Bike Fit Case Study: Decompression
Following a road bike fit, Andrew, a Canberra local returned for a fit on his triathlon bike. The bike was fairly new and Andrew had only ridden it a few times. He reported that he had some saddle issues but otherwise felt ok.
Looking at Andrew’s initial position, it was considerably compressed in the “engine room”. His knees were actually contacting the bars! This was not a great position for the diaphragm to operate effectively. Breathing and oxygen consumption were likely compromised. Not to mention the continual knee friction and potential for steering mishaps!
Winning position has a strong philosophy of maximising comfort on the bike. This holds for all disciplines – be it a 3km pursuit or the Hawaii Ironman. (Clearly the comfort needs are different for a 4 minute effort versus a five hour slog. Still, every cyclist needs to be comfortable for their given event.) Without comfort efficiency, breathing function and speed will likely suffer.
The final fit for Andrew resulted in a more streamlined, elongated riding position, with plenty of space across his chest and shoulders. The elbow pads were widened and the tri extensions tilted. This allowed Andrew to achieve an effective ‘turtle’ position, optimising aerodynamics.
Once the fit position was honed, it was evident that the saddle issues initially reported were still present. Swapping to an ISM PN 1.1 saddle was the final piece to the puzzle. This improved comfort and allowed for increased forward pelvis rotation. As an added bonus, we also achieved a lower front end.
Working together, Andrew and I arrived at a position that is both comfortable and efficient. I am pleased with the final result – I love helping people work towards their goals.