After my "I'm fit...." post detailing my visit to see Matt Lodder - the "Cary Cycle Surgeon" to have my bike properly fitted several people asked for an update on how it feels and what difference it made....
It's way too early, of course, to make any "before and after" direct comparisons re: speed etc. I need to ride a regular course several times before I'm ready to make that call. I did, however, take th bike out yesterday for an hour and can make some observations.
Firstly a reminder of the major alterations that were made:
Position of cleat on shoes was moved forward slightly
Saddle was raised quite considerably (2 cm plus) and tilted very slightly further forward
Stem was lengthened by about 1 cm and stem angle was increased to 17 degrees
After handlebars were moved "up and forward" based on the new stem, the aerobars were adjusted back again slightly
I went out for 60 mins on a flat road (in somewhat blustery conditions) and simulated 8 x 2 mins of hill work by slamming it into the highest gear and pushing hard.
The big general observation was that it felt great! Definitely felt more "powerful" at the 12:00 position at the top of each pedal stroke. Had no great problem pushing things along at 20 mph plus.
At the bottom of each stroke (6:00 position) I could clearly feel that my toes were more pointed downwards - a fairly obvious one I guess based on the increased saddle height.
I felt very much less "confined", especially when riding on the drops and on the aero bars. Felt as if my legs had more room. This made me happy! :-)
It was noticeable, especially when riding on the hoods, that my face was more "over the handlebars" than previously. I also found that my arms found a more natural slightly bent (and, hopefully relaxed) position. this is something that The Puppeteer has me working on.
A minor thing, but previously when riding up on the hoods a few people have commented that I ride with my hands relatively far back (further from the brakes). In the new set-up I felt that my hands went much more naturally to the front of the hoods.
Importantly, it felt comfortable. No issues with the....ahem.... under carriage and nothing unusual after the ride.
All-in-all, based on just the one short outing, I'm pleased any feel that I am in both a more powerful and aerodynamic position. Hopefully this will translate to a couple of mph on the road - I'll keep you posted!