Fit Friday – Fit Impressions from an Erik’s Regional Road Team Racer
Erik’s is excited about our Regional Road Race Team this season. As part of this, we have 10 riders across Minnesota and Wisconsin who train and race hard all season long. Many of these riders have been into biking for a long time and have tried countless setups and adjustments to be comfortable on the bike. We have taken the time with each one of these riders to fit them this season to their Specialized Venge‘s, then we turned them loose on racing and training. Recently we asked how the fit was working for Marc Kermisch who is based out of Minneapolis – what follows is his response.
As a precursor to my answers below, let me start by saying I have been dealing with muscle imbalances and tightness on my right side for years. It has been a constant struggle to deal with the issues, which ultimately result in knee pain in my right knee. Overall the BG Fit reconfirmed the issues that we needed to address and the final fit did a great job getting me into a comfortable position that continues to allow me to maximize performance while managing my body alignment issues.
1. What did you find interesting that the fit process revealed: I have had several fits over the past few years and the BG Fit process was simply great. It did several things for me. First, the pre-fit assessment confirmed many of the flexibility and inflexibility issues that I have. In addition, spending time with Greg just talking about the challenges that I have had, ways that I have tried to address them and what we can look for during the fit process was very helpful. It made the time on the bike and the observations that Greg made and the feedback that I could provide that much more valuable.
It was great to be able to see the results of the fit on the video screen immediately. My favorite part was being able to compare two different fit positions and see how they impacted my position. That was the best part in my mind, besides the insights that Greg provided along the way.
Finally, Greg was patient and took his time. We did two bikes in four hours and many other fitters have a mentality of getting you in and out of the process as fast as possible. Greg never rushed our time and we experimented several times to see what the result would be. Each experiment led to incremental improvements in the fit.
2. What change to your fit do you feel was significant? The most significant change was going to a 80MM stem from a 70MM stem on my other bikes. Over the past year I went from a 120 to a 75 to a 70 and now back to an 80 MM stem. In addition, we changed the seat out from my tried and true Fizik to the Specialized seat. On my time trial bike, this was a more significant change as I was always sliding during my TT efforts, and my new Romin EVO saddle is awesome. The last change was reducing the float on my Speedplay Zero cleats. This forced me to keep my legs in a more natural position. My feet naturally tended to have the heel turn in and would rub against the crank at times. During sprints, the high float would be very noticeable as I increase my effort and cadence. During sprints now I feel that I am not wasting energy.
3. How has that change affected your riding, training and racing so far. Overall, the fit has allowed me to push myself harder during training and remain comfortable for longer training and racing efforts. Pain I normally would start to experience in my right side or shoulders simply does not happen. Since the fit I have done short, hard crits to 7 hour training sessions. In both of those situations and pretty much everything in between, the fit has played a major part to maximizing my fitness, avoiding injury and staying comfortable on the bike.
I have many bikes and have dialed them in pretty well over the years. Switching to a new bike made me nervous, but the BG FIT took all my concerns and swept them away. Thanks for letting me have this experience with my new Venge.
What about those of us who don’t race?
These are the benefits we talk about time and time again with riders. Whatever your ability level or style of riding, a properly fit bike is the best upgrade you can make. The benefits are greater comfort and efficiency along with the ability to rider further, for longer, or even faster. What is stopping you from enjoying biking more?