About

A Better Bike Fitting Industry

As a globally recognised professional body, everything the IBFI does is designed to support and enhance the bike fitting industry.

By developing respected global standards and a system of professional progression, the IBFI promotes and encourages the highest professional standards in bike fitting and bike fitting education.

The organisation’s work provides fitters with a clear path towards a rounded and extensive education in bike fitting, giving cyclists around the world the confidence in the skills, knowledge and training of their chosen practitioner.

Worldwide Recognition

With over 200 members across the world and support from the world’s top bike fit experts and education providers, the IBFI is a not-for-profit, independent organisation that works to ensure fitters are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to offer the highest level of service.

Our committees and volunteers

John Doe

Subtitle

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John Doe

Subtitle

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John Doe

Subtitle

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Syllabus

LEVEL 01

Module 1: Principles of Bike Fitting

ONLINE

84 hours total learning, 28 hours guided learning

  1. What is bike fitting?
  2. How does it fit into retail and service?
  3. Bike fit protocol/process
    1. Interview
    2. Pre-fit screening
    3. On-bike assessment
  4. Key skills of a fitter
    1. Anatomy
    2. Biomechanics
    3. Mechanic skills
    4. Interpersonal skills/bike-side manor
    5. Problem solving
    6. Parts knowledge/understanding what can be changed on a bike
  5. Online content is designed to complement the in-person, hands-on learning but not teach you how to be a fitter on its own
  1. The body’s systems 
  • general overview of the skeletal system to include the functions of the skeleton
  • general overview of the cardiovascular system
  • general overview of the nervous system 
  1. Description of position
    1. Anatomical position
    2. Anterior/posterior
    3. Medial/lateral
    4. Superior/inferior
    5. Proximal/distal
  2. Movement type 
  • types of movement which can occur at the above-named joints to include: flexion, extension, plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, abduction, adduction, pronation, supination, elevation, depression, rotation, and circumduction 
  • Use cycling as practical examples of each movement type
  1. Muscles 
  • location and action of individual muscles (knowledge of origins and insertions is desirable but will not be examined) – concept of muscles being innervated
  • the following joints and muscles need to be covered: 

–hip: gluteus maximus, 

– knee: hamstrings (biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus), quads (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius) 

– ankle: tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, soleus 

  • a knowledge that some muscles cause movement at more than one joint

-concept of muscles as mono- or bi-articular

  1. Demographics 
  • including age, gender, height, weight, build
  1. Cycling goals and expectations of fit session
  2. Major discomforts
  • aches and pains, run through key parts of the bike (shoes, knees, saddle, back, neck and shoulders, hands)
  1.  
  1. Previous injuries
    1. have you had any cycling or non-cycling injuries or surgeries that may affect how you ride a bike? 
    2. Are you currently seeking medical treatment for anything (PT, Osteo, Chiro)?
  2. Active history
    1. Work related history – manual jobs, asymmetric tasks, sitting/driving
    2. Previous sports – asymmetric sports, inactivity
    3. Experience cycling
  3. Riding characteristics
    1. Riding style
      1. Discipline – road, mountain bike, Time Trial, Triathlon
      2. Intensity – race, endurance, general
      3. Level – recreational, race, pro
    2. Handling/riding characteristics
      1. Stability at speed
      2. Confidence cornering/descending
      3. Perceived weighting on the hands
      4. Preferred hand position
      5. Cadence
  1. Hamstrings – passive straight leg raise, active knee extension test
    1. Typical hamstring length should allow the hip to flex 80° during the passive straight leg raise (Kendall FP, McCreary EK, Provance PG, Rodgers MM, Romani WA. Muscles: Testing and Posture with Function and Pain. 5th. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005)
    2. The knee should be able to extend to 20° on the active knee extension test. (Magee DJ. Orthopedic Physical Assessment. 5th. St. Louis: Saunders; 2008)
  2. Hips
    1. Flexion
    2. Internal/external rotation
  3. Plank
  4. Forward bend
  5. Fit related implications of each test
  1. Stack and reach
  2. XYs
  3. Importance of reproduceable measurements
  4. Key measurements to replicate a position
    1. Saddle brand and model
    2. Saddle height
    3. Saddle setback
    4. Saddle angle
    5. Crank length
    6. Pedal system/model
    7. Cleat model
    8. Hood reach
    9. Shifter lever model
    10. Shifter drop from saddle
    11. Shifter angle
    12. Handlebar angle
  1. Stack and reach
  2. XYs
  3. Importance of reproduceable measurements
  4. Key measurements to replicate a position
    1. Saddle brand and model
    2. Saddle height
    3. Saddle setback
    4. Saddle angle
    5. Crank length
    6. Pedal system/model
    7. Cleat model
    8. Hood reach
    9. Shifter lever model
    10. Shifter drop from saddle
    11. Shifter angle
    12. Handlebar angle

