Like most, I started riding bikes as a kid. What freedom it was to have transportation of your own! My first bike was an Evans that my dad put in lay-a-way at the general store. I remember my dad and I going there and putting $5.00 on it each Friday. After 5 or 6 weeks went by, there was still $10 left to pay before I could get my bike. I was sure the next two weeks would be some of the longest of my young life. To my surprise, my father sprung for the last 10 bucks and I had my bike. Not only did I now have transpiration, but it meant I could get a paper route. I was 10 and it felt like the best of times.
I’m sure we all have stories like mine. The bike has been a part of my life off and on ever since. Now I ride for pleasure, and it seems like every time I am out on my bike, I feel like that 10 year old kid again. The only difference is that my bike is bigger and “lighter” and faster… and cost a bit more. But it still takes me back to the time.
When I did really get serious about cycling, I purchased a Scott Tinley Raleigh in 1988. I still have that Raleigh, and believe it or not, it’s hanging in my living room. Back then, I did not know that bikes came in sizes… I was doing a few Triathlons on a borrowed bike which belonged to a friend that was 6 ft 3. I’m 5 ft 8. See where I am going? Some of us learn the hard way. When I did purchase my first high-end bike, I was so proud of it and wanted to ride it everyday.
The thing that got me into bike fitting years ago was the fact that I could not find the answer to my questions about where to place the cleats, what does fore/aft of the saddle have to do with anything, what stem do I need, what about saddle height, and a million other questions. Most of the local shops just had “in general” or “rule of thumb” answers (I am glad to say that is not the case in most bike shops of today). I started really getting into finding answers to my questions and studied everything I could get my hands on. As my knowledge increased, so did my understanding.
It wasn’t long before I was doing bike fits on all my riding buddies. After a while, some of the bike racers came by to see if I could help. Some of them went on to becoming State Champions. I like to think I had a very small part in their success. Back then my bike fits cost a case of beer. I had to change the pricing structure however, I just couldn’t drink all that beer fast enough.
Later, I enrolled in my first “Bike Fit” class. Bike fit was just taking hold at the time. My instructor was Michael Sylvester. He was just great and I knew that I still had much to learn. His help and encouragement make me want to learn more. So I went to every school and class that I could find. Now I have developed some of my own techniques and tools. I will admit that I am still learning, and each day I learn something new.
I now have some new tools that are my own creation. The “SweetSpot” a seat post that can adjust the hight, for/aft and saddle tilt while in motion or static without ever getting off the bike while it is in the stand and a new bike fit stand that is a one of a kind. It allows me to tell you the percent of weight you have on the front and rear of your set up. If you have pain in you hands and wrist, it may be that you have to much weight on the front of the bike. The “Fast Eddie” fit stand will let us make the adjustments and see the results immediately. Bike not handling the way it should, may be a weight distribution problem, the new fit stand can help.
I look forward to hearing from you!