It’s amazing how much changes of just a few millimetres can make a difference on a bike.

I learned a lot about fitting when I worked for Tony Tom at A Bicycle Odyssey, in Sausalito, CA. One of the key things I learned is that it’s almost impossible to fit yourself.

I also learned that it’s a good idea to get your position checked professionally every couple of years to verify whether something worked for you previously is still ideal. This latter lesson is one that I’ve let slip over the past several years since moving to Utah, primarily because I’ve never really found someone that I trust as much as Tony.

I met with Dave Harward last night, for about 3 hours while we went over my position, and I definitely think I’m on the right track. I was heartened to find that my position was actually pretty close to what it needed to be, and that for now, it’s more a matter of refinement.

Raised the saddle 2 mm and moved it forward about 3 mm; swapped out the Campagnolo Record Pro-Fit pedals for my old Look CX6 pedals; and shimmed the cleats with Big Meat Power Wedges.

I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’ve been riding as long as I have, your body knows when something has changed.

I was really impressed at how thorough Dave was; taking multiple measurements on each side of hip-torso and elbow angles in the tops, hoods, and drops; of the knee angle when pedals were at 3:00 and when the legs were fully extended. Obviously, he doesn’t have the almost 30-years of experience that Tony does, but his process is sound, and he is well on the way.

Dave’s theory is that the position changes will open up my hip-torso angle a bit more, allowing my left leg to remain in a vertical plane more when pedaling, instead of swinging to the outside (as it is wont to do on about every 4th or 5th pedal stroke). This should ease some of the problems I have with the collateral fibular ligament that I’ve been dealing with for the past few years, allowing me to work on strengthening the left leg a bit more so that I’m getting more equal power, rather than favoring the right leg as I do now. Ultimately, this will make me a far more efficient rider.

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be paying attention to how my body responds to the changes that have been made.

Then, as I keep working with Greg Freebairn to get my back and hips back into good working order, stretching to improve my flexibility, and dropping more weight to get me back under 170 lbs., Dave and I will tweak the position a bit more.

We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime … call Dave, email Dave, or send a carrier pigeon to his house. Get fitted!