As I approach my 23rd season of racing you would think I would have my position pretty much dialed right? Well over the years of switching bikes, shoes, pedals and what not a lot of things sort of “migrated” and were assumed rather than measured and tested. Along with my new personal philosophy of trying to optimize everything I began to think about my bike fit. Especially since I have a MTB again, I wanted to get my position consistent.
After getting some baseline measurements Dave had me pedal easy as he looked at my position and set up the laser (yes he has a frickin’ laser) and asked me lot of questions about my riding style, position etc.
I was surprised that one of the first things he did was raise my seat and move it forward. Actually I had my suspicions that I was low but have always slammed my saddle all the way back assuming that was where I needed to be.
Once we had the saddle where it needed to be Dave began to ask me about my feet, shoes, and cleat placement. I was surprised to find that my cleat was way far forward on my MTB/Cyclocross shoes. After trying a few different shims we arrived at a position that had my feet very flat and neutral in my shoes. I had never really thought about it but until now there was a lot of pressure on the balls of my feet and no surprise I would get hot spots there on long rides. I really could not believe what a difference this made.
In the end I raised my saddle almost an inch and moved it forward almost a centimeter. Normally this would be a lot to change all at once but given my general slackness and lack of miles this season we decided to move it all at once. The very first ride I did later that day was a weeknight MTB race and I was very pleased that the slight knee pain i had been feeling in the dirt was completely gone. I know one ride does not mean much but I am very happy with the way things felt. No hot spots in my feet and no knee pain. I will post an update later this summer and let you know how things are feeling.
So i guess it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. If you have been thinking about a bike fit and are in the 801 give Dave a shout at Plan Seven. If you are not lucky enough to live here see if there is a BikeFit certified fitter in your area. Do it.