Module 2: Bike Fit Skills 1

IN PERSON

72 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Postural cues of bad fit
    1. Rocking hips
    2. Excessive plantarflexion
    3. Excessive heel-driving
    4. Excessive reach/spinal curvature
  2. Order of interventions – starting with cleat, saddle then bars. That’s the order they impact each other!
  3. Identification of a functional saddle position window (fore-aft and height)
  4. Identification of a functional handlebar position window
  5. Intro cleat position
    1. Road neutral fore-aft
    2. Stance width
    3. Rotation
  6. Intro to insoles
    1. Arch height
    2. Arch length
  7. Basic mechanic skills
    1. Equipment inspection (wear, safety, correct installation – bike and shoes/cleats)
    2. Torque settings
    3. Changing/replacing cleats – safety and positional accuracy
    4. Swapping a stem
    5. Preloading a headset
    6. Adjusting a saddle position
      1. Fore-aft
      2. Height
  8. Bike sizing
    1. Identifying the correct frame size
    2. Static and dynamic approaches
    3. Using a size cycle
    4. Finding suitable bikes to meet optimal frame dimensions
      1. Appropriate resources to help

LEVEL 02

Module 3: Bike Fitting Principles 2

ONLINE

72 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Business ownership structures
    1. Sole trader, limited companies, franchises, etc
    2. Concept of liability and limiting liability
    3. Awareness of differences in each country
  2. Different business models 
    1. Independent fitter
    2. Store-based fitter
    3. Medical fitter
  3. Mission statement, aims, objectives, strategy and tactics
    1. SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-limited
    2. Training as development
  4. Basic principles
    1. Supply and demand
    2. Return on investment (ROI)
    3. Pricing and competition
    4. Potential revenue streams
    5. Billing and managing payments
    6. Record keeping, books and accounts
    7. Taking and managing bookings and follow-ups
  5. Introduction to stock management
    1. Buffer inventory
    2. Re-order levels
    3. Lead times 
    4. Accessing P&A as an independent fitter
  6. Sales forecasting 
    1. Keeping annual records to track seasonal patterns
    2. Event-related bookings
  7. Marketing and social media
  8. Costs
    1. Fixed, variable, direct and indirect
    2. Profit vs revenue
    3. Break-even analysis
  9. Data protection and storage
    1. Personal data
    2. Fit data
    3. Photograph use and permission
  10. Building a multidisciplinary network
    1. Physio/PT
    2. Personal trainer
    3. Podiatrist
    4. Osteopath/Chiropractor
    5. Orthopaedic Surgeon
    6. Coach/Manager/Team
  1. Kinematics
  2. Kinetics
  3. Power and Work
  4. Force
  5. Vectors
  6. Torque
  7. Angular kinematics
  8. When muscles are active during pedal stroke and what their role/action is
  1. Distinction between discomfort and pain
  2. Limitations of fit, not Medical. Cannot diagnose or treat.
  3. Numb/hot feet
  4. Knee pain
  5. Saddle discomfort
  6. Low back pain
  7. Neck and shoulder pain
  8. Numb hands
    1. Nerve compression
      1. Ulnar nerve
      2. Radial nerve
    2. Carpel tunnel syndrome (Median nerve compression)
  1. Context of fitting with or without tech
    1. Tech expands what you can see
    2. It doesn’t replace the fitter as the decision-maker
    3. Adding tech to your fit gradually
    4. Contingency planning – tech will fail, have a back-up plan and be able to function without it
  2. Video capture
    1. Frame rate
    2. Resolution
    3. Strengths and weaknesses
  3. 3D Motion Capture
    1. Active vs passive
    2. Coordinate systems
    3. Strengths and weaknesses
  4. IMUs
    1. What are they and how do they work?
    2. How can they be used in fitting?
    3. Strengths and weaknesses
  5. Pressure mapping
    1. Technical aspects – function, resolution
    2. Saddle
    3. Insole
    4. Centre of pressure
    5. Strengths and weaknesses
  6. Electromyography (EMG)
    1. What’s being measured? Innervation signal
    2. Identifying muscle firing patterns/timing
    3. Identifying magnitude of firing
    4. Scaling
    5. Strengths and weaknesses
    6. EMG and fatigue
  7. Force pedals
    1. 2D vs 3D
    2. Directional forces
    3. Force effectiveness
    4. Strengths and weaknesses
  8. Introduction to Aerodynamics
    1. Aerodynamic concepts
    2. How it can be measured in cycling

