Bike Fitting

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What is a Professional Medical Bicycle Fit?

By Tiffany Coletta

What is a Professional Medical Bicycle Fit?  A Medical Bicycle Fit is aimed at injury treatment and prevention for cyclists of all abilities, from recreational to racer.  If you have neck, back or knee pain, saddle sores, or hand and/or foot numbness, your bicycle probably doesn’t fit you properly.  Correct cycling position is key to improving performance, optimizing comfort, decreasing pain and preventing injuries.

Medical Bike Fit appointments include biomechanical evaluation to determine cycling posture and pedaling mechanics, video analysis of body positioning to detect problems in cycling form, comprehensive muscle, and a joint and bicycle evaluation to improve you’re cycling mechanics and reduce risk of cycling-related injuries. Flexibility and strength testing as well as exercise prescription for injury prevention and pain reduction are also included, followed by static and dynamic assessment to correctly position the saddle, stem length and angle, pedal-cleat interface, among other adjustments.

Most insurance plans can be billed if you are experiencing pain as a result of your cycling activity.

Jason Lunden, DPT, Sports Clinical Specialist, is a Certified Bike Fitter and provides Professional Medical Bicycle Fit appointments in our Bozeman office.

Bike Injury Seminar - Sept. 7, 2011 7-8pm Boz. Library

By Tiffany Coletta

Community Education Series – free and open to the public


“Bike Injury Seminar” – Presented by Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Bozeman Public Library Community Room

Medical Bike Fitting

  • •Learn how to recognize common overuse injuries that occur in cycling

  • •Discover how to apply self-treatment strategies to aid in recovery from overuse cycling injuries

  • •Understand the relationship between improper bike fitting and the development of an overuse injury

  • •Q&A session


Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS specializes in the rehabilitation and prevention of sports-related injuries.  A published medical journal author, local and national presenter, Jason has obtained extensive advanced training in physical therapy and bike fitting: Doctor of Physical Therapy degree – University of Minnesota; Masters of Arts in Cell and Molecular Biology – St. Cloud State University; Bachelors of Arts – St. Olaf College; Minnesota Sports Medicine Sports Physical Therapy Residency; Sports Physical Therapy Clinical Specialist Board Certification – American Physical Therapy Association; Certified Bike Fitter

Medical Bicycle Fit Performed by Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS of Excel Physical Therapy

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS

A Medical Bicycle Fit at Excel Physical Therapy, is aimed at injury treatment and prevention for cyclists of all abilities, from recreational to racer. If you have neck, back, or knee pain, saddle sores, or hand and/or foot numbness, your bicycle probably doesn’t fit you properly. Correct cycling position is key to decreasing pain and preventing injuries as well as improving performance.

A bike fit performed by a physical therapist includes a biomechanical evaluation to determine if your cycling posture and pedaling mechanics need improvement. You’ll receive a comprehensive muscle, joint and bicycle evaluation to improve your cycling mechanics and reduce your risk of cycling-related injuries.  The cycle fit will include both static and dynamic assessment to: correctly position the saddle, specific recommendations on stem length and angle, and a particular emphasis on the pedal-cleat interface among other adjustments. The goal is to allow you to ride farther, faster and without pain.

We also work with cyclists interested in improving cycle-specific strength, flexibility, and performance.

Jason Lunden DPT Bike Fit

Jason Lunden DPT, SCS

Medical Bicycle Fit Evaluation and Consultation

•   Examination and treatment of acute and chronic injuries that include spine-related pain, knee pain, iliotibial band friction syndrome, heel-cord inflammation and hand and/or foot numbness or tingling

•   Cycling-specific muscle imbalance evaluation, including flexibility and strength-testing.

•   Bicycle Fit assessment: a biomechanical assessment is performed of your posture on your bike, including the fit of your seat, handlebar and stem, as well as the interface of your shoe, crank and pedals. We combine that with your ergonomic and aerodynamic body positioning on the bike. Based on our assessment, we will “fit” your bike to you for a more anatomically balanced and strength-oriented ride.

•   Video analysis: a frame-by-frame analysis of head and torso positioning; trunk stability; upper body placement; hip and knee alignment and pedal cadence to detect problems in cycling form

•   Cycling-specific exercises to enhance strength, flexibility and muscle balance, in order to minimize re-injury or injury.

