Tag Archives: New Bike

The mysteries of a bike fit

Well, not really that mysterious.

Mostly it’s get on the bike, get off the bike, get on the bike, get off the bike, pedal hard, get off the bike, get on the bike, get in the drops, get off the bike, get on the bike, get off the bike. Repeat what feels like about a million times until finally you’re done.

I had a Body Geometry fit at Bike Now. Nope, I don’t have a Specialized bike (but they were one of the brands on my radar) but it doesn’t make a difference. As they say on their site, they will fit you to whatever bike you happen to own, regardless of brand. Chris did a great job too. I’d seen him before when I bought my Specialized shoes and was having a huge amount of trouble with the cleat position. He sorted that and I felt that he really listened to what I was saying so it made me eager to have him do a fit on my new bike.

He’s good. Really good. We spent about the first half an hour talking about what I wanted to get from my bike riding (he was surprised I had no desire to race), my experiences on the bike and any injuries I’ve had. He did the sit bone measurement, checked my feet to see what my arches were like and checked to see how flexible I am (pretty flexible apparently!).

Then the whole get on the bike, get off the bike process started. At first he just watched me ride. Then he started tweaking and switched my saddle to a 143mm Oura Pro. The difference was immediate. I realised that the whole time I’ve been riding I’ve never really sat on my sit bones on the bike, especially on the right side. What’s most curious is at the bottom of each pedal stroke, there’s a centimetre difference between my left leg (126) versus my right (125). That’s a quite a hip drop I’ve got going on there courtesy of my prolapsed disc. Still, Chris thinks the pedal stroke thing might correct itself now that I have a saddle that’s the right width but it’s a big might. I’m not expecting things to change but still *fingers crossed*.

I know, I know… I’ve bought into the on-sell with the saddle and I am getting a black version of the Oura. However Specialized seem to be the only people who make saddles that are narrower than 147mm. Which is a problem for us girls with skinny hip bones. If you want a wider saddle, sure but narrower – forget about it.

Because of the fit, I’ve ordered a new stem. The one that came with my bike is 110mm but when we did all the measuring for an ideal stem length/angle it turned out I was more comfortable with a 100mm one. So he flipped the stem and angled the bars up. He took some photos of me at the start and end of the fit and you can see the difference. My arms are so straight in the first photo and much more relaxed in the second one.

The whole thing took about two and a half hours. It really was interesting. It was amazing how much information Chris gathered from just watching me ride. He worked out I wasn’t straight on the saddle after about 30 seconds of watching me ride while standing behind me. He really is interested in making the experience of riding a bike the best it can be. He spent a lot of time working on my position on the saddle and making sure it was in the right position, especially considering that was the main reason I went to see him. It was worth it, even though my arse hates me right now. I have a test saddle (brand new, mine is the first arse to sit on it) on my bike so my right site bone isn’t happy with me at all because it has to get used to doing some work.

Perhaps though it wasn’t the best idea to try out a brand new saddle on the 105km M.A.D. ride which included riding up Mt Macedon. Now, there are two ways to get up Mt Macedon. One is relatively easy, the other is quite hard. Guess which one I experienced? I’ve discovered that 13% climbs are an all-body experience for me. The next day everything hurt. Arms, back, shoulders. Still, I passed plenty of guys on the way up who were walking, even though I was only riding at 5km/h. It got the point where I was only looking about a metre in front of me and it got done to me dealing with it one pedal-stroke at a time. Looking up was crushing because the road just seemed so steep and never-ending.

There definitely wasn’t enough down on this ride. Took me 48 minutes to get up the damn mountain but there was only 13 minutes of fun on the way down! The rest of the ride felt like a bit of a slog. There was a lot of up and the down didn’t come until the last 20kms of the ride. Still, it was a fun day out.

You’re a handsome devil. What’s your name?

My brand new BMC

Yup, I treated myself to a new road bike. I bought my Cannondale way back in February 2010 so I’d started seriously thinking about a new bike in about the middle of last year. But the intention wasn’t to actually go out and get one until at the end of 2013 (there are a few other things that need to be paid for first, namely a wedding!). But fate intervened and during a web search I found Bartholomew. I thought it was just wishful thinking until I saw the price. And then it became a reality. (And yes, all my bikes have names.)


