Wednesday, March 20, 2013
An example of this was my decision to add regular massage to my regimen last year which I have continued now for about a year and a half. Working with Eddie Ulloa at his Eddie U. Massage Clinic has added another level to my recovery and performance that I didn't previously have and frankly didn't think I needed. A second example was partnering with my coach, Joe Company, who has provided great feedback on my training.
This off-season I wanted to take a deeper look at my riding position. As I mentioned I wasn't too particular on details early on so in 2004 I bought my first tri bike based purely on what appeared to be the best buy in my price range for that year's models. I performed a quick search to determine the preferred body angles for the tri position since I already had access to the measurement equipment in our exercise science lab at OU. Once I was in the ballpark I adjusted until I had achieved comfort.
After eight years riding in pretty much that first position I decided it was time to have a professional bike fitter give me some feedback. I used Patrick Scanga at Bicycle X-Change in Wichita, KS who I have a good relationship with and trust his opinion. If you want to make a family outing of it like we did my wife and kids had a good time searching for the downtown troll sculpture while Pat and I got to work.
I found this to be a very educational experience. Although I thought I was aware of my position on the bike there were just some things that could only be noticed by the trained eye of another observer. Because we are all different shapes and sizes having a trained eye to make adjustments to position, and even equipment if necessary, to achieve YOUR ideal fit can have a big impact on both comfort and performance. If, like me, you never took the time for this important step it is never too late. I think you will be surprised how a Pro Bike Fit could benefit your riding. Additionally, your body undergoes change as you age including your strength and flexibility. This was part of my reason for working with Pat since I have had some injuries and no longer am able to ride the position I started with. Likewise, if you're just getting started I recommend getting a Pro Bike Fit, or even the less expensive Performance Bike Fit depending on your goals, as part of your initial investment with purchase of bike and accessories. Your fit on the bike will have as much, or likely more of a factor on performance than the bike itself.
What can you expect? After spending time with Pat I would say you can expect a quality fitter to assess your individual needs such as biomechanics, flexibility, experience, riding goals, etc. You can expect to spend probably 45-60 minutes; and although their will be a fee for the service think of this as part of your investment that is just as important as your choice of pedals, shoes, and the bike itself. Then you can hit the roads this spring with the confidence you're dialed in with your machine.
Posted by Kevin Nickel - Triathlete