Posts Tagged ‘professional bike fit’

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

It’s the Holy Grail of cycling, the object every cyclist seeks. It’s the part of the bike which evokes most fear from newbies. Everyone wants a comfortable bicycle seat.

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine ... not always the best solution for people with back issues

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine … not always the best solution for people with back issues

One of the most predictable statements from people coming in to purchase their first adult bicycle is, “I don’t want one of those skinny seats that professional cyclists sit on.”

Well, Halter’s doesn’t have many professional cyclists as customers, but I think I can say that if we did, they would not want to spend seven or eight hours a day perched on a seat which was torturing them.

A more "aggressive" position means back shocks are directed obliquely ... but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

A more “aggressive” position means back shocks are directed obliquely … but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

So, some basic advice;

If you’re new to cycling and buying a new bike give the seat a chance. A reputable bicycle manufacturer is going to fit the seat that’s going to suit most people who ride a particular bike. They want you to buy it after all.

Save your money ... check your seat adjustment

Save your money … check your seat adjustment

It’s likely that your whole body will feel it’s getting a workout the first few times you ride it. The same goes for your backside. If it continues to be uncomfortable get back to us. At least you’ll be able to tell us in what way it’s bothering you and we can work from there.

Check your current saddle is correctly adjusted. Most people find a level seat or slightly nose down is best. This assumes your bike is the correct size and type for you. If it’s not then comfort is going to become a more remote goal.

It's tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

It’s tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

If you’re looking for a new seat for your old bike and thinking fatter and squishier or adding a gel cover is the way to go, think again.

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price ... for a good reason

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price … for a good reason

To be rather indelicate, do you think growing a new layer of fat on your backside would make your present seat more comfortable? No, I didn’t think so. Big, wide, cushy seats have a purpose, but are not necessarily best for you.

Most seats in a bike shop have varying amounts of gel, a resilient plastic which may help ameliorate shock from the road. Quality of gel is important. Better quality gel may appear and feel thinner but may have better shock-absorption characteristics.

Most seats are available in women's and men's versions

Most seats are available in women’s and men’s versions

If you’re looking for a new seat, bring your bicycle in so you can try out one or two around the parking lot before purchase. Be prepared to describe the issues you’re having with your old saddle. We’re bike shop professionals here … We’ve heard it all.

Better still, bike seat issues can be best addressed by a full professional bike-fit which will address your whole position and stance on the bike before settling on a new seat. This service is free with the purchase of a new road bike from Halter’s.

Our experienced bike-fitters will further induct you into the mysteries of ischial tuberosities and other arcane stuff, all of which will enhance your comfort and, thus, your performance.

It’s hard to believe, but anyone would find a concrete bicycle seat comfortable if its the right shape in the right place.

Halter’s stocks a full range of quality seats by Giant, Terry, SMP, Brooks, fizik and other good brands from around $40 and up. One will be right for you.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Get Fit on the Road

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Buying a road bicycle is a commitment by you, but also from us. Most road rides will be 2-3 hours and even more so fit is critical. A professional bike fit makes sure that your purchase provides the most appropriate, efficient and comfortable cycling experience within your budget and requirements.

Leisure cyclist or performance rider - everyone will benefit from a well fitted bike

Leisure cyclist or performance rider – everyone will benefit from a well fitted bike

Every drop-bar, road-based bicycle – including touring, triathlon and cyclo-cross bikes – purchased from Halter’s is finalized by a fitting session with one of our expert bike fitters, Jason or Don.

So, what’s involved?

Bring your usual cycling clothes and shoes. If you need cycling apparel you can choose at the store and if you’ve never considered a clipless pedaling system, now might be the time.

The bike is held on a training stand while it is tailored to your needs

The bike is held on a training stand while it is tailored to your needs

A good fit starts from the feet and clipless pedals enable you to locate your feet consistently in the most comfortable and efficient position. If you’re nervous about that clipped in feeling, or you’re just wondering if it’s right for you, try them out while the bike is safely locked in the stand and you have a little time to practice.

After establishing the correct seat height and fore-and-aft position we’ll start work on working out the correct reach to the handle-bars for you. This is dependent on your general flexibility and style of riding.

This may involve swapping the stem to get the correct reach and the handle-bars to ensure your chest isn’t either constricted or uncomfortably wide.

Generally, at each stage components will be swapped out for ones of equal value, but if you have particular requirements, such as a more comfortable saddle or carbon-fiber handle-bars, there will be an extra charge.

As well as feeling more comfortable you will also gain poise and control

As well as feeling more comfortable you will also gain poise and control

After a few tweaks the bike will be in a condition for a short ride around the neighborhood of the shop. You will be accompanied by your bike fitter who will note your stance and make sure it matches your riding style.

If you’ve never ridden a road bike before they will also coach you on technique, such as gear selection and operation and getting your feet out of clipless pedals – not as intimidating as you might think.

During this process you will learn a lot about your new bike, but also about yourself.

Thanks to Mandi for helping us with this article

Thanks to Mandi for helping us with this article

Back at the shop your fitter will make final adjustments to your new bike, and depending on your budget may make suggestions about a different brand or model of bicycle so you can make a comparison.

There’ll be no right or wrong. It will be whatever you think is best for you.

Halter’s philosophy is that it essential to get the right size bike that is adapted completely to you and one upon which you feel completely comfortable and confident. We’re not the sort of bike shop where you look in and walk out of the store ten minutes later with an ill-fitting road bike. It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for us.

Whether you’re new to road bikes, or an old hand, you’ll need to reserve a couple of hours and make an appointment. Call 732 329 9022 to arrange a time.

Bike fits are also available for your current bike. Call Halter’s for details.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


 
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