So after the reasoning behind it (in a previous post) the actual bike fitting at Ciclissimo in Brussels, on the basis of the Cyfac postural system. Well I had a day off and decided to do it then. I took an appointment and went there in the afternoon.
The store is located in the back of a courtyard in a street off Montgomery. I does not really look like a store actually, more like an office, with a series of smaller rooms around a corridor. The first room is the office/measuring room, and that is where things start.
We had a chat on type of cycling I do, my training level, age and weight, but also my objectives and general riding style. The next step was the actual measuring. He used the “Cyfac board”, which allows for standardized measuring. He measured leg length, shoulder width, height to the shoulders, arm length and for the feet, distance between the heel and the first metatarsus.
This data is then entered into a computer program along with the characteristics of the bike and accessories (saddle, pedals, shoes), which then churns out the optimal position. This position is a function of body geometry and type of cycling. It also provides the ideal frame measurements (should you want to buy a new bike or have one made to measure). This is then used to adjust the bike fit.
Any position on the bike will be a compromise between comfort, power transfer efficiency and aero-dynamism. Obviously you only want to sacrifice comfort in so far as necessary to gain the aero-dynamism you need. Secondly, the younger you are and the more you train, the more you will be able to sustain a very flat and elongated position. In short, a racer will need every second he can get and will thus have a very flat and elongated position on the bike. A cyclosportif will be able to afford a slightly more upright position.
So once the data was entered and the result prepared, we went into the second room (pictured above). The second room contains a few models of bikes ciclissimo sells (Passoni, Cyfac, Tommasini).
He lowered my saddle and put it slightly more forward. He also changed the stem for a shorter one. Mine was a 110 cm stem, he replaced it with a 80 cm stem (30 Euro). He also recommended that I buy a wider handlebar (44 cm instead of the 42 cm of the existing handlebar). I waited a bit and bought a Ritchey WCS Logic II on troc-velo.be, which was brand new and cost me 35 Euro (shipping included). Finally, he recommended I buy shorter crank arms when mine would die. He also adjusted my cleats on my cycling shoes.
This means I now have a much more upright position on the bike. It not only feels very comfortable, but also feels much more stable and powerful. I used to get lower back pain during longer rides, which is something I don’t get anymore.
Having now ridden six months with this position, I am very happy I did a bike fitting. Could a cheaper bike fitting have done the trick? Difficult to say. The whole process consists in adding a few millimetres here and removing a few there. The precise nature of the Cyfac postural system helps getting precise results. For me, this worked well.
So I would definitively recommend getting a bike fitting, and ciclissimo is a very good option for that in Brussels.
Address: 24 rue du Duc. 1150 Bruxelles (behind Montgomery)
Tel: 0486/ 35 25 73