A few weeks ago I took some time to have a fit done by John Karrasch. I’ve gone to John in the past for cycling-related advice and always known he’s a student of cycling.
I was trained to fit in my days as a bike shop employee, but I was having trouble with the fit on my cross bike. My primary problems were around back pain and very awkward handling.
John started the fitting process by asking a series of questions about my cycling habits and past injuries. I then performed a series of tests to determine my flexibility. This was followed by some brief floor exercises to show which muscle groups were stronger or weaker.
Perhaps one of the more unique aspects of the fit was the emphasis he paid to my cleat fit. He took a good deal of time to find specific bones on my foot to determine the ideal cleat position on both shoes. One of my cleat positions was far from ideal and I felt the change very quickly on my cyclocross & mountain bikes. It seemed to have created better balance during technical sections.
On the bike he had me warm up until I was capable of difficult efforts for a period of a few minutes at a time. He then had me perform a series of easy, moderate, and hard intervals. Through a series of tests on the trainer he diagnosed the reasons for the handling problems I’d been experiencing.
My weight distribution on the bike was poor. To help resolve the problem John used independent methods to determine the ideal bar height & reach. John also changed the fore/aft adjustment on the seat and determined a better seat height.
The fit concluded with some instruction for future riding to get comfortable with the new fit, a sheet detailing all the adjustments of my bike in case I needed to return to my old fit, and a list of follow-up exercises to help me on the bike.
The verdict? The fit has made me feel dramatically better on my cross bike. My handling is wildly improved as is the back pain. It has taken me a few weeks to get 100% adjusted to fit, and during that time I’ve been backing off the intensity but still doing longer road rides on the cross bike and the difference has been noticeable and pleasant.
This is a great time of year to get fit and it is worth the time to improve your comfort and efficiency on the bike. John did a fantastic job and is worth checking out at http://johnfkarrasch.blogspot.com/2013/10/edgewood-cycles-bike-fitting-details.html.
Hope everyone has a good winter of training and preparing for the MTB season!