Change: Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more

A self-confessed bikefit sceptic once told me that ‘there’s always someone who will pay to have their bars moved 5mm’.

What he meant, at least what I think he meant, was that such a small adjustment was insignificant, let alone worth laying out cold, hard cash for.

But what if that 5mm – the right 5mm – is the difference between a race win or finishing in the pack? Or efficiency and niggling injury?

Because it could be.

And when it comes to bang-for-your-buck from a bikefit, less really can be more.

Taking things to extremes, there are two polar opposites on the client spectrum.

At one end is the cycling rookie: New to the sport, new bike, with no historical points of reference when it comes to their position.

At the other is the experienced, competitive rider: Highly conditioned, tens of thousands of miles under their wheels and extremely adapted in terms of how and where they sit on the bike.

For the former, measured changes to saddle, cleat and bar position during a fit can be huge and dramatic, purely because they were a blank canvas to start with.

For the latter, alterations can sometimes amount to millimetres here and there; fine tuning to wring the last few percent of performance from an already well-oiled machine.

The point is that alterations to position are relative to the individual rider, their background and their ambitions.

The racer will feel, and potentially benefit, from those few millimetres just as much as the rookie notices that multiple-centimetre change to his saddle height.

Ultimately, a bike fit should be about self-improvement and helping the client be the best they can be.

And for some, that means that 5mm really could provide an edge.