Bike Fitting

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Wednesday, 23 September 2015. Posted in Sporting Injuries, Training and Performance

Bike Fitting

By Don Williams


Cycling is becoming quite the popular sport in Brisbane. You only need to go to just about any local café in the city or around the bayside suburbs and esplanades to get a sense of how many people are getting involved in this sport, some more seriously than others.


Unfortunately we do get to see quite a lot of trauma cases at Institute of Sports and Spines due to car bike interface disorders, referred to more usually as collisions. Usually the cyclists fare worse than the drivers, but not always so. The disputes will rage long and hard over whether cyclists should or should not be on the road and who is generally at fault, so we will leave this debate alone.


Additionally though, we do see quite a lot of injuries which are overload or postural in origin who come into the clinic. Many of these injuries are preventable with correct bike position and set up, or by addressing imbalances and weakness in the system.


Many people would think that correct bike position is just a case of getting a bike that you can get your leg over and everything else should be just fine, however, there is a lot more to it than that.  Generally, on top of the basics of getting a frame that is the right size, alterations in seat height, forward and backwards position of the seat, handlebar width, stem height, relationship of the stem to seat height, pedal cleat position, crank length and angulation of the shoe can all have an impact on whether a ride along the bay on the weekend is an enjoyable or painful experience. At the higher end of the performance spectrum, this may have a significant impact on the power output, aerodynamics and general comfort allowing you to race to your full potential or falling short due to these deficiencies.


At Institute of Sports and Spines, we use cutting edge technology combined with years of clinical experience to help you overcome your injuries and enhance your performance needs.


We utilize a Wahoo Kickr stationary trainer so that we can accommodate road bikes, and all range of mountain bikes from 24’ to 29ers. We can also accommodate bolt through axles or quick release.  The trainer is extremely quiet and allows us to tie in power based assessments with your bike fit.


 Bike Fitting 1 Bike Fitting 2


Our video capture system is from Silicon Coach.

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We utilize “Dialed in Motion” and “Silicon Coach Pro”, software to dynamically capture your position when riding under load from multiple camera sources in high definition giving us a very clear assessment of your true riding technique. We then assess the angles and position of all the relative joints to allow us to make changes to optimize your position.


We often have people discussing the Reutal System and its claimed accuracy.

Without being too critical, whilst the accuracy of the motion sensors in that system may be accurate to the millimeter, the placement of the markers on the body delivers the same inaccuracies of palpation that are inherent in the placement of markers or sensors in any system. Our view, having a clinician with years of experience in injury diagnosis and management melded with years of experience in cycling will yield great results in helping you achieve the fit you want. There are a number of places in Brisbane using the Reutal system, some are doing a fantastic job, others less so, and with some centers charging upwards of $400 more consistent results should be expected. Once again, the places who are doing a great job are usually combining technology with years of experience.


The whole point of a bike fit is to make you sit more comfortably (which will let you ride harder and longer) and to help you ride more efficiently. The transmission between the motor and the bike if you will.


Bike Fitting 5


Our process takes around 2 hours. It is very detailed and personal. You will have a pre-fit interview and assessment, to find any problems that may exist. 

Then we use HD Video motion analysis software your riding position. During the fitting we will assess the shoe, arch support, cleat position, saddle, stem length and height. We can then make changes and give you a detailed report of before and after fitting.


Your customized report has all the setting for your bike and your body measurements so that should you need to change back to the original settings or are looking to buy a new bike and want all your measurements to give to the bike shop, they are all at hand.


If you would like further information about bike fitting and assessment, call our friendly reception team for details.

About the Author

Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD.

Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD.

Don Williams (Chiropractor) is an internationally recognised expert in rehabilitation and sports injury management. His career started out in the late 80s with a move toward professional sport, namely triathlon. His career was cut short by a motor vehicle accident which after misdiagnosis and mismangement saw him requiring extensive spinal surgery and rehabilitation. This was the inspiration and desire to develop excellence in the diangosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders.

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