How To Fit a Road Bicycle Starting with the Foot/Pedal Interface

How To Fit a Road Bicycle Starting with the Foot/Pedal Interface

This article focuses on the on-road bicycle fitting and not on-bike sizing. Both descriptions are often intertwined, but they are different. Fitting a road bike works well when you begin with a bicycle that is your size or almost your size. The connection points (contact points) are vital when fitting a road bike. The connection points include the left and right hands, the pelvis, the left and right foot. So even if the bicycle is not the right size, so long as the contact points are in the right place, you will still attain a comfortable and good bike fit. The right bike fit has a lot to do with the stem, hoods, brake levers, handlebars, saddle, and, most significantly, pedals, cleats, and shoes.

Get the proper equipment within the right range to achieve an efficient and proper bike fit.

The Bike is Symmetrical. The Human Body is not.

Getting the contact points in the right range is the starting point of a bicycle fit. After fitting the points in the right areas, you must also fine-tune every connection. You must fine-tune and assess the bicycle parts as it meets your body. This is because bikes are symmetrical, and the human body is not.

For instance, at hand, the fact that you have the right-angled stem and length does not imply that you have the correct size and shape of the handlebar, brake lever, bar rotation/tilt, and their location on the handlebars. Or, when fitting the feet, the fact that you’ve set the clear aft/fore position does not imply that its stance width, tilt, and rotation are correct. The best result between your bike and the connection you have with it is when the bike disappears. Once the bike is no longer noticeable and the only thing you can think of is the scenery, your ride, or your company, then you’ve achieved a perfect bike fit. Although a rider may care less about the scenery, he cares more about his speed and position while racing. When the racer is unconscious about the bike he is riding, he’s experiencing a good fit.

Getting Started with a Bike Fit

As earlier mentioned, the racer’s body contacts the bike at five different points: feet, hands, and pelvis. The hands, pelvis and feet location greatly impacts the efficiency and comfort of the bike. There are various tools on a bicycle. These tools are adjusted or used to get the ideal position on the bike:

  • Feet – Cycling shoes, cleats, pedals, and sometimes crank arm length.
  • Pelvis – Tilt and fore/aft. Height, saddle, and occasional cycling shorts.
  • Hands – Brake levers, handlebars, and hoods connected through a stem.

Find the Right Bike Fitter and What to Expect in a Bike Fit

Although the bike fitter checks you out during the fit, how you feel about the fit is important. You are the only person that understands the way you feel about the fit. A fit may seem great, but you need to let the bike fitter know if it doesn’t feel right. If you don’t quite

Sometimes, even a simple drawing can help you describe the way you feel. An experienced fitter will not be afraid to answer your questions. He will explain the feedback you are giving him and why he’s recommending an adjustment.