Monday, September 21, 2009

Bike Fit with Ian Murray

So I have my new bike. This is good. I know I have the correct size for me as I had a pre fit with Ian before my trip back to England. Triathlon Lab did a basic fit for me when I bought the bike so it should have been pretty close but I was still debating whether I should take it back to Ian and spend even more money to make sure it is fitted properly to me. I had just spent over $3k on the new bike so spending another couple of hundred dollars on top of this was a real question for me. Would it really be worth it?

I did some research on the web and as it turns out, it is. There is a lot of science and mechanics going on when considering transferring power down affectively between the cyclist and the bike and when it is done correctly you don't waste as much power as you pedal. You also have to consider comfort on the bike and the aero position that can be acheived.

So after spending a lot of money on a new bike, the general consensus is to spend just a little bit more to make sure you are getting the most out of it. Otherwise you are essentially wasting money.

I met Ian through LATri Club and have always found his information helpful and as he was regarded as one of the best bike fitters around I decided to get it done properly. I also knew that the bike I purchased, a Cervelo P2 is very familiar to Ian as this is what he rides. He knows every trick about this bike and was even able to fix a couple of manufacturing design faults while he was at it.

This bike fit highlighted two main things. The first was how much more comfortable the bike is when it is correctly fitted to me and the second thing was how smooth the power seemed to be put down through the pedals when all of the leg and hip angles were correct. Actually there is a third discovery that came out of the bike fit and this was just how bad my left leg is. I thought my left cleat was incorrectly fitted but actually it turns out I have some pretty serious neuromuscular issues happening with my left leg which is resulting in weakness and loss of function and control. It is a knock on affect from some back problems I have had in the past but more about this next time.

So back to the bike fit. We found that the saddle height was a little too high. After needing to cut the seat post down a little so that we could lower it a centimeter of so, (a job that I couldn't have done myself), we found that the original drop was good so we removed some spacers from the stem and got it back to a fairly aggressive 12cm drop. This means that my saddle is 12cm higher than the pads on my aerobars.

The next job was to widen the distance between the aerobars so that I could open up my chest a little more and get more oxygen in.

The bike felt really good. Very comfortable which worried me a little. I wanted a really racy position and I was concerned that it was going to be comfortable but not fast. I am however a believer in science so watch this space.

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