Saturday, November 19, 2011

Last Day at BG Fit and There is no place like home!

Specialized BG Fit is Completed! Yes, I passed and now I am officially a BG Fit Technician. So what does this mean? It means that I am Cerfitifed by some of the best fitters in the business. My resources to their knowledge is now an open book now! It was an incredible learning experience and I am grateful that Bikesource sent me to Specialized this past week. The bike riding was an extra bonus! Riding the 2012 road bike line up answered many questions that I had about the Venge and the Tarmac SL4. The Dura Ace Di2 electric shifting is just out of this world! The smoothest, quietest, and more important most accurate shifting system I have ever ridden. I have road and raced Campy, SRAM, and Shimano. I can say hands down this is the best! That is hard for me to say, as I fell in love with my SRAM shifting. I still believe that SRAM NON-ELECTRIC Shifting is the best NON-ELECTRIC shifting! But, it is going to slowly become the norm in the cycling world to shift to Electric Shifting. If a company does not have it, I see Shimano ruling the road again! I know this is expensieve equipment, but Shimano has a lower end brand in Ultegra out in 2012. The prices will come down, the weight savings will be greater at every level of bike from Racing to non-racing bikes. It will be an interesting market to look at over the next few years!

The instructors were top notch! They not only know there bikes, but are great in the Anatomy and Biomechanics area. I was impressed with the lectures on both areas. My background is in Athletic Training and I have tought Injury Prevention in my past and must say these guys brought tough concepts down to a level in which a beginner to that subject matter could easily understand. The toughest part concerning Biomechanics is taking Natural Body movement and applying it to a sporting movement. Your body never touches the ground when you are cycling, so it presents a greater analogy of your thought process. It is an Open Chain vs a true Closed Chain athletic endeavor. This being said, taking aches and pains from cycling and correcting them takes blending the knowledge of movement on the bike with a persons natural movements and limitations. If the Natural Biomechanical Limitations are not addressed before fitting THE BIKE TO THE INDIVIDUAL (Note what I just said!)then you will have a tough time finding that position that is right for an individual concerning what they want to accomplish riding their bike. It does not matter if you just like rolling around the trails or trying to be the State Criterium champion. You should be able to find a bike that Fits YOU! I could go on for a very long time about all of these experiences, but you should just come by and see me at Bikesource and I would be more than happy to discuss why we all would benefit from a Bike Fit!

So, what did I find out about myself? I found out during my fitting that I can ride a 52 cm or a 54 cm road bike frame. We fit me to a 54cm frameset, that is what I have in my arsenal at the moment and will most likely be sticking with in the future. However, I did find that my seat was too high and back too much! My Right leg was dipping in and after long rides I do have some mild Right back discomfort and Right Hip discomfort. So, we moved things forward a bit, changed my saddle width, and dropped my bars upfront a bit. This position then allowed me to get full Hip ROM, which in turn will help me power through the pedal stroke in a more efficient manner. Getting in the drops was much better and the transition from up out of the saddle in the drops to sliding back to my seat was much, much smoother! I could continue to pedal through my acceleration while sliding back to the seated position. Thus not causing any hesitation or disruption in my forward motion of the bike. Which will add to the momentum I gained by standing up on the pedals and powering forward. My right leg is now in a better upright pedal stroke! We extended my Right Pedal Spendal by 2 mm and used a Blue Specialized shoe insert along with a 1.5 mm Varus shim to add more structural support to my right side. We also added the inserts and shim to the Left shoe, but kept the spindle length the same. It created a more fluid and balanced pedal stroke. I am now a lot square on the saddle and should notice or not notice the Right Side discomfort post ride? I will be hitting the road a lot over the next few weeks to test out my new position! I cannot wait, it is just as exciting as getting a New Bike!

