Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bike built for me, but what do I want?

Today I spent the entire afternoon at Harpeth Bike with Fred going through the Serotta Fit System. Fred has been asking me to come for a few months but now I had a great reason to get fit as I had a lot of measurements to turn into Quiring for the new frame. I also wanted to see if I could find ways to improve my fit on my Surly Crosscheck.

We started with the mountain fit since that was the most important to me at this moment. Many of the questions Scott Quiring sent me overlapped with things in the Serotta fit so we just started in with the Serotta fit. After some general questions we took some body measurements like inseam and feet length/width, checked overall flexibility and then moved on to the size cycle. The size cycle is this small looking half-bicycle where every tube is adjustable so you can try an infinite possibility of frame sizes and angles.

Fred worked from my feet up and got my cleats aligned first and then worked on my knee alignment while pedaling. After more pedaling, Fred checked angles of my knees and hips and got my saddle height and position relative to the cranks dialed in. Next we moved on to the cockpit and worked on reach and stem height. This is where it was hard for me to really decide on what I liked. We tried a lot of different setups and many of them felt just fine. I was having trouble finding what I felt like was the 'best position' versus a 'good enough' position. I also had trouble imagining I was riding my mountain bike opposed to just sitting in a bike shop pedaling. The size cycle doesn't move at all so you can't tell how the setup feels leaning into a turn or standing and climbing. We settled on a few setups that I liked and had Chris and Henry help.

After finally getting the cockpit area setup to my liking we recorded all the numbers and angles we'd established. I will send these on to Quiring to help him get my bike sized perfectly for me. A few of the numbers were very close to how my current bike was setup, mainly saddle height. Turns out my legs are not exactly the same length so I have a certain 'sweet spot' where I like the saddle to be that is a bit in between my different leg lengths.

The road bike fit went a lot faster since we could build off most of the things we'd already setup with the mountain bike. I was mainly concerned with cockpit fit so we concentrated there. I was faster with finding a setup I liked and we compared it to my crosscheck to see what it will take to get that bike fitting better. Basically a higher stem is all. My reach is real close, but the bar needs to come up.

Overall the process was very interesting and informative. It takes a while, but you really dial in every aspect of your bike fit. Fred really knew his stuff and was a real pleasure to work with. All the guys in the shop are great to hang with. I would recommend anyone get a fit who in seriously into riding, whether you think your current set up is perfect or not. I now have exact numbers of all the components of a bike that will fit me so it takes out a lot of guesswork when your shopping for new frames or new parts.

I wanted to get some new bar tape too and was thinking of going with raw cork. Well, Chris came and showed me the honey leather Brooks tape and I just had to have it! It looks so great with the leather saddle and it feels like it's going to be comfy on the hands. Gotta love the trick cork bar plugs too!!

Thanks Fred! I had fun hanging with you today and you do great work!

1 comment:

cornfed said...

stick a cork in it.


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