So it’s time to get a new bike. Maybe you’re taking up a more serious line of riding – it could be sportives, triathlon, road racing or just simply that you want to ride a better bike with superior performance.

Gary Flash Blesson, Improving your Cycle Set Up 5When it was time to upgrade my road bike, which I will use for racing purposes, I wanted to be as efficient and comfortable as possible. The way to achieve this, when I finally chose my bike, was to incorporate a bike fit to optimise performance and comfort, especially with more road racing orientated bikes being more rigid which gives you a harder ride, so getting it right is imperative.

I found that many shops will, as part of buying a bike, will incorporate bike fit to your purchase, of course only the shops which do bike fit. Another thing I found invaluable was test riding a few bikes beforehand because the bike I had initially chose, when I tested it, didn’t feel right for me. So, the bikes you see in the Tour de France, or in the world of professional racing, although they look fantastic they may not be suitable for you, as frame dimensions and handling can differ between different brands, which I found out even with years of experience behind me. The bike I eventually chose was a Trek. It was the bike which seemed to fit me perfectly and just felt right for what I was going to use it for. However, that was not my original choice which just goes to show we are all made differently.

The great thing about having a bike fit is that you have full measurements to hand which you can apply to all your road bikes, as all the data you have been supplied by the bike fit you can keep on your phone or preferred device. I use mine when travelling. If I’m borrowing a bike from a friend or hiring one, then I can apply my personal measurements to the bike to ensure I have a comfortable position which will help prevent injury and aches and pains caused by ill-fitting. The thing is, you think you know everything when you’ve been riding for as many years as me, but this is never the case. You are forever learning as more options become available with the increase and availability of technology, which gives you more applications to improve your riding. When my bike fit was completed I had some adjustments to make. My seat height was too low and I could feel the difference in my performance, better delivery of power through the bike. I’ve now applied all these measurements to my other bikes.
Just a few key points when upgrading your bike.

  1. Just ask yourself what you are going to use the bike for?
  2. If your last bike felt good then don’t try and change dimensions of the bike too radically.
  3. If you get the chance to road test a bike then that is essential.
  4. A good time of year to buy a bike is now (end of year) due to new models coming out and you can get deals on old models.
  5. If you’re purchasing from a shop then try and get a deal on the bike fit with your purchase.
  6. If you’re buying online then get a bike fit prior to ordering then you can apply your measurements, but of course you will not have the advantage of road testing the bike, unless you can try a friends
  7. Also TT bikes are a slightly different bike fit.

The views shared are that of the author and are not necessarily that of Lexham Insurance Consultants Ltd.