Author Topic: How to get bike fit?  (Read 12046 times)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16069
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2016, 06:21:36 AM »
Is your saddle too low?  If you put your heels on both pedals and pedal backwards, your feet should just slightly come off at the furthest pedal extension on each side.  If your feet stay on easily, raise the saddle a little bit and repeat.

It makes it much easier to generate power on a bike if your saddle is high enough.

1967mama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Canada
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2016, 01:31:56 PM »
My
Bike is a townie Electra which uses something they call Flat Foot Technology. I had a bad ankle break (have a pin now) and so this bike gives me a steady feeling. But yes, it's lousy on hills.

KiwiSonya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #52 on: August 25, 2016, 01:35:57 PM »
Thanks Gooki, will give that tip a try. Day 4 and 4th ride under my belt. Have been looking forward to it since I got off my bike yesterday. Passed 35 cyclists wearing matching fancy lycra suits this morning. Recognised 3 people from previous mornings so there are a few with the bike habit around. Got a bit worried by a couple of cars parked on my side of the road, motors running, lights on, but windows all fogged up.  I'm concerned they might not see me through their foggy windows and pull out in front. Should I get a bell? Other strategies? But otherwise still having a blast. Feeling energised until evening when I feel like hitting bed early. I'm looking forward to the weekend when I have time to tackle something more ambitious - perhaps a ride up to our local wind turbine.

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2016, 02:00:55 PM »
Thanks Gooki, will give that tip a try. Day 4 and 4th ride under my belt. Have been looking forward to it since I got off my bike yesterday. Passed 35 cyclists wearing matching fancy lycra suits this morning. Recognised 3 people from previous mornings so there are a few with the bike habit around. Got a bit worried by a couple of cars parked on my side of the road, motors running, lights on, but windows all fogged up.  I'm concerned they might not see me through their foggy windows and pull out in front. Should I get a bell? Other strategies? But otherwise still having a blast. Feeling energised until evening when I feel like hitting bed early. I'm looking forward to the weekend when I have time to tackle something more ambitious - perhaps a ride up to our local wind turbine.
I love it! Self-reinforcing behavior. :)

A bell is a great idea. Ring that sucker if you have an inkling of a doubt. They are cheap, but you may be able to find one super cheap from a used sports goods store.

Lagom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1258
  • Age: 37
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2016, 02:24:37 PM »
Cross training will also make you a better biker. Both boxing and powerlifting really boosted my biking power and endurance. Doesn't have to be formal gym stuff, either. Do some ass-to-grass squats to build your lower back, quads and glutes, and stretch out your calves. Keep it up for 6 weeks, and you'll really notice a difference.

Just wanted to second the squat recommendation. I have done practically no cardio for 18 months now, focusing entirely on powerlifting, and finally hopped on a bike again a while back. While found myself out of breath a bit more easily, the amount of power my legs could generate compared to 18 months earlier was insane. I was going faster than I was physically capable of in the past and with less effort, so my lack of conditioning didn't come into play as much as expected.

Just riding a lot is certainly one of the best ways to build riding strength, but I think anyone looking to increase their speed and endurance should also do some lifting.


KiwiSonya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #55 on: August 25, 2016, 05:46:25 PM »
Thanks Lagom. I have a 16kg kettlebell that I have been doing 70 swings, three times a week to build strength. I can probably use that to add weight to some squats. The swings have done wonders for my core and general strength. Shall I go low and slow? I have good squat technique as I did lots of lifting 20 years ago. But my exercise knowledge is way out of date now.

Lagom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1258
  • Age: 37
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #56 on: August 25, 2016, 06:05:32 PM »
Thanks Lagom. I have a 16kg kettlebell that I have been doing 70 swings, three times a week to build strength. I can probably use that to add weight to some squats. The swings have done wonders for my core and general strength. Shall I go low and slow? I have good squat technique as I did lots of lifting 20 years ago. But my exercise knowledge is way out of date now.

Yeah, you can use a kettlebell for goblet squats (hold the bell close to your chest and squat as normal). I would say going explosive off the bottom is probably better than slow and controlled. Ideally, finding something heavier than 16kg as you get stronger would be helpful if you're trying to build explosive power. You can also do Bulgarian split squats as another great accessory. One foot on a chair or bench, one out in front of you. Hold the Kettlebell in the hand opposite the leg that is out and squat on that leg. Shin should be perpendicular to the floor and knee should almost touch at the bottom. If you have two kettlebells you can hold one in each hand. Consistently try to up the reps and/or weight as much as time and equipment allow.

It can be tough if you don't have a lot of equipment or a gym membership, but I still think investing some time in calisthenics can be very helpful. Maybe try working towards a pistol squat? Not sure, I haven't done much on that front. Good luck! :)

KiwiSonya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #57 on: August 25, 2016, 06:18:28 PM »
Thanks Lagom, that gives me some great ideas to get me started!

Anatidae V

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7613
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Fourecks
  • Nullus Anxietas
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #58 on: August 28, 2016, 05:20:39 AM »
Thanks KiwiSonya for starting this thread, it's helping me too! I'm getting into biking as the weather heats up, and was worried about fitness, but I do plenty of strength work/squat type of movements with Pilates so I'm probably better than when I stopped earlier this year.

