Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Bike.

This past week (or month really) has really been "all about the bike." Finding the bike, that is. Frustrated beyond belief at finding something that would work for me in a 700cc wheel I was about to throw in the towel. Ok, not really but I certainly had a few temper tantrums.

After my phone conversation with the bike guru (where I said - ok what can I get and he pretty much told me I was crazy), I started doing my own research on TT bikes. I looked at just about every thing out there to see the smallest frame size they had and what the actual top tube measurement was. Sure they might call it a "49" but most of the time that top tube is really gonna be somewhere between a 51-52. Why not just CALL it that? I still don't understand that logic.

Before heading to the bike guru I finally found a bike that I thought might work. It's an xxs, "47" (really a 49cm top tube) and it has BIG kid wheels. Wow. Could it work?

I headed into my appt with the bike guru ready for him to take some measurements and tell me I could order this bike. Not EXACTLY how the 3.5hours of bike overload went.

'This is wrong in so many ways"

Yup, that's how the appt started out. It was a full blown assessment of my medical history, cycling history, fitness in the past - current. Injuries (really did he have THAT much time), pain and finally a little evaluation on the computrainer.

Not only did my bike fit have so many things wrong, so did my technique. Question for you all - how many of you were taught to cycle and act like you were scraping mud off your shoe? You know, heal down not toe down? Yup - I had that engraved in my mind, so that's what I have always done.

Apparently NOT the case. Based on my current fit & technique I am 14% INEFFICIENT. You do that math on a 40k race. Yup, get the bike fit right and add in some technique work = awesome potential.

While I have to admit this guy and I have different mindsets about what we wanted out of this fit, and maybe a little bit of personality conflict (uh, can you just fix my bike, tell me what I can buy and send me on my way???), I know that in the long run all of this is going to be worth the time, money and frustrations in a BIG WAY.

Verdict? A big fat shopping list. Biggest changes (road bike):

  • Moving from 170mm cranks (compact gearing) to 165mm (compact)
  • New handlebars changing from a 38 to a 40 and getting a more compact drop angle for better fit.
  • New cleats (who knew they wore down so quickly & what happened to that screw missing from my cleat?) PLUS a slight shift in the posting of my right cleat due to a slight curve from my knee down. I don't know the medical jargon is for this, but to sum it up my right second toe curves out. How did we find this? The fit is almost a tag team - guru's wife is an orthopedic doc (who also happens to be a world record cyclist) examined me. Can we say IT BAND history?
  • Insoles in my bike shoes - who knew?
Apparently this isn't your typical fit. It's a 3 part series:
  • Step 1, first fitting and shopping list (if necessary). My shopping list was so dramatic that he actually couldn't set my bike up the way it needs to be until I have the new cranks & handlebars.
  • Step 2, setup new stuff on bike and get fit right
  • Step 3, ride in new position & then go back to fix my crappy technique
  • Step 3b - find perfect TT bike based on road fit - yes I made this be step 1a :-) I'm a persistent little shit.
Summary - After verifying a few things with the bike manufacturer and a very helpful bike friend…. My new parts are on order as is the NEW TT bike which will be built up with all things I want (SRAM). (I really really pressured (re stalked, drove him him crazy) fit guru into telling me yay or nay before he was ready to because well, I have no more patience and have some races people).

Next post = hopefully a pretty picture of my sparkly new TT toy! And, best part. She's already got some new party shoes to race on!


mtanner said...

Pictures please! I love new toys.
The best fit + someone who knows what they're talking about = SUCCESS!

Molly said...

Those fits can feel like such a process but boy oh boy do they result in good things when you get back on the bike! I got insoles too as well as shims put in my bike shoes (to fix the weird shit I was doing floppign my knees out).

Can't wait to see photos of your new and improved setup!!!!