Tuesday, April 10, 2012

how to make your crotch happy

Crotch problems are not a delicate subject around here.
I've been having a handful of minor issues on the bike for the past few months.  It's seems like they rotate around - adductor/knee/piriformis/crotch/adductor.  I've been refit quite a few times and while my ride hasn't been exactly uncomfortable, I've been managing a small side series of issues along with riding, especially as the time on the bike has gotten longer.  My adductor has had a death-grip on my right leg for over a month and I recently switched back out of the compact crank because that was when the pain really got serious.  Switching back to the longer cranks made it better, but it removed a lot of my ability to climb and I was still dealing with quite a bit of tightness as well as far more inner-thigh chafing then I really can appreciate.  So I leapt at the chance to get a new set of eyeballs on the problem while I was in Colorado last week.  My coach recently got a snazzy new bike fit of her own and had nothing but awesome things to say about Scott Geffre of Fit and Tri. I dropped him a note before I left for vacation and set up a date at Kompetitive Edge to get all my parts measured and markered on and moved around.  


A lot of people have asked how I got my bike out to Colorado with me.  I made it look like this almost completely without overly-exhasted meltdown:
And then Ryan at KE put it back together for me, because he is the bomb.  I disassembled it almost without extra muscles to bring it back home Saturday night and put it back together yesterday afternoon all alone.  Hopefully it will stay in one piece when I ride it for the first time.  It actually wasn't hard to take it apart other than trying to get the $&*^@ pedals off so I could close the lid.  I was terrified to do this but now I'm a believer AND I managed to snow the airline out of charging me a bike box fee on both flights.  
So I dragged my box into KE and unloaded all of the bike crap that I had brought with me, which included both cranks (one on the bike, one in a Safeway bag) as well as my new sexy shoes and their cleats.  The first thing Scott did was look at my feet (even before I introduced myself, for the record I'm usually quite shy about strangers touching my toes).  He made some minor adjustments to my cleats and I talked him through the slew of physical issues I've had in my life, which is a list far too long to link here but if you've been reading for three years then you're probably pretty caught up.  If not, let's just say I'm a mess from the waist down plus I had shoulder surgery for a bone spur right before this blog even started


The thing that I thought was really interesting was that he made a ton of adjustments before I even got on the bike for the first time.  He swapped out my saddle and moved my seat height and my aerobars around quite a bit as we chatted about all of my ouchie places, and then it was time to hop on.
Right away it was obvious that things were crazy different.  He had me get off and adjusted my seat a bit more, and then let me spin for a bit while he got out the fancy lasers.  The thing I really loved about Scott is that he explained every little thing that he was doing as he worked and measured and adjusted - it seemed like he really wanted me to understand why he was making the changes, not just be happy because I was more comfortable.  He also made most of the changes before bringing out the laser, and it seemed like he was more in tune with what was going on with me because of that.  He didn't measure me and then build the bike and send me packing - it was more like he put my bike in the range where it should be and then dialed it in to my own personal strangeness once I was up and pedaling.  
We were able to talk through the pedagogy of the 165/compact crankset and the problems it brought to light.  He set up the bike so the crank could go back on and it did, and I was able to ride almost eight hours over the weekend so it seems like those particular issues have been banished.  He also made some big changes to my aerobars - changes that I think I was ready for, and that seem to be both more comfortable and more aero-dynamic.  Most of the riding I did over the weekend was either climbing at 2mph or white-knuckled descending or straight into 50mph winds so I'm looking forward to spending more time down in the bars now that I'm back on the flat lands of DC.  I didn't get a great side-view of my fit to compare but my body let me know that the changes are both drastic and good, so I'll take it.
I also got some great advice from Ryan and was able to empty my wallet add some other ironman-must-haves while my bike was up on the stand.  Yes, I think my bike is so sexy.
So many great people in one place - I'm a little bit jealous.  If you live in Colorado and you haven't been there yet, well, just shame on you.  Scott is a brilliant bicycle mind and it was so fabulous to finally get to see and meet everyone at Kompetitive Edge in person.  

15 comments:

  1. Cool! My weird build (long torso with arms that don't match) makes me think I need a super duper pro fit too.

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  2. That one picture has you looking at him like "Whachu Talking 'Bout Scott?' In your best Arnold voice of course.....hilarious.

    Glad to hear it is all working out for you with the new setup.

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  3. I love the title of this post - haha. looks like a productive trip!

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  4. Starting with an ass shot? Boom goes the dynamite.

    This sounds awesome and makes me want a fancy bike fit. I think that'll be my investment for next tri season.

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  5. This post reminded me that I really want to go and get a gait analysis done. Since I have absolutely no use for a fancy bike fit. I'm glad you're all set up and ready for some great training over the next few months!

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  6. it's amazing how much a difference a bike fit can make. i hope it helps with some of your ouchies. my adjustments have made a huge impact on the power i get from my legs now. yay for bike fittings!!!

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  7. Stop! You keep making me want a road bike- you make it sound so sexay!

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  8. Pedals are the WORST to take off! And how did you get the airlines not to charge you bike fees, I need to learn your tricks!! Huge congrats on getting an awesome fit on the bike and having the compact back without pain!

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  9. A happy crotch makes for a happy home.

    Did I really just type that?

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  10. Let's hope this is the last fit you will need!

    Love the second picture of the bike fitting. Your face has the look of "Buy me dinner first buddy!" haha

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  11. never-biker that I am, I kind of would have though bikers don't suffer injuries -- at least not nearly to the extent that runners do. But repetition injuries will find you no matter what the motion, hm? Or maybe just crotch-killing bike seats will find you.

    I lived in DC for a semester, and vacationed in Colorado for 5 days (whoa, I totally have authority to talk about the state now), and I think BOTH places rock. DC is beautiful..the seasons, the history.

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  12. That's fantastic! A great fit makes all the difference.

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  13. I'm curious - what other IM must-haves did you add? Glad to hear the fit was so stellar!

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