Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting Fit to Your Bike Works

When I bought my bike at Mighty Riders, they measured me up to make sure I was buying the right frame. Then when the bike was built they put it in a stand and watched me ride and adjusted it further. It was definitely nice to ride.

However, I was still finding that my feet would go numb after an hour, and other parts would sometimes go numb sooner (I won't name the parts so this blog won't get filtered).

Ed at Mighty said, "Bring it back. We'll check your fit." Apparently, it's now their standard practice to make people come back after they've had their bike for a few months. So we put the bike on the stand two weeks ago and they checked out my style.

First, they made me go buy new shoes. I knew my shoes were on their last legs (ha, ha), but they said the shoes were flexing so much that it would affect my comfort on the bike. Fortunately, Mighty Rider's sister store, On the Rivet, had some good deals on shoes. My feet are a weird shape so I had to spend more than I originally planned, but over the life of the shoes it will amount to about $10 per year to be more comfortable.

When I got back to my bike they had flipped the stem to get my handlebars up a little higher, and changed the angle a bit. They said I should probably get different bars so we can move the brake hoods a bit, but we're leaving that for the next time.

Back on the stand and pedaling, Ed said, "You've got to start the push down with your knee over the crossbar. Think about pushing your foot outwards, not straight down." Fortunately, by chance I'd seen a video clip of someone in the Tour de France this year who was doing exactly that, otherwise I might have thought he was pulling my leg.

I think the pedaling style is probably what has helped the most. I just felt way more comfortable the minute I started to pedal that way. And when I start to feel uncomfortable, it's because I'm forgetting to pedal correctly.

They sure know their stuff at Mighty Riders. After Ed watched me pedal for a few seconds he said, "Go home and measure your thighs by putting a string around them. Your right thigh will be bigger than your left." It was, by more than a centimetre.

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