Saturday, 7 May 2011

Bikelab

For a while I’ve been having “comfort issues” on my bike getting very saddle sore. Some weeks I’ve not ridden the 3 days I usually do as I’ve been “resting” (letting my backside recover).

I’ve tried a few things like a new saddle but a big recommendation from forums is getting a proper bike fit that adjusts your bike for your exact measurements.

On Saturday I went to bikelab to get measured and get my bike adjusted.

I was very impressed with bikelab. All the staff were helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. The shop is new and well presented and has a good selection of bikes to choose from.

During the bike fit a your feet, height, torso, shoulder height, seat height and probably a few things that I have forgotten are all measured and then plugged into a website. You then tell the website what sort of bike you have and which profile you want.

I got a Road Hybrid Comfort setup and a Road Bike Comfort setup. For each type of setup you get frame geometry measurements to tell you what size frame you need:

And setup measurements to show you what crank, saddle position and handlebar positions you need:

The shop used the measurements above to adjust my hybrid. My saddle was a bit low, tilted back a bit too far and a bit too far back. My frame generally was too small (a 57cm frame instead of a 59). To compensate for this I need around 20cm of saddle post showing above the frame and I need a longer stem.

So far I have not managed to find a longer stem but the adjustments really seems to have made a difference. I have ridden the bike about 130 miles in the week since the adjustments were made and I have been much more comfortable and with the slightly higher saddle position peddling seems a bit easier as well.

I have been meaning to order a road bike for a while. In face I was looking at bikes back in October but have not made much progress. This seemed to be a good time to order a new bike, particularly as I would then get the bike fit for free, saving me around £70. I wasn’t looking for a particularly high end bike, I certainly didn’t want Carbon Fibre and wanted to spend around £1000. The Scott Speedster S30 seemed like a good fit. Using the geometry popup on the Scott website I ordered a XXL bike.

I was very impressed with bike lab and so far I have been very impressed with the results of the bike fit.
The only disappointment was that they did not adjust the cleats on my shoes. When I first got my shoes it took me a while fiddling with them before they felt right and I wanted some confirmation that they were OK. I do occasionally get sore knees but since the bike fit they’ve been fine so maybe the adjustments to the bike were enough to solve that.

I’ll be posting a review of my new bike soon.

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