Why winter’s the best time to adjust your bike position
Why You Should Be Getting Your Bike Fit Now?
wish I was quiet in the middle of the summer sportive season but every year, without fail, I get a similar string of questions “I’m leaving for a big ride/sportive in Europe in 2 days and I’m getting a pain in my knee”. My record was having to raise someone’s saddle 70mm just days before he headed off to do the Marmotte. I understand why it happens, the body can cope with riding in the incorrect position for short periods and at low loads. But when that big event starts appearing on the horizon and you start panic training to try and make up for a lack of fitness, your body suddenly can’t cope and your knees/back/neck/hands etc wave a little white flag.
Whilst making drastic changes to your set up so close to an event is better than doing nothing to solve the issues, it’s a long way from being the best approach. Consider, you’ve spent the whole year training your muscles to work within a certain range and dramatically changing your position means that your muscles are now working in a different range. Whilst the goal of any position changes may be to correct any issues you’ve been having, this can lead to a short-term power loss until you’ve had time to adapt to the new position and maximise the benefits. In addition, your first ride in a new position needs to be shorter and at a lighter load to allow the body to adapt, not 100 miles in the mountains. As an example, the gentleman that was 70mm too low in the saddle, I only raised him 40mm for the ride and instructed him to raise it 5mm every week after the event.
Prevention is easier than cure. Therefore, now should be the time you start thinking about getting a bike fit to sort out your position and correct any niggles you have in your riding. This will give your body the maximum amount of time to adapt to the changes and make sure that all your winter training is done in the correct position and you’re ready to dominate the summer and no longer playing catch up.
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