Friday, January 13, 2012

Coach Confession - Bike Fit Part 2

Bike Fit, Round 2!

Well I am three weeks into the new fit and plenty of things to report.  First, I received lots of questions about how much change (I stated a lot in first article, everyone wants the numbers).  So let’s quantify “a lot”:

Riding the DFU!  I was trying to think of a way to get some wheels on this sucker and head out the door!!

Me: 5’8’ with a 81 CM inseam
Saddle Forward - 3cm (not a typo) to bring foot/knee to 30 mm behind spindle
Saddle Lowered – 1 cm (see cranks)
Cranks switched to 170 from 172.5
Reach - back / shorter 1 CM
Drop – Increased from 9cm to 10cm

Yes sir / ma’am, that is a lot of change.  Please read my first article and my disclaimer that I knew how bad my fit was, but still chose to ride it that way as I was comfortable that stretched out and sometimes, I can be slow to change.

Second most asked question has been about adaptation.  How long is it taking?  Well I will let you know when I am done but here is the update.  After three weeks and almost 800 miles I am still adapting.  I am much more solid on the bike but it is taking some time for the muscles that were out of balance to adapt.  When I first started riding, I had some dramatically reduced power numbers.  I would loosely say 20 watts at FTP / Threshold effort but I am now generating same power as before fit with less perceived effort and less fatigue (now if I could only generate more power!).

What has been the hardest change to adapt to?  For me it is the 170 crank.  I hesitated to go to even though for my inseam length, is common but for those that have ever seen all the arguments about crank length, there is nothing common.  Why has it been hard?  Well, it has opened my hips, allowed for more drop and helped my spin.  I am sprinter with a good amount of fast twitch muscle which should support the switch to smaller crank but when I stand to attack / sprint the crank still feels small to me.  I have not yet really tested max power as my knee is still recovering and the answer at this stage is not worth reinjuring. 

Getting closer to correct!
So why the new post?  Well I sent down yesterday and visited Stu Waring at Parvilla Cycle and his handy dandy DFU machine to double check fit now that I have ridden the new position and to order a brand spanking new Guru Photon in custom Peaks Coaching Group colors.  Before we designed the new custom frame, we really wanted to make sure we got all final items dialed.  It was great!  Stu is very patient and really loves working through all the little details.  We made some minor tweaks to better help with my Femur length imbalance and were able to get both leg angles exactly the same (not easy when 1 femur is a CM+ longer than the other).  We also did some final tweaking on saddle height and handlebar drop and in the end, the bike was perfect!

Just needs to be Peaks Blue!
I still think I have at least two more weeks to finish adapting to the new fit.  My knee issues are gone and everything is tracking great.  Next step is to keep building power and really focus on the final / final crank decision.

In the meantime, going to work with Stu and Robert from Guru to finish designing the ultimate Peaks bike, will update you with design drawings and pics and final adaptation notes in a few weeks but here is a peek at what we are building, some pretty unique dimensions as I am building a sprinters bike, large head-tube with slightly longer wheelbase.  Note the longish top tube but unique seat tub / head tube angles....going to be pretty cool

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