A great bike fit is the key to enjoying your bike experience every time you ride. Not only is a good fit important to have fun on the bike, but also prevent injury. There are a lot of things that go into a correct bike fit, besides just seat height. A true professional bike fit will look at many aspects of you on your bike, starting from the bottom up. I would look at cleat placement on your shoes, knee alignment as you pedal, seat height, forward aft of your seat, seat angle, cockpit length, stem angle, handlebar drop, and handlebar angle. These are most, but not all, of the things I would look at in giving you a true professional fit. Many people think they have been fitted when the only thing that was looked at is the seat height. Don’t be fooled by your bike shop or friends saying it’s the only thing that should be looked at. Getting a proper fit on a new bike before you purchase will get you off to a great start. If you are buying a used bike or have an existing bike that needs to be adjusted, paying for a professional fit is worth every penny. The cost is anywhere from $100-$300. There are a few things you can buy in the endurance world that will pay off more than a professional fit.
Over the past year, I have been working at a bike shop and doing fits. I have also been to California to Slowtwitch for their F.I.S.T. certification. This certification is for triathlon/time trail fittings and basic road bike fittings. In the process I have seen many issues from different riders and bike fitting. If your bike fits you incorrectly you may experience pain in your neck, shoulders, back, knees, numb hands, hotspots in your feet, along with many little aches and pains everywhere else. If you are a triathlete you may also experience many issues when getting off the bike to run.
Many people think if they get fit one time they don’t need to worry about it again, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. I am a great example of this. I have scoliosis and have had leg length issues in the past. This has caused knee pain and saddle sore issues. When I got my fit around 2 years ago I had shims put into my shoes and my seat adjusted. I had recently been experiencing a few issues, so I had my fit looked at again and found that my leg length issues had changed. In the process I have taken out my shims and adjusted my seat height once again. I firmly believe that you should get your bike fit once a year, preferably in winter and early season. You are going to be putting a lot of miles on the bike over the year and a slight adjustment when you have already put in a lot of miles can cause some discomfort issues. Get your bike fit before you log a lot of miles.
Please let me know if you have any questions concerning your bike fit I would love to help. Remember get out the door and train to CONQUER your goals.
Do ice baths really help? This is a big question that people have been asking for a long time. Research results have come back both ways. Some athletes and coaches say that they are a must, while others say it’s a waste of time. Now that I am into the big training weeks for my full ironman distance event I took my first one of the season this weekend. I am a firm believer in the ice bath philosophy. The idea behind the ice bath is that the cold water will help with small tears in the muscle and reduce inflammation in the muscle. While the muscles are submerged in the cold water the blood vessels will be constricted and help flush waste products out of the muscles. When the muscles start to warm back up the increased blood flow will help jumpstart the healing process.
There are several ways to set up your bath and you should do what works best for you. You can fill the tub with water and ice and jump right in, or you can fill with water and get into the tub and add ice as your body adjusts to the cold. I like to do the second option. I prefer sitting in the tub while it is filling up, and when the water is waist deep I turn it off and add the ice one bag at a time. I have found that 2 bags will usually get you to the desired temperature that is needed. To get full benefit the water needs to be between 54-60 degrees. Any colder than that can cause damage to the skin and start hypothermia if you have prolonged exposure. You don’t need to stay long to get a great benefit from your bath, usually 6-10 min will do the trick. I prefer to wear my bike shorts while in the bath it helps with skin exposure to the “sensitive areas.” When your 10 minutes is up exit the bath put on some warm clothes and let the body warm up naturally. If you are having a hard time getting your body temperature back then take a warm shower.
Give this a try after your next long hard work out and give us some feedback on how it works for you. I love/hate them, but they help me recover so much faster. Keep training hard and CONQUER all your goals and dreams.
So this is the first blog post I have ever done and Im really excited about it. I want my blog to be several things. I want to bring knowledge and important info that I learn to help you with your endurance adventures. I want to talk about my training adventures, and tell fun exciting stories from other members of Team Conquer.
We have a few exciting things coming in the near future. First and biggest is that I have sent off Team Conquer kits to get final approval so we can order them. The long delay has been mainly my fault and so sorry I have dropped the ball. If you have any interest in ordering please let me know because I will be ordering in the next few weeks.
The other great news is that we are hosting training rides every Sunday morning at 6:30am leaving from the Redman parking lot. Riding around 80 miles and avg around 18-19 mph. If you would like to join please feel free to join the group.
Until the next time, have a wonderful training week no matter what it has instore. Remember you can CONQUER anything.