1 . Rider Profile Interview: Every fit, whether a novice or experienced cyclist, starts with an interview between our fit specialist and the rider to understand each rider's injury history, needs and goals.
2 . Physical Assessment: This is the key to the Body Geometry fit process, allowing our fit specialists to develop an acurate picture of a rider's flexibility and other physical attributes, so they'll be able to make the proper adjustments to help you be one with your bike.
3 . Side View: Assessed from the side, the goal is to determine their unique active riding position that's both powerful and comfortable through adjustments to seat height, handlebar position, stem length, and cleat placement.
4 . Front View: Unique to the Body Geometry fit process, this frontal view analysis will optimize their hip, knee, and foot alignment for greater performance, power delivery, and injury prevention.
5 . Follow Up: With each fit we include a follow up appointment, to ensure that all changes to the rider's position are working optimally.
Most cyclists associate bike fitting only with Road or triathlon bikes, but mountain bikes with their technical suspension systems, dropper posts, and competing demands of efficient climbing and plush descending can benefit as much if not more from the fit process.
The first things to consider when getting a mountain bike fit are your riding style and what terrain you typically ride. The demands of marathon, endurance and cross country riding are significantly different on the rider and the equipment than a trail riding, all-mountain or enduro. The bike, suspension, and your body position need to be optimized for the terrain and the way you ride.
Every mountain bike fit starts with a run through of suspension settings to ensure that all suspension components are dialed and work best for terrain, and riding style. We also take into consideration any gear that may be used, so your suspension can be adjusted for additional weight like a loaded hydration pack. Not having your suspension set up properly will negatively affect your bike’s handling, as well as where you are positioned in relationship to the pedals and wheels. By dialing this detail in first, we know your ideal suspension set up and ensure that we get the most out of your fit.
Handlebars & Stems: Mountain bike handlebars have continually grown wider, and simultaneously stem lengths have decreased. Ultimately, handlebar width is personal preference and that choice is affected by terrain, rider preference and style of riding. With fit, we want to find the correct bar width that adds stability without being too wide. Your arms should fall with a relaxed bend at the elbow. If your elbows are straight, your handlebars are probably too far away, too wide, or too low. A lot of pressure in the hands can indicate any of the same three issues. Shorter stems make the steering feel more direct and move the rider’s weight further behind the front axle which adds confidence when riding challenging trail sections, but the length of the stem should be carefully balanced with the rider’s morphology and riding style. There is no one size fits all solution.
Saddles and Dropper Posts: Saddles take on additional duties on a mountain bike. While they need to fit and be supportive for pedaling, they are also used to push against for steering. Depending on the trail you’ll potentially use every inch of saddle real-estate to keep your weight balanced; climbing steep sections of trail on the nose or hanging off the back for steep descents. We are seeing more and more Dropper posts on a big variety of bikes from gravel bike to lightweight cross country rigs. Dropper seat posts add a big dose of stability and confidence. They allow you to ride at the optimal and most efficient saddle height, then with the push of a button lower your center of gravity for more confident cornering on flowy trails, or drop your saddle completely out of the way for sketchy descents. With this variability, we want to ensure that your saddle height and fore/aft are optimized for maximum pedaling efficiency as well as healthy knees. This leaves you the freedom to select the best saddle position on the fly based on the terrain.
Time to get a mountain bike fit? Check out our Appointments link above to schedule time with a fit expert.
Pedals & Shoes: Ultra-light and efficient carbon soled shoes that transfer every ounce of energy into forward momentum excel for riders looking to maximize efficiency. On the other end of the spectrum flat pedals with grippy cycling specific shoes allow for amazing bike feel and a high degree of security and safety on the most extreme trails. Finding the right pedal and shoe combination is dependent on the rider’s preferences, terrain, and ultimately the feel the rider is looking for. The goal in fit is to work with any of these shoe and pedal styles to dial the riders pedaling mechanics and connection to the bike so they can keep the power to the pedals without any knee pain.
Mountain bike fitting is a kind of like business in the front and party in the back, we balance comfort, efficiency, and your physiological needs while preserving the handling characteristics to match your riding style and terrain you ride. We want you to be able to ride longer and stronger. Whether you are just getting into the sport or started riding way back, getting fit on your mountain bike will improve your experience. Make an appointment to get your mountain bike fit here.