Get a fit. Get a fit. Get a fit.
When you start looking at tri bikes or if you have any issues at all ever while riding a bike this is what you will hear. Get a fit. Get a fit. Get a fit.
In getting ready to buy the tri bike. I went with my trusty road bike for another fitting part of which was measuring me for what tri bikes would work. They made some changes to the road bike and I'll be honest I don't really notice a huge difference in performance except my aero bottle straw became much too long and I keep smashing my face into it. OUCH! Read: they lowered my handlebars. So, if you asked me then whether the fit was important I would have said, "eh, maybe ... I dunno."
But now I've got this new fancy schmancy tri bike and I know I need to be fitted. So, I go in to EBP with said new bike and get hooked up to all the doodads. It's a Retul fitting so you wear sensors and they measure stuff. What stuff ... I dunno, stuff. Actually I do know some because I asked. And over 90 minutes I pedaled and pedaled some more, pedaled fast, put pressure on pedaled more. I also got a lesson in shifting from Gunther. They did really 3 things. Adjusted my cleats on my new shoes, moved my seat forward and moved my aerobars back. Not so much really in terms of adjustment you might think.
Oh what a difference! It is sooooo much better.
I went out Tuesday for my interval workout. I picked a lonely car free road inside a park where there would be no cars (the Deering Estate). I was anxious at the start ... I know this because when I put on my heart rate monitor my heart was already hammering away at 98. I was standing still at this point. So I did some deep breathing, said quietly to myself, "you can do this" hopped on the bike and got started. I crossed into the park and on this isolated road I went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.
If you remember from other posts I felt unstable when starting from a stopped position on the new bike. That's now not an issue I was able to start without feeling like I couldn't complete the pedal stroke and was therefore going to fall over. I think this is due to the seat coming forward but that's a guess. This is a major improvement.
I was also able to shift to my hearts content up down up down up down because I can reach the shifters and keep my elbows on the aero bars. Some of this is from the adjustment and some due to the lesson. I had been lifting my arm off of the aero pad to shift and when I did that I would steer to the left (usually shifting on the right side) and then I would be freaking out trying to balance and shift). I learned to just slide my arm forward and shift keeping my elbow on the pad. This is a huge difference in stability.
Now, I have a guess that this reach to shift issue is more an issue for the shorter armed gender on tri bikes. Now that I'm staring at all people riding tri bikes ( Yes that's me out there totally oggling your set up) I've noticed that some guys actually reach past the shifters almost all the time so if that's you - then you probably don't have an issue.
And so, in conclusion I'm now feeling the love.
Further in conclusion I have realized that I trimmed the straw too short on the bladder ... oops. Next weeks assignment - ordering a replacement straw. :-)