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A case of bike fit:

The best side view I could find.Found these images of Solomon and I on the front of the 2007 Oregon state cx race. He went on to win the race and I froze my ass off and mentally dropped out of the race. Pictures do not convey temperature well.

I’ve included a couple of Sven Nys to highlight what should be good cyclocross fit. Do you see the similar positions? Arms bent, cockpit a little shorter than a traditional road racing position.
molly + solomon
This is by no means a scientific review and photos tend to distort a riders position on a bicycle. Nor is this a critisisim of Solomon’s fit in the photo. I do know that Solomon has a National caliber road racing background and it is fair to assume a road racing-esque position would feel familiar and comfortable on a cx machine for him.

INVERTED!I truly believe: don’t fix what is not broken. I would not start messing with Solomon’s position unless he was having issues with it. But, the question always remains, ala’ Sean Kelly, are riders winning because of their position or in spite of their position?

Tried to get a good side shot of Sven or someone else… No dice. The photo of him above is in the “hammering” hunch, the photo to the left is the relaxed and cruising/cornering position.

Meant to post this 6 months ago. It has been a busy spring.

Discussion

5 comments for “A case of bike fit:”

  1. [...] out of the race. Pictures do not convey temperature well. I??ve included a couple of Sven Nys to hhttp://www.mollycameron.com/2008/06/04/a-case-of-bike-fit/’It was chaos, absolute chaos’ The Desert SunShortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, a gunman rushed [...]

    Posted by caliber | June 5, 2008, 1:43 am
  2. I’ve been thinking about proper fit/reach and this post today while riding and realized the one big variable could be arm length. someone with shorter arms might have less bend and still have good front/rear weight distribution. not sure how long your or solomon’s arms are. I actually have quite long arms and have been noticed over the years that just cuz I can reach the bars comfortably doesn’t mean my position is good – and have slowly broken from the flat-back roadie position I grew up on when I was a kid. the other big variable in reach (and thus torso and arm bend) would be bar height. are yours any higher than his?

    Posted by andrew | June 5, 2008, 7:01 pm
  3. All of that would figure into a good design/fit.

    Shorter arms would not need to equate less bend. A well fitting bike, to be balanced, would have a top tube/cockpit reach designed for the riders arms and torso.

    Cyclocross arms out stretched would indicate to me a bicycle designed a little long for the rider, not that his arms are too short for the bicycle.

    And, I think in the photo, I am sitting very upright, letting Solomon pull through or something. So I don’t think my position looks ideal.

    The bar height would be taken into account too. When Sacha and I met to talk about my SpeedVagen’s last summer, I showed him the footage from the 07 CX Worlds. There are a lot of side views of the top cx riders through the trees. And we talked about the position and the design of my bicycles.

    Why I mentioned Solomon’s road background in the post. You have to take in to account what the riders body is accustomed to.

    I actually met up with the person who did Solomon’s fit for his Speedvagen and he mentioned that Solomon has a funky back bend so the longer reach in the position was the best way to get the back to look good with out “scrunching” him up.

    Posted by Molly | June 6, 2008, 10:38 am
  4. Nys got his position by riding bmw when he was a child and racing on the road in the summer !!

    Posted by cyclocross | August 8, 2008, 5:59 am
  5. I’d love to hear more about this at some point, Molly. I am a cycling hunchback (also check out Jonathan Page – he’s a crazy hunchback). I’m still dealing with the lingering effects of a fit done a few years back. I was put into an aggressive rouleur position after years of hunching – it looked very sexy and initially I felt fast, but my psoas and quads became more and more sore until it turned into bad quad pain like pushing blood through stone. I’ve been trying to figure out the remedy ever since (two years?) and in the meantime I haven’t been able to do more than four minutes hard before my quads are completely annihilated and screaming. Racing has been futile and frustrating. Now my quads are sore even off the bike, almost all the time. A recent eye noticed the hunch, but tried to get me to straighten my back/tilt my pelvis forward like a good racer should. It hasn’t worked. Just had the epiphany yesterday at the end of a ride. My quads were sore (as usual) and to ride up Springville I slid a bit forward on my saddle (which I’ve already been slowly moving forward from the last fit), hunched over, and voila, the exertion felt almost evenly distributed and the quad pain immediately lessened. I think my pelvis is tilted way back and my hamstrings have a death grip on it. Now I’m wondering what fit, stretching and strengthening choices to make if I accept short-to-midterm hunchback status.

    Whew. That felt good to get off my chest. Get back to me after CX Worlds, ok?

    Posted by Joshua/Cyclo-Sportif | November 24, 2008, 6:26 pm

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