Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bike Fitting

Along with the new ride, I also had the opportunity to receive a professional bike fitting from Donnie at Bothell Ski and Bike.  I had several days between purchasing the RS and the bike fitting appointment during which I spent a couple of evenings dialing in the fit to match my position to my other bikes, laying out lines on the wall to get the saddle height, setback to the bottom bracket, and reach to the handlebars just right.  The bike came with some FSA bars that were 44cm wide, but felt really narrow compared to my previous Ritchey bars that are also 44cm.  The Ritcheys are much more square in shape at the tops of the bars, which accounts for them measuring wider at the brake hoods, so I swapped out the FSA's for the Ritcheys as well.

Riding the 15 miles to Bothell at the appointed time for the fitting, the Cervelo felt for the first time like it was truly my bike with everything dialed in.  Donnie mounted the bike up on the trainer in the fit room and used a laser plumb line to check out my position over the pedals both from the front and side.  He also used an angle measurement tool to assess the angle of my leg at the bottom of the pedal stroke and the angle of my upper arm coming down off my body.  I was pleasantly surprised that he made no adjustments to anything on the bike, as I've always prided myself on being more than a little retentive about my position.

After the part where Donnie checked my knees for vertical alignment from the front, he indicated that he thought my knees came in toward the top tube a little too much, and that he'd like to try out some orthopedic arch-supporting insoles in my shoes and perhaps some shims between my cleats and shoes.

Two yellow shims under the cleat at left, a SuperFeet insole inside the right shoe.

I could immediately see in my pedaling motion that my knees were pulled slightly out, more directly above the pedal spindles.  He said this would make the power transfer to the pedals more direct, and if you're a fan of physics, this all sounded logical.  I asked him whether I should have any concerns about riding this way immediately and he told me not really.  500 miles in, I like the changes in my riding.