Thursday, 27 November 2014

The appliance of science

 As yours truly decided in early 2012 (pre Bradley) to enjoy the simpler things in life and cycle as much as possible several things have happened since my new found allegiance to Lycra. First off the bike I had chosen to become a fully fledged MAMIL on proved to be too big for someone of such short stature and thanks to the Governments cycle to work scheme I managed to acquire an all new racing steed that was brilliant. Say was as it was far superior to anything I had ever ridden and everso fast, even with me piloting it. So I happily did some 4500 miles on it in 18 months and that's when things went a bit pear shaped. The bike I rode began to suffer, bits, serious bits had to be replaced due to excessive wear and tear (wheels, chain, cogs, in fact most of it) and still things were not right. The main reason for this was that the bike is an off the peg racer suited to an off the peg rider. Excessive wear and tear began to show on its pilot, at one stage I couldn't sit down, walk, stand without feeling like I was being knifed repeatedly in the abdomen. Lots of tests, all seemed to point to cycling, so an enforced month off where I only rode my mountain bike honest doc began. No pain. Verdict. Get some science into the hobby, hence yours truly sat in a bike laboratory pedalling like a mad man and having every action/reaction videoed and scrutinised by the white coat brigade. They were more used to having pristine triatheletes and their machinery to analyse so me in my riding shoes the dogs had chewed and both shoes and bike covered in mud raised an eyebrow or too.  
 And so we began, heres my steed as we go through the process, firstly the saddle was measured after it was found my hip bones were flailing around at odd angles (apparently they should be still) and after sitting on several gel things to give an accurate measure of my backside a wider saddle was fitted. My previous saddle was too narrow and all my weight was being carried by the front of the saddle hence no feeling in the men's department. After saddle and saddle height pedals were adjusted, on the rights a 1mm shim on the left a 2mm shim reduced the erratic pedal stroke and then the addition of shoe inserts and an additional 2mm spacer in my left shoe stopped me hitting the frame with my heel and improved things even more. So much so that the power I was now driving through the bike was causing the frame to flex. Then the front end was sorted, new head spacer at the top, angle of the bars changed, advice given on new geometry required to make bars fit me and a riser put on the left side due to my shorter left arm. In all, nothing was right about the bike I had been riding, it was set for a 6 foot 4 inch rider with short arms, whereas I am 5 foot 10 on a good day and have a modified reach due to carelessness on a ladder.
The end result of me making their laboratory look like pigs had trampled through it was the above. This is my almost perfect fit bike which will be ready for final fitting early next week. This is what I am going to use for next years mega man test, a three day event covering 480 miles by bike, 28 miles up and down mountains and all in 72 hours.
Watch this space :)

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