Due to the unprecedented circumstances that have been imposed as a result of the coronavirus, I made the difficult decision to suspend all face to face appointments. Sadly this includes the bike fitting service. There is just no way to be able to provide the complete fitting service without placing unnecessary risk on all those involved.
However, I always try to look for the opportunity in challenging situations like this. Instead of taking this as a complete barricade on being able to help people get the most out of their bikes and their riding, I have seen it as a chance to adapt and evolve.
In the current situation we have seen people take to their turbo trainers in their droves to keep up with their training and exercise. Stepping into the ‘virtual’ world of cycling is now becoming a new normal for all of us. It may not be quite like the real thing but it’s still the best replacement we have for now. In that same vein I have been looking into setting up a ‘Virtual Bike Fitting’ service and I am pleased to now be in a position to offer this to cyclists around the world.
What is a Virtual Bike Fit and what is it not?
First and foremost, there is no getting away from the fact that a virtual bike fit does not replace a fully focused and individualised bike fitting session in person. I will not be able to try and test multiple saddles, stems, bars and make some other equipment changes such as insoles and cleat wedges.
Having said all that we can still do an awful lot to get you riding more comfortably, more efficiently and more powerfully.
The most common complaint I have from riders is that they have some degree of saddle discomfort / numbness / chaffing. So while the correct saddle is important, it is far less important than having the saddle in the correct location. Getting your saddle height, setback, and tilt dialled in can make a massive difference.
What you will need:
A home turbo trainer with your bike mounted
A smart phone or tablet with enough space to record video
A tripod or someone to help record the video of you riding
A good WiFi connection to send video and for the subsequent video session
A basic set of tools - hex wrenches (allen keys), tape measure, spirit level or smart phone with spirit level app, a torque wrench (ideal but not essential)
Confidence in making adjustments to your own bike
What is the process in a Virtual Bike Fit?
Just like in our regular bike fit we will start by getting to know more about your riding, bikes, training, goals, and current injury / issues on the bike, past injuries and medical history.
This step is crucial to allow the video analysis. You will need to set up your bike on a turbo trainer and take a 10-second side on video of you in your most common riding position (in most cases with your hands at the control levers).
You will then need to send over the video files so I can use my software to analyse them. All of this can happen prior to the virtual appointment starting to maximise our time.
In the image below you can see some of the measurements we can make to help inform us on your current position set-up and what we might look to change.
This is the really important and interactive part of the virtual fit process. We will start to make some changes to your current set-up. You will need your hex wrenches (these might be on your cycling multi-tool) for this part. We will go through changes to saddle height, saddle position, tilt, and possibly some changes to the stem and handlebars. Depending on the problems you are having we may also take a look at the cleats on your cycling shoes and make some adjustments here also.
In between these changes you will be getting back on your bike to test out your response. We will continue this process until we feel we have arrived at a position that is working better for you.
It is really important to measure your final set up so you can keep these numbers stored away - you can use the fitting sheet that will be emailed to you.
We will then go through the changes made and a specific plan for what else you might need to do going forwards, including further equipment changes (if indicated) or some specific off-bike exercises to improve other aspects of your riding experience, comfort and performance.
If you have any questions please get in touch on: firstname.lastname@example.org