Kudos to the Gadget Mentor Program. The young Gadget apprentice is progressing nicely – on today’s ride, he demonstrated his latest project (a key part of the assessment for becoming a fully qualified Gadget). This latest project is the Inspector Gadget Aircraft Landing Lights for your Bicycle, Mark II. A real beauty – not only does it come in slightly below the earlier version’s weight of 25Kg, but it also takes up all available space on the handlebars, ensuring that you always have the ideal riding position (because you can only put your hands on the hoods or drops!). And these beauties are available at a large sports retail store on special right now!
Join us on our early morning ride, to view these marvels!
This from Ed Pavelka at RoadBikeRider.com:
“Our friend Andy Pruitt, director of the Boulder (Colorado) Center for Sports Medicine, has become even more prominent in cycling than when he teamed with RBR’s Coach Fred Matheny to write the bestselling eBook, Andy Pruitt’s Medical Guide for Cyclists.
But bike fit and riding position remain at the core of his contributions to our sport. Andy uses the advanced Peak Motus 3D Motion Capture fitting application at the Boulder Center and continues to refine the Specialized BG Fit system used in bike shops.
In a dream-come-true scenario, he spends time in Europe working with pro riders on Specialized-sponsored teams, including Astana with Alberto Contador and the Saxo Bank squad of Fabian Cancellara and the Schleck brothers. Of course, he continues doing fits for riders of all levels at the Boulder Center.
When Andy speaks about bike setup, it’s wise to listen. We’ve attended training camps where he has shared his expertise with sport/recreational roadies, expanding on key points found in his Medical Guide.
To help improve your position as the season gets started, here are 9 rule-of-thumb fit tips from one of Andy’s camp talks, “Can we have performance and comfort at the same time?”
—Wind-tunnel tests have proven that being narrow is more important than being low. At a certain point, a lower position compromises comfort and sees diminishing aero returns. Roadies can improve efficiency most easily by keeping legs and arms in line with our bodies, not splayed into the wind. A handlebar no wider than the shoulders is key.
—Make a fist and measure across the 4 knuckles. The difference between the top of your saddle vs. the top of your handlebarshould not exceed this number. An easy way to check is to set your fist atop the handlebar (vertically, pinky down) and have a friend eyeball it from a few feet away.
—Your most comfortable riding position should be with hands on the brake lever hoods. This is the “neutral position” from where you can move to the tops near the stem or the drops. When you get the on-hoods position right, these other locations will be usable too.
—Your reach to the lever hoods should put your wrists in the “handshake position.” That is, a straight extension of your arms with wrists not cocked up or angled down, which can cause strain and pain.
—Your knee bend at bottom dead center of the pedal stroke is a better indicator of correct saddle height than numbers produced by leg-length formulas. For most riders, knee bend should be within a degree or two of 30 degrees.
—To get the correct knee bend, a traditional method still produces a very good starting point: With your bike mounted level in a trainer, sit square on the saddle while wearing your cycling shorts and shoes. Put your heels on the pedals. Pedal backwards. Adjust saddle height till your knees straighten but hip movement is minimal. Then when you clip in, knee bend will be on the money.
—The benefit of a bike custom built for your body dimensions is not to automatically put you in a perfect position, but to put you in a “fit window” of 1-2 centimeters. Then you can make adjustments to maximize comfort and efficiency.
—When all is said and done, your riding position should put 60% of your weight on the back wheel and 40% on the front. This is important for bike control as well as comfort.
—Finally, stay aware of how your body reacts to riding and make position improvements as necessary. Fit is not static. Various things affect it, including simply getting older and losing flexibility.
Editor, Publisher, Still Tweaking After All These Years”
Our very own Eddie “the Eagle”, met with some serious misfortune on one of our daily donut rides this week. What can I say – flying too low, he became intimately acquainted with the bitumen just near the Avalon Speedway. Eddie, always keen to push the envelope, and Graeme Walker, were on a breakaway from the main peloton (who were chasing hard!), when, a cruel mix of chewing gum, high speed, wheels and rear derailleurs and a stray water bottle conspired to bring our Eddie down.
Ever the hard man, though, Eddie refused all offers of assistance, donned the remnants of his (by now in 3 pieces) helmet, and with a smile on his bruised and bloodied face, announced “I’ll be right, we can just roll home slowly!” Others felt that the local ambulance might be a better option, and when they arrived with two very attractive female medics, Eddie was persuaded to have treatment there and then. Having been given the all clear, he was despatched home and the rest of the peloton arranged for the bike to be recovered and returned to base.
After only one rest day, our Eddie returned to the peloton, riding as hard as ever, albeit a little different in appearance (as well as the facial scars, there is a pair of glasses). Just watch that chewing gum, speed, back wheel and derailleur and stray water bottle in future, Eddie! Particularly with those glasses, “Objects in your vision will be closer than they appear”!
On Saturday 23 January, some of the regular Lara Latte Cycle peloton ventured into the “wilds” of Little River – they went searching for the famous pump (see A Puncture and a “dud” Pump post). Recovery of this rare and historical item was of such importance, that an elderly member of the peloton risked injury to very sensitive parts, scaling several barbed wire barriers, then, also the odd tiger snake in the long grass. On this day, the archeological gods were smiling on the peloton – the pump was found! Further, the ravages of time had left few scars – it was in pristine condition. Careful restoration by the said elderly member has restored this beauty to it’s original glory. Rather than using the pump just to pump up bicycle tyres, though, it will now be donated to the fledgling Lara Latte Cycle Museum (soon to be opened at a site to be determined)!
On Sunday 3 January, a “peloton” of 14 riders left Six Ways in Lara at 7am and rode to Little River via the You Yangs and Kirk’s Bridge Road. A pleasant ride was added to by a rather entertaining tube change (changes) by one of the riders.
After puncturing along Edgar’s Rd our intrepid rider (we’ll call him “bad Dave” just to protect his identity!) stopped, and rather gently, carefully and slowly, proceeded to swap the punctured tube for the spare he was carrying. That spare tube sported a rather large patch, with the covering cellophane still attached. After eventually replacing the tyre and putting the wheel back in the bike, he set to pumping the tyre up, only to find that the patch blew off.
At this point, there were a few comments, to the effect of “I should have brought a deck chair!” Meanwhile, another of the team who needed to be back for an appointment had headed off on his own, and, determined the peloton should not catch him, rode like a “cut cat”, arriving back in Lara totally exhausted. In reality, he probably arrived in Lara, just about the time “bad Dave” was removing his wheel from the bike for the second time.
With a borrowed tube installed (a new one this time), thanks to the help of some patient “good samaritans” in the peloton, he proceeded to pump up the tyre. But alas, no luck – the pump was not cooperating, so it had to go! With an energy and enthusiasm he rarely displayed on the bike, together with a few (well, ok, a lot) of choice 4 letter words, the pump was catapulted across the neighbouring property into the field, never to be seen again. Overheard in the peloton – “I wonder if he’ll throw the bike next – I need to upgrade a few parts!”
Again, the good samaritans stepped in and pumped up the tyre, and eventually, the peloton resumed the ride. To his credit, “bad Dave” did subsequently do a long turn at the front into the wind.
And thus the popular term “Dummy spit” will be replaced by “Pump throw”!