Monday, August 26, 2013

24 Hours in the Saddle - Make sure you're comfortable

Since our last tour was a "Best Of" bikepacking trip, we took our time and even played hookey by taking a canoe trip down the Kettle River.  Even so, in seven days we managed to spend 24 hours with our wheels turning which meant 24 hours of sitting on a bike seat and hands on the hand grips.  Feet locked into the pedals.

You can imagine how imperative it is to have a comfortable seat.  My cycling partner Roy prefers a traditional seat whereas I have my trusty Spiderflex which I have 20,000 kilometers of experience sitting on.  Everywhere I go, cyclists and passersby comment on it.  I was supposed to do some filming from my bike yesterday and the producer asked if my bike seat was a "Non - man ball crusher"?
What a new one looks like

But comfort while riding for long periods of time extends to the other components of your bike.  Take for instance the handlebars.  Mine are nice and wide and I've added extenders wrapped in foamy handlebar tape.  The handlebar extenders allow for numerous hand positions and I've mounted a mirror to the left side and a bike bell to the other.
A little extreme...
On the first day of riding when we rode to Grand Forks by climbing to the summit at Eholt, I found my left knee hurting and experimented with raising my seat a quarter of an inch (6.35 mm. for you metric types).  In this past year commuting to work each day and noticing a little tweak in the left knee, I never bothered to discover the reason.  But doing an estimated 16,200 pedal strokes to the top of that mountain, I could certainly feel more than just a "tweak".
When I'm teaching someone about bike mechanics, I always mention that it is important to make very small adjustments when working on a bike.  Quarter turns of knobs and screws will usually do the job.  So during the rest of the "Best Of" tour, my left knee never gave one hint of trouble.  Perhaps the small adjustment of 6.35 mm. was enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment