Bike and Body: FiTTE to Last a Lifetime
By Gina Poertner, CHES
Many questions come my way asking how and why a bicycle positioning session (fitting) is important to cycling performance. Immediate performance is only part of the equation. The other part has a direct effect on your health and long-term abilities as an athlete.
Think of it this way: The engine (body) drives the machine (bike). If the engine is not in tune — positioned properly to function properly — the machine does not reach its potential and energy is wasted. Imagine the disaster of putting all of your money into your car’s paint job but never changing the oil.
Experiencing knee pain, numbing or burning in the feet or hands, pain or fatigue in the low back, neck or shoulders, or discomfort from the saddle signals that you are in an unhealthy and inefficient cycling position. These issues can lead to permanent injury and nerve damage if left unaddressed. As we age, even small compromises in neuromuscular function over time can add up to significant decrease in strength and ability in our later years. A couple hundred miles and a few thousand pedal-strokes per week takes its toll.
Through training we are working to make the body function at its full potential. Put that well-trained body into an incorrect, inefficient position and what happens? At best, reduced efficiency that will slow you down. At worst, chronic to debilitating injury that could take you off the bike. A correct, efficient position leads to improved recovery because the muscles can work as they are intended, and the core is positioned for optimum support, circulation, and respiration. Proper function and technique can only be achieved through proper positioning. Correct positioning begins by evaluating strength, flexibility, symmetry, riding style/purpose, and addressing any physical issues such as injury or structural anomalies. Each individual has a unique ideal riding position, no cookie-cutter measurement charts will suffice in optimizing performance.
Until you are in your own physiologically correct riding position, even the best components have limited effect on your performance. At Life Balance Sports we see more significant improvement with a $250 PowerFiTTE positioning than with a $2,000 set of aero wheels. PowerFiTTE is a healthy, cost-effective upgrade for your bike and body.
Stay healthy, get FiTTE, and ride for a lifetime.