I am dialed in!

20 Aug

On Friday I went to my not-so-local bike shop, Out-Spoke-N in Huntington Beach, for a bike fit.  You should really get a bike fit every year, as our strengths and flexibility change, your riding style evolves and all of these slight changes need to be accompanied by changes to your equipment.  When it comes to a bike, millimeters can make the difference in 5% power output increase or waking up with a huge pain in you neck (literally).  Bike fits are important and often overlooked by even the most serious cyclist.  So when I bought Gordy, I should have been fitted on him right at delivery.  BUT, my hubby picked him up while I was out of town to surprise me.  Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome to come home to a new bike, but I was robbed of my shop fit.

So when my neck started to bother me, I wanted to cross Gordy off the list of possible offenders, I knew it wasn’t him…he is to cute! LOL  So I decided a bike fit was way over due and I contacted Derek at Out-Spoke-N.  You see, this is not your mother’s bike fit.  Out-Spoke-N is one of the few shops with this is a state-of-the-art bike fit, the GURU Bike Fit.

In layman’s term, GURU is a stationary bike of sorts that is hooked up to a computer.  This way the fitter can input measurements and the computerized bike will adjust.  You can make the slightest adjustment with the click of a mouse.  If this sounds confusing, I copied the websites explanation…

“The GURU Experience makes real-time adjustments to your riding position on command – allowing you feel these changes while pedaling. In addition, the system’s integrated power unit allows you to test your power output and pedaling efficiency.

GURU’s proprietary software captures individual riding positions – which can be compared to one another at the push of a button.

The GURU Experience optimizes your performance to deliver the perfect balance of comfort and efficiency – allowing you to ride longer and faster on your perfect bike.”

guru bike fit

Before I got on the “bike”, Derek took an inseam measurement as a baseline.  There is a small monitor that you can not see from this photo, but it is a read out of your speed and wattage.  He had me adjust the resistance to a pace that I could easily ride all day and from there it was a lot like an eye doctor visit.  “Does it feel better to ride in position 1 or 2? One or two?”

So after about 45 min of easy spinning and playing with seat height, handle bar height and tilt, saddle distance from the handle bars, etc Derrik generated a report.  With this report, I can go to any bike shop and have a bike sized to my specifications.  Why would you need that?  Well, if you ever have to travel with your bike and basically take it apart, it is nice to know where everything belongs.

Below is page 1 (of 6) of the report and gives the basic info.

2013024000085_Page_1So Derrik took these measurements and compared them to how my bike is currently set up.  My bike is set up right now by the very scientific EH method, as in “EH, that looks about right”.  Marc had just eye balled it.  Well, he was exactly and I mean exactly-on-the-dot-right on my seat height, down to the centimeter. (Don’t tell him, we don’t want him to get a big head and start walking up to strangers adjusting their seat height)  Derrik moved my seat forward and according to the fit, I should have a shorter stem.  I decided to hold off on changing the stem since we moved the seat forward as it is and this would put me even closer.

Will this help with my neck issues, probably not.  According to Derrik, usually if it is a mechanics issue you will feel it on both sides (i.e. both knees will hurt, not just your left) and I have significantly more pain on my right.  But we did notice that I tend to ride with my right hand further away on the hood, than my left.  Maybe because your right hand controls the rear derailleur and that is where you do most of your gear changing.  Could that be it?  Who knows but I am happy to know that Gordy is dialed in to meet my measurements and preferences.

I am not suggesting that everyone go out and get a pricey GURU bike fit, but I do suggest contacting your local bike shop and seeing if they do bike fittings.  Usually they use standards according to your height and inseam along with riding styles (are you racing or riding with the kids in the park) and can set the bike up, let you get on and see how it feels.  From there the fitter can manually adjust your bike until you are comfortable.  I really, really strongly recommend that if you bought a pre-owned bike, that you especially get a fit.  You could save yourself a lot of pain and suffering.

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5 Responses to “I am dialed in!”

  1. sarahfaithhansen August 20, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Great post! I got my bike fit last year. I probably need to do it again.

  2. tootallfritz August 21, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I’m super excited to go get my bike fit by a pro in our area. He does it on the bike but with computers, etc. I still need some tweaking in the stem and my seat pitch is wrong too.

  3. Alex Hung August 21, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Steam -> Stem? 🙂

  4. runningthriver August 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    I just got my very first road bike and had it professionally fitted. It definitely made me feel more confident about taking it out on the road. 🙂

    PS. I LOVE your shorts!!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. CRUSH your comfort zone! | Tough Chik - August 22, 2013

    […] night I stepped out of my comfort zone, like way out.  During my bike fit last week, Derek (owner of Out-Spoke-n) and I started talking about racing.  We discussed that in […]

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