Riding Technology

Your bars, seat and pedals, are the three points where you make contact with your bike and of course getting the position of these adjusted correctly will make a big difference to the way we ride. Steve Hogg steps us through determining correct cleat position.

If you’re reading this article in a café or bike shop, have a look around you right now and check out the bikes closest to you. Do they look super aero? Chances are that most of the machines you can see are sporting slammed stems – in other words, any spacers between the dust cover and the stem have been removed, so that the stem has been lowered all the way down to the headset bearing cover. Take an even closer look – in all likelihood the stem has been flipped over too, providing an even lower and more aero riding position. 

Spending a few hours tinkering with your bike on a wet winter’s afternoon can not only be very relaxing but rewarding as well. All those warmer months of riding can take a toll on your bike and spending a little time looking after it will make your riding experience better. A well-adjusted, smooth running bike is a pleasure to ride. We have all ridden past that guy who never lubes his chain or adjusts his gears. Don’t be that noisy rider, clunking your way down the road.

Determining your ideal saddle height and setback seems a simple concept at first but there’s a lot more to it than just finding a comfortable height where your knees don’t lock out. Steve Hogg explains the detail of saddle ergonomics in this second instalment of DIY Bike Fitting. 

The speed at which the indoor trainer had been evolving could best be described as glacial, that is up until a few years ago. There was a time when they were much of a muchness, were all noisy, heavy and all had their little glitches. However in the last few years computer technology, connectivity, power meters, heart rate monitors and materials technology have converged to give a multitude of options ranging from simple ‘clamp and go’ models to fully optioned and integrated machines. There really is something to suit every need, space and budget.

Attaining your ideal cycling position is important. By ideal I mean a position that will not cause short or long-term discomfort or injury, and will contribute to optimum performance. You can DIY if you have good advice, time on your hands and a scientific mind to assess the incremental changes you make. Steve Hogg’s article on page 68 is the first in series of articles that can help you correct different aspects of your bike fit.

Beyond the bike, there is one fundamental thing that all serious cyclists have in common; no matter what our ability, no matter how competitive we are or what style we ride, all of us want to have long and, more importantly, satisfying sessions (ie we like to suffer). This might sound like a fatuous statement, and if we weren’t overworked, overcommitted and overstressed it would be.