On Sunday I went out for the day with Sally’s group, Sandringham & West Norfolk Cyclists for their Christmas run to Holkham Hall. In my case mainly to see if the Gorilla Guru bikefit had made any difference to my riding.
I did the 54 miles and 1,381 feet of ascent at an average speed of 15.1mph which for me is VERY good! the previous week I had only managed 14.5mph on a flatter circuit. The biggest difference seemed to be in the climbing (TonyM stop laughing – I don’t live in The Rockies).
Here’s a Strava record of my 10 attempts at The Welcome To The Jungle 68 feet monster hill with a gradient of 5.2% As you can see I demolished my previous attempts 🙂
So, yes, I think the fit has made a difference. The pain in my quads has largely gone, to be replaced by an overall aching which is probably due to my legs getting an additional 1″ of stretch each revolution.
Now the question is should I splash out on a new bike….
After biking for over 62 years I thought it was time to go and get measured up, for the first time, at Gorilla Bikes with a super duper Guru bike fit.
I was recommended to visit by Mike of Sally’s cycling group SWNC to try Gorilla Bikes as they use the Guru Fit System fully automated bike fitting system rather than relying on the rather hit & miss manual system where changing bits is so difficult. Plus I love electro mechanical stuff so much. In fact I kept thinking with its galaxy of stepper motor driven slides we could have made one in my Cortex Controller days 🙂
The first job was to measure up my Specalized Secteur & Dawes Galaxy bikes that I had lugged up to their shop in Oundle via a hire van.
The measurements were made a hell of a lot easier and more accurate by using a cheap laser crosswire generator, with the cross centred on the bottom bracket. This made it very easy to take the measurements required using a rule with the laser line easily showing on the rule. Wonderful, I need to get one at home for my crooked shelves 🙂 Of course, my mind immediately whizzed back to my Cortex days and thinking how all the measurements could be taken with a video or even iPhone camera and directly inputted into the Guru system 🙂
Once measured it was upstairs to face the Gorilla Guru machine leaving the bikes downstairs. All the measurements were inputted in for both bikes. I then at to stand barefoot so the Guru could measure me. Turns out I’m still 1,814mm (5′ 11′) tall with a shoulder width of 413mm (16.3″) and an inseam of 807mm.(32″) 🙂
Once measured, onto The Guru I went with handlebars and saddle chosen to match the Specalized and away I pedalled. First thing was to inspect the cleats where it was immediately found I had them fitted too far back, Apparently the cleat has to be under the ball of your foot. So with new cleats fitted in the correct position, I was of again only to find after a short while my left knee was hurting. So the left cleats ‘float’ was changed slightly. Just small changes such big effects.
Then for the bike fit itself! the Guru saddle moves forward and up and down on electric slides as do the handlebars/ Totally amazing to feel the change as the saddle went up by nearly an inch and forward by nearly an inch. Incredible to watch the power meter zoom up for no increase in apparent effort 🙂 🙂 Jimmy decided to swap out the handlebars for a narrower pair and twist the hoods in a little, big increase in comfort levels plus bringing the bars in a bit helped. Not convinced about lowering them as I could detect an increase in back pain although that could be I’ve been that I’m so used to my sit up and beg position after all these years.
Bike setup info from the Guru
A very worthwhile morning (3.5hrs) and for £200 pretty good value especially for a techie like me 🙂 Here is the pdf Geoff Jones GuruReport of all the measurements and angles etc etc. Absolutely no attempt to flog me a new bike 🙂 although I’ve commissioned them to set the Specalized up with new narrower handlebars / shorter stem / rotate the hoods and to obviously move the saddle to its new higher and forward position with collection tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how I perform on this Sunday’s SWNC Xmas ride.
The Dawes couldn’t, at this time, be adjusted as they don’t deal in antiques so they couldn’t help with a shorter quill stem although interestingly the Dawes already has a shorter crank which I found more comfortable when I tried the 170mm crank setting on The Guru BikeFit
Update September 2017 After doing a couple of 200km Audaxes I’ve now raised the handlebars to alleviate shoulder pain. The BikeFit said 41mm drop it is now only 15mm drop. Other measurements stayed the same. However hands still tend to go numb 🙁