What's in a Retul bike fit?
The benefits of a proper bike fit has long been established. Better performance, efficiency and comfort being the main proponents. After all if you’re going to be spending hours and hours on your bike, you’re definitely going to want to be comfortable ! A sore neck and and numbness in the toes after 2-3 hours of being in the saddle was the instigating factor why i decided to go for one.
What do you wear/bring for a bike fit?
1. Your cycling/tri kit
2. Cycling/tri shoes
How long does it take?
About 2-3.5 hours, depending on the extent of adjustments that needed to be made.
Whats the process like?
Firstly, I was asked to sit on a device that resembled a stool with a computer integrated in the front, this would be measuring my sit bone width. I was asked to get up and sit down 3 times, while it took various points of measurement coming up with an average (not unlike mapping a thumbprint on your phone) . I came away with a measurement of 155cm, which was recorded.
Questions were then asked about my concerns when riding, any pain anywhere, or uncomfortable points, my cycling background, e.g how long i’ve beenriding, how many hours a week, and did i have any prior injuries.
Then i was asked to perform a series of one legged squats with the other knee bent, positions were noted down. Some more positions were noted with my hands on my hips.
A large bench not unlike a massage table was then opened and i was asked to lie down face up. Measurements from my hip to knee, hip to ankle were taken, legs and feet alignment in different positions were recorded.
Over to the foot mapping machine next! With my left heel set backwards on a computer, my foot measurements were recorded from side to side and around as well as the shapeand length. This process would be repeated on the right foot, whereupon the computer would announce what sized shoes i’d need and arch type.
My shoes and cleats were realigned according to the data gathered thus far, an insole was inserted and i was asked to put them on and head over to the actual bike fit machine, which looks like a bike with pedals. Your actual saddle is placed on it.
Electrodes were placed on my shoes, ankle, outside of my knee and hips with wires and measuring devices inside the back pockets.
My hamstring flexibility was measured, then it was time to start peddling ! Right away with the new cleat position and insole already made a huge difference in comfort when peddling. I now had to proper support and exerting pressure driving downwards was much easier and i could put more strength behind the push.
Meanwhile theres a scanner measuring various stuff on the electrodes, where upon Ling made adjustments up and down to the bike fit and noted down the optimum positions. When the right side was done, she spun the entire platform around, so my left side was facing the scanner. It was reminiscent of an arcade game where the bike moves! Some spinal data such as curvature and alignment were recorded. My riding position was corrected and comfort was tested out as i assumed my regular cycling poise. Hip flexors, rotation, shoulder adjustment, pelvic measurements were recorded and changed as needed.
My aerobars were adjusted and my neck felt much better, previously my shoulders were slightly hunched and my head in a slight downward position, which probably contributed to the neck ache after more than 2 hours into a ride. Ling then gave me some advice on how to activate my core while cycling and arm positions when changing from aero to brake handle bars.
And then it was done! Ling recorded the pertinent data on the bike fit machine, which she would then transfer and adjust onto my actual tri-bike.
The actual adjustment on the bike took around 15-20 minutes. I ended up with a muchhigher seat as well as aerobars, both were set forward further. I was told to get the insole to support my arch and then it was a wrap!
I thought it would be really technical and a prolonged time moving around on the machine, but it was really a very fuss free tailored experience, allowing me to appreciate the difference a proper bike fit could make in terms of performance and comfort, as well as reduced likelihood for an injury.
After all, everyone has different measurements and physical quirks so the level of personalisation a proper fit gives you could make a world of difference.
If you love cycling i’d thoroughly recommend a proper bike fit to ensure you get the most out of it! Ling was professional but friendly, encouraging me to ask her any questions at any point of time, as well as correcting my riding posture and position.
I’d highly recommend you to look her up and get fitted!
The whole process took about 2+ hours, but I was really happy with the improved comfort pedalling in aero position, looking forward to my next ride out !
Ling can be contacted at : 9634 9187