He’s a 2012 BMC teammachine SLR01 50cm frame with Ultegra Di2. And once again, I’ve been made to eat my words after saying I couldn’t see the point of electronic shifting for a cyclist like me – a pure recreational rider who will never race. I can certainly see it now! It’s just brilliant. It’s incredibly quiet (unless you decided to suddenly change gears going up a hill) and I often find myself wondering if I’ve actually changed gear.

The experience of riding isn’t profoundly different from my Cannondale. There’s definitely a lot more stiffness to the bike but the agility feels about the same. However, the feel of the bike might be because I had my Eastons put on the new bike so I’m riding around on wheels that I’m already very familiar with (and they were better then the Fulcrum 5s that came with it – the only disappointment when it came to the bike). I’ve also gone from 40cm rounded on top bars to 38cm flat on top ones. Not sure about that. They do feel a little too narrow for me but I’m hoping to get a proper bike fit done soon so we’ll see what the outcome is from that.

Still, it’s awesome to get about on it. It’s new and shiny. I think we’re going to be very happy together.

My new BMC

My new BMC

My new BMC

My new BMC

My new BMC



CBoardman cyclocross bike

As in Jayne Cobb, which will mean something to Firefly fans.

Jayne: Well, as a rule, I say, girlfolk ain’t to be trusted.
River: [grinning] “Jayne” is a girl’s name.
Jayne: Well, Jayne ain’t a girl! She starts in on that girl’s-name thing, [reaches into his pants] I’ll show her good ‘n’ all, I got man parts!
Simon: I’m… trying to think of a way for you to be cruder. I just… it’s not coming.
(Trash, episode 11 Firefly.)

Ah, Jayne. Probably one of my favourite Joss Whendon characters ever. I was riding to work thinking about names and all of sudden The Hero of Canton popped into my head and the name has just stuck. I think it’s appropriate. The bike is big, burly and carries the heavy stuff.

The MTB pedals and bottle cages went on last night, the pannier rack was added last week. I have some nice bright red Ortlieb bags to go the rack but I couldn’t be bothered to put them on for the photo (you’ll just have to use your imagination). The MTB cletes/pedals are interesting to say the least. I’m perplexed by the decision to tension the pedals so much. I couldn’t actually clip in at all at first. Even after winding them out as much as possible, it still taking a huge amount of force for me to actually clip in. It’s like having to learn how to use cletes all over again. But I shall persist as they’re about a billion times easier to walk around in. So yes, Jayne. Once I said it in my head the name just stuck.

The name is why I’ve had this stuck in my head for the last few days…

(If you haven’t ever watched Firefly, I strongly recommend it. Brilliant show that should’ve never been cancelled. Stupid TV network!)

Ooohh… shiny!

Perhaps a story best told with photos, so, uh… pic spam warning!

Boxes of wiggle goodness
Boxes full of Wiggle goodness.

They be wheels
As if those reflectors stayed on… And yes, that’s a 11/32 cassette!

Frame emerging from the packaging
It emerges! Eventually… after I worked out how to get it out of all the packaging.

Crappest pedals ever
No. Just… no!

Nearly completed bike, only missing pedals
Tis almost done. Except for the pedals which are kinda important.

Now with pedals
Now with pedals!! And you can see a sad looking Lisa in the background minus her pedals *sniff*

Maiden voyage complete
Maiden voyage complete. All locked up in the bike cage at work. (I know, I know – most cable locks are just a visual deterrent but if someone wanted to steal it they’d have to work out how to break into the cage first and deal with the security camera. And there are bikes with thinner cable locks then mine anyway.)

Garmin edge 200 on bike
Yup, that’s Garmin Edge 200. Totally unnecessary for a bike that’s going to spend most of its time being a commuter but it’s my money that I’m squandering.

Flooded bike path
And what do I do with my bright and shiny bike? Ride it through about a foot of water on a flooded bike path after totally ignoring the “Path Closed” gate that had been half dragged across. And my, didn’t the brakes sing after that!

