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Re-Assesing Bike Fit

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Re-Assesing Bike Fit

Old 09-09-13, 09:09 AM
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Re-Assesing Bike Fit

I am approaching the 1 year mark on road cycling. The shop I used did a fit to determine my bike size and set the bike up accordingly (2013 Felt Z85). When I began I was told to give it a year before starting to change things, unless a problem arises (sore neck, wrists, butt, etc.) I have had no issues. I have noticed that I am starting to get more flexible. At what point is it time to revisit my bike fit. Currently my stem has 3 spacers in it, I understand that some on here will just tell me to slam it, not what I am asking. Is this a wise course of action, or am I asking for problems? Long time cyclists, what say you?
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Old 09-09-13, 09:13 AM
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You revisit your setup when you want to achieve something else. What do you want?
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Old 09-09-13, 09:27 AM
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There's a lot to be said for if it ain't broke don't fix it.

If you want to experiment with having a lower, more aero position, you can move one spacer at a time above the stem, and see how it works for you.

Or you can just bend your elbows a little more.
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Old 09-09-13, 09:30 AM
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I say if you can ride a century or back to back weekend 50 mile rides without pain, you are doing well.
I personally want to know my limits so I have experimented with every combination of saddle setback horizontal reach and drop. I have found the pain threshold for me in terms of how aerodynamic I can ride without pain. Every cyclist has a limit for this or everybody would be doing centuries in the TT position on a drop bar bike. Few can however. So generally there is a tradeoff between power, pain and injury. I am mostly limited by neck flexion. Some have more a limited back. Some can ride 5" of drop all day long. So each of us are different and I personally don't think any fitter can put you in an optimal position...only you can find it through exhaustive trial and error.
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Old 09-09-13, 09:39 AM
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much like Campag said, i think of fit in relation to my goals. if my goals are to get more aero then i would start tinkering with fit in order to get into a more aero position, within the realm of potential comfort trade-offs i'm willing to make. if you have other goals, consider fit adjustments relative to your goals.

for me, comfort is king. i'm a recreational rider so comfort on the bike is my main goal as it allows me to ride further and maximize my enjoyment on the miles i put in. if i had specific speed/time goals for a certain distance/terrain, i would consider fit adjustments to maximize my performance for that specific endeavor.
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Old 09-09-13, 09:41 AM
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I'm hung up on the "wait a year" part. A YEAR?! They are pretty damn confident in their fitting!

Don't fix what ain't broke, but at the same time, don't be afraid to incrementally fine-tune the bike towards perfection.

A year. Wow.
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Old 09-09-13, 02:20 PM
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What Campag4life said is true, I believe.
Fit is always a compromise between aeroness, power and comfort.
All of these things are highly dependent on the specific rider.
If you can output a lot of power, while being as aero as possible and still remain comfortable enough for the duration of the ride ... that would be ideal.
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