All In Physical Therapy
Bike Fitting with Maria Leibler
Updated: May 22
Cycling should be fun, not painful! With springtime fast approaching, you’ll soon be getting your bike off the indoor trainer, or at least dusting it off from the garage storage for some outdoor riding! To avoid potential injury, it’s crucial to do the invaluable prep work before getting back on the saddle. Through the lens of a physical therapist, the importance of having a proper bike fit before heading outside for your first ride of the season cannot be emphasized enough.
A bike fit is the process of customizing your bike to reduce potential for injury, promote efficient riding, and maximize comfort and enjoyment. A fitting begins with an assessment of your flexibility, range of motion, and the posture of your feet, legs, and spine while standing and walking. Next, an assessment of your position on the bike, your posture, and your body mechanics will be performed while pedaling with your bike on a trainer. From there, adjustments are made to the bike to ensure it fits your body specifications to achieve proper ergonomics. Depending on your analysis, you may be given suggestions for specific exercises to help improve your biomechanics and performance. This is done with consideration for your preferred riding style and level of experience.
The most popular reason to invest in a bike fit by a physical therapist is to address on-going pain or prevent future injuries. Riding an ill-fitting bike can not only exacerbate existing discomfort, but it can create new pain when you ride without proper positioning. Low back pain is the most common pain associated with cycling, while knee pain is the second most common. A bike fit aims to promote neutral positioning of all your joints to reduce excessive compression and strain, which, in turn, creates a more comfortable ride.
Another leading reason for pursuing a bike fit is that it can improve performance. Proper adjustments to the bike can improve a rider’s biomechanical advantage for being able to pedal more efficiently. Recreational, intermediate, and advanced riders alike can all benefit from a more efficient riding economy by riding faster with less effort. Furthermore, the ability to ride for longer with less pain and symptoms creates a more enjoyable riding experience. Riders are more likely to get back on the bike and continue cycling when they enjoy the ride in comfort.
Riders of all levels should invest in their health and performance by scheduling a bike fit session today! Maria Leibler, DPT and owner of Fit & Function Therapy Solutions, offers bike fitting at All In Physical Therapy (Saturdays by appointment only). Call 208-297-3271 to schedule before the spring riding rush.