KiwiSonya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2016, 06:08:08 PM »
Welcome Anatidaev. I've been at it a week now and enjoying great gains. Yesterday I tackled the big hill to get to and from the fruit and vege market. Loved the speed on the downhill and it was good for me to experience bumper to bumper weekend traffic. I'm working on being less tentative in my manouvres and decided I needed a mirror to help that so got one this morning. Also got some bolts to put the free tray on the back which I can then attach the pannier bags given to me by a different friend. Cyclists really are such kind and generous people. Guy at the bike shop gave me some good pointers on bike safety. On the fitness front I think I'm going to be fine. Had to walk a bit yesterday but blame 5kg of veggies in my backpack for that. Fitting some squats into my day and had a fun long jump competition with my boys. Sleeping like a log at night. I think riding every day has taught me so much because each day builds on the last. Tomorrow I'm going to try the supermarket run. Happy cycling everyone.

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2016, 06:37:08 PM »
I DID IT! Ok, I got off my bike eight times to recover and regain my composure. But I still road that damn hill all the way. 8 mins to the bottom, and 23 up. My legs are like jelly and my face is beetrootesque but I'm feeling great. Cars and trucks gave me a wide berth (I suspect a few wobbles made them nervous.) I even got a bunch of greetings from fellow cyclists which made me feel good. Thanks for the encouragement everyone!

Congrats!  The more you do it the easier it becomes.  I remember one time I was climbing a big hill on my bike and was going so slow I actually tipped over! 

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2016, 07:33:09 PM »
Welcome Anatidaev. I've been at it a week now and enjoying great gains. Yesterday I tackled the big hill to get to and from the fruit and vege market. Loved the speed on the downhill and it was good for me to experience bumper to bumper weekend traffic. I'm working on being less tentative in my manouvres and decided I needed a mirror to help that so got one this morning. Also got some bolts to put the free tray on the back which I can then attach the pannier bags given to me by a different friend. Cyclists really are such kind and generous people. Guy at the bike shop gave me some good pointers on bike safety. On the fitness front I think I'm going to be fine. Had to walk a bit yesterday but blame 5kg of veggies in my backpack for that. Fitting some squats into my day and had a fun long jump competition with my boys. Sleeping like a log at night. I think riding every day has taught me so much because each day builds on the last. Tomorrow I'm going to try the supermarket run. Happy cycling everyone.
Kiwi, is everyone as cool as you in NZ? Because you seem super dee duper cool. If so, any room for a rambunctious family of four to move there? ;)

KiwiSonya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #62 on: August 28, 2016, 10:34:52 PM »
MrsDinero - I dread the possibility of going so slow that I fall off. The minute I get the wobbles, I get off!
Thanks for the compliment, PFHC, but I really do suck in lots of ways. I'm just an eager beaver when it comes to learning new stuff. New Zealand has lots of good points (great scenery, not too many people, universal healthcare). But it's no mustachian paradise - house prices in main centres are crazy compared to wages, we pay 3 times as much for food, electricity and petrol as you and pretty much our entire housing stock consists of uninsulated, uncentral heated drafty boxes. But we'd always love more mustachian friends!!

PFHC

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 617
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Busy doing.
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2016, 11:13:01 PM »
MrsDinero - I dread the possibility of going so slow that I fall off. The minute I get the wobbles, I get off!
Thanks for the compliment, PFHC, but I really do suck in lots of ways. I'm just an eager beaver when it comes to learning new stuff. New Zealand has lots of good points (great scenery, not too many people, universal healthcare). But it's no mustachian paradise - house prices in main centres are crazy compared to wages, we pay 3 times as much for food, electricity and petrol as you and pretty much our entire housing stock consists of uninsulated, uncentral heated drafty boxes. But we'd always love more mustachian friends!!
Sounds pretty great! It certainly is a dream for us to live internationally. We looked at transferring my mariner's license to a NZ ticket, but there was no reciprocity, so I would have to pay a bunch of money and take all the brutal tests over again. Living international may happen someday... but, for now, we're happy in the good ol' USA.

KiwiSonya

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 274
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #64 on: September 11, 2016, 03:47:59 AM »
To give you all an update. Three weeks in and I'm still at it. My fitness has come a long way - no longer need vomit stops. Have lost a couple of kilos and thighs are  more muscle than jelly. I'm still walking the odd section but definitely less often. My confidence in traffic has come along nicely - no shaking when big rigs pass. Even an experienced cyclist guy told me I had bigger balls than him to ride a particularly narrow stretch. I've generally been impressed by how considerate drivers have been. Perhaps I look like a mother of young kids. I have bought both of my boys (4 & 6) bikes after much begging when they saw me taking off on my rides. Master 6 got it today on his second attempt and didn't want to get off. So proud!
A friend who has been a bike mechanic is trying to repair a bargain e-bike I found, which might work out. But I'm glad I started out on a basic bike. I still feel like I have lots to learn but am loving it. Thanks for all the advice and support you guys have given. Ks

MrsDinero

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #65 on: September 11, 2016, 09:57:38 AM »
To give you all an update. Three weeks in and I'm still at it. My fitness has come a long way - no longer need vomit stops. Have lost a couple of kilos and thighs are  more muscle than jelly. I'm still walking the odd section but definitely less often. My confidence in traffic has come along nicely - no shaking when big rigs pass. Even an experienced cyclist guy told me I had bigger balls than him to ride a particularly narrow stretch. I've generally been impressed by how considerate drivers have been. Perhaps I look like a mother of young kids. I have bought both of my boys (4 & 6) bikes after much begging when they saw me taking off on my rides. Master 6 got it today on his second attempt and didn't want to get off. So proud!
A friend who has been a bike mechanic is trying to repair a bargain e-bike I found, which might work out. But I'm glad I started out on a basic bike. I still feel like I have lots to learn but am loving it. Thanks for all the advice and support you guys have given. Ks

Awesome!!

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2422
  • Location: NZ
Re: How to get bike fit?
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2016, 02:15:16 AM »
Awesome, great to see you've stuck at it.