This afternoon I had the opportunity to have a bike fit with Laurie Lyster. Laurie recently completed the Retul bike fit training and has started his own bike fitting business.I wanted to get Laurie's opinion of my TT set up.We ended up being pretty happy with my original position.The only alteration being Seat height which was raised 10mm and moved forward to retain original seat set back in relation to bottom bracket.Small fluorescent markers were placed on six specific locations on my body before I was filmed riding my bike on a stationary trainer.Then with the help of some very clever software called Dartfish Laurie could plot my bike position perfectly.It was also very interesting to compare the functional changes the seat height adjustment made, after binging up the before and after video capture on the one screen for direct comparison.Below are a few photos I managed to sneak in during the process.
I had a trip to Sydney last week to visit family and catch up with legendary bike fitter Steve Hogg. I have recently changed from Speedplay pedals back to Shimano and wanted Steve to set up a couple of pairs of shoes and check my bike position.
My appointment was for late afternoon which coincided with a couple of quiet beers with a couple of Steve's mates when we had finished.My bike fit was pretty easy as once the shoes were set up nothing else was changed.We also organized a ride for the Sunday which I was looking forward to.Sunday turned out to be pretty wet and we rode in some pretty ordinary conditions around Botany Bay.Still nice to get out on the bike and the feast at a local Bakery on our return was pretty special.
Yesterday I decided it was time to get out for a decent ride, I also wanted to have a play with a new toy I'd purchased in Sydney during a rush of blood and retail therapy. The new toy is a Garmin 800 bike computer which I bought mainly so I could read it's larger display as I struggle with the Garmin 500 which is much smaller.During yesterday's circuit I planned to call into local chocolate producers, Renaissance Chocolates,where I also have some of my photographs for sale.
On arriving and looking forward to a coffee and beautiful chocolates,only about 4kms from my place,Neil said"we've got a present for you".This was certainly unexpected and I wondered what was going on.After sitting down to my feast Robyn came out of the chocolate making area bearing the gift.Both Robyn and Neil have just returned from a trip to France and Italy and happened to be in Milano on the last day of the Giro d'Italia
They were initially unaware what was going on as they are not cycling fans and it was pure coincidence they were there.They told me initially they were a little annoyed, as the tourist bus that you can get on and off at the various attractions, was cancelled for the day.After trying to avoid the cycling crowd for most of the day they weakened and went to have a look.
It turned out to be the final TT of the Giro with the top 5 riders still left to start.So they saw history being made with the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour,Ryder Hesjedal.After 3 weeks of racing and over 3,500km he took the overall victory by 16seconds.After 3 weeks of racing
Now,back to my present.You can see the pic above and there is a signature on the hand.I asked Robyn who's signature it was and her reply was something like."Some Canadian bloke,the winner"Not only had they accidentally stumbled across this very exciting event,Robyn got the signature of the winner because she new I would like it.
Like it?I love it and it's gone straight to the pool room and if it was in a wrapper I would not have taken it out.
I've been having trouble seeing the computer on the stem of my TT bike and came across a photo of a computer mounted between the aero extensions. I thought that is exactly what I want and I want it now. So into the farm workshop and half an hour later my computer is happily sitting between the aero bars where at least I will be able to see what it is reading. The cost,that's the best bit,zero. Took about half an hour from thinking I'm going to make one of those to completion. The weight is 23 grams so that's pretty good and also the environment benefitted as I recycled a 25mm black plastic stock water trough riser.
Before you can ride off into the sunset, or anywhere else for that matter, on your new bike there is the process of getting it put together. If you buy the bike new form a bike shop then most of this work will be done by the shop. There is nothing like an email or message telling you that your bike has arrived and is awaiting assembly. I usually can't help myself and drive into town for a little new bike therapy. I've got a few pictures of my latest bike which is a 58cm Cannondale Slice Time Trial bike, that I bought from Wes and Kylie at West End Bike Hub in Wangaratta, being assembled ready for pick up.
