opinion, a very wise investment. What you have found is that it takes significant time and miles riding for a problem to become apparent. Cycling gloves are almost a necessity for comfort on long rides. The stem is the connection between the steerer and your handlebars. That is the stem and it comes in both different lengths and in different angles. The reason for different stems is everyone's body is a different shape and ratios between legs lengths, torso and arm lengths vary all over the place. If the stem is too long for your core strength and riding ability then you end up putting more weight on your hands which will cause the numbness you are complaining about.

    Proper bike fit balances your body and puts you in the most ergonomic position you can have on a bike. This will allow you to ride longer with less discomfort. I rode bikes recreationally for years without thinking about bike fit. As I got older I read an article and then found a shop that does bike fit. On my bike that I had been riding for months, with a change of stem, proper seat height and setback and cleats adjusted I was able to immediately ride a couple of miles per hour faster and to go approximately 30 percent farther with the same effort I was putting out before I was fit and with less fatigue at the end of the ride. For this reason, I learned from experience how good bike fit makes a difference in riding comfort.
     
  6. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Bike fit being done by a proffesional is, in my opinion, a very wise investment. What you have found is that it takes significant time and miles riding for a problem to become apparent. Cycling gloves are almost a necessity for comfort on long rides. The stem is the connection between the steerer and your handlebars. That is the stem and it comes in both different lengths and in different angles. The reason for different stems is everyone's body is a different shape and ratios between legs lengths, torso and arm lengths vary all over the place. If the stem is too long for your core strength and riding ability then you end up putting more weight on your hands which will cause the numbness you are complaining about.

    Proper bike fit balances your body and puts you in the most ergonomic position you can have on a bike. This will allow you to ride longer with less discomfort. I rode bikes recreationally for years without thinking about bike fit. As I got older I read an article and then found a shop that does bike fit. On my bike that I had been riding for months, with a change of stem, proper seat height and setback and cleats adjusted I was able to immediately ride a couple of miles per hour faster and to go approximately 30 percent farther with the same effort I was putting out before I was fit and with less fatigue at the end of the ride. For this reason, I learned from experience how good bike fit makes a difference in riding comfort.
     
  7. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I suspect you are on the wrong style of bike for your experience and core strength.
     
  8. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I suspect you are on the wrong style of bike for your experience and core strength.
     
  9. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I don't know about core strength being a problem. I train my core quite a bit being an athlete and personal trainer. The experience might be the issue. I picked out the bike because I decided to put real effort into competing in triathlons. Compete, not just complete triathlons. Hence, after speaking to a few cyclists, they suggested a triathlon bike because of it's geometry. True, I also read that some use normal road bikes with fitted aerobars. Bottom line is it depends on the body style and preference. Next question is, how does experience alter bicycle fit? I can see preference changes but fit should be similar right? After looking at the stem, I notice that it could be the problem. At the same time, another problem might be the saddle being alot higher than the handle bars. I think the bike fitting would definitely be helpful. Thanks.

    Izzy G.
     
  10. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I don't know about core strength being a problem. I train my core quite a bit being an athlete and personal trainer. The experience might be the issue. I picked out the bike because I decided to put real effort into competing in triathlons. Compete, not just complete triathlons. Hence, after speaking to a few cyclists, they suggested a triathlon bike because of it's geometry. True, I also read that some use normal road bikes with fitted aerobars. Bottom line is it depends on the body style and preference. Next question is, how does experience alter bicycle fit? I can see preference changes but fit should be similar right? After looking at the stem, I notice that it could be the problem. At the same time, another problem might be the saddle being alot higher than the handle bars. I think the bike fitting would definitely be helpful. Thanks.

    Izzy G.
     
  11. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    The numbness in the hand, on aero bars or the TT bars?

    Check the angle through the wrist, some poorly set up cause you to clamp the median nerve, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I have flat bars on my Tri/TT bike. :cool:

    You may be able to raise the stem by turning it over or by fitting Threadless Stem Raiser. http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/stems/index.html
     
  12. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    The numbness in the hand, on aero bars or the TT bars?

    Check the angle through the wrist, some poorly set up cause you to clamp the median nerve, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I have flat bars on my Tri/TT bike. :cool:

    You may be able to raise the stem by turning it over or by fitting Threadless Stem Raiser. http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/stems/index.html
     
  13. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    It's not on the aerobars, it's on the TT bars. I'll do that. Thanks mate!

    Izzy G.
     
  14. IzzyG

    IzzyG New Member

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    It's not on the aerobars, it's on the TT bars. I'll do that. Thanks mate!

    Izzy G.
     
  15. Dr.Hairybiker

    Dr.Hairybiker New Member

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    Unfortunately, a bike fitting is only going to be as good as the bike fitter. Bike fitting is actually pretty complicated. Anyone can put you in the ballpark, but fine tuning is probably best done by you. I've heard of people paying 100$ or more for a bike fitting, I think that's a little steep, but that's me. Someone who is going to charge me 100$ for a bike fit, they need to be able to tell me why they feel are qualified to charge me that much. There are many books and websites that will tell you the basics. But ultimately, you should take the responsibility to educate yourself on perfecting your own fit. Also, fit changes as you change. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying make sure you are being fit by someone who knows what they are doing.
     
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