More than Bike Fit: Become a Better Cyclist
Saddle pressure mapping and a British Cycling coach’s analysis of your technique
We are finding many cyclists that have had previous bike fits are still uncomfortable, so they come to us. Often they sit on the wrong part of the saddle, or they simply don’t have the proper technique or core strength. Saddle issues, sore neck, sore back, numb hands can all remain.
Knee angles and torso angles can look OK “by the numbers”, but if your technique is wrong, you’re still uncomfortable On the left half of the comparison pictured, you can see how the cyclist is using straight arms to push against the bars. Her bike fit measurements were correct, but she was so uncomfortable on her saddle she used straight arms to push herself back trying to relieve pressure on the nose of her saddle. This compromises the bike’s handling and transfers stresses to the neck and shoulders.
At Velocity Sports Cycling, we have invested in a saddle pressure mapping system that allows us to accurately measure and predict whether or not the cyclist is going to be comfortable with their saddle and their position on it. This cyclist was sitting too far forward on the saddle, so too much pressure was being carried on her pubic bones rather than her sit bones.
By moving her saddle forward, we were able to get her sitting on the correct part of the saddle whilst retaining her key angles and knee over pedal spindle.
Our combination of innovative technology and years of coaching experience and training gained with British Cycling mean our bike fits don’t just set up your bike – they make you a better cyclist.
Velocity is one of only five places in the UK using gebioMized pressure measurement technology to build a real-time map of pressure across your saddle while you’re pedalling. This enables us to set up your current saddle to minimise the risk of reduced blood flow through the perineum, which can lead to numbness, saddle sores or even erectile dysfunction.
We also carry a supply of test saddles, including the most popular Fizik, Selle Italia, Selle SMP, Bontrager and Specialized saddles, so you can try different saddle shapes and designs if we cannot make your current saddle work for you.
No two cyclists are built exactly the same – flexibility, the ratio of leg length to torso length, the motion of your knee, previous injuries – all need to be accommodated. Most importantly, your position on the bike needs to reflect your riding objectives.
If you’re racing, then you need to be as aerodynamic as possible. If you’re primarily concerned with improving your fitness and being comfortable on the saddle, then a much less aggressive is required. So, we don’t fit you to an “average” position by the numbers.
Instead, We combine five elements in our comprehensive approach to ensuring you and your bike work together.
- Your riding objectives
- Anatomical analysis
- Foot/Pedal Interface
- Handlebar and stem set-up
- Saddle Pressure Mapping & Analysis
We begin by understanding your riding objectives and your current fitness and flexibility. If your goal is a comfortable ride from London to Paris, then your position on the bike should be quite different than it would be if your goal is to move from a Cat 3 racing to Cat 2.
Once we understand your objectives, we analyse your anatomy – assessing the flexibility of your hamstrings, your hip rotation, the ratio of upper and lower leg bones and your leg versus torso length. These affect your saddle height, fore/aft movement, and the reach and drop to your handlebars.
In an average three hour ride, you turn your pedals 15,000 times. In a month of training at eight hours per week, that’s 187,000 revolutions. In a year, it’s over 2 million repetitive motions. So, it’s no surprise knee, foot, neck, back, shoulder, crotch, hand and wrist problems are epidemic with serious sports cyclists.
So, we next focus on the foot/pedal interface to ensure the foundation of your pedal stroke is solid. Many cyclists require more support in their forefoot to prevent their knee moving toward the top tube as they apply pressure to the pedals.
Moving to the saddle and handlebar positions, we use video motion capture and analysis to measure key ankle, knee, back and arm positions while you are cycling, not in static poses. The right angles for you depend upon your objectives and our physical assessment!
Bike Fit Options and Pricing
Standard Bike Fit
- We start by analysing your initial position on the bike and saddle. We then fit your current bike, or, if we need fewer constraints, we replicate your position on an adjustable Wattbike where we identify your optimal set-up. We then transfer that position to your bike and do final checks. Whilst we don’t test other saddles in this process, we do ensure you are sitting in the correct position on your current saddle. Importantly, we don’t just look at the bike. We help you optimise your technique, so you get the best blend of handling, aerodynamics, comfort and performance for your cycling objectives. £145
Advanced Bike Fit
- Includes all the features of the Standard Fit, and we do a comprehensive saddle fit using the gebioMized saddle pressure mapping system and our extensive range of test saddles. Saddle designs vary significantly, and this is the best way to ensure you have the most comfortable and effective saddle for your objectives. £195
gebioMized Saddle Pressure Mapping
- If you are already happy with your bike fit, but you want to optimise the position of your current saddle or test alternate saddles to find the best solution for you, then book an appointment for the saddle fit for £95.
Bike geometry measurements & purchase advice
- This is a three step process in which we set up your ideal position on our fitting bike, and we then help you select the bike brand and model that can deliver that position. Once you have your new bike, we complete its set-up to match your ideal position. We also help you select your optimal saddle through this process. £225