The Most Important Upgrade

September 22nd, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Charlie Seymour

If​ ​you​ ​ask​ ​most​ ​cyclist​ ​which​ ​upgrade​ ​is​ ​most​ ​important,​ ​a​ ​good​ ​percentage​ ​won’t mention​ ​bike​ ​fit.​ ​They’ll​ ​comment​ ​about​ ​a​ ​carbon​ ​frame​ ​or​ ​some​ ​fancy​ ​wheels they read about​.​ ​But,​ ​I​ ​would​ ​argue​ ​the​ ​value​ ​of​ ​a​ ​bike​ ​fit,​ ​for​ ​the​ ​racer​ ​or the​ ​recreational​ ​cyclist.​ ​Recently,​ ​my​ ​past​ ​few​ ​races​ ​have​ ​not​ ​gone​ ​as​ ​planned,​ ​most​ ​of which​ ​have​ ​come​ ​down​ ​to​ ​lower​ ​back​ ​pain​ ​due​ ​to​ ​bad​ ​fit.​ ​I​ ​contacted by local bike fitter and used the ​Retül​ ​bike​ ​fit​ ​machine.​ ​This​ ​system projects​ ​a​ ​2D​ ​image​ ​of​ ​the​ ​rider​ ​on​ ​a​ ​computer​ ​and​ ​gives​ ​exact​ ​measurements​ ​of​ ​your current​ ​fit.​ ​It​ ​does​ ​this​ ​through​ ​small​ ​sensors​ ​that​ ​are​ ​put​ ​on​ ​your​ ​shoulders,​ ​elbows, wrists,​ ​hips,​ ​knees,​ ​ankles​ ​and​ ​the​ ​outside​ ​of​ ​the​ ​feet.​ ​It​ ​also​ ​uses​ ​front​ ​and​ ​side​ ​angle cameras​ ​to​ ​get​ ​before​ ​and​ ​after​ ​comparisons.​ ​The​ ​machine​ was set up ​to​ ​match​ ​my​ ​bike exactly,​ ​and​ ​I ​pedal​ed ​for​ ​a​ ​while​ ​so​ ​to ​get​ ​the​ ​measurements.​ ​My before​ ​measurements​ ​were​ ​72.5​ ​saddle​ ​height,​ ​negative​ ​6.5​ ​offset,​ ​60.5​ ​reach​ ​to​ ​grip, and​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​4​ ​drop.​ ​Next,​ ​I​ ​had​ ​my​ ​cleats​ ​fit.​ ​Due​ ​to​ ​my​ ​left​ ​leg​ ​being​ ​longer​ ​by​ ​about 1​ ​cm,​ ​we​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​find​ ​a​ ​solution​ ​to​ ​even​ ​out​ ​my​ ​pedaling.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​achieved​ ​by moving​ ​the​ ​cleat​ ​almost​ ​as​ ​far​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​shoe​ ​as​ ​possible.​ ​After​ ​getting​ ​my​ ​shoes adjusted,​ ​I​ ​went​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​I​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​with​ ​a​ ​longer​ ​stem,​ ​90​ ​before,​ ​to​ ​110.​ ​This moved​ ​my​ ​reach​ ​to​ ​to​ ​62.​ ​We​ ​also​ ​moved​ ​my​ ​saddle​ ​up​ ​by​ ​.5​ ​mm.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​keep my​ ​drop​ ​at​ ​a​ ​negative​ ​4,​ ​and​ ​my​ ​offset​ ​ended​ ​at​ ​negative​ ​7.This​ ​made​ ​me​ ​feel​ ​much more​ ​relaxed,​ ​while​ ​also​ ​allowing​ ​an​ ​aggressive​ ​position​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​The​ ​fit​ ​made​ ​my riding​ ​much​ ​more​ ​comfortable,​ ​and​ ​overall​ ​helped​ ​my​ ​back​ ​issue.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​are uncomfortable​ ​on​ ​your​ ​bike,​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​bike​ ​fit​ ​is​ ​a​ ​must.


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