I recently posted on Twitter “When was the last time you had a bike fit from someone who knows TRIATHLON? Don’t leave this too long” and I received a reply from “Hoss31” asking for more information.
When was the last time you had a bike fit from someone who knows TRIATHLON? Don’t leave this too long
— Train Smooth (@TrainSmooth) September 23, 2017
The reason I wrote this tweet was there is a big difference between what the UCI time trial position and what you would expect a triathlete position to look like.
Now I won’t go into comfort is key, etc as you can read this copy paste information on everyone else’s site, I will give some examples and see if I can provide you with some information instead of all the generic crap.
First up a lot of bike fitters are well informed with cycling rules and how to best fit a weekend worrier who wants to jump on a group ride or race weekend races with their local cycling club. I am however many don’t really understand triathlon and their needs.
Cycling’s governing body the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) have a long list on rules from what the bike should weight through to the distance between the saddle and the lower bracket. In triathlon we are not so restricted.
To give an example on what I am talking about, in the early days of me being in this sport, I got a bike fit from a very experienced person. Problem was he knew all about cycling and not triathlon. The position felt OK but it was set up for UCI standards.
Eighteen months later I received a fit from another person who came highly recommended and he fitted me by sight. He moved my saddle forward by 5cm, and down 1cm, he moved my head set down 2cm and made a few other adjustments.
This new position felt really different and within a week, I was feeling and riding amazing. It was a massive improvement.
Around two years later, this same fitter had set up a digital bike fit equipment system that has cameras all around and the computer gives feedback on the position. I decided to invest in my positon and see if there was any improvements to be made.
It took the best part of half an hour to set the bike and cameras up and I sat on the bike and started peddling for a while and the computer was happy with my position and offered no further changes necessary. All up this took around an hour.
My point here is if you can find someone who really knows what they are looking for and understand the sport of triathlon and the demands to your body, you are much better off seeing them about a bike fit than someone else who looks really fit that works in a bike shop. Don’t get your mate at work to do it. You are leaving too many watts on the table.
There are also some great software/systems available that some bike shops offer and for the most part is reliable. Do a little homework first, contact your local triathlon club and ask for some recommendations. Expect to pay between $100 to $500. This is a great investment.
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