Friday, March 25, 2011

"BG" Body Geometry - Bike Fit

OK, so I'm way behind on posts but I can't leave out an important part of my preseason preparation. At the end of February I made a trip up to Gray Goat Sports, one of our generous sponsors for a BG bike fit. The fit system/theory was developed by Andy Pruitt and is "owned" by Specialized. It's based on comfort and utilizes front and side view cameras as well as lots of measurements of the body and bike.

Brian Gootee is one of the first certified BG technicians and did a great job. The changes were drastic. My saddle went up 15mm and back 34mm!!! That's huge when most bike racers would notice if their saddle moved just 2-3mm!

I have to be honest, even looking at the pictures/video I was still skeptical walking out of the shop that this was ever going to feel natural or more powerful. From the visual evidence, I easily conceded that I was more aerodynamic and that my upper body was more relaxed. But what about my knees!? I decided that I'd ride normal hours for 10 days or two weeks and just deal with it and if I still didn't like it, then I'd change it back but the fit at least deserved a chance - there's a lot of time and money invested in this process right?

Before and After - Knees are in better position over pedals, arms are bent and more relaxed, back is more aero...
 That week I had some pretty strenuous intervals on the trainer and one outdoor ride and for the first two, I felt like I was on someone else's bike. But by the third day I started to feel easier access to mid range power (300-600watts), especially while seated on gradual climbs. The fifth ride was a true test, I was in North Carolina for a getaway with my bike... err.... I mean with my girlfriend and I just happened to take my bike along. That day I was able to get in 50 miles up to and along the Blue Ridge Parkway including an hour long climb and a total of about 5k ft gained in about 3:15. I was 10 miles into the ride before consciously remembering the fit just 5 days earlier. It was amazing how quickly the body adapted - though I guess not surprising when it was simply adapting to what is "right".

Waynesville Blue Ridge Pkwy profile
 Since then, I've ridden over five hundred miles and once my calves and Achilles acclimated to a bit more extension (some soreness after the first longer rides) all has been great! I also upgraded to a Specialized Phenom saddle during the fit and it's nice having support under the sit bones instead of the nether regions! No more numbness - enough said!

If you are looking to improve efficiency or just be more comfortable on your bike - I highly encourage you to call Gray Goat Sports or your local Specialized dealer to see if a BG fit is for you!

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