The countless hours spent in the saddle should be comfortable ones. In addition to the fatigue and muscle soreness from pushing hard up and down numerous hills, there should be no pain from a correct bike fit. After breaking my frame (see my last post) I had a hard time being comfortable on my Trek Superfly. After a few pedal strokes into my ride I would start to have acute lower back pain. This pain was exacerbated by my crash in the fourth race of the season at Vail Lake. Physical therapy helped to heal my back, but I was still struggling with the bike fit issue–the root cause of my back pain.
The solution was to get a professional fit from the experts at Moment Bikes in Liberty Station, San Diego. Normally the fits are for road or cross bikes, but their training covers a wide range of bike types and certification from multiple bike fit programs.
Here Vince Gonzales, the bike fit engineer, is taking my measurements. Apparently I have abnormally long legs compared to my torso.
The entire fit is done on a machine that mimics your bike exactly. They took the measurements from my Superfly and copied them onto the computerized bike machine. They then work with you to adjust the bike machine to find what is comfortable for your body and its optimal riding position.
They also look at the contact positions on your feet. Here he is sizing up the contours of my feet so spacers can be added underneath the cleat on my shoe. This helps prevents hotspots on long rides.
Another thing we looked at extensively was the saddle. I tried multiple saddles before deciding on the Specialized Romin. It was by far the most comfortable, and I also felt like it improved my posture on the bike.
After working with me for two hours they took the final, most comfortable measurements off the machine and adjusted my mountain bike accordingly.
My final impressions after some days in the saddle following my adjustments were all positive. There was definitely an increase in comfort. I had no little to no back pain following my fit, and the rest of my body felt much more at ease. I also felt like I could put more power on the pedals and boost my speed.
So you may be wondering what happened at league finals—stay tuned for the next post….