If you have just
purchased a new road or triathlon bike and are considering a refitting,
please consider the following:
If this is your
first experience riding a performance oriented triathlon or road bike
it will feel very unusual. The most common concerns riders have include,
but are not limited to:
- Sore shoulders
and neck strain.
- A perceived inability
to look up the road while riding in the drops or the aero bars.
- A sensation of
being "too cramped" or "too stretched out" on
- With triathlon
bikes, a sensation of being "too far forward", especially
coming from a road or mountain bike background.
- Saddle discomfort.
- Knee soreness
(different from debilitating joint pain and swelling).
If you are experiencing
any of these concerns, it is likely you have not spent enough time conditioning
yourself to ride in a performance-oriented position.
The good news is,
it will improve with time. The bad news is, it does take time.
Because we are careful
and meticulous in our final fittings we know that your bike was configured
in a safe, tolerable performance oriented position when it left our
store. If you are not already accustomed to this type of riding position
it will take a minimum of 650 miles before you begin to feel comfortable.
This is another reason why we urge people to buy bikes during the off
season and not to race on new equipment.
that takes place during this first 650 miles is critical to your safety,
performance and comfort. It will include improved joint flexibility
and range of motion as well as strengthening of the muscles that support
the neck and head while in the riding position. The tissue in your saddle
area will adapt to sitting on a bike seat and it will become less uncomfortable.
Your handling skills will improve.
When learning to
ride a new road or triathlon bike, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Keep your first
five rides short, no longer than a half-hour.
- If you are not
used to riding every day, be sure you allow rest days between your
rides. Don't increase your mileage too fast.
- Use top quality
(the best you can afford) cycling shorts and wear a jersey, not a
T-shirt, while riding. Do not wear underwear under your bike shorts.
- Remove your bike
shoes and shorts as soon as you are off your bike, do not stand around
in bike shorts and shoes- they are only for riding.
- Ride on the same
route repeatedly during your first rides, one that you are familiar
with and is isolated from heavy traffic volume. If this is not practical,
use an indoor trainer for your first three half-hour rides.
- Keep your rides
- DO NOT make changes
to your own position unless a Bikesport, Inc. bike fitter has specifically
- Use easy gears
during your first rides.
- Develop an understanding
that cycling, like any sport, can be inherently uncomfortable initially.
This discomfort normally passes with time and adequate conditioning.
- Practice consistency
and moderation in your approach to adapting to your new bike.
are dynamic and ever changing and not static. Your position will change
with time. USA Cycling Hall of Fame Coach Mike Walden said "It
can take a year to get used to your position on the bike".
Like any other sporting
skill, good position doesn't just happen over night. It is the product
of dedication, common sense and training.