Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bike fitting

I went in for a bike fitting this Saturday at City Cycle in San Francisco. I had my road bike fit to some extent when I bought it 3 or 4 years ago, but it always gave me problems in my right knee. I've started to try and ride longer distances, and after have major knee pain on a 75 mile ride I decided to go in for a more thorough fitting.

Serotta Advanced Fitter Jamaica Lambie helped out me (on a side note, I liked City Cycle and Jamaica was very knowledgable and helpful) and I learned the following, which may be of interest:
  • Newer frames are going for more of a relaxed gemetry where the front end is about the same height as the saddle. A more aggressive fit would have the saddle higher than the handlebars.
  • The latest trend is to put the saddle height where your knee remains bent at as much as 30 degrees when your pedals are at 6 o' clock position. This keeps you foot angle flat (rather than pointing your toes down) and moves the work from your calves to your thighs. I guess that makes sense since your thighs are bigger, but I do have a toe-down motion.
  • According to Jamiaca, claims of being able to increase power through a fitting should be viewed with suspicion. You can increase efficiency, but increasing power is hard to measure without doing a VO2 study like Lance.

The fitting included a RAD fit where they replace your pedals with special diagnostic pedals that allow the fitter to see the angle of your foot with respect to the bike. Kind of cool equipment.

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