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Old 05-22-09, 07:02 AM   #1
NOS88
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Fitness and bike fit.

I'm guilty of pretending/fooling myself/delusions. Last season I made a comment to a fellow 50+ rider that I've adjusted several things about my fit on the bike to accommodate the advancing years. His wife, who is known to be more than a bit outspoken, chimed in, "You don't need to change your bike fit. You need to get in better shape." Well, all last fall, I pretended she was wrong. This winter, however, I bit the bullet and started doing upper body and core strength training. I'm pleased to say that yesterday I completed my first metric century of the season with my bars one full inch lower than they were last season with no discomfort anywhere. Given, I've still got some distance to go before being truly where I want to be with my strength training, I'm starting to wonder what my "ideal" fit will be once I'm there. All of this is causing me to re-think the advice I give new or returning riders when they ask about bike fit.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:30 AM   #2
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That's easy. Instead of giving them advice on bike fitting, refer them to your friend's wife.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:45 AM   #3
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bingo. finding this fit thing to be more me than the bike. better shape, better fit. like you am wondering where this is going to go when I'm 'there'.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:49 AM   #4
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About 25 lbs ago I had raised my stem about a centimeter to allow for the space my bulk was taking from my diaphragm and parts. Through weight loss, core fitness, stretching, and chiropractic treatment I'm riding at essentially the same position I used when I raced 30 years ago.

A higher position actually causes tightening and strain in my lower back and too much pressure on my arms and hands. I think it transfers the work and road shock from the muscles, which are better adapted to handling this, to the spine.
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Old 05-22-09, 10:16 AM   #5
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bingo. finding this fit thing to be more me than the bike. better shape, better fit. like you am wondering where this is going to go when I'm 'there'.
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Old 05-22-09, 10:57 AM   #6
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Sometimes I hate new technology. Years ago I lived in MI. Back then, the height of the stem could be easily adjusted. I would start the season at a level that I was comfortable with. But as the season progressed and I lost some weight and got in better shape, the handlebars were adjusted progressively lower usually about an 1 & 1/2".
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Old 05-22-09, 08:32 PM   #7
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Imagine a gym full of people doing toe touches. Some can barely touch their knees, some their toes, and some can flatten their palms on the floor.

Are these people all going to fit comfortably on a bicycle the same way?
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Old 05-23-09, 05:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RoyIII View Post
That's easy. Instead of giving them advice on bike fitting, refer them to your friend's wife.
Sound's like in Prairie Home Companion, "go see Myrtle, she'll tell ya what's wrong with you and setcha straight!"
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Old 05-23-09, 12:03 PM   #9
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ha haha we all need Roy's wife to punch us in the tummy to get us out of the lying to ourselves doldrums;.ware I am most of the time.Now to my [old goat lament]This winter was bad for bikeing here in Maine[lots of snow and cold]but I got through in reasonable condition with snowshowing and some interesting mt/bikeing on snowmobile tracks.///but last week I was laid low by a bug /only good thing was I didnt gain weight because I was sick and my mouth had wopper cold soures.//Ill try to make a point/Im starting at dead duck bottom on recovery to bike this season///Im 69yrs. but because of bikeing I believe that with training and luck Ill be reasonably fit by the 4 of july[summer in Maine]when you consider my age that damms good going [those thinking of trying a more challenging bike life take note.Kenneth
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Old 05-23-09, 08:57 PM   #10
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ha haha we all need Roy's wife to punch us in the tummy to get us out of the lying to ourselves doldrums;.
Sorry, guys. I'm firmly in this woman's camp.

After a year of selling Roubaixs with all the stem spacers and the shims set for +16 degrees, to 40-somethings who still complain that the bars are too low, the stems are too long, the bar tape is too hard, the gloves need more gel, and the saddle is too narrow, I want to say it's time for some basic body work. My first 20-mile ride was pretty painful, too, and that was when I was 18 years old.

I understand that many of us have medical conditions that need accommodation, but maybe the marketeers have oversold the idea that a professional fitting can make cycling perfectly comfortable the moment you ride the bike out of the shop.
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Old 05-23-09, 10:04 PM   #11
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Sorry, guys. I'm firmly in this woman's camp.

After a year of selling Roubaixs with all the stem spacers and the shims set for +16 degrees, to 40-somethings who still complain that the bars are too low, the stems are too long, the bar tape is too hard, the gloves need more gel, and the saddle is too narrow, I want to say it's time for some basic body work. My first 20-mile ride was pretty painful, too, and that was when I was 18 years old.

I understand that many of us have medical conditions that need accommodation, but maybe the marketeers have oversold the idea that a professional fitting can make cycling perfectly comfortable the moment you ride the bike out of the shop.
I totally agree with the notion that cycling doesn't have to be totally pain-free, right out of the shop, after a long ride, whatever. A little pain is O.K. and perhaps normal. Especially for us 50+ ers. But there is nothing wrong with having the bars level with the saddle or otherwise accomodating a certain position. No gel for me thank-you. Bars level or slightly above my Brooks saddle. I'm not a racer. IMO a woman has no business chiding a man on riding position or vice-versa.
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Old 05-24-09, 04:51 PM   #12
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Sometimes I hate new technology. Years ago I lived in MI. Back then, the height of the stem could be easily adjusted. I would start the season at a level that I was comfortable with. But as the season progressed and I lost some weight and got in better shape, the handlebars were adjusted progressively lower usually about an 1 & 1/2".
With a threadless system, I suppose you could just remove some shims without cutting off the top of the steerer tube. I think I'll stick with my Ambrosio stem, which provides easy and convenient vertical and horizontal (reach) adjustment.
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