Speaking of New Bikes! If you have a cracked Carbon Frame, you crash your carbon frame and need a solid inspection, or just are ready to have the look of a new bike with a Custom paint job, then check out Smithers Customs. They have been working with Carbon Fiber on Motorcycles for several years. He has put a lot of thought into the design of the Carbon Bicycles. He will also be straight up with you as to whether he can or cannot fix your bike! So, before you spend your money by shipping your bike out of town, atleast give a local cycling guy a shot! Smithers races streat legal Motor cycles, but he is also a speed freak on the road bike! Here is the phone number: 913-768-8667. When I got back into town, Smithers had finished up repairing my Cracked SL3 Chainstay (Disclaimer! This was cracked from a crash and was not a Manufacturers defect!) and added a Custom Paint job to boot! I was pretty tired when I got home, but seeing the pictures of it being transformed via email all week while in Cali peaked my interest enough that I had to pick it up last night. So, yes it is even more impressive than I origional thought! I cannot quit staring at it! I even told my wife that I am a little nervous about racing this bike next year it is so freakin Beautiful! I know that feeling will pass as I want to roll on this thing as soon as possible! The good news about this bike, is I can build it back from the ground up! With all of my new Fit numbers, new saddle, stem, and cleat position. Then the work will begin to change out the size and fit of my other bikes. But, that is the fun in all of this! Ask for Steve and he will get you going! Getting the perfect fit during the Off-season! So, come Spring my body and bike will be ready to GO!

This last Picture was on the Flight out from San Jose, CA. The weather and terrain is perfect out there for any sort of riding! You just take your pick! I would have loved to have hit the single track, but that was not in the cards this time around. Maybe the next time!? If you want the full on details, come by the shop and see me! I will be in Mon-Wed. this week and next Sunday! Start your Christmas Shopping early with a BG Bike Fit! You will not regret it and will be set up to have your best year on the bike for 2012!

Thanks to all for following this week and whenever I do post! I hope you are getting some bike knowledge and information to peak your interest and motivate you in some way? Looks like a full week ahead, but I am going to get a full detail about my frame repair and painting process up on the blog by early this next week. But, for now it is time to start building and re-fitting that work of Art!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BG Fit Day 2...Specialized Museum, Fit Room, and a Fitting!

Today started off pretty good. Not bad getting to the office early and taking a stroll through the Specialized Museum. When you first come into the place it is designed to highlight the history of Specialized humble beginnings, when Mike Sinyard spent his last $1500.00 dollars on Italian Bicycle parts and started riding his bike with a cart trailing behind to the shops in California. He was a pioneer then and still is when it comes to the bike industry. The museum is sort of a history of my love for the Specialized bicycle line. I have owned a Specialized bike of some sort since 2000! Some of the bikes hanging in the museum were and still are dream bikes of mine. Some I now own, but none of them have been ridden in such races as the Tour De France, Paris Roubaix, and the world road championships. The bikes not only are some of the fastest and most sought after bikes to race on in the world, but have a pedigry of winning riders who have been drawn to ride them acrossed several finish lines around the world. One of my favorite riders of all time is Mario Chipollini. He was not only one of the fastest sprinters in the world, but did it his own way! Often known for some of his outrageous cycling kits. But, he was one of the most noteable sprinters in the world to elevate Specialized in the European Peleton. So, it was an honor to see and touch the actual bike that helped him Win the World Championships several years ago.

Tom Boonen's Paris Roubaix winning, Specialized Roubaix is also lined up next in line! This is where the famous Specialized Roubaix line up was molded into the bike line it is today. Just incredible how you can see how important it is to stretch the limits and place some of the best riders on your bikes! The next bike was Fabian Cancellera's Custom Yellow S-Works Tarmac. This thing is just too cool! Fabian road this bike for several days while defending the Yellow Jersey during the Tour De France. I am sure it will not be the last time Fabian wears the famous yellow jersey. Too bad he is not on a Specialized anymore! He might have had a better season in 2011!? Pretty nice way to kick off my day!

