by Steve Fisher – Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis Professional Cycling
Do you know the feeling of “sitting in” your bike rather than “sitting on” your bike? When my bike fits well and I’m having a good day on the bike I really feel like I’m sitting in my bike, as if it is a part of me. I hadn’t been having very many days of sitting in my bike lately and that led me to seek out a Body Geometry Fit with Colin Gibson at Cycle University in Seattle. I wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable or experiencing pain, but I knew I had something to gain from a better fit. I’ve known Colin for several years and we’ve been teammates in the past, but there is no bias when I say that he’s an expert when it comes to bike fitting.
As we started the fit process Colin asked me several questions about my past cycling experiences and my upcoming goals. I didn’t have many specific pre-fit complaints, but these questions were helpful in establishing my history as a rider and identifying any previous injuries. After these initial questions we went through some movements to assess my flexibility, stability and the natural positions of various joints.
Once I was on the bike Colin observed my pedaling and we stopped to take several measurements. We experimented with a few different cleat positions that also required corresponding saddle adjustments. Colin pointed out that a change to one contact point usually has repercussions throughout the rest of the body that should be accounted for. His knowledge of how theses changes may affect other areas of the body was crucial in the fit process being both smooth and efficient. I was very curious and maybe a bit resistant to some of these changes, as I’ve been riding in the same position for many years. The way that Colin was able to explain how each of these changes would affect my body and riding position was excellent. He was able to explain the reason for each change along with the potential benefits from that change.
At the end of our fitting session I already felt like I was sitting in my bike again. It usually takes me some time to adjust to even minor changes in position, but I think that my new position is so natural that I was fitting in with bike right away. Colin still gave me some homework in the form of mental cues to think about while I’m riding in my new position. The ability to follow up with Colin in a few weeks will be great to assess if the changes that we made are perfect or could use more refinement. Colin emailed me my full Body Geometry Fit Report that includes all of his observations, my measurements and my bike measurements. This will be an incredibly helpful reference tool for me as I set up other bikes to replicate this position. That statistics as well as the included photos will allow me to keep sitting in my bike all year long. Thanks to Colin and the entire Cycle University team for making me more comfortable, powerful and efficient.