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Equipment – Specialized Body Geometry Fit

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Fit is the most important part of riding a bicycle. I cannot emphasize this enough. There is ton of information on the internet. The only consistent part is that everything contradicts itself. Also looking at how a given PRO rider with similar stature set his/her bike is not even going to get you in the ballpark. In my case, not a lot of cyclists in the 2m height range. If you are not positioned correctly on your bicycle you will get overuse injuries fairly quickly and you would be wasting energy that is better used making you go fast!

So what should you do? I suggest what i did: get a PRO fit from a certified shop/fitter. In my case I went to the Specialized Concept Store in Haarlem for a Body Geometry (BG) fit.

I called the shop first for an appointment, left my name and the BG technician got in touch with me a day later and I had an appointment for the same week.

The Fit Session

I went there with my road bike and cycling clothes/shoes. The BG technician is a physiotherapist first so the session started with questions over my sport background, any (past/current) injuries and what my (competitive) goals were on the bike. Afterward he put me on a table and went through the ranges of motion of my hips, knees, lower back; he checked for any leg length discrepancies. After that he put the bike on a trainer and observed my pedaling for a bit, than measured the angle of my knees at the bottom of the pedal stroke and also knee position relative to the pedal spindle. He would make modifications, I would pedal the bike, he would measure and so forth until he was satisfied with the final result. It did not involve fancy computer analyzed imaging and power meter data, just simple measurements.

The Changes

Saddle height: +2cm

Saddle setback: +5-6cm

Right Cleat: 1mm towards center of shoe

Shoes: Green Specialized BG inserts for VERY high arches; 1.5mm Varus shim in my right shoe

The Results

Immediately after I clipped while having the green inserts in my shoes i felt a solid and very direct connection with the bike. All my energy was going straight into the pedal and my right knee was not brushing the top tube while pedaling. My weight distribution over the bike felt natural with no discomfort anywhere and I was not holding myself upright with my arms. It felt like I was ‘perched’ on the bike. I got all the measurements on a nice form so should I decide to change something in the future I can always come back to the ‘fit.’

The Verdict

Probably the best invested money as far as benefit obtained. Following the days of the fit, there was some getting used to the position involved, however, everything felt natural. I was not trying to constantly adjust my position or anything like that. The Green footbeds felt amazing. Even if you do not have Specialized branded products I strongly advise you to get a PRO fit. It would pay off a lot in the future.

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