Module 4: Bike Fit Skills 2

IN PERSON

74 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Crank length assessment and selection
  2. Intermediate Physical assessment and clinical reasoning
    1. Single leg squats
    2. 90:90 side bends
    3. Dorsiflexion RoM
    4. LLD
    5. On bike impact of the results
  3. Intermediate foot eval
    1. Length
    2. Width
    3. Arch length
    4. Navicular height
    5. Windlass mechanism
  4. Foot pedal interface
    1. Track sprinting – fore-aft under 1st MTP
    2. Triathlon/endurance – cleat more rearward (e.g. 5th MTP or halfway between road neutral and 5th MTP)
    3. More rearward position for less stable ankles
    4. Direction of forces and ability of calf to resist pedal reaction forces as cleat moves fore-aft.
    5. Mid-foot cleat position
    6. Calf as a pump
  5. Layers of visual assessment (can be built into discipline specific lessons)
    1. Global – overall, remove major compensations
    2. Postural – pelvis to head
    3. Positional – joint angles and pedalling style
    4. Progress to cleat, saddle, handlebar order of intervention only after completing steps above
  6. Fitting for TT/Triathlon
    1. Aerodynamics for TT/Tri
    2. Crank length
    3. Running off the bike
  7. Fitting for MTB
    1. Weight distribution
    2. Dropper seatposts
    3. Reach as bar width
    4. Leg length shims
  8. Fitting for different road disciplines
    1. Race – including road aerodynamics
    2. General
    3. Endurance
    4. Road shoes with 2-hole cleats often require adapters
  9. Gender-specific fit issues
    1. Scaling for size not gender
    2. Myth of long legs/short torso, isn’t gender-specific, equally likely to occur in either gender
    3. Saddles
    4. Pelvic tilts

LEVEL 03

Module 5: Bike Fitting Principles 3

ONLINE

72 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Muscle Function
    1. Agonist
    2. Antagonist
    3. Fixator
    4. Synergist
  2. Types of skeletal muscle architecture
    1. Form follows function
    2. Fusiform
    3. Parallel
    4. Convergent
    5. Unipennate
    6. Bipennate
    7. Multipennate
    8. Circular
  3. Types of contraction
    1. Concentric
    2. Eccentric
    3. Isometric
    4. Isokinetic/isotonic
  4. Muscle function
    1. Innervation
    2. Sliding filament theory
    3. Peripheral Nervous System
      1. Autonomic nervous system 
        1. Sympathetic nervous system, 
        2. Parasympathetic nervous system 
        3. Enteric nervous system
    4. Central Nervous System
      1. Motor units
      2. Inhibitory response
      3. Proprioception
  5. Upper body joint
    1. Shoulder
    2. Elbow
    3. Radioulnar
    4. Wrist
  6. Intermediate musculature
    1. hip: iliopsoas, sartorius, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gracilis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, adductor brevis
    2. Spine: erector spinae, multifidus
    3. Shoulder: intro
    4. Elbow: intro
    5. Radioulnar: intro
  1. Role of a bike fitter in injury management
    1. A fitter cannot diagnose
    2. A fitter can only suggest alterations to the bike to ease symptoms
    3. Awareness of a medical condition is not training to diagnose or treat the condition
    4. If a fitter suspects a medical condition exists, they should suggest it is confirmed by a medical practitioner
  2. History of discomfort
    1. Where exactly is the discomfort and how does it feel (aching, burning, etc)?
    2. When did it start, and does it correlate with any bike position/equipment changes?
    3. Does it get worse the longer you ride or stop you from riding?
    4. Exacerbating / relieving factors: Does anything make it better or worse – climbing, moving in the saddle, cadence, intensity, etc?
  3. Types of injury
    1. Overuse
    2. Trauma
    3. Fatigue/posture related
    4. Cycling as cause vs cycling as aggravator
  4. Venous occlusion
    1. What is it?
    2. What are the symptoms?
    3. What are the potential solutions?
  5. Feet
    1. Morton’s Neuroma
    2. Plantar Fasciitis
    3. Bunions
  6. Spine
    1. Spinal stenosis – nerve compression
    2. Bulging discs – nerve compression
    3. Sciatica – nerve compression
    4. Spinal column/neural network
      1. Cause and effect not always in the same place
  7. Common knee injuries
    1. ACL
    2. Meniscus
    3. Knee replacements
    4. Patella tendinitis
    5. IT band friction syndrome
  8. Hips
    1. Replacements
    2. Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  1. Joint moments
  2. Force-velocity relationship
  3. Torque-Angle relationship (TAR) curves
  4. Inverse dynamics

