As I will be spending up to 8 hours a day riding my bike on the Ride Across Britain it is very important to be as comfortable as possible when riding the bike. It is not just a case of riding with lots of padding in the cycle shorts or on the saddle but making sure the bike fits you. A bike that doesn’t “fit” properly can cause injuries to flare up.
This is what happened to me over Christmas 2016. I did over 500 km of cycling in 8 days using two different bikes, both a which had their pluses and minuses. However, one bike resulted in me getting very sore Achilles tendons in both legs – I did very little cycling in January and February as a result!
Last Saturday I took the offending bike to a bike fit with Cranc Cycle Sport in Carmarthen where I spent three hours having the bike measured, my cycling position filmed and gradual changes made to the bike set up.
Here is a photo of me riding with sensors positioned on the major joints to create a stick man rider using a camera system and some clever computer software. The size of the bike had already been inputted into the computer using special measuring gadgets and a 3D monitoring system. The combination of minor tweaks to saddle height, saddle position on the top of the seat post, stem length and position of the handle bars can make a huge difference to the comfort of the overall ride.
At the end of the fit I had some before and after photos.
The differences may not look too obvious but they make a huge difference to the ride comfort.
On Sunday I did a two hour indoor ride on my smart trainer to test out the fit. A previous one hour ride had resulted in Achilles soreness. However, no issues arose after the two hour ride – a result in my book! It now means I can use my slightly older bike for training rides in not so nice conditions outside and not spoil my “nice” bike which I can save for later in the year when the miles build up.
One other point I brought away from the morning fit. If you are going to spend a lot of money on a bike, you may want to have a measurement session before buying a bike. Apparently, a slightly smaller bike may have been a better option for me – it is too late now !
Cranc Cycle Sport have some very nice bikes to buy – definitely worth a visit if you are looking for something special or if you want a detailed bike fit on your existing bike – see there website here
I now have no excuse but to get on with the training, both indoors and out! I’m just hoping for a bit of dry weather at the weekend (or at least not gale force winds and torrential rain) so I can go out for a long ride.
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