More seriously for 3 years
I am a welder by trade, in my earlier years i was playing football quite regularly which generally meant talking about it in the pub after the games. I also had a mountain bike and did a bit of trail riding. With a young family and work commitments and not enough spare time, the middle age spread crept up on me
I was away on Holiday in Mallorca with the family and ended up hiring a bike just to ride down the coast road to the next town. Even though it was a little painful on the saddle I thoroughly enjoyed it and surprisingly rode every day. On the back of my Mallorca experience riding 10 mile each day, i couldn’t wait to get home and buy a bike. I bought what I thought was a reasonable bike from a chain store which proved to be the wrong choice.
In my eagerness and lack of understanding, I bought a bike that did not fit me and also the set up and gearing was totally unsuitable for my requirements. I was not given any advice on correct sizing and even though i would not have understood gearing, there was no mention of what would be more suitable for the type of riding and terrain where i lived
After 2 month of being uncomfortable and struggling with the bike I started doing a little research on how to improve my bike. A lot of the information and feedback all lead to correct bike set up. A colleague at work knew a keen cyclist who recommended me to call in at Racescene.
I didn’t know what to expect, however what was apparent from the start was the guy i initial spoke to was not over concerned about the bike or brand I was riding but more about me and the problems I was encountering. From the brief conversation we had they seemed to have an answer to perhaps why I was having a bad experience.
To be honest, I expected to be advised to change something on the bike, maybe wheels, maybe the saddle but it was clear that the only way forward was to be measured which would then give them a starting point. I was encouraged by the way i was approached and booked in to be measured later that week.
The whole process took just over an hour, and from my personal measurements, the measuring Jig was set up. After a series of adjustments to saddle height and set back, adjustment to the length and reach we finally arrived at correct position for comfort and efficiency. I was advised at the time that it would be likely that I would have to be reassessed due to weight loss and flexibility .
The bike I had at the time was not ideal, however the geometry of the frame was ok. They altered the height at the front end, changed the width of the bar to eliminate the shoulder pains I was getting and changed the stem length. The saddle height was too low which gave me pain in my knees and also in the wrong position causing me discomfort because it was not supporting me.
1st ride out felt a little strange as I was used to a different set up, however after 2 or 3 rides the transformation was incredible. All of a sudden without realising it the pain had gone from my knees, the pain I used to get in my shoulders and neck after say 3 hours was gone and more importantly my average speeds had gone up dramatically without any more effort. Happy days ! ( on my regular weekend route I was quicker by 16 mins over 30 miles which I did on the 3rd ride )
Since then I have changed my bike and now have a bike built from scratch which is unbelievable. This time I had total say on the way I wanted my bike to be in respect of what my requirements were. So with the measurements they had, I had my dream bike built resulting in a bike that gave me Comfort and Efficiency without sacrificing performance
Unfortunately, hindsight is a great thing and If i could turn back the clock I would have ( not only started cycling 20 years ago ) got better advice to start with. Since starting cycling I have lost over 3 stones, I feel great and love riding my bike.