Getting your bike fitted to your body is crucial for beginner cyclists to avoid injuries down the line. If your bike is not fitted through a professional fitting service and you rely on feel alone to find the right position, you risk teaching yourself poor technique, which can be hard to reverse as your muscles settle into a flawed riding pattern. Not only is poor technique hard to reverse, but it can actually lead to injury and damage to your muscles, tendons and soft tissue.
A professional bike fitting service adjusts components of the bike to tailor them to your unique measurements. During the session, your Bikefit physiotherapist will also guide you into finding the correct technique.
Risks of Getting the Wrong Bikefit
The damage caused by an initially poor Bikefit can haunt cyclists for the rest of their riding careers. It’s crucial to get it right in those formative weeks when you first take up cycling as a sport. An important part of bike fitting is picking up on subtle differences like limb length and flexibility, which differ from person to person. This is where your Bikefit physiotherapist comes in: they are able to help minimise – or completely eliminate – the physical risks of a poor bike fit. Some of the risks associated with getting the wrong Bikefit include:
- Poor Technique and Overuse Injuries
A poor bike fit can quickly lead to overuse injuries, which manifest as pain around the joints. ITB Syndrome is the most common overuse injury experienced by cyclists, but it is easily avoided. After an assessment, your physiotherapist will identify and correct the techniques or bike measurements that are causing you to put excessive pressure on the joints and tendons. Overuse injury can get steadily worse over time, but if identified and treated and corrected in the early days, it is easy to manage and avoid further pain.
- Discomfort and Severe Saddle pain
Saddle pain can make a ride (and the days following the ride) extremely uncomfortable, especially for women. But more than this, repetitive riding in a position that causes saddle pain can lead to soft tissue damage. To make it even worse, the positions that many cyclists contort themselves into to avoid discomfort or saddle pain can cause secondary issues like pelvic movement, neck pain and lower back pain.
It’s best to get a thorough check from your bike fitting specialist to make sure you’re in the best position to reduce any discomfort, saddle pain, pelvic movement and back and joints issues. Your physiotherapist will also provide some handy clothing tips for avoiding saddle pain.
- Poor efficiency and performance
A poor bike fit will have you using more energy than necessary, resulting in an inefficient ride and poor performance. Your physiotherapist fits your bike so that your muscles and joints are in biomechanically-friendly positions to improve the efficiency of your ride and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
Are you ready to ride better, longer and pain-free? Contact us online or call 08 9481 1003 to book a Bikefit today.