By: Bob Clifford
As we transition into the fall weather, many riders are reflecting back on the season past. What was great about this year? What could have gone better? What do I want to improve for next year? These are great questions to ask yourself, but sometimes you need to drill a little deeper to identify the root cause of potential issues. What could I have improved about my riding season? Did I ride enough? Was I comfortable when riding? Many folks don’t put the miles in because they don’t like their bike. In many cases this issue can be solved by addressing comfort issues. Are you comfortable on your bike?
I’ve been working with an athlete the last several months on why he doesn’t like his bike. He has a beautiful ride, a Colnago Master X Light. The bike is a work of art, but never got ridden anything longer than 25 miles because the bike left the rider numb in many spots, and painful in others. Painful low back, numb hands, sore neck and shoulders, and numb saddle region sounded like torture rather than riding, which ideally would be enjoyable. Through several meetings we improved his positioning and bike fit through body measurements, flexibility testing, and the replacement of his stem. This past Saturday he rode The Bike to Beat Cancer 100-mile ride and had a glowing report. A very comfortable 6+ hours of riding. Bike fit works, and it can work for you also.
Take some simple bio feedback on your next ride. What is going numb or just plain hurts? Focus on the following body parts:
Feet Ankles Hips Hands Knees (back and front)
Low Back Mid Back Upper Back Neck Shoulders Saddle Region
Riding through numbness, tingling, or pain is the old paradigm of cycling. The old paradigm was based on aggressive, aero positioning being needed to go fast. The new paradigm is based on comfort. Bike fit research experts have proven that when the rider is comfortable, power output actually increases. This works for top level pros as well as beginners. Beginners can incorporate a bike fit prior to purchasing a bike to insure the best ride for their style of riding and their body measurements. Then adjustments can be made to dial in the bike they choose. When you are feeling good on your bike, you are able focus on going faster and/or longer comfortably. And aren’t we all looking for that sweet spot? Let the bike fit pros at FitnessRx (www.fitnessrxky.com) help you to "Be Your Best."