PHOTOS BY DONALREY NIEVA
After weeks of research and contacting multiple shops and services, I was finally able to pull the trigger on a professional bike fit. My decision to work with Mike Sherry of Performance Labs HC was based on many important factors. Aside from years of experience as a coach and fitter specializing in biomechanics - the combination of his ability to perform the fitting in the comfort of your own home as well as be able to provide a follow up fitting consultation played a tremendous role in choosing Mike for the task at hand.
How was the experience you ask? Incredible. Mike’s knowledge and ability to explain and elaborate on the reasons behind millimeter-sized adjustments made me comfortable and confident with any changes he was recommending. Oh yeah, he brought lasers over too.
After about an hour of tests and measurements - Mike made a few tweaks to my current setup. Fortunately, I wasn’t positioned too terribly for it to be embarrassing, but he definitely made some adjustments that should benefit my efficiency and more importantly, avoid injury in the long run. The biggest changes made were with my saddle height and fore-aft position. Here’s Mike’s assessment of our fitting session:
The main reasons were for the forward adjustment is for better skeletal leverage on the downstroke and to protect the connective tissue below your kneecap. The saddle came down a little a well so you can feel the bottom of the pedal stroke a little better, and again , for protection on connective tissue; this time the ITB (iliotibial band). Sometimes a high saddle can either pull on connective tissue and cause pain and inflammation like Achilles tendinitis or cause friction over bones. This can quickly cause IT Band syndrome and since most people pedal at ~85-95 RPM, that friction can add up quickly. Most tendon related injuries are both painful and slow to heal so you want to avoid them before they ever start.
The verdict? Only time will tell. Mike encouraged me to hit the road a few times so I can provide feedback on the new measurements. It might be a while before I can tell if my fitting investment was worth it, but if the end results are as rewarding as the experience I had with Mike, then I would definitely do it all over again. Stay tuned.