Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It's all in the set up

I've been back on the bike a couple of times now since my week long adventure, and am enjoying sharing some ride time with Hayden, as he is in training for the junior triathlon series this year. He and Brendon have recently joined a tri club to improve their techniques and get some regular training in for the events.

As a result, he booked the two of us into a bike analysis session to check our set ups and critique our riding techniques. After a long time of analysing Brendon's set up, my time came round for some assessment.

First, a measure up of the bike, some leveling of the seat and visual assessment of the bike. Result - retilt the seat, removal of a broken spoke and a buckled rear rim. Parts on order to correct over reaching for gears, braking and steering.

Second, readjust my clips to get optimum power and drive. Result - correct placement of clips over pedals and improved work through the pedals.

Third - get on the bike and ride. This is where the big revelation kicked in - my right leg is in dire need of restructure as I "wobble" when I reach the top of my stroke. Result - I have a variety of exercises to strengthen the muscles to realign my knee. Am also perfecting my drive technique. Concentration required!

Finally, and this is my favorite - I got a big tick for my mounts and dismounts - left clip in first then right clip in. Right clip out first and then left clip. So while Bren has some work to fix (yep he failed clip in and out), he also has some work helping me to correct my alignment.

And what did I find out about myself? I am proportioned like a male (in my legs anyway), which means I have better power through my legs for climbs and need to work on that to take full advantage of it. I have unbalanced legs and need to work on strength training for optimum alignment, which will result in less pain in my lower back. But most importantly I learned not to trust everything to a salesman in a bike store. My next set up will be done under the full supervision of an expert who knows his bikes and has years of experience in getting optimum performance out of cyclists. Thanks Cam!

I can't wait...