Module 6: Bike Fit Skills 3

IN PERSON

72 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Saddle selection
    1. Measuring sit-bone width – value?
    2. Pressure mapping
    3. Saddle swapping for trial
    4. Saddle characteristics
      1. Frontal curvature
      2. Profile (sagittal plane curvature)
      3. Transition
      4. Width
      5. Padding
    5. Saddle and pelvis interaction
      1. Anterior pelvic tilt and pubic ramis contact with saddle
      2. Posterior pelvic tilt and ischial tuberosity contact with saddle
  2. Shoe features and selection
    1. Brannock device
    2. Anatomy of a shoe
    3. Heel to toe box drop
    4. Toe box shape
    5. Width
    6. Volume
    7. Cleat hole positioning
  3. Advanced insole selection
    1. Crush box, moulding equipment
    2. Naviculometer
    3. Custom insoles with moulding
    4. Custom insoles with adjustable inserts
    5. Applying metatarsal pads
  4. Pedal systems and float
    1. Main models available
    2. Pedal stack height
    3. Float
      1. Amount
      2. How it’s achieved
      3. “Free” or friction
    4. Cleat adjustability – how much it can move in each direction
    5. Spring tension
    6. Ability to shim/wedge
  5. Handlebar and cockpit selection
    1. Handlebar width, reach, drop
    2. Bar rotation and hood position
    3. Discipline specific aspects
      1. MTB grips, bar rise and sweep
      2. TT extensions and pads
  6. Advanced on-bike visual cues
    1. When to refer out
    2. Asymmetry
    3. Sitting twisted
  7. Advanced foot evaluation
    1. Hallux limitus
    2. Hallux rigidus
    3. Plantarflexed first ray
  8. Weight distribution
    1. Centre of mass 
    2. Centre of gravity
    3. Statograph
    4. Balance test
    5. Directional pedal reaction forces

