“Spring is sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the athletes is..”
And here at bikefit+, the athletes are coming out of the woodwork. The spring season puts ants in our pants, especially as we get on new bikes, new saddles, new aerobars, in preparation for racing. Some of us realize that the uncomfortable sensation “down below” is not really the ants in the pants, but rather an ill-fitting bike. (The others just struggle on during the season with Advil, more chamois cream, and appointments at the orthopedist + physical therapist.)
This afternoon, I had the pleasure of three of my favourite triathletes at bikefit+, one world class Ironman AG winner, one national level AG multi-sport athlete/ exercise physiologist/coach/PhD student, and one tough regional competitive contender. Phew. Thank God for my trusty friend, future employee, and fellow triathlete Susan Roman, who stopped by to become second pair of hands, eyes, and cerebral lobes. Susan is just about to graduate from SUNY Stonybrook with a DPT, but has a strong background already in triathlete bike fitting with certification from Slowtwitch F.I.S.T. program. We quickly settled into a routine of athlete examination, velcro-placing, and wiring up to the RETUL system.
We conferred on the vagaries of their initial positions, reviewed the data using the Retul system, and then used our brains to tweak the fits. While one needed this, the other needed that. All athletes were on new or new-ish bikes, with not very many miles under their elasticated + spandex belts. All ended up with 10-20mm saddle height gain, 10-30mm stem shortening, 0-20mm pad shifting and 5-15mm front end drop. Dave, the IM AG champion, eliminated his upper trapezius strain with his new “front-end” position: and opened up his cranky hip with a better saddle position, Jen got rid of her right hip pain with a new saddle height and shorter cockpit, flatter spine position, and Marty resolved his flaying right leg, (the one that made him look like an adult on a BMX bike) with some shims and wedges, as well as a saddle hike and a totally snug front end. All athletes were centered on the saddles having started off all off-kilter. Flailing knees were tamed. Tight necks were relaxed. Grumpy hips were tamed. Phew. A job well done, and now a long season to reap the rewards of better bike fit. For a consultation, drop a note to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to get you from here, to there. Faster, and more comfortably!