$150 + parts (free with new bike purchase)
Urban Cyclist staff are expert at fitting people to the correct size of frame, by using their knowledge, experience and a customer’s feedback the best size option can quickly be found. The modern bicycle is extremely complex and the advanced techniques required to manufacture them mean there are only discrete sizes available. With data gathered from our Bike-Fit system we identify the optimum frame size, which gives you the best performance opportunity and ultimately the most enjoyment.
The key areas addressed by Bike-Fit are efficiency, power maximization, aerodynamics and comfort.
Efficiency on the bike has relevance for everyone. Defined as the amount of work achieved over the amount of energy consumed to achieve that work, efficiency affects everyone’s performance.
If we are inefficient we use up our energy reserves too fast and we slow down. This has relevance for racers, who need to be strong at the end of a race, and recreational riders who need to complete their long rides in the country.
An elite cyclist may have an efficiency of 25% (for every joule of work done they must eat 4 Joules of energy), an untrained rider may have an efficiency of only 10%!
One of the major factors affecting efficiency is the rider’s leg position on the bike. Essentially a system of levers the leg position needs to be optimized for the correct joint angles and muscle contraction lengths. The major factors to be adjusted are: saddle height, top tube length, crank arm length, seat angle, cadence and foot/cleat position.
In general the optimum position for power output is governed by saddle fore/aft position and saddle height. The pedal position is integral to power output; incorrectly placed pedals leads to loss of power, which then leads to a drop in performance. Incorrectly positioned saddles can contribute to an increase in muscle/joint soreness. A saddle position too far fore/aft will result in knee/ankle injuries and lower back pain. A saddle position too high/low can create neck and shoulder pain.
However, positioning for power maximization may in some cases be in conflict to the optimum position for efficiency. Choosing the correct position will depend on the discipline of the sport you perform. In general, longer events will require an efficient position. Where as, shorter events such as MTB racing, track riding and time trialling require more power optimization.
By reducing the resistance acting against the rider, cycling becomes both easier and faster.
The three main forces acting against the rider are gravity, rolling resistance and air resistance. Gravity is determined by the course profile and rolling resistance is determined by equipment choice and road/track surface.
Air resistance is determined by the rider’s position and speed on the bicycle. As this resistance increases with the cube of the speed it is vital to optimize the rider’s position.
By minimizing the frontal area of the rider and creating a more stream lined shape it is possible to significantly reduce the effort required to go a certain speed. This is achieved by flattening the torso and selecting the correct bar width.
Positioning purely for aerodynamics can reduce efficiency and power output, so a balance must be met.
Comfort is an issue that is hard to accurately predict using scientific measurements. Experience leads to the conclusion that the most comfortable position is the one where you are optimally positioned from a biomechanical viewpoint. This is because an efficient position uses the correct joint angles and muscles, leading to less physical complaints.
An upper body position suited to the specific activity will support the rider in the correct position, this allows a relaxed body which is consequently more comfortable. It also allows the rider to handle the bicycle without straining or overreaching.
Of course, some people have very specific complaints such as old injuries or restricted movement. In this case we recommend starting from the optimum position and adjusting as necessary. It may well be worthwhile to select special components, such as a special saddle, a narrower handlebar, shorter brake levers, but this could apply to all riders depending on their needs.
The Urban Cyclist Bike-Fit system can optimize all of these variables, instantly allowing improved efficiency and enjoyment. We combine this data with your physical dimensions to select the best bicycle for you to ride.
By using the Juteau-Cantin bike fitting system we approach the sizing issue from a different angle. By taking physical measurements of the rider and applying these to the Bike-Fit we can determine the rider’s optimum position on the bike for their required type of riding. This takes into account biomechanics, aerodynamics, comfort and handling.