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The Beauty of a Bike Fit

1 Comment

Fitting a bike to your body, can make

a big difference.

Here at Commuter Central we like to think we are commute agnostic - as long as you're not driving alone, you're good by us.  But everyone has the commute that works best for them, and mine is by bike.

The benefits of my bike commute are:

  • Exercise while commuting (multi-tasking!)
  • Flexibility - No running to catch the bus because I'm late (and I'm always late)
  • Cheap
  • Fun 
  • Front door parking almost always available

Of course, it's hard to read the paper on my bike and 39 degree slanting rain can get old, so transit is a reliable second fiddle.  But most of the time, I really prefer to bike to work. 


So imagine my frustration when my knee started to bother me so much on my 6 mile commute that I found myself biking to work less and less.  It got to the point where I couldn't ride two days in a row.  So I went to physical therapy, massage, an osteopath - all of it helped, but I was still in pain when I biked.

Finally I decided to try a bike fit.  It seemed odd to me that I would need to adjust my bike around my body.  I'm no weekend warrior who rides hundreds of miles after work.  I just bike commute and tool around the neighborhood.  Why would my body position make that much of a difference?

Well, since I normally bike to work about 200 days each year, 12 miles round trip, I was logging at least 2400 miles a year.  All those miles add up, especially because my seat was too low and my handlebars were stretching me out like a time trial racer (trust me, I don't the body of a time trial racer).

Since my bike fit, I've learned so much about how I should position myself on the bike.  It's like someone substituted my 1950s era black and white television for an IMAX theater screen!  A revelation of pain-free bicycling - it's a beautiful feeling.

There are a number of bicycle shops and specialty services in the Portland area that perform bicycle fit services.  If your bike is not working for you, consider making an appointment - it could change your whole perspective on bike commuting.

So perhaps you're wondering how I got to work today. 

Have you been outside?  I took the bus.

1 Comment

1

LisaW

June 25, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Who me, need a bike fit? Doesn't seem necessary when one "just" bikes to work. But it makes a HUGE difference in comfort and even health. Especially for women (IMO), who often have longer than optimal top tube lengths on their bikes (too far of a reach). And if you ride clipped in, a cleat fitting session is a must. Otherwise you can really mess up your knees! I put off getting a bike & cleat fit because my bike was custom built, so I figured it wasn't necessary (and I didn't want to spend the $$ on top of the bike cost). Now I'm a convert - it's definitely worthwhile. My knees are happier too.

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