Preparing for the season and bike fitting

Live Talk with Stephan Nuesser | Sport Scientist

During the live talk on 7 February with sports scientist Stephan Nuesser, we discussed how best to prepare for the cycling season and how to reduce the risk of injury and saddle pain through proper bike fitting.

On the subject of preparation for the cycling season, Stephan teaches us that there are no major differences in the type of training between men and women, but it is important to point out that according to recent studies women perform differently within the same month due to hormonal changes. In the follicular menstrual phase we can increase the intensity and level of difficulty of the workouts, in the luteal phase a simpler workout should be preferred, and finally in the cycle week we should set a series of very light exercises. This is why if we want to achieve the best results we should differentiate our training sessions by learning to listen to our body and its hormonal changes.

If you don’t cycle during the winter season, a cardio workout will help you maintain the appropriate physical level, no matter what type of activity (e.g. swimming, running, ski touring), the important thing is that the training is carried out consistently after parking the bicycle during the winter break. In addition, working on ‘core’ muscle strengthening with dedicated exercises throughout the winter season is very useful for increasing power on the pedals when you return to the saddle. Finally, remember that it is always advisable to practice different sports during the winter season and not just focus on cycling

After giving us great tips for our workouts, Stephan told us about the importance of bike fitting. Many women think that bike fitting is only useful for professional cyclists, to increase efficiency and performance, but this is not the case. There are many good reasons to book a bike fitting session:

  • It improves comfort on the bike, especially when cycling for a long period of time and covering long distances
  • Improves performance, increases efficiency by maximizing power with less effort
  • Safeguards joints through correct adjustment of the bike to suit physical and functional needs
  • It also influences the choice of saddle. It is useful to identify the correct saddle size by measuring the distance of the ischial bones as a point of contact on the saddle. If there is no contact point of the ischial bones on the saddle you will automatically suffer from soft tissue pain. There has been a great evolution of saddles in recent years, they are much shorter and thinner than in the past, with a hole in the centre that releases pressure on the soft tissue.

Regardless of cycling level, therefore, everyone should do a bike fitting to safeguard their physical well-being and enhance their specific athletic characteristics.

Specifically, there are two types of bike fitting:

– A static fitting, which involves measuring the length of the arms, legs and in general the inclinations of the various body segments, etc. This can be considered the basis for choosing the best type or size of bike based on your measurements.

– Dynamic fitting, on the other hand, involves the use of cameras at different angles to analyse and measure flexibility, joint mobility and posture on the bike.

It is extremely important to improve one’s comfort, performance and efficiency on the bike, which is why everyone should do a bike fitting, regardless of their sporting level. The process takes about 2 to 2.5 hours and is recommended every time you buy a new bike or if you have any physical problems related to cycling. It is also recommended to do it for all types of cycling, for example like Gravel or Mountainbike.

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