Does your bike make you feel good about yourself? Are you more relaxed the longer you ride together? Does it feel as though you were made for each other? Is it perfect exactly the way that it is?
Or is your bike like that beautiful but rather vain friend? The one who looks fabulous and immaculate but turns out to be completely self-obsessed? whose interest in you is superficial? who’s friendly when it’s convenient but doesn’t actually shift an inch, let alone go the extra mile? Does every interaction turn out to be just a little less fulfilling than you anticipated?
I meet lots of people who love their bikes, but who have come to the realisation that their bikes are not quite loving them back. Many have tried swapping the saddle and often the stem too, but they’ve still had enough long before the end of their ride. The promised land of effortless miles, up hill and down dale, is still beyond the horizon and those aches and pains can no longer be pushed out of mind.
If you spend a while looking at people you’ll see that we are all sorts of different shapes as well as different sizes. We’re definitely not all scale models. And it’s not just because some of us are fatter and some of us are more muscular, or because some of us stand or sit differently, or because we are more flexible or because we fell out of tree when we were five years old. No, from conception onwards we are slightly differently shaped in every aspect.
So when it comes to cycling it’s not surprising that one shape of bike doesn’t fit us all equally well. Of course we can ‘adjust’ ourselves, just as we can squeeze into clothes, shoes and chairs that are just a little small; and we can tolerate a bit of inconvenience just as we can manage fine in clothes, shoes and chairs that are a bit too big. And sometimes our clothes, shoes and chairs are a bit big here and a bit small there. OK if needs must, for nipping to the local shop perhaps, or taking the weight off our feet, but not for spending quality time.
Riding a bike that fits you perfectly is sheer joy. It’s like spending quality time with your best friend – the friend who loves doing exactly the same things that you do, who has the same sense of humour, who listens when you speak and who always has the right words to make you feel better.
Sure, riding up hill is hard work – but a bike that fits you perfectly loves riding up hill with you and encourages you to keep going, and when it comes to riding downhill it makes you feel safe and secure. Headwinds and bumpy roads are challenges to be enjoyed together. And when it comes to cycling in the company of others, and you’re busy putting the world to rights, you can rest assured the your bike is always your faithful friend.
My bike fits are based on a deep understanding of people, bikes, cycling and life.