Sunday, November 17, 2013

Finally a Bike Fit

I had been wanting to get my bike fit checked for a while now, for various reasons.  I never really had a true bike fit.  When I first got my bike, they spent about 5 minutes adjusting my seat height and that was about it.  I wanted to get lower on the front end and hopefully reduce the numbness I get in my toes after 45 minutes.

I talked to Inside Out Sports James about it for a couple of weeks.  Basically picking his brain about several things.  I sent him my side view pic from Rev3 South Carolina, and he agreed there definitely was some work that could be done.  We setup a time for me to come in and made sure it didn't interfere with his training (that's a joke). 

Starting Position
This is my initial position.  Not too bad.  Forward on the seat.  I've always been pretty comfortable.  So then the first thing we did was flip the stem which brought me down a little:
Flipped the Stem
I still felt pretty much the same.  I mean I could tell a little bit, but overall it didn't seem to change much.  Next we were going to put a smaller cap between the head tube comes and the stem.  When we took the cap off, we saw it was actually on top of another cap.  That cap size was pretty small.  This was pretty cool since we didn't have to put a new piece on.  Taking off that cap was at least a centimeter more of drop.
Close Up View of the Stem

Removed the Cap
Now we're getting somewhere!  You can see now my back has really flattened out from the middle up to my neck.  James suggested we move the pads (and extensions) forward to give me a little bend in my arms.  As we move down, my shoulders come forward more on top of the armpads.

Pads Forward
Now with the pads forward, I have a nice arc on my back.  I'm lower but feel less scrunched (i.e. able to generate similar power hopefully).  At least that's the way it feels.

Then we tried a few different saddles.  James thought the issue with the numbness in my toes is mostly due to some blood flow restriction from my stock saddle.  I have the same saddle that came with the bike 3 years ago.  I don't really have any uncomfortableness, but the toe thing is pretty annoying (and can be painful most of the times).

James definitely turned a lot of allen keys:
James GTWD
We tried the ISM Adamo Road and Breakaway as well as the Specialized Sitero.  The idea was to find a split nose solution.  The Breakaway felt too stiff.  Either not enough padding or not soft enough.  The  channel or groove in the Sitero wasn't really deep enough to help not put pressure on the center.  I liked the Road the best.  I tried that one first, then the other 2, and then back to the Road.  It definitely felt the best, so they let me try it out.

So here is the final side by side start to finish comparison:


It may not seem like a lot, but these changes will (hopefully) translate to minutes of savings over 112 miles.  And that's really what it is all about.

We definitely have some serious DROP:

We also talked about crank length.  I'm looking at getting new cranks in January, so that's a good time to check out a different length.  James thought I could go down to a 165mm.  I'm at 172.5 now, but just because that is what came with the bike.  We spent about an hour and 45 minutes going through everything (before we just started talking about next year's races).

I rode 40 miles on Saturday and it felt pretty good.  I could feel a little soreness in the back of my neck, having to look up more to see down the road.  My shoulders and arms were fine.  My toe numbness was better, but not completely gone.  It all definitely feels like things I can get used to rather quickly.

So watch out.  Green Lightning just got a little bit faster!