I Get Mail

PennBikeFit

A shot of the studio from the BicycleFitGuru. Some great reading on bike fitting on that site.

Getting a proper bike fit is really important if you want to ride well and stay healthy.

I received an email this morning:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your time reading my email and if choosing to reply.

I came across your blog and read about your 2012 bike fit. You mentioned that you bought a new bike and later got another fit from the same fitter.

You mention you no longer use the 9mm shim anymore on left leg. I am really intrigued how you managed to get rid of such a big shim. Did you stretch daily as your fitter mentioned. Are you able to tell me what were those stretches.

Did you seat height change in the second fit and your fore-aft as well. I assume that if the top tube was similar and the seat angle same not much would have changed.

2012 seems so long ago. I no longer ride with shims. Especially shims that look like this.

Here was my response to this email:

Thank you for dropping by the blog. I always appreciate hearing from readers!

And yes, I did have a significant shim on the one leg. Looking back, it is hard to believe that I was so out of balance.

I worked with a personal trainer for about 4 years since 2011 and he brought me along with a variety of core conditioning exercises and stretching routines. Part of my challenge was due to a significant amount of sedentary time — I work in an office and spend a lot of time sitting. And part of my challenge was leading with my right side. I had overdeveloped my muscles on the right side by constantly “pushing” down from the right when sprinting, going up hills or whenever I needed to get some more watts to the rear wheel.

For me, a large part of the conditioning was stretching out the muscles and getting more balance into the muscles. I cannot remember the exact measures, but I had significant differences in muscle mass on my left and right legs.

It obviously took a bit of time to improve the pedal stroke, regain some flexibility and rebalance the lower muscle groups. My last fit included a pedal stroke analysis. We were able to identify dead spots in my pedalling, left and right leg power imbalance, and angle of peak force. That analysis showed a lot of improvement in the pedal stroke and, of course, the ability to ride without shims.

We have done a bit of fine tuning of the saddle height on the bike — nothing overly dramatic. And a bit of fine tuning on the drops.

The sport is hard enough and experiencing pain from a poor bike fit is no fun.

I truly hope that you find a way to get your bike fit working well for you.

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