The Four Generations of Road Cycling Bike Fitting

Estimated read time 3 min read


Most of the road cyclists are a little bit confused as far as bike fitting is concerned. We have made an effort to describe shortly the history of bike fitting.

It’s important to be noticed that some athletes and coaches were – and continue to be- ahead of their times but we describe the bike fitting evolution as it is perceived by the majority of athletes.


1st Generation- The practical rules

During this era experienced cyclists coaches and cyclists have established some practical rules concerning bike fitting, e.g when you stand over the horizontal tube with both legs toiuching the ground then …

Part of the “practical rules” bike fitting era was the observation by the eye. As Davis Phinney mentions “Even Eddy Merckx didn’t have the perfect eye for seat adjustements”. (“Training for Cycling” Davis Phinney- Connie Carpenter,A Perigee Book, page 79)


2nd Generation – Greg Lemond and Statistical era

We call it Greg Leemond formula although it has been created by his French coach. To determine the height of the saddle, that is considered the most important factor at bike fitting a formula (height = inseam * 0,883 was created). Such statistical and general rules were created.

So instead making the bike fitting by the eye coaches and cyclists have decided to use the rule and later the goiometer.


3rd Generation – The customized bike fitting

It was well understood that each body/ cyclist needs a customized bike fitting as he/she has different body characteristics, flexibility, muscle strength e.t.c.

Andy Pruitt is a key person at the third generation


4th Generation – Bike Fitting as a continuous process

We could say that we have moved to the fourth generation of bike fitting where bike fitting is a continuous process. The athlete adopts his/ her bike fitting :

  • To the training requirements (winter time, racing season e.t.c.)
  • To his/her physical condition evolution e.g. strength development of particular muscles e.t.c., flexibility
  • To the course demands, circuit, endurance events, TT


Technology and especially power meters and air tunnels help athletes to determine the optimum position where power production, consumption of the power produced (e.g. by air resistance) and side effects (e.g. risk of injury) might be optimized.

So the question remains : What will be the future of Bike Fitting?

I suspect that scientists from different fields will work under the guidance of some innovative coaches in order to optimize bike fitting.

A question arises the above statement : Will history make circles and we will try to create again statistical (one model fits all) models or we will decide to get rid of statistical models and customize the implementation of some bike fitting principles?

Text : Giannis Psarelis(Chemist, MSc- MBA) &

  • Triathlon New Zeeland Level 2 Accredited Coach (Candidate for Level 3)- Endorsed by International Triathlon Union (Level 1)
  • American Swimming Coaches Association Level 2 Coach
  • Australian Swimming Teaches and Coaches Association Bronze License
  • North American Academy For Sport and Fitness Marathon Certified Coach
  • USA National Federation of High Schools Accredited & Certified Coach
  • International Triathlon Coaches Association Certified Coach 

You May Also Like

More From Author


Add yours
  1. 2

    Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and
    said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab
    inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  2. 4

    I’ll right away take hold of your rss as I can’t
    find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I may just
    subscribe. Thanks.

  3. 5

    I was extremely pleased to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!!

    I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new information on your website.

  4. 6

    My brother suggested I may like this website.

    He used to be totally right. This publish actually
    made my day. You can not believe simply how much time I had
    spent for this information! Thanks!

  5. 7

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the article
    you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

  6. 8

    I was very happy to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I have you
    book marked to check out new stuff on your site.

  7. 9

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.

    It’s always interesting to read content from other writers and use a
    little something from other web sites.

  8. 10

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning
    this site. I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now 😉

  9. 11

    First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t
    mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head
    before writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Kudos!

  10. 14

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show
    up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say great blog!

  11. 17

    What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads.
    I am hoping to give a contribution & help different users like its helped me.

    Good job.

  12. 18

    I am now not positive where you’re getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend a while studying more or working out
    more. Thank you for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my

  13. 19

    Hello there I am so grateful I found your web site, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing
    on Yahoo for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like
    to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round interesting
    blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read
    it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the great job.

  14. 20

    Fantastic blog you have here but I was wondering if you
    knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really love to be a part of online community where I
    can get feed-back from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.

    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Many thanks!

  15. 21

    I just like the helpful information you provide for
    your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check once more right here regularly.
    I am reasonably sure I’ll be informed lots of new stuff proper right here!
    Best of luck for the following!

  16. 27
    slot gacor

    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with helpful info to work on. You have performed a formidable job and our entire neighborhood shall be thankful to you.

  17. 28

    I have seen that now, more and more people are being attracted to cameras and the discipline of images. However, like a photographer, you will need to first devote so much time frame deciding which model of digital camera to buy and also moving store to store just so you may buy the most inexpensive camera of the brand you have decided to choose. But it will not end now there. You also have to take into account whether you should obtain a digital dslr camera extended warranty. Thanks for the good points I received from your website.

  18. 29
    furniture removal

    Thank you for any other fantastic post. The place else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such info.

+ Leave a Comment