Bike Fit FAQ’s:

Why should I get a bike fit? A bike that is not fitted properly can cause pain, discomfort, and decreased performance while riding. By getting a bike fit from a specially trained physical therapist, you’ll ensure that you get a bike that fits you and also learn techniques to help improve your riding. A bike fit is beneficial to cyclists of all levels, whether you are an cat 2 racer or a novice rider, a bike fit will improve your overall experience cycling.

What are the benefits of a bike fit?

A physical therapy bike fit will help you learn to find a balanced place on the bike, which will reduce the amount of wasted energy and extra muscular movements. We teach pedal mechanics that will result in a smooth, circular movement that reduces strain on your muscles and joints and helps you to ride more comfortably and efficiently.

What should I bring to my bike fit?

In order to get a proper evaluation and fit you should bring your bike, cleats, and cycling attire.  If you keep a training log bring it to your fit too, as it will help the physical therapist determine if training errors are contributing to your injury.  Also if your bike has a carbon frame and/or components please bring your torque wrench to ensure proper adjustments are made to your bike.

What does a bike fit cost?

A bike fit is charged by the hour, and most fits take two hours. Your physical therapist my also recommend additional treatment sessions to properly rehabilitate your injury.  A medical cycle fit is typically covered by insurance, as part of rehabilitation from your injury.  For performance enhancement, a bike fit is a fee for service charge.

Contact: Excel Physical Therapy, Jason Lunden, DPT, Sports Clinical Specialist

406-556-0562 Bozeman

jason (at) excelptmt (dot) com

Could you benefit from a bike fit evaluation?

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS

Professional Bike Fitting

Bike adjustments and strengthening tips are generalizations, and may not work for your individual needs. If you have tried the above suggestions without success or want an individualized fit, you would benefit from a professional bike fitting.  The fitting I perform is both a static and dynamic bike fit, where static measurements and adjustments are combined with a dynamic movement analysis and orthopedic examination. A proper bike fit is a marriage between the bike and the rider, so one needs to look at both the bike and the person when performing a bike fit.  Getting a professional bike fit can significantly reduce pain associated with your riding, reduce the chances of developing future overuse injuries, and perhaps, best of all improve, your performance.


Could you benefit from a bike fit evaluation?

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS

Muscular Imbalance and Pain

In addition to an improper bike fit, muscular imbalances can lead to overuse injuries in cycling. For example, weakness at the hip muscles can cause the knee to be improperly positioned at various points during the pedal stroke. The improper positioning of the knee can result in an overuse injury. Therefore in addition to getting your bike properly fit, focused hip strengthening and pedaling drills are usually required in order to rehabilitate knee pain associate with cycling.

Could you benefit from a bike fit evaluation?

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS

Bike Adjustments

Fortunately there are many adjustments that can be made to your bike that can allow you to ride with less or no pain if you do develop an overuse injury. Typically these adjustments start down at the cleat /pedal level, then move to the saddle, and then, ultimately, reach the stem and handlebar. In most cases, the cleat should be centered under the ball of your foot. Your saddle height should be adjusted so that there is a 25-35? knee bend at the bottom of your pedal stroke.  Handlebar height is much more variable between cyclists. In general, you want the handlebars to be high enough so that your lower back is comfortable, but not so high as to create too much of an upright position that compromises performance.  Finally, the stem length should allow your shoulder angle to remain at 90?, or less, when your hands are on the bars.

Could you benefit from a bike fit evaluation?

By Jason Lunden, DPT, SCS

Overuse Injuries

Cycling is a great endurance sport, which is relatively easy on your joints.  Overuse injuries are less prevalent in cycling than in running, but they can and do occur, particularly in the hands/wrists, spine, hip, knee, and lower leg. Overuse injuries occur when there is repetitive motion and/or stress over a period of time.  In cycling, for example the knee flexes and extends >5,000 times during a 1 hour ride.  So, if your bike isn’t at the optimal set-up, your knee could undergo asymmetrical stresses.  These asymmetrical stresses can lead to irritation of the tissues of the knee leading to pain, and if not treated properly, ultimately lead to lasting disability (i.e. the inability to bike without pain).

"No improvements necessary! You guys are awesome :) Jason is our "go to" guy for my entire family- there's no one better!" --K.W., Manhattan client

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