I will be writing a series of small blogs about the bike fitting process to add some clarity to your questions. First in the series is one of the invaluable tools for fitting your existing bike..
The adjustable stem
Having set up for your cleats in the right position and once we are happy with the saddle height and fore/aft we then look toward the front end of the bike. We really want a powerful but comfortable fit and the height and reach of your handlebars are very important and they really do need to be right. A poorly positioned handlebar and stem combo can lead to a number or issues, such as hand pressure and possible numbness, tension in the shoulders and neck ache.
There are a number of aims we have when setting this position. We need to create as comfortable position for the hands in all three positions (tops, hoods and drops) and we need also to be stable and safe. To ensure we look after the back we are also looking to allow a full extension of the spine and not feel cramped.
To do this I use the Serotta SICI size stem. For me this is an essential tool for fitting your existing bike. It gives me a great deal of adjustment and negates the need for numerous stems of differing length. It also takes away the need to continually add and remove spacers while allowing me to move the handlebars to the optimum rider position quickly and safely. It works by swapping out your existing stem and attaching your bars to the size stem, easy as that! Therefore, once we have found your optimum position, I measure and document your new measurements and the stem length that you need to get your exact requirements.
If you want to know more then why not give me a call for an informal chat about your fit or drop me an email for further information. ( email firstname.lastname@example.org )
SICI size stem
Jon Bateman offers a Bike Fitting Service at Apta Vita Physiotherapy. Here he starts a series of blogs to help explain the bike fitting process.