By KC Santos
MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA – Have you ever experienced back pains and numbness in your arms after a long ride on your bike? This is probably because your bike is not fitted properly to your body.
A “bike fit” is when your body is scientifically measured in relation to the type of bike you are using and the kind of riding that you wish to do.
Cyclists wanting to have their bikes fitted often head down south to the Bike Town Cyclery (BTC) in Makati.
Atty. Gregorio “Goyo” Larrazabal, owner of BTC, says bike fitting should be a priority of both beginners and professional cyclists.
“No matter how expensive or cheap the bike is, if the bike fits, you’ll have a happy experience in cycling,” Larrazabal says.
According to Larrazabal, BTC is the only bike shop in all of Asia that uses international fitting systems including the Dutch Bike Fitting, the Bike Fit System by Paul Smith, and Bike CAD Pro.
Each is used one after the other to fine tune the biometrics of the cyclist in relation to his or her bike.
With the use of all three bike fitting systems, Larrazabal showed me how equally important are the correct measurements of the handle bar, the pedals and the distance between the cyclist and the stem of the bike for a comfortable ride.
Another consideration is the kind of cycling activity you wish to engage. The fit of the rider on the bike depends on the type of riding he or she wants to do.
For the more serious types of cyclists, the measurement can be adjusted for a more aggressive position on the bike.
If you plan to come in for a bike fit, here are a few things you need to bring:
1. Bring your bike.
2. Bring the shoes you use in biking (cleat shoes)
3. Wear a sleeveless shirt and cycling shorts for easy measurements and markings.
Assuming that you’re already in the shop and you’ve complied with all of the requirements, the bike fitting process usually starts with the Mang Jun, BTC’s head wrench man getting the measurements of your height, torso, inseam, length of arms, and feet.
Your “biometrics” are fed to the online database of Bikefitting.com and they come up with a proposed geometry for you.
While waiting for the results, which won’t take long, Mang Jun at this point would measure your foot and then your shoe cleats to see if it is centered.
Cleats are usually external attachments to the sole of your cycling shoes used to keep it intact and centered on the wedges of your bike’s pedal.
The proposed geometry is then replicated in a bike simulator where you would be asked to pedal for a few minutes. This is usually where the long wait happens since additional fitting systems will be used for cross-checking.
Using the Bike Fitting System by Paul Swift, the measurements of your knee, elbow, and shoulders are also determined.
Once all the fine-tuning is near perfect, you would be asked to ride on a real bike fixed to a trainer to simulate the ride.
Larrazabal says it normally doesn’t feel as comfortable until after a few hours or days of using the bike. Nonetheless, he promises a seamless (and painless) cycling experience for you after the bike fit.
Make sure to head to the BTC before spending a fortune on other expensive components. A few tweaks here and there can make a big difference in your riding experience.
Get more information Bike Town Cyclery
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