Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bike Fit...Do it.

Here's a fact:  if the road is flat 25% of drag on your bike is road resistance, 75% is air resistance.  The single greats limiter of aerodynamics is...wait for it....YOU.

Triathletes like to buy stuff.  We get an aero bottle to fit on our aero frame.  My new bike hides the brake calibers behind the seat tube for a more aero flow.  We wear aero helmets, and god damn it, somewhere inside we really thinking shaving our arms and our legs makes us more aero.

Well, all these tiny details are kinda ridiculous when you compare them to the 125-190 lb and 5 ' to 7' human that is riding the bike.  Just think about it!

So before going nuts with you're aero this and your aero that, try making yourself aero.  If not, it's like watching a $10,000 ride  go down the coarse, thousands of dollars spent on shaving off grams, with 5 water bottles at 20 oz each.

A bike fit is needed for this.  A bike fit will not only get you aero, but will benefit:

1) your pedal stroke efficiency
2) your comfort
3) proper muscle group utilization
4) your power output

Now there needs to be a little give and take when it comes to getting aero versus being comfortable.  What good is having a bitchin' aero position if 20 minutes into your IM bike split you are dying to get the hell off your bike?

I find that it best benefits me to get as aggressive as possible and see if it's not going to work.  If I can't do my long rides, then it's time to raise my headset  or something.  But mostly, if all things are going properly, my legs hurt enough to keep me from noticing my back and my wrists (the profile design T2 cobras are wicked aggressive, but sometimes, ouch).

So where do you go to get fit?  Go find Rob at Marty's Reliable Cycle in Randolph.  I've been working with him for years and he is a pro at dialing me in right where I need to be.  We go over the pros and cons of how aggressive I can get on my bike and still be able to maintain comfort and my ability to run afterwards.  In short, we optimize my ride.

Find Rob Here

Or, you can be one of those individuals who spend a small fortune on your bike, wheels, and little aero do-hickies, and ride your bike int he most un-economical and non aerodynamic way.

A few tips when you go for your fit:
1)  Make sure you've been doing some race tempo rides and pay attention to your position.  It's probably much different than your casual position.  I've found time and time again that when I race I'm probably 50mm more forward in my saddle.
2)  Don't be afraid to pedal during the fit, work up a sweat and relax into your natural stroke.
3)  Make sure you can relate your style of riding and experience to your fitter.  It's an art, not a science.

Now, once you are optimized.  Then go by every aero do-hicky on the market!

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