After my stroll through the museum, we hit the bike area. One thing I did not point out yesterday was your choice of Helmets and Shoes. They are all S works products which makes it nice to test the products and the ability to try out what we sell. The Body Geometry design of these products makes them feel like a custom fit for your feet! The helmets are easily adjusted, light and very Aero dynamic! Today I rode the Venge one more time. Tomorrow, I will ride another bike after a full BG Fit before the afternoon ride. What do you think it will be??

Ok, so above is where the real work is being done while I am out here! Yes, riding is part of this life and testing the latest rides out on the open roads. But, in order to better serve our customers, help them reach there goals, and place them in the best possible position to enjoy that new Specialized ride, we have to do a bit of studying! The photo's above show the room in which we work most of the day. This is a pretty killer layout. We do our physical assessment on the riders, then move to on the bike assessment, and then adjustments to the fitting. I provided a quick example of one of the riders above. I will call her Julie. Julie is a phenominal athlete! She has raced in Europe, ridden on the Saturn Pro Women's team, and has been on the US National Cycling team. She is now a distance trail runner! Hardcore for sure and a great subject for our fitting session. I wanted you to see how some minor adjustments made a difference in her upper body position of the bike. We are fitting the bike to her and not her to the bike. Who can tell me what the difference is between the lower photo of her and the top photo? A hint is to look at her elbows and shoulders. This adjustment was minimum! But, made a huge difference in here comfort level, ability to open up her ribs, and most of all keep her driving those legs for the long haul at top speed! It was an honor working with her today and we shall see what her feedback is after the road ride tomorrow?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1st Day of BG Fit School....Yes it Rocked!

Today was pretty cool! I have really been looking forward to this trip for many reasons, but what i am finding out about the material, the people, and the rides, is that this is exactly what I should be doing! Once again, probably not the last time, I want to thank Bikesource for this opportunity. The knowledge that I am absorbing from the BG Fit Instructors is Priceless! The stories about minor adjustments to Tour de France, Paris Roubaix, and World Champions bike fit over the last few years alone is amazing. Seeing the video difference after only a few millimeters change of a riders headset was proof that there is an Art and Science to getting the perfect bike fit! It is definetly a work in progress throughout someones riding life and will change slightly depending on their discipline of riding. But, seeing it all come together after an assessment is not only amazing, but something i cannot wait to add to my arsenal at Bikesource!

Now, yeah, this is fun! But, it get's serious at times. We study Anatomy, Biomechanics, and the basics of sizing someone for a bike. Now, there is a big difference between Sizing and Fitting! Sizing is done and should be done before you even remotely look for a new bike. You must make sure you have the right size bike or everything else does not work! I see so many people who do not fit on their bikes, they can ride for short distances, but once they try to ride long, they get numb in areas they should not, they ache in the neck or low back, or maybe it is a knee issue that flared up after a 60 mile ride when they are use to riding 15-20 miles in their current position. I could go on about this, but you will just need to come and see me when I get back to the Shop next week. We can all benefit from a proper bike fit. If you spend money riding or racing a bike, you should take the time this Winter and get a proper fit! You will love your bike more and want to ride it even more when the weather get's nice this Spring.

So, about my day! Well I thought the Pictures would help? The Big "S" needs no explanation, this is the entrance to Specialized Headquarters, pretty dang impressive! The picture of the Peleton pulled over on the side of the road is above the bathroom stalls. I thought it was pretty dang funny! The best part about the photo is the Police car rolling by the entire group. The Next photo is not my Garage! These are the bikes that we get to choose from everyday! Yes, they are just lined up by size. We grab the ride of Choice, set it up and roll! Pretty sweet! The other bike Picture is employee parking. Gotta love it! The parking lot is pretty much empty, everyone commutes! See how simple this would be for your employer to set up at work! Does not take much does it, show it to them and get a commuter Garage set up at your work place. Our work area is highlighted by the I am Specialized Wall, the room is more like a PT clinic, with tables, bike trainers, and tool set's set up at each station. The last few Pictures are of the ride!