The bike is in the shop right now having a pannier rack fitted and the brakes tuned. On my first commute home, the rear brake was rubbing so much that it made the entire bike shake. Which scared the crap out of me. This is my first experience of disc brakes so I have no clue how to tune them properly (not that I really know how to do it with caliper brakes either). I expected a little squeaking as they bedded in but not rubbing as badly as they have been. Figure it’s a job for a bike mechanic, someone who really knows what they’re doing.

I’ve already bought a pair of MTB shoes and my MTB/flat pedals, bottle cages and pannier bags should turn up this week. And then I’ll be done. Turned out to be a rather expensive birthday present to myself.

Getting on my Cannondale is an experience now. This bike comes in a hefty 10kg (22lbs) when my roadie is a smidge over 7kg (about 16lbs). If nothing else I’m going to get a lot stronger pushing this bike around. My roadie felt insanely light when I hopped on her on Sunday and this morning riding up the hill on Barkly St seemed so much easier than normal. The Boardman also has SRAM double-tap gearing when I’ve only had Shimano in the past. Took me awhile to get my head around that one!

Still, I think the Boardman (doesn’t have a name yet!) and I are going to get along just fine.

Breaking up is hard to do

I know it’ll sound like a cliche but it’s not you, it’s me. I feel like we’ve grown apart in the last few months and that we’re just not as close as we used to do.

I sincerely hope that you don’t take this personally. It’s hard for me to imagine my life without you. It’s been a great few years and you’ve been such a huge part of my life. A whole new world has opened up for me because of you. I have so much to thank you for. You helped me get in touch with the person I used to be and that’s such a gift I can never repay you for.

But you have to admit that things have been a bit rocky lately. The closeness that we once had feels like it’s gone. We just don’t fit.

So I’m sorry to say that I’ve found someone new. Someone who will hopefully fit my current wants better. It’s time for a change. But I really am sorry, I hope you can move on and find someone new.

You know what’s weird?

It’s weird to realise that I now own a bike that’s worth as much as or more than some people’s cars. And it can still be considered cheap. At least I have proper bike insurance. I really should get a Bicycle Victoria membership as well at some point. And a name, I still haven’t come up with a name that’s sticking. I’m toying with Dale. I have heard of a few girls called Dale and she is a Cannondale so it fits. (What is it with me naming inanimate objects and assigning a gender to them? My car is Mr Bingles and then there’s Lisa.)

Got a bit of a surprise today when I pulled the rear wheel off and discovered I have SRAM cassette on the back. I thought the bike was sporting a Shimano 105 group set (excluding the cranks which I knew was FSA) but no. Still, if I’d read the specs on the Cannondale web site I would’ve already known this as it clearly states the rear cassette is SRAM.

I realised today that I didn’t link to any of the art I picked up in Seattle, so here’s my CAF gallery for Seattle 2010. And of course my favourite.

Having so much art now, I’ve started to think about what would happen to my collection if something bad happened to me. Not a nice thought but it is worth a fair chunk of change so I really should try to work out what’s to be done with it.

Mmmm… shiny


Yeah, a white seat. It’s actually pretty comfortable but I don’t know how long I’ll be hanging onto it.

The leaf motif is all over the bike.

Yup, I really do have pink handle bar tape.

Just adding this photo cos I liked it.

Yet more of the leaf motif, this time on the forks.

The obligatory arty-farty shot.

Arty-farty shot no.2 but this time showing the ding I already managed to get on the pedal.

Home to reality

Sigh. It’s always so disappointing that holidays must come to an end. I’ve been back just over a week now and I’m still kicking my butt kicked by jet lag. I thought I’d recovered from it but I’ve been exhausted all day today. Which is bad considering I picked up my super purdy new bike today. I found it very hard to get excited about it when all I wanted to do was have a nap (which I did while I waited for my new Garmin to charge up).

Anyhoo…. a few final photos from my trip that weren’t taken by me.

See, I wasn’t kidding when I said the “Great Wall of Chocolate” was nearly as big as my head. The look on my face is one of there’s no way I’m eating that (especially considering it’s a fake on that the wait staff take around to show people the dessert menu).

See, I really do know Barry Kitson! He’s currently working on Amazing Spider-man and is a super nice, wonderful, generous man.

Hanging out at Von’s. L – R: DJ (who took the prior two photos), Me, Barry, Veronica and Sven.

