Bike Fitting 101

Rightsize_imageHoly Smokes!!!  Wasn’t there a time back in the day when you stood on a box and if the bike seat came within an inch of your crotch, the bike fit?

Hmmmm, well apparently those days are gone!

When Deb and I bought our road bikes in August, 2012, we found a reputable local Trek dealer, we went in and told the salesman (who was an avid road cyclist) that we wanted a middle of the road road bike to train for a century ride.

The guy measured our inseam (I think) and told us we needed a certain size frame and that was essentially that.

I remember Deb and I adjusted our seats ourselves and then rode over 1,000 miles in 3 months training for a 125 mile cycling event.

At the end of that ride my butt was numb, my lower back was aching, my right foot was numb, but ridiculously painful…

Obviously the distance had something to do with it, but I imagine an ill-fitted bike was a player as well.

So, fast-forward a year and a half, and I decide that it’s a good idea put Ironman – Florida on my calendar in 2015.

One of the first things people who have BTDT told me was, get a professional bike fitting!!!

shapeimage_2Enter Michael Cottle at OutSpoke’N Bike Shop in Lake Mary, FL.

I met Michael at a triathlete nutrition seminar on December 30th.  We spoke briefly about his philosophy regarding bike fitting, which was considerable!  He also came highly recommended by several people whose opinions I regard very highly.

Last Friday, I took my Trek Alpha 1.2 to Michale for a fitting…

Oh my goodness!!  So many measurements… So many adjustments… So much pedaling…

bike-fit-assessment-step1dAnd EVERYTHING on my bike is wrong!!  Okay, not EVERYTHING, but lots – and not because Michael owns a bike shop and was trying to sell me stuff – I believe what he said.  I’ve known my bike is too big for me since the century ride, but what do you do?

He adjusted my seat – the height, the angle, how far forward it was positioned.

He adjusted my cleats so that my heel had more play.

There were lasers and plumb bobs and levels and t-squares and a gigantic protractor and compass involved!!

He is putting on narrower drop bars, a shorter stem, new pretty red tape (okay, that was me, not him), and new aerobars with pads that flip up when I’m not in the aero position so I can use the middle of the bar.

bike-fit-measurement-step2dTo figure all that out took 2 hours.

It will take him a few days to put mu bike back together.

Then I go back and we do the fitting all over again with the new configuration.

What I am positive about in all this bike fitting stuff is:

A.  The dude at the original bike store sold be the wrong bike!

bike-fit-adjustment-step4cB.  I will have as close to the RIGHT bike as Michael can make it when I take my bike out of his shop.

C.  I want a tri bike that Michael fits to me BEFORE I buy it!

If you are doing any serious cycling, spring for the $150+ and get a pro fit!  You won’t regret it!!

2 thoughts on “Bike Fitting 101

  1. Pingback: The Brick That Wasn’t | Angie's Excellent Adventures

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