Last Monday (5/18) I had my first session for a bike fit service, another recommendation from Dave Wiens. This article includes his commentary about bike fit as well as bike choice. If you are at the point of purchasing a bike or just considering whether your current bike is up to the task it’s a good read.
Following the initial saddle change the goal of this session was two fold: get the saddle positioned correctly and measure my feet for new shoes.
For those who are new to this type of service it’s similar in principle to what a shop typically does when you buy a bike from them but goes a lot further – using special measurement tools for foot/knee angle, positions of the saddle, length of crank arms, bar/stem position/length, etc. The operator will watch you on a trainer to see where your riding position actually puts you (just jumping on the bike with one foot on the ground to balance doesn’t produce the actual riding position.
If you are going to be on a bike for 9-12 hours even subtle changes in position and components can have a big impact. Remove all wasted energy and fatigue, the course will inflict plenty!
After a week of the new saddle height/position I can say my knees are definitely not as strained as I noted previously. Also got the saddle replaced with the same model in a different size but that hasn’t changed much: I’m still noticing soreness much earlier in the rides. I’ll suffer through another week or so and if it doesn’t change I’ll go back to my old WTB saddle. At least with that one the soreness took 4-5 hours to kick in, not 1 or less.