I’m approaching three years of being on a road bike, and I’ve finally had a proper bike fit. I’ve always known I needed one, but have ‘got by’, doing my own fettling. Two things motivated me to get it sorted:
Firstly, there hasn’t been anywhere locally to get one done, but as of four months ago, Witney finally has a decent bike shop in the shape of Mickey Cranks (not, as it sounds, a cockney gangster) offering Retul Bike Fits.
Secondly, while the position on the Colnago wasn’t perfect, riding the Boardman CX has actually felt painful - in the feet, knees and calves. The last time I was out I muttered “I’m. Going. To. Get. A. Bloody. Bike. Fit!” all the way.
So… how far out was I?
The main difference was in my cleat position which was way out, the cause of the knee/foot pains I was having. They also compensated for the higher Q factor of the Boardman so that I could use the same shoes/cleat setup on both bikes. Then both saddles went up a few mm, and forward a fair bit (10-16mm). Combined with the new cleat position, this placed me correctly over the pedals.
The final change was to the handlebars, which went lower, especially on the Colnago. I’d been getting problems with very hands and had thought this has meant that the bars weren’t high enough, but the opposite was true. Which is fine by me, as lower bars/stem are more aesthetically pleasing ;)
It also confirmed that the Fizik Aliante was the right saddle choice for me - someone with low back flexibility who rotates their pelvis forward more to compensate. While it’s not quite as sleek-looking as the Arione or Antares, the Aliante is a jolly comfy fit, and I love the ICS (Integrated Clip System) saddlebags that clip into the back of Fizik saddles. It makes it very easy to swap it between bikes, and there’s no velcro, which I find never lasts very long.
I now have a proper cleat and bike setup, as well as a definitive set of measurements for setting up other bikes. While I’m still not 100% sure the Boardman Cyclocross Frame and disc brakes were the right choice for my winter/commuter bike, it’s not painful to ride anymore. I wish I’d done this from the start!