I volunteer at the YMCA once per week. I also go there to hit the spin bikes and core about three days per week. So what does that have to do with bike fit geometry and angles? Well let me tell you...

The spin bikes at my YMCA are the Keiser M3, a decent general-purpose gym bike. It has a four-way adjustable saddle position (up, down, forward, backward) and an adjustable handlebar height, good load resistance which is predictable based on a lever input and a wattage indicator that is, uhmmmm, imprecise (I'm being generous, the M3 doesn't do wattage very well at all). I don't concern myself too much with the wattage readings on the M3, I generally look at the averages and then apply some fuzzy math against the sessions perceived exertion and then do a historical comparison against real wattage devices like my PowerTaps or my CompuTrainer in order to determine my WKO+ results. Whoops, I went off on a tangent, so in case I lost anyone there the only important stuff in this paragraph is the Keiser M3 is reasonably adjustable for bike fit angles.

My YMCA is home to a really wide range of people. Over the last couple of months it has been interesting to watch some of them walk out of the locker room, hop on a spin bike and start spinning like their life depends on it while using some really wacky fit angles. Imagine some of the worst bike fits you've ever seen and then double the worst part, now you're starting to get the idea. I'm not talking adjustments off by a quarter of an inch, I'm talking about several inches. Sometimes a 5' tall female will hop on a bike and do some adjusting of the bike angles and get on with riding, the next person on the same bike might be a 6' tall guy who doesn't change any of the angles, he then proceeds to pound out some really compressed pedal strokes. Aiyeeeee! Sometimes I will mention something, sometimes I don't, I could stand there all day long and be the bike fit crusader but really I just want to get a workout in.

Today, was the straw that broke my camel's back, let me explain. When I hit the spin bikes, pretty much every single time I ride I drop the saddle down to it's lowest position to get it out of the way because I will spend my entire ride standing out of the saddle. If I'm doing a 60min spin I spend 60mins out of the saddle. When I finished riding this morning I hopped off, cleaned the drool off the bike and started doing balance ball core fairly close to the spin bike area. Just before I had to leave to pick up the boys from school, a guy got on the bike I had been standing on, he didn't make any adjustments, he just put in his ear buds and started to ride. His horizontal and vertical plane was so whacked it was like a crazy carnival position. I looked around to see if anyone else was staring besides me. I should have helped get him in a generally acceptable position but a) it didn't look like it would be a 30sec conversation and, b) I was out of time to pick up the boys.

So, as I was heading for the door I thought of an option c). My c) option is create a one pager that the YMCA can hang up in the spin areas which shows example bike fit and provides general direction on how to get setup on a spin bike. Self-education works. Rather than blatantly screen capture some proprietary fit system advised angles or demonstrated ride geometry, I went down in the basement, threw a sheet behind the CompuTrainer, put the D200 on the tripod and then put Keegan in charge of pushing the shutter activation button (how funny is that). These are the images Keegan took, I'm pretty sure I did the Capture NX2 and Photoshop, or did I? ;-)

For the bike geeks out there, I don't want to hear any complaints about 'it' not being a perfect 30 degree angle and the XYZ isn't precisely yadda, yadda, yadda. Just know that my Roubaix SL2 is setup different than my Merlin which is setup different than my S-Works Stumpjumper. The important thing is these images might cause a gajillion percent improvement over some of the bike fits I have seen recently. Equally as important, I will be able to spin my little heart out and not have to explain to someone their saddle needs to come up six inches.

Here's the images, shoot me a message if you think I should have used a green line instead of yellow. ;-)

DSC_4346 DSC_4348

DSC_4347 DSC_4350


Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun,

I think you should use green instead of yellow so it stands out better against the white of your shorts. I'm sure all the riders will appreciate the poster and may even apply the concept to their bikes at home.


Shaun Taylor said...

Hey Liz,

Maybe I should use a green and yellow dotted line? ;-)

I finished the one pager and I'll put it up on the blog in a few minutes. Maybe it will help someone.