Phil Burt, Pivotal Figure in Cycling Comfort and Performance

Phil Burt, Pivotal Figure in Cycling Comfort and Performance

Bike Fitters, Crucial Link Between Cyclists and Machine

It's common knowledge that Manchester, England is globally recognized for its football (soccer) teams and passionate fanbase. For cyclists, it’s known for where world renowned bike fitter Phil Burt does his magic. For decades, Phil has worked with professional cyclists and World Tour teams to maximize performance and comfort through his bike fitting system. His athletes have accumulated numerous titles including Grand Tour victories and Olympic medals.

Originally as a physiotherapist, Phil felt that he was more like an ergonomist after getting deep into cycling. Armed with a profound knowledge of various cycling positions and extensive research in components on the market, Phil became a perfect bridge between cyclist and machine by approaching this activity in a wholly holistic and scientific way. "When cycling, the five contact points: hands, feet, and hip bring huge differences to cycling posture and cycling healthy effectiveness. It is this balancing act between performance, aerodynamics, comfort, and sustainability-that is the crux of a good bike fit. " Phil emphasizes that the endless possibilities between human beings and bicycles are the reason that kept Phil fascinated in researching cycling postures and adjustments for over a decade.

No two individuals have the same body shape and size but bicycles are more or less mass-produced available in a few sizes. Under this circumstance, being able to tailor to each client's unique physical situation and adapt to the mass-produced bicycles makes Phil the leading expert in his field. He emphasizes that as one gets old, even the lifestyle is different. Some are macro-absorbers who are malleable to different kinds of bicycles and even those that are actually not suitable to them. On the other hand, there are micro-adjusters who are highly sensitive to any change in their bicycles. Macro-absorbers and micro-adjusters are two extremes of the spectrum while most of the majority of people fall somewhere in between.

Take saddles for example. Phil Burt founded the first saddle health clinic in the world and made extraordinary contributions to the sport. His innovative research in saddles pushed the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) to change their rule on saddle tilt. Furthermore, during the Rio 2016 Olympics, Team Great Britain’s female cyclists reduced their saddle injuries by 100%.

Now, when Phil receives cyclists in his clinic, he asks the following questions: What are your goals for fine-tuning your riding positions? Are you aiming to become a competitive cyclist within a short term or long term? Or do you simply want to enjoy cycling outdoors with your family on weekends? When you ride, do your knees hurt or experience any saddle sores? A proficient bike fitter can achieve optimal adjustments when they have a thorough understanding of the cyclist's preferences, utilizing their professional expertise and scientific knowledge. In the meantime, Phil offers a more effective way for cyclists wanting to find the most suitable riding positions for themselves. Before engaging on the journey, they should write down all the parameters that could affect their cycling experiences, such as saddles, shoes, pedals, and riding positions. By tweaking a single parameter at a time, cyclists can easily discern which factor has the most significant impact on their performance, allowing them to continue enjoying their cycling experience.

Phil Burt Profile

• Head Physiotherapist at British Cycling

• Former Consultant to Team Sky

• Supported three Olympic Games and seven Tour de Frances

• Published Bike Fit: Optimise your bike position for high performance and injury avoidance

• Founded Phil Burt Innovation Services