LEVEL 04

Module 7: Bike Fitting Principles 3

ONLINE

72 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Understanding bike handling
    1. Fork rake
    2. Fork trail
    3. Flop
    4. Fork length and head tube angle
    5. Stem length, bar width, bar reach and steering axis
    6. Bottom bracket drop
    7. Wheelbase
    8. Front-centre distance
  2. Frame materials and characteristics
    1. Carbon – grades, fibre count and resins
    2. Aluminium – grades
    3. Titanium – grades
    4. Steel - grades
    5. Other alloys (scandium, etc)
    6. Basics of construction – tube to tube, welding types, tube forming (hydroforming), carbon mould options.
  3. Design concepts
    1. Sloping top tube – increases stand-over height, decreases size run
    2. Lower seat stays – stiffer, aerodynamic impact
    3. Head tube and seat tube angles
      1. If not parallel then top tube length changes with height
      2. Differences between disciplines – slacker for MTB, steeper for TT
    4. Frames with adjustable geometry
      1. Horizontal drops outs to adjust effective chainstay length
      2. Fork inserts to adjust rake
      3. Suspension links to adjust BB height
  4. Designing a custom frame
    1. Gathering the required information
      1. Fork length and rake
      2. Headset
      3. Stem length
      4. Bar reach and width
      5. Saddle choice
      6. Seatpost model (inline, setback, dropper length, etc)
    2. Drawing for different disciplines
      1. Road
      2. Mountain Bike
      3. Time Trial/Triathlon
    3. Using an existing bike as a starting point
    4. Using a size cycle to identify optimal frame size
  1. Understanding the publication system
    1. What is peer review?
    2. Different types of publication – pre-print, open source, traditional journals
  2. How to identify and evaluate potential variables
    1. Variables that may affect the outcome
    2. Variables that have been controlled
  3. Review existing literature
    1. Identify the limitations of the study
    2. Identify if/when/how the results can be applied (and to whom)
  4. Designing a scientific study
    1. Identify all the variables
    2. Control the controllable
    3. Identify relevant assumptions
  1. Teaching
    1. Seven principles of teaching
      1. Encourage contact between students and faculty.
      2. Develop reciprocity and cooperation among students.
      3. Encourage active learning.
      4. Give prompt feedback.
      5. Emphasize time on task.
      6. Communicate high expectations.
      7. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.
    2. Learning styles
      1. Visual – using sight
      2. Auditory – using songs or rhythm
      3. Verbal – saying out loud the information
      4. Kinesthetic – using touch and taste to explore the information
      5. Logical – a more mathematical approach
      6. Interpersonal – learning in groups
      7. Intrapersonal – learning alone
    3. Keep content relevant
      1. New information is retained much more easily when it can be applied to daily life
    4. Integrate topics
      1. Combine subjects using a single theme – e.g. saddle stability can be used to discuss saddle design/characteristics, pressure mapping, saddle height, anatomy, etc.
    5. Be aware of introverts
      1. Fitters don’t often work as a group but most courses are run using interpersonal group learning
    6. Break learning into bit-sized chunks
      1. Keep lectures/presentations short and broken up into easily recalled bullets
      2. Reinforce with hands-on practical sessions straight away
      3. Emphasise that learning occurs in pieces not all at once – like peeling away individual layers
    7. Be flexible
      1. Not everyone will understand a topic taught in a single way. Try to adjust how you describe it to ensure everyone has a chance to understand. Running through topics more than once and in different ways, helps people better understand.
    8. Habits
      1. It can take 30 days to form a habit. 
      2. Repeat an action enough to form a habit of doing it the right way.
    9. Ask for feedback
      1. Make adjustments based on feedback
      2. Try to engage every student to ensure everyone has a positive experience
  2. Mentoring
    1. Mentoring isn’t teaching
    2. Act as a role model
    3. Help in decision-making, don’t make decisions for them
    4. Share advice
    5. Coach
    6. Support
    7. Benefits of mentoring
  3. Assessing and internal verification

Module 8: Bike Fit Skills 4

IN PERSON

72 hours total learning, 24 hours guided learning

  1. Motion Capture
    1. Video (2D)
    2. 3D
    3. Markerless
    4. Inertial measurement Unit
  2. Pressure mapping
    1. Saddle
    2. Insole
    3. Handlebar
  3. Force pedals
  4. Electromyography (EMG)
  5. Aerodynamics
    1. Wind tunnel
    2. Virtual wind tunnel
    3. Outdoor
    4. Track based testing
  6. Physiology of position
    1. Breathe rate
    2. Muscle oxygenation (near-infrared spectroscopy - NIRS)
  7. Off-bike exercises and cycling Strength and Conditioning
    1. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching
    2. Progressive Angular Isometric Loading and Regressive Angular Isometric Loading (PAILs/RAILs)
    3. Orthopaedic Manual Muscle Testing (OMMT)
    4. Common strength and conditioning exercises for cyclists
  8. Para-bike fit and extremes
    1. Categories and classification for paracycling and paratriathlon
    2. Prosthetic types
      1. Role of a Prosthetist
      2. Multidisciplinary/medical approach to prosthetic design
      3. Above the knee
      4. Below the knee
      5. Upper body
    3. Ultra-endurance cycling
      1. Deca-Ironman
      2. RAAM/World record attempts
      3. Schermer’s neck
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