Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bike Fitting

So December was a good month for some bike-related things. New Parlee, a few weight weenie components to slap on the beast and one last thing to dial in the ride. I had been asking around for several weeks about bike fit guru's and determined that it would be a good idea for me to dial in the fit on the Parlee (and the old Serotta too) since I didn't want to put myself in a position (both figurative and literally) that would impact my healing back. That being said I ended up making an appointment with Dario Fredrick at Whole Athlete.

I packed up the car, put the Serotta on top and the Parlee in the rear seat, gassed up, threw on my new
John Digweed mix CD and hit the road for San Anselmo up north in Marin county. Along the way I snapped a few photos. I soon made it up to the city and it was amazingly clear. You could see all the way out to Point Reyes as you drove up 19th Avenue. Across the bridge, through the tunnel and soon I was in San Anslemo.

Arriving faster than I had expected I walked in and started chatting with the only guy in the shop. Come to find out we had chatted back and forth a few times on the weight weenie message board so we actually knew each other...small world. Dario soon arrived and we got into the nitty-gritty of the process.
We first started by addressing the fit from the pedals up. Come to find out my cleats were too far forward so we ended up moving them backwards considerably. This immediate change was quickly felt; I sensed less use of my calf muscles which was the desired effect and more engagement of the hammies/quads/gluts. It did feel quite a bit different in the pedal stroke, but it made sense. Dario also adjust one cleat to help my knee track better. Funny that he noticed it and I didn't. This is the one thing that drives me nuts when I watch other cyclists; I hate seeing their knees bobbing all over the place looking like they've just unmounted their horse. Now mine are like pistons firing up and down!

Moving up we next addressed the saddle position. I had thought that I needed to be stretched out (to within a reasonable amount) to ensure my back was comfortable. However, I was stretched to the point that I had difficulty reaching the hoods. We ended up moving th
e saddle a bit forward and dropping a half centimeter. As funny to me as I thought it would be, this change really made the back feel better. In bringing my saddle closer it caused my elbows to bend more and also flattened out my back a bit, removing some of the roundness that was evident in my previous position.

After all these changes there r
eally wasn't anything that we needed to do up front with the stem/handlebars. The only suggestion for additional relief was to leave the handlebars in the current position and rotate the hood up a centimeter or so. I might try that when I need to change my bar tape next time, but for now the new position felt pretty good.

Before & After:

With the changes I thanked Dario, said goodbye and decided to head by Bikenut in Cow Hollow to find some tasty new components. The nice thing about the fit was it allowed me to change from a seatpost with setback to a straight post. Ended up picking some stuff from M5, Tune, KCNC. This shop is pretty cool because they have a lot of the light stuff you normally only get to see online.

As the sun was setting I rushed home down 280 and started to get my NYE groove on for celebrating at 9pm PST with the kids! All in all it was a blast and I can't wait to see how the body adapts to the changes. Here are pictures of the entire day.


velogirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wonder said...

Nowwwwwwwww I'll consider coaching you, I knew we had to hire a professional for a few things first.
Whew. Smile!

Tall & Manley said...

Velogirl...why the deletion? :)

My bars are 44cm center-to-center.

Tall & Manley said...

Thanks Ms. Wonder Bread...

BTW, I ended up getting a better fitness ball and some bonafide straps for the ankles. Tomorrow I rock the workout again...oh, and a larger mat for the floor too.