Can I have a show of hands please. I include myself in this by the way. You go and buy a brand-new shiny bike. You wash it more than your first-born child. You make sure the chain is pumped and the tyres oiled to the nth degree. It looks fast. You look fast. But are you maximizing its true potential? Are you getting the best return for your effort? Most likely not.
Well, my hand is firmly raised to all of the above. But what am I missing? Bike measuring. I had gone for 3.5 years, never having gotten my bike measured and fitted to my…ah hmmm…athletic build. I was expending much sought-after energy and not being the most efficient I could be in the saddle.
So, I took the trip to BikeFit Physio in Cork and met up with seasoned adventure racer John Phelan, and he put me through my paces.
Before we even looked at the bike and its setup, John gave me a full physio assessment. At first, I thought what has this got to do with the height of my saddle, but as it turned out, this would prove pivotal in the success of the fit out.
My ankle and right leg have suffered over the years through an old injury that never recovered and as a result I was over-compensating on my left side to make up the deficiency of the right. John ran through numerous strengthening and flexibility exercises to help bridge the gap between left and right.
So, it was up on the bike time. Literally camera, lights and action. The high-tech equipment was top of the range. You could see why there was such a big draw from the top Ironman triathlon contingent to services like this. From the initial set of tests, my saddle position was wrong, my handlebar height was off by a considerable amount and shoe cleats needed adjustment.
We endeavored over a few more rounds of adjustments and analysis to try and get closer to that golden ratio. It was not all doom and gloom though, my actual pedal rotation action was in a good place and with help and a few pointers from the boss, we sorted out any inconsistencies there.
I feel since my visit to Bike Fit, that my overall cycle efficiency levels have definitely improved and it is something we would recommend you get done, be it with John Phelan or elsewhere.
I went on down to Kerry in the following days and completed the Ring of Kerry 175km and also toured South West Kerry for a few days too. I had been getting a sore behind and sometimes stiff shoulder when in the saddle for extended periods of time but they have subsided. With one or two minor adjustments, I believe I have found my golden ratio.
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