After a putting up with an aching neck and upper back, as well as saddle soreness for well over a year, I decided it was high time for a professional bike fit.
There are a lot of places offering bike fits (so ask your friends who they recommend) - I went along to Yellow Jersey at Woolloongabba because I’d previously seen Troy (the owner) run a bike fit session for our Ipswich WOW ladies, and was confident that he knew his stuff. Troy is also the founder of the 24/7 Cycling Safety Fund that supports cycle training in schools in Ipswich, so is doing a lot at grassroots level to support safe cycling in the community.
I opted for the $95 special that takes about an hour.
My fit was done by Tom, who just happens to be an Exercise Scientist as well as a mad keen all-round cyclist. He started by sitting me on my bike and measuring my knee angle to get the correct seat height, then dropped a plumb line from my knee to make sure my seat fore-aft position was spot on. Tom noticed that my shoulders were rounding as I reached forward to grip the handlebars, and that I had slightly limited neck extension so he reversed the stem which brought the handlebars up a bit higher and closer. I felt more comfortable immediately.
After sitting me on the arsometer (a magic little tool that measures the distance between your sit bones – or ischial tuberosities if you like a bit of anatomy), he recommended a different seat which would accommodate my bum nicely. The seat was around $90, and came with a 30 day money-back guarantee.
All up, the bike fit and new seat cost $185, and I can honestly say that the next day as I headed up Coot-tha for a serious test run, I wished I’d made this investment ages ago. Not only did my backside and upper back not hurt, there was so much more power in my pedal stroke because everything was in exactly the right position. I still got passed by about 20 other cyclists, but I bet their butts weren’t as comfy as mine!