So, yes. New bike. New bike computer. New shoes. The shoes are giving me an endless amount of grief. I simply can’t find the right place for the cletes and they’re hurting my feet. Well, my right foot is okay, it’s my left foot that’s causing all the trouble. I really want to make them work because I spent so much money on them. It’ll really suck if it turns out I can’t actually wear them.

Getting back on the bike after such a long time away is actually a good deal harder than I thought it would be. I managed to ride half of Kew Boulevard on Thursday night and it was so hard. It feels like I’ve lost so much strength. I’m starting again but that’s okay. I can set myself goals and work towards achieving them. The first one is doing the 120km version of the Fruit Loop ride that’s held during September in Shepparton. I want to work towards breaking 100km and I think that’s a reasonable target by September.

I can’t make an assessment on my new bike just yet, having only ridden her for just over half an hour. Jet lag sucks! I should’ve gone out for a ride today but I was so tired I couldn’t get motivated to actually do it until after I had a nap. Even then I didn’t really push myself. My first observation (apart from needing a name) she sounds different on the road. My next observation is that seat is more comfortable and that I’m sitting much better. Then we move to I think that handlebars are a smidge too high. I won’t be able to form any definite opinions until I’ve gone out for a long ride, which might be tomorrow.

Anyhoo… I’m being terrible rude as we have company and I’m sitting in the front room on my computer in the dark as it’s Earth Hour and we’ve got the lights off.

What you missed this morning

Me breaking 70kms on my bike:
Okay so it was by 1.5kms but still…

I nearly made it to the turn around point at junction of Neapan Highway and Beach Road but I knew I didn’t have the reserves to make it there so I turned around just after St Bebe’s School. I’m disappointed I couldn’t make it but glad I’m smart enough to know not to push it. I will get there (and probably sooner than I think) but it has to be when I’m ready to. Right now, I’m not quite there. Plus, I wasn’t prepared for how hilly it got at the end.

I got a couple of lifts on the way back. I was really struggling on my own so I latched onto the first group I could keep up with. I think I surprise a lot of guys because I can keep up with them when by all appearances, I shouldn’t be able to. However, I think I had two guys checking out my butt on the way back! I was pedaling along, minding my own business to hear a comment along the lines of “that’s a better view”. The rest of my body might be in terrible shape but my butt? Totally rocking! 😉

Best bit about today? Having my housemate cook me scrambled eggs when I finally made it home 🙂

I took the new bike out for a “getting to know you” ride yesterday morning. I’m really looking forward to getting her now. She was so light and I felt like I had more power from a standing start. The gears got a bit sticky a few times but that can be sorted out. I added a Garmin Edge 500 with a HRM to the package yesterday so I’ll be entering the world of power output, maps and a whole bunch of pretty graphs when I get her. The ride yesterday really sold me on the bike. She handled really well and I didn’t feel as scrunched up. I wasn’t even aware I did feel scrunched up but after riding the new bike, I realised that I am. But that’s not going to stop me from riding.

I’m about to head off to the bike shop to pick a pair of awesome Sugio arm warmers. They’re white with little skulls on them.


I’m not exactly sure how it happened but I kinda bought a new bike today.

I put a deposit on an absolutely gorgeous Cannondale CAAD9 Feminine 5 in brushed alloy even though I’m still paying off Lisa.

The official Cannondale photo.

Always was a sucker for brushed alloy (as illustrated by my MacBook Pro). The leaf motif is all over the frame.

This bike is a better fit for me with a top bar of 51cm instead of the 46cm that Lisa has. It should correct any little quirks with my riding style and will hopefully sort out my problems with my elbows.

It wasn’t my intention to get a new bike just yet. And certainly not a Cannondale. The sales guy was really good. He didn’t do the hard sell or anything. He showed me the bike and we talked about bikes in general. He was funny and didn’t treat me like I was some ditzy girl who liked the bike because it’s so pretty. He picked it up to show me how light it was and then handed it to me so I could see for myself. He really won me over and by the time I went out of the test ride I was pretty much sold. I did ask a bunch of questions before finally committing.

Such a gorgeous bike. A few tweaks and she’ll be perfect. Heh… I’m going to have a bike with a carbon seat post in a few months. And I’m thinking hot pink tape for the handle bars 😉