A Great Ride Begins with a Bike Fitting

Last Friday, I walked into Papa Wheelies bike shop in downtown Portsmouth, NH to pick up my new 2016 Specialized Sirrus Elite. I was met by Josh Pierce, General Manager and Master Body Geometry Fit technician. He showed me around the shop, as I tried hard not to reveal how little I know about the sport of cycling.

Papa Wheelies Bike Repair Shop

Josh and crew in the repair shop at Papa Wheelies

The Body Geometry Fit Experience

We began the Body Geometry Fit process by talking about my goals as a rider, my current level of fitness, and what type of riding I planned to do on my new bike. Josh’s relaxed attitude and quiet nature make him very easy to talk to. We shared a few laughs before getting down to business.

I pedaled for a minute or two while he made some observations about my riding form and my overall geometry. From his first impressions, he made a few adjustments to the seat position and then I got back in the saddle again. He used a variety of tools to measure the angle of my knees and the position of my knees over the pedals.

pedaling at pappa wheelies

As he made adjustments to the bike, he explained what he was doing and how seat position relates to the biomechanics of the rider. Once we had the seat height and position dialed in, we moved on to the handlebars. Each type of bike (road, mountain, hybrid) has a slightly different setup. But, for the most part, once you know your four basic measurements you can apply them to almost any frame.

Next Josh analyzed my feet and my contact points, to make sure that I had the best shoes, saddle, and foot position possible. I found out that I have forefoot varus. That means my big toe is angled up, which causes my knee to collapse inward at the top of my stroke. If left untreated this could lead to knee pain and injury. Fortunately, a simple footbed insert takes care of the issue.

forefoot varus

I hopped on the bike for another minute or two while Josh recorded video from various angles. Afterwards, we reviewed the footage together. He used overlay tools to further analyze angles and discuss things like range of motion and flexibility in my hips.

I left Papa Wheelies with confidence knowing that my new bike was fitted to my specific body geometry. A Body Geometry Fit session is a great way for a beginning rider to learn about the mechanics of biking and ask questions before heading out on the roads and trails. Now it’s time to put some miles on my new 2016 Specialized Sirrus Elite. Sweet. Thanks Josh!

3 thoughts on “A Great Ride Begins with a Bike Fitting

  1. How did you come to do this? Part of the Specialized service?
    I’ve just bought (but not yet received) a Sirrus Elite (in Paris), and would love to have it fitted properly – but nothing like this was mentioned in the store…