I reckon it's pretty accurate to say that a Time trial bike takes more time to build than your average road bike due to the aerobar set up and internal cabling and I'm suggesting this build probably took Wes at least half a day or maybe longer as I talked him into taking some of these photos to use in this story. The first ride I had on the bike blew me away and I could not wipe the smile off my face I was so excited about how fast it went compared to my road bike. I would not have believed the difference until I experienced it for myself. But I do remember after doing my first 36km TT a couple of months ago that it may not be quite that much fun after all. There is no doubt about it TT's hurt but they are also addictive and for me every time I get on it I want to go faster. Below is the bike complete with a second hand rear disc from an ex triathlete in Brisbane courtesy of ebay. I'm yet to ride it with the disc but can't wait to see what difference it makes. Also those of you who are observant may notice different aerobars courtesy a bike fit with Steve Hogg.
I have a custom steel framed bike built by Ewen Gellie that has S&S couplings fitted into the frame so it can be pulled apart to fit in a special travel case. After my last bike fit my position is now much lower in the front so rather than put a -17 degree stem on my bike I asked Ewen to cut nearly 20 mm of the head tube of the frame. I was also hoping this might mean the bike fits into the travel case without removing the fork which I currently have to do. Unfortunately it still didn't fit after the modification,I reckon I need another 10mm off which we don't have. It was worth a try and I still have room to slam the stem if I want.
After a bike fit I am given a diagram of my bike with all the relevant important measurements. The image below is an example of one of my bikes with all the relevant details.
Now my main concern is I have another bike that I need to set up the same. This needs to be done with precision as I don't want spend good money and time going to the trouble of getting a bike fit and then making mistakes myself when transferring the settings across to my other bike. If you can get your hands on "Bicycling Australia" September-October 2011 magazine there is an article by Steve Hogg about how to do this accurately.
I don't need all the info from the drawing. I'm really only interested in Seat height, Seat Set Back, Seat Nose to handlebar distance, Seat to handlebar drop. There are also a couple of other important things that are not included in the above diagram, Seat angle relative to horizontal and handlebar angle, these are written on a separate form I'm given at the time of the "fit"
I found an App for my Iphone that turns it into a digital spirit level that is excellent for this and saved me money by not having to purchase a digital level.
Over the past couple of years my position has changed quite a bit. When you add in things like new shoes and pedal system changes performing this procedure accurately is very important. Now I have to get the handlebars on my second bike much lower than previous "fits", this has probably come about by the fact my body is becoming more used to riding and from increased functionality by doing regular stretching, some strength exercises including abdominal muscles. Luckily it's a steel frame and has a little extra Head tube length that can be cut down. The alternative is a -17 degree stem. But this bike has to fit in a S&S travel case and currently I have to take the fork out to make it fit. I'm hoping with the modification to the head tube I'll be able to pack it without fork removal.
I've just returned from Sydney where yesterday I had a bike fit session with Steve Hogg whom with his wife Margaret operate Cyclefit ,where they specialise in bike fitting. This is my 3rd visit to them in around 18 months and part of the reason for going this time was to get Steve to check out my position on my new Time Trial bike and to check a couple of things on my road bike. I also have a sister and brother in law who live in Sydney so the added bonus is I get to visit them also.
As I have said before on this blog I'm a relative newcomer to cycling with just over 3 years of reasonably serious riding so I'm not claiming to be an expert I just enjoy writing about my personal experiences.
When I had my initial consultation with Steve in July 2010 I had only been riding for a couple of years and was recovering from a shoulder reconstruction from a mountain bike accident.
Steve is a wealth of knowledge on many subjects and I always leave there with lots to think about and contemplate.
As this is my 3rd visit much of the ground work for my bike fit has been done previously and my subsequent visits are more tune ups, or if I have changed any equipment and want Steve to make sure I havn't altered my position in the process.
During this visit I got my pedal system changed from Shimano to Speedplay, which was a choice I had made, on both bikes and got 2 pairs of shoes set up with the matching Speedplay cleats. One of the things I believe has made the most difference to my cycling which was picked up on my first visit was a leg length discrepancy and now, with spacers fitted under the cleat of the cycling shoe on my shorter leg I feel much more fluent in my pedal stroke. I also believe I am less likely to end up injuring myself in the long term now this has been rectified.Whilst getting a "Bike Fit" is a significant investment I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone who is having issues regarding the comfort they experience whilst riding. For me I believe it's made a huge difference to the enjoyment I get from riding.
I don't have any pictures of the TT bike and I'll keep the changes under wraps until the next Time Trial event.
Well not really, I just didn't take any photos of it.