I rode the Venge today and will ride it most of the week. I am trying to really get a feel for this bike. I get asked a lot of questions about it. We went up a pretty good climb today, but I need to play with my position a bit more before I am going to comment. Maybe by Thursday Nite, I will have a better idea? We have a longer ride scheduled for Thursday, after we have done a complete bike fit! So, that will be the true test. The Bike has Dura Ace Shifting and I have been riding SRAM for the last year exclusively. I can say that I like how the Dura Ace Shifters conform around my hands, but I do think that SRAM is a much crisper shifting system at a hirer rate of speed. That is all I can say at the moment!

It is late in the Midwest and my body is still on Midwest time. I need to hit the sack, we are riding at 8 a.m. tomorrow! It will be about 44 degrees vs the 70 degrees we rode in today. The weather seems to be very consistant, cool in the a.m. and close to 70 and Sunny every afternoon. Fortunate for this weather this week!


Monday, November 14, 2011

California Dreamin!

Today has been a long day of Traveling to San Jose, CA. I am here to attend the BG Fit Course at Specialized Bicycles. This has been one of the premier Bike Fit Training Course's in the world of cycling. Dr. Andy Pruitt is the creator of the program and I am thankful to be out here for many reason's. Most of all the experience of mixing some of my Athletic Training Knowledge in with bicycle fitting. It is funny how what you have done in your past can still help build on your future. Knowing how the body moves during athletic competition, injury prevention, and most of all my experiences with varies disciplines in this sport will all help in my understanding of how to FIT someone properly on a bike for whatever they desire to do on a bike. That in itself sounds pretty easy, but it actual can be more of a mix of science and art to get that proper fit. So, needless to say, I am more than excited about tomorrow and the rest of this week.

I shot a few photo's on the way out. One is from the back of the Hotel. When I got here, I need a workout after sitting on a plane for more than 4 hours and hanging out in airports. So, i laced up the shoes and did a nice run toward those hills. It was only a mile to them and I was on some pretty cool running trails. I was starting to get into it and then I decided I really did not know where I a was going and did not see anyone around, so made the wise choice of turning around and running back to the hotel. Jumped on the indoor bike for awhile and did my 30 minute strength workout. The "S" picture need's no explanation. The other picture was out of the Plane Window at about 30K Feet. I thought it looked pretty wild, almost as if that Mountain was an Island in the middle of Utah somewhere? Pretty Crazy how all of that area appears to be Salt Fields and then you have this mammoth mountain in the middle of all of it.

The Top Picture is of our ride that is scheduled for tomorrow. We get a lunch ride just about everyday we are here. It appears that we will be on road bikes everyday. We were able to pick bikes that we wanted to ride prior to coming out for the school. I of course choice the Tarmac SL4, The Venge, and the Roubaix. Not sure which I will get my hands on first, but it really doesn't matter! They are all incredible bikes! I am curious as to how the Venge Climbs? If you have followed me this year, you know that I have ridden my SL3 in New Mexico up a 10,000 Footer and all over the North Georgia Mountains. That is my only question about the Venge? It is a super fast bike! I road one during the Team Garmin ride and hit 38 mph with not much effort in a sprint. So, maybe I will get my chance? The ride tomorrow is the actual 2006 Tour of California Time Trial Route. That is pretty cool!

I hope you all had a great weekend and have been able to keep riding outside. It has been an incredible Fall for riding! It is suppose to be pretty awesome weather here all week. I see that the weather in KC this weekend is going to be warm again, which will call for some serious saddle time when I get home as well. I wanted to say thanks to Bikesource for sending me out here, it is going to be a spectacular week and most likely will be one of the top highlights of my Bike Life this year!

I will get some pics tomorrow and keep you posted!