When asked how to improve cycling skills, the first thing people say is “Bike fit”!
I had no idea what that meant, so I asked around. It turned out that a member of the “Barcelona Road Cycle Group” Meetup is also a professional bike fitter!
Bring your bike and gear and come to the workshop, were the only instructions. I did, not knowing what to expect. There, I met Victor of Cyclistlab, and some of his colleagues, very friendly people. Victor even lived in Holland for a few years!
After admiring my bike (“with such a bike you really need to sit perfectly”), we went to work. I had to cycle and he made videos. Lines were projected on my legs. Software was used to show my bike skills. It turned out a lot could be improved at first sight. He even asked me if my left knee hurt!
Because of the way I sat on the saddle (too far to the back), and also the way the click-things under my shoes were placed, my knee was wobbly and too far out, an unnatural movement.
Time to measure me. Lying on a massagetable I had to bend my legs in all different positions, and apply force when asked. He noticed my hamstrings were indeed the tightest in the universe.
After the bike was all remounted, it was time to measure the new setup with even more professional tools. I was patched with lots of Velcro dots and had to cycle 30 seconds, each time in different positions, while the software measured & Victor explained. The results were almost perfect!
The things I learned and changed:
- Height of the saddle. With my short hamstrings, it should not be too high.
- Height of the handle bar. Same old, not too low this time.
- My feet, I have to hold them straight and push down. Don’t move them too much horizontally. Use quads and hips to move the pedals.
- The click things under the shoes needed to be adjusted to the back. The line has to be 1 cm behind the ball of the foot.
- Saddle position, I was sitting too far to the back, that is why my bum ached so much after a long ride. Have to sit in the middle, more to the front, so legs, knees and angles are all aligned.
- Legs, I need to keep my knees always above my feet, straight down. It’s just concentration and practise, but could help so much!
All in all I am very happy to have done this bike fit, and I promised to be back for an aerobar fit!