Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    8

    First Bike Fitting did not go well! Any advice?

    Good morning from the U.S. I'm a 42 year old, mother of 2, new-to-cycling, runner, living in Upstate South Carolina. Two weeks ago, I was completely overjoyed at purchasing my new Specialized Dolce Elite! I had a brief honeymoon period where I ventured out 20 miles, pain-free. Not even saddle sore. And then repeated this experience for 2 weeks before my bike fit. I felt like a kid!

    Then, I had a professional bike fitting.

    Not knowing anything, I watched as Randy, the owner of the shop, dropped a plumb line from my knee and measured angles. I thought to myself, this will be awesome! He obviously knows his mechanics and the physics of riding. As I rode on the stationary setup for a while, I felt my arms shake as I leaned forward more. He assured me that I just need to use my core more and tuck in my elbows for better aerodynamics. I shook my head in agreement and like a newbie, thanked him and left.

    My first ride out was so painful. My shoulders, arms, rear, and knees hurt. I'm so worried! I'm sure Randy did everything correctly. I do trust him, it's just that I'm not overjoyed at the thought of riding. Am I just being a baby? Do I need to adapt my body around the bike and push through the pain until I'm stronger?
    I do have another appointment on Thursday. I'm afraid he will just repeat that he has done everything by the book. Any advice for me? Thank you so much!
    Last edited by JennyLyn; 13-06-2016 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Additional information

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    8
    Two hours until my second bike fitting. I will let you all know what changes are made. Thanks for letting me post this!

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    8
    Me again. Nothing like hijacking your own thread. Haha! Here is my update. Randy placed me on the trainer and asked me where it hurts. After assessing my pedaling, he determined that I lack core strength and decided to shorten the stem, angle the handlebars, and adjust my cleats. He prescribed a steady regimen of building up my muscles over the course of weeks by venturing out only 10 miles for 2 weeks, 12-15 miles for the next 2 weeks, 15-20 miles for the following two weeks, and so on. It would seem although I regularly run and do strength training, I am still a wimp when it comes to cycling. It's a humbling experience, but I'm determined. Thanks for reading. Humbly, JennyLyn

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    143
    Hi Jenny and welcome, interesting reading. I guess i have been cycling a long time so find it hard to comment on the lack of core strength. I know i did not build up but got thrown and I know everything hurt; neck shoulders, arms, thighs and me in general... by the end of a ride. But it all got better .....

    I guess build up is sensible, but it does sound a bit worrying that you were comfortable before and not now... do you have any before and after pictures? Must admit in those far distance days no one did bike fitting, there were general rules of thumb and you got on with it.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    8
    eileithyla,
    Thank you so much for your reply! That's encouraging! It is odd that I felt so good before the fit. Perhaps, I was just riding more upright. The way Randy adjusted the bike, I am now more in an arrow position.

    Here's to getting on with it! Cheers! JennyLyn

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    8
    This morning, I rode with my husband's cycling group. 24.5 miles! A bit sore, but the stem swap has helped tremendously.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Saratoga Village
    Posts
    54
    Do you still have the bike fitting problem Or everything is alright now?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    8
    It's better. I still feel that it's not as comfortable as the first day I rode it. I suspect that I may have initially been riding in a more upright position. While I'm interested in being efficient and riding in the aero position, I will have to build muscle to do that. It's a balancing act.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    4
    Hello! Don’t despair; if it hasn't already, this will all come good in the end. Sounds like you have had the same experience as lots of people I’ve met, so I thought I'd share a few thoughts just in case it can help someone else in the same boat... **ESSAY ALERT**!

    Forgive me if I'm pointing out the obvious, but it’s worth remembering that cycling is a bit of a strange activity (a very cool one though! ) …. We are exercising brilliantly but apart from our legs and feet and occasionally necks and arms, our bodies are pretty much static. So, if you are not in a decent position (there is also a HUGE range of decent & perfectly acceptable positions, not just one for every rider), the 1000’s of pedal strokes you will do on every ride will quickly add up and highlight any little issues by showing you niggles, aches and pains. In answer to your question of ‘why didn’t it hurt when I first got & rode the bike’… I think that it is perfectly possible that you were actually already in a decent, acceptable, comfortable position for your body (flexibility, strength, relative lengths, comfort ranges etc). It sounds like the bike fitter tried to put you into an aerodynamic position straightaway, which your body did not like the feel of straightaway.

