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My First Bike Fitting: 6 Things I Learned from Paulie at GO PHYSIO.

This spring, I visited Paulie at GO PHYSIO for my very first bike fitting. We took measurements, did exercises, and made bike modifications to improve the connection between me and my bike. Here I discuss what I came away with a several new things that I learned.

To learn more about getting a bike fitting with Paulie at GO PHYSIO, head to GO PHYSIO.

I've been cycling my whole life but have never been fitted for a bike. I've always just thrown a leg of a bike and rolled away with the one that just seemed right. Now that I'm in my upper 30s and have a fews kids at home, I have an even stronger desire to make sure I have good physical fitness and that I take care of the muscles, ligaments, and joints that enable me to do what I love.

I've been following Dr. Paulie at GO PHYSIO for the last couple years and he has even done some guest writing on The Nxrth to help people move better on their bike and maintain a healthy bike lifestyle.

This spring we connected again to schedule a fitting. Without knowing what to expect, I jumped into the fitting eager to learn and came away with several on and off the bike lessons.

Getting a Fitting with Paulie, a Physical Therapist and Bike Fit Pro.

When it comes to bike health and general fitness, I've always thought that being an expert on bike measurements, angles, and fit formulas isn't enough. Getting the right angles on a bike is great, but I want someone who doesn't just know bikes, but is also an expert at the human body.

Paulie is a cycling Physical Therapist and certified bike fit expert. He used to suffer from severe back pain on the bike and is now passionate about making people move better, regardless of their limitations, past injuries, or level of fitness. As both a Physical Therapist and a bike fitter, he aims to give people the tools they need to meet their goals

What I Learned With My First Bike Fitting

1. A few simple exercises helped my neck and shoulder pain

For several years, I've had some shoulder tightness as well as some neck pain on longer rides. It can make 100-mile rides pretty uncomfortable so I've tended to stay around 50-miles and under.

After making several bike adjustments, Paulie sent me home with a few simple exercises and strength training ideas. They don't take long, but I've already noticed that my neck and shoulders feel better on and off the bike.

2. Bike fit is more about body physics and health than a bike fit formula

Every body is unique. Each person's height, wingspan, range of motion, and center of gravity are different. The formula for a perfect fit for one person might be completely different for someone else, even if they're the same height and weight. Paulie spent a lot of time evaluating how my body moves and how different muscles compensate for each other.

His adjustments and recommendations were 100% tailored to what my body needs and it gave me a lot of confidence knowing he doesn't force people into one formula but gets to know each person's habits and physics.

3. The body rarely functions symmetrically (and your bike should account for this)

Muscle strength and flexibility are usually different between the left and right side of your body. I had never noticed, for example, that my right knee always bends outward just a little bit when pedaling whereas my left knee stays in a vertical plane.

Cleat adjustments can be made left/right, forward/backward, and even rotationally. This locks in the perfect placement to reduce knee pain and make sure your body physics is correct.

4. Off-the-bike adjustments can also help with on-the-bike comfort

Biking is a pretty big part of my life but there are tons of other factors that influence my physical health, alignment, strength, and comfort. It was great talking with Paulie about off-the-bike fitness, my work station at home, and adding strength training activities into my lifestyle.

All of these things can impact my enjoyment on the bike a well as overall quality of life.

5. You can use a Health Savings or Flex Savings Accounts to pay for a fitting

We've always had an HSA (Health Savings Account) to use for health related things that come up. It had never occurred to me that you can use an HSA/FSA to cover a bike fitting with a medical professional like Paulie. That almost makes it feel like it's not an expense, at least not one that you haven't already been saving up for, tax-free.

6. It comes with a free check-in for adjustments.

The only way to make sure you've got your fit dialed in is to try your new configuration and hammer out some miles. A bike fit comes with a free check-in to follow up on how the bike fit is playing out and make minor adjustments.

If anything was close but not perfect, this is where you fine tune the adjustments to make sure it's right

Schedule a Bike Fitting This Spring

Dr. Paulie does bike fittings and physical therapy from his St Paul, Minnesota office. Paulie is is certified Physical Therapist whose bike fittings include a physical assessment, on-the-bike analysis, and a series of modifications to improve your bike <> body connection.

To learn more about Paulie and to schedule a bike fitting, head to his website at GO PHYSIO.




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