Basic Bike Fit Notes
The following notes are from the Tribal Athletic Club team call on 2/10/2022.
- LEG EXTENSION
- The most common bike fit mistake is having your seat too low. A low seat limits lower body extension and muscle engagement and significantly reduces the amount of power you can generate.
How to set seat height: Get up on your bike seat and rest your left foot on the ground. You should be on your toe. Take your right leg and rest your heel into the back of your bike pedal (you are not clipping in). Your leg should be straight, but not locked out. Raise your seat until you get here.
- HIP ANGLE
- This is largement influenced by seat height, but upper body position impacts this too. The more open your hip can be, the more muscle recruitment you get from your glutes, hamstrings and quads.
Opening up your hips takes the stress off your hips. You use more core engagement and better overall leg performance. Keeping your hips happy is massively important for run success.
- UPPER BODY POSITION
- The goal is for your upper body to be as relaxed as possible. Be mindful to not “push back” from your elbows or hands. You want a relaxed upper body that is sinking into your aero bars or handlebars. Any strain in your upper body is demanding and taking away energy that can be used by your lower body for pedaling.
- ELBOW ANGLE
- Your upper arm should be close to vertical when riding in aero. AKA elbows under shoulders. This allows for a relaxed upper body, lets you increase control of the bike by sinking your weight into your bars and eliminates the natural tension that comes when you are overextended with your elbows far out in front of your shoulders. The more “on top” of your aero bars you are, the better.
- SEAT POSITION
- Moving your seat forward is a great way to bring your center of mass more directly over your pedals and improve the angles of all the above. If you are riding in aero, you want to be up on the nose of your seat. It’s helpful to “roll” your pelvis forward. The idea is to have your pelvis pushing back against the seat rather than sitting completely on top of it. Angling your seat slightly downward makes this more comfortable.