Saturday, December 3, 2011

Estoy como una cabra (Bike Fitting part II)

I went back to Ciclos Delicias on Saturday to have my new seat, pedals and Rotor crankset (this time with the correct rings: 53 and 39 teeth respectively). The first nice surprise was that Rafa had managed to get me the top of the range Look Carbon Blade pedals for the same price as the ones I had ordered: instead of having a little spring, they shave off a few extra grammes by using a lamina of carbon. I'm not sure whether the "TT" (Time Trial) cranks really have any noticeable aerodynamic benefit but they sure look sexy.

As the Spanish say, "What a cucumber"
While I was waiting for all the new bits and pieces to be fitted, I got chatting to a guy who came into the shop with a Ceepo Triathlon bike. He turned out to be Fran Vacas, the current holder of the 1,000km (!) road record, which he managed to complete in just over a minute over 31 hours in May this year. We talked about Ironman at which point he showed me a pretty cool tattoo which he has on his calf. It struck me that, for someone with a couple of World Records, he should only have a tattoo commemorating the Ironman. He told me that he did it a year after the event, so there is still a chance I might do one...

A friend of mine, John Warnock, who I used to row with back in the late 80s has since turned to cycling and, like Fran, competes in ultradistance. He has won the UK National 24 hour Time Trial and has also recorded the second furthest distance travelled in the UK in 24 hours. Perhaps I can try to hook him up with Fran. John recommended me the Adamo saddle and I figured that if someone knows about saddles, it has to be him (although it is true that every "bum" is different). Come to think of it, John was also the person who put me on to the Pose Method for running in the first place.

Let it all hang out...
As you can see, the Adamo saddle has a radically different design. As I find myself always sitting on the very end of my saddle, I thought it might be more comfortable to sit on the very end of two points of the Adamo saddle. More on this later...

Next I did a bike fitting - if you read it at the time, you'll remember that I wasn't terribly satisfied with the whole procedure. This time it was much better (it wasn't the same guy - in fact he is no longer working with the company). We spent a lot of time fiddling about moving the seat backwards and forwards and angling it up and down before we had to take the inevitable step of cutting the seat post. The design is such that the seat post has to rest on top of a stop inside the frame. You are provided with several different sized spacers that you can combine to be able to move the seat up and down by up to almost 3 cm, in increments of a quarter of a centimeter. We estimated that the seat needed to be lowered by one centimeter so we decided to cut 2 cm and add a 1 cm spacer. It was time to call in the "Bulgarian Butcher"...

This was harder for me to watch than the film "Saw"
A good tip is to keep the little piece that has been cut off because this serves as a spacer itself and, in the event of selling the bike to a taller person, it might be necessary. Once we had made all the adjustments, the end result was that the saddle was set quite far forward right over the bottom bracket, not quite at the maximum but too far forward to be compliant with the UCI rules! We also moved the armrests and the extensions back so it was absolutely clear to me that I got the right sized frame (an "M" as opposed to the much longer "L"). The main criticism of the Giant Trinity Advanced SL is that it is not very adjustable in the horizontal plane; in the vertical plane you can move the handle bars up and down by 12 cm using the different nose cones (which I don't yet have). For the time being, I'm keeping the handle bars where they are (because I don't have any choice) - this gives me quite an aggressive (i.e., aerodynamic) position but the question is whether I will be able to keep the position without getting too tired in a Triathlon, bearing in mind that you have to run after the bike. The second nice surprise of the day was that Rafa said that the bike fitting was free!

Camel toe

I promised I would say something about the Adamo saddle. In spite of the fact that I was still quite sore from the Marathon, I immediately took to the Adamo. My habit from having to perch on the previous seat (in order to avoid pressure on the perineal zone) meant that I tended to sit too far forward on the Adamo. To my surprise, once encouraged to sit further back,  I found that it was actually much more comfortable than I expected. We angled the seat in such a way that I wouldn't keep sliding forwards. So now, not only am I supported by two points rather than one, but I am much more supported than previously. It will take some time to get completely used to - in particular I have to overcome my habit of sitting to one side of the seat - but the initial indications are very good.

So far so good. Before even seeing any results in speed, the new bike, the seat and the bike fit have met my expectations in terms of being able to ride in a good aerodynamic position and in reasonable comfort. Now I have to put in the kilometers and get used to the position and we'll see how much better things are then. If needed, I can always raise the handlebars up slightly if I find that I still get unduly tired from being in the aero position.

1 comment:

  1. Like I said on my previous post mate... sexy bike! Y si que es verdad!... Es un PEPINAZO!!

    Un abrazo desde Barcelona (only here for Xmas and new years)