Yesterday, I picked up coffee and expresso and delievered it to Ben and the staff at 3 Sports before hoping on the bike and experiencing my first Retul bike fit. Actually, before I hoped on the bike, I had a chance to oogle over the cool stuff in the store and watched Ben battle with my aerobars that were broken in the middle of the bike ride at Chicago. After he fixed me up (and we determined to order new bars to be safe), I was ready to ride.
First up, we talked a lot about how I ride, how I feel off the bike, and any aches and pains that I may have. He measured almost every body part (almost...) and set up the Look Keo cleat alingment sensor on my pedals to see how much my feet turn during a ride. Based on what the cool littel gizmo said, we adjusted my cleats a decent amount. I was suprised to find that it didn't feel any different. Apparently, I'd been riding at the far edge of my float instead of the middle of the pedal. With that taken care of, we started to look at my position with the help of strategically placed LED sensors from the Retul system. We took 3-4 caputres and made slight changes each time. All the while, we were constantly discussing what was changing and why. My seat moved forward a good bit... simply so I could sit where I am supported by the saddle instead of on the very tip (wich made the ISM saddle even MORE comfortable!). We moved my bars in and down to accomodate my wonderfull swimmers shoulders and angled my soon-to-be replaced bars upward to account for the way my wrists were bent uncomfortably.
Over the 2 hours or so, we dialed me in with various changes simply so I could maintain the position that I naturally settle into on the bike. Instead of making my body adjust to the bike, it now adjusts to me. The end result is only a slight change in my postion, but now I'm supported ideally at all contact points with the bike. Seems simple, but it could make all the difference in the world if it allows for a very slight power increase and a bit more freshness coming off the bike. I'll be riding tomorrow to see how it feels and plan to go back 2-3 more times to make sure we've got everything where it needs to be. The fit process is a continuous process of feedback and adaptation which is exactly what I think it should be. The bike is a tool for my racing and I'd be foolish not to ensure I'm using the right tool for the job. I appreciate Ben's knowledge and really enjoyed the process of dialing in the bike. I learned and re-affirmed a great deal about how I ride my bike.
I'll update here as the process continues, but the real update will come when I toe the line in Syracuse in just over 10 days!