    A lot of very good bike fitters aim to make the bike fit your body (flexibility, mindful of injuries and slowly work towards achieving positions, power, efficiency) so that you are most importantly pain-free but also so that you can get the most possible power and efficiency from your body and bike. Then there are those bike fitters who try to make people’s bodies fit specific bikes or positions, i.e., they might think that everyone should go lower, and then these folks shorten and lower the stem and try to encourage people into a time trial or more aerodynamic position. So, from what you’ve written, its sounds like your guy went for the second option. This can be great but, from what I've seen, is rarely great straight away. Achieving the ideal position can require gradual repositioning of the rider on the bike using adjustments to stems, bars, saddle height/position, cleats etc over time. As the rider increases in flexibility and core and neck strength, they lean less heavily on the hands but instead use their core to hold the weight of the trunk and head in the desired cycling position. When a rider does not have a sufficiently strong core or neck to hold the desired cycling position for the entire duration of the ride (you may well have a suffiently strong core for running or another activity but strength is often sport/activity-specific), they feel very far forward on the bike, they lean heavily on the bars and their shoulders and neck drop more and more as they fatigue. This can cause a whole host of aches and pains, as you have experienced.

    Your guy is totally right in that you need to get used to this position but as a physiotherapist who has also trained in bike fitting, I personally would never put someone in a position and tell them they need to ‘get used to it’, nor do I think that just riding a set-up that a rider reports to be uncomfortable will in itself make it less uncomfortable over time. (We all know how untrue this is with regard to saddles!) It might make it a little more bearable as you tell yourself to toughen up but chances are you’ll develop a niggle/ache than won’t just settle and only gets worse as you ride more. So my thinking is: why take that risk when it is less risky and more enjoyable for a rider to: keep up their other sports, fitness activities AND riding by: (a) building that strength off the bike primarily and then (b) re-assessing everything and if the rider is getting stronger, make some little adjustments to the bike to the new position that is still comfortable and efficient and then, super importantly… and (c) keep repeating step a, step b, step a, step b until (d) the rider is totally pain-free AND happy with their position AND performance. if you fitter is a nice guy or girl who cares are keeping their riders cycling happily, these repeated quick assessments and small adjustment should be included in your bike fit price and won't take you or the fitter very long to carry out.

    Our bodies have amazing capacity to adapt brilliantly to the right input. In a scenario like this, the right input is strengthening your core, gluteal and neck muscles (and any other little weaknesses that are unique to your unique body) to cope with the repeated pedal revolutions of cycling and equally importantly by adopting a progressive approach to your bike fit. Dialling in a performance, aerodynamic position that is both efficient and comfortable takes time, so keep working hard and be patient. You'll nail those TT segments on Strava in no time

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    4
    Thank you, Cycling Physio, for givong me hope!

    I am rcently back on a bike after a 25 year absence, and now, at 50, much stiffer, less supple, and weaker than I was back then... add to this an ongoing shoulder/ neck issue and every ride I do leaves me in great pain in the shoulder/neck/head the following day.

    I have practically no core strength, and have veered away from core routi es over the years as the standards like sit-ups and crunches cause me too much neck grief. Obviously this means I am putting way to much pressure on my neck nd shoulder when I ride... I am notbtoo bad on th flat but as soon as I start to go uphill I seem unable to keep my shoulders where I want them and the result is not good.

    Feeling pretty glum about it all, and loath to fork out AUS $350 for a bike fit, particularly after reading your post! But maybe I just need to find the right fitter ... or a physio who is a cyclist, like yourself...

    But at keast you have given me hope that it can improve... ��

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •