Friday, 5 June 2009

Bike Fit

I consider my new bike to be a great success. Going from a road bike to a triathlon bike with aero-bars has given my speed a boost of about 3km/h. However the transition has not been without some niggles.

In the early stages the problem was control and confidence on the bike. Getting on and off the aero-bars caused some horrendous wobbles and it felt scary and wrong with my hands away from the brakes. As I have put the hours in on the new bike I have slowly overcome my fears and now feel far more confident in the aero position. Now I am managing to stay down and work hard through corners where previously I was sitting up and coasting.

Even silly things like attaching my bike computer caused problems. The mounting bracket is designed for standard round bars going side to side. My setup doesn’t have a spot like that. After much head scratching and a little bit of googling I eventually found a solution involving three cable-ties and my stem. ComputerMount

There are only two issues that I have yet to resolve. The first is some neck and shoulder pain that I get after riding for 3+ hours. This I suspect is down to bike fit and set-up. I am happy that the bike is the right size for me but the downside to buying online, at somewhere like Wiggle, is that getting the bike fit just right is down to me. Yes, I could pay another £120 to get a professional fit done but I just don’t have the money right now. I have been tweaking the fit and I think it is very close but I suspect the stem may be slightly too long so I am stretching slightly to get my elbows on the pads and the angle of my upper arms is wrong. This is going to require some help from my wife to check as it is very difficult to measure and assess your own position. That may be a job for this evening after my swim.

The other issue is far more important. As my loving wife and children are always keen to point out, I am quite well endowed in the nasal department. For some reason biking seems to cause my nasal passages to secrete extra quantities of snot, this gives rise to a requirement for regular snot rockets. Gross, I know, but sadly unavoidable. My under the armpit technique on the road bike is pretty much spot-on but attempting the same thing on the tri bike ends up with a snotty frame and legs, the angles are just all wrong. Currently I am working on a sideways over-arm technique for use in the aero position, though, like my bike fit, this still requires some tweaks to get it just right.

No comments: