Bike fitting needed

I never knew how poorly my road bike fit me until I spent some serious time on a bike that actually fit me.

For the past 18 months, I’ve been riding my CX bike almost exclusively. Before that I had returned to mountain biking for a spell, and as a result, I spent spare little time on the road bike (a Specialized Dolce Elite).  During that time, some nagging physical conditions evaporated–but I didn’t notice they were even gone until I started riding the road bike again.

Here is what hurts:  lower back, my shoulders, the base of my neck.  The neck is an issue–and I was in PT last year because of it.  I have some disk that’s askew and the position I have on the road bike makes it worse–so much so I cannot turn my head.  What hurts most this morning is the lower back.  All of it is no good, and I can’t believe I endured these aches and pains for so many years.

The road bike is a women’s specific frame.  The CX bike is a standard frame, also a Specialized.  I can ride and ride this without issue.  So to solve my pain problem, I have 2 options:

  1. Get the road bike professionally fitted to me.
  2. Sell the road bike and get slick tires for road work with the CX bike.

I have to say I’m leaning toward option #2.  I wouldn’t mind the extra cash and would use it toward buying a true racing bike for the CX season, something I’ve been saving my pennies for.  The CX bike I have now would be a great all around training bike.  If I had more disposable income I’d upgrade the road bike outright, since I bought it back in 2006.  But that’s not where I am right now (at the moment).  I really don’t want to invest the time and money in getting my road bike professionally fitted to me.  And I suspect the women’s specific frame was a little too much marketing and not enough function for a woman who is as tall as the average male.

The one (silly) reservation I have is that although painful, the road bike is faster.  I can go longer, faster on it. When I ride the CX bike with friends who are on road bikes, I have to work harder.  Maybe that’s a good thing overall, maybe it will make me faster come race season.

So what do you think I should do?  Weigh in, because Craigslist is a few clicks away….





Tags: , ,

About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

7 responses to “Bike fitting needed”

  1. Tim Cary (@tdcary) says :

    Get a fitting. There are many places, but Fit to Ride in E. Longmeadow has treated me really well. The three hours was well worth my time. It is amazing what the tests revealed. Check out my blog post about it from last year:

    • Karen says :

      thanks Tim I will check that out. There’s another guy in the Eastworks Building–hear anything about him?? I think it’s New England Bike or something like that.

  2. Laura says :

    What size and how much? 😉

    Only half kidding. Get the road bike fitted to you. There’s actually a lot you can have swapped and adjusted to make her work better for you. And keep in mind that a fitting can change – so ask lots of questions about how they are doing what they are doing. That way you can tweak the fit if it stops working for you.

    For example – in swapping the saddle on LR, I’m now too stretched out and have upper back pain when I commute even without a backpack. I need to scoot the seat forward a bit so I’m not leaning on my hands so much when I’m on the hoods.

    If that doesn’t work, sell the bike and get a new one that makes you happy. 🙂

  3. bgddyjim says :

    I have a hybrid option for you – something completely different… Sell the road bike on Craigslist. Take the cash and buy two new wheels and a cassette that matches you CX bike and put the slicks on the new wheels.

    When you want to switch to the slicks it’ll take you two minutes (and that includes time to pump up the tires).

    I almost did the same thing with my mountain bike before I decided that I really wanted a road bike.

    Funny how important that fitting is after you’ve been riding on one that fits right, eh?

  4. Meg says :

    Hey there, I live down the street from a bike shop that has a good reputation for quality fittings. If you want to come up here I’ll put you up for free in the rental apt attached to my house.
    You can reach me on twitter at megster @farcryhomestead

    • Karen says :

      Awesome-I already have tentative plans to be head to Stowe in a couple of weeks with my family for a getaway..looking forward to riding up there–I went last year, it’s so beautiful!! What’s the shop name?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: