When I rode a rented bike on our recent vacation in Michigan, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it fit me. I had specified a 56 cm frame — the same as my own bike — but at the shop, no one checked the fit. After a 37-mile ride, I felt no discomfort at all.
When I got home and took a 21-mile ride on my own bike, I felt soreness in the seat. The bike just didn’t feel as comfortable as the rental. I wondered how that could be, since I got a bike fitting when I bought it in February. So I figured it was time to do some tweaking. I had already learned that a little change can make a big difference, and thought it would be worth a shot here, too.
I started with the handlebars. By turning them slightly upward, I thought I could bring them a bit closer to me, and maybe ease the soreness I was getting in my hands as well as my butt. But that only made it worse, since I wound up putting too much pressure on my hands. I quickly reset the bars to their original position.
Then it was time for the seat. I had moved it back one centimeter earlier, with no appreciable results. I moved it back another centimeter.
Bingo! Magic happened. On our hill ride, I felt like I was in Michigan again. No discomfort at all — either in the hands or the butt.
Whenever my wife’s golf game goes south, we have a little saying: “It’s the grip, stupid.” A slight change in her hand position is usually enough to get the ball going straight again. I guess for me, the new saying will be: “It’s the seat, stupid.”
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