Bike Tips for Real People, from former bike shop owner Eric Hutchins, aka @trimon29, aka Bubba-mon

Eric resides in Houston, TX and works as a chemical engineer.  But his heart belongs, in no particular order, to his wife and five kids/step-kids, bicycle, a bass guitar, the Arizona Cardinals, and a crusty old surfboard.  He hails from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.  Oh yeah, and he’s my husband.

The author at the finish of the BP MS 150

I love bike shops. To me they are what books stores, art museums, or clothing boutiques are to some people. I step in the door and into another world. I could spend hours (and sometimes do to Pamela’s great frustration) just wandering around aimlessly looking at all the cool stuff and talking to the staff.

Bike shops can be intimidating to the inexperienced though. Some are staffed by people that ignore you unless you are covered in tattoos, have calves as big as normal people’s thighs, can average 28mph for a century, and wear an Italian cap backwards. Others will feed misinformation back to you and tell you exactly what you want to hear just to get your ass out the door on an overstocked bike that has their biggest margin, costs too much, and doesn’t fit.

Did I say I love bike shops? I did, and I do, because the REST are owned and staffed by nice people that care, want to help, and have a passion for doing something really cool. These people don’t care if you don’t know the first thing about bikes. They don’t care if a long ride to you is two miles along the boardwalk on your cruiser. They don’t care if you are overweight, on a tight budget, or may not ever enter a race in your life. To them you are just someone that is interested in joining a club, a fraternity, a religion, and you are welcome. They are ME. Welcome aboard.

A while back, in the spirit of trying to add something positive to the Twitter world, I put out ten tips for the novice cyclist interested in riding a bike on the road. If your name happens to be Armstrong and you live in Austin, they might not apply (but some do anyway, Lance). I hope they help arm you for the next time you head to a bike shop or out on the road.

Without further ado and in no particular order of importance:

Bike Tip #1

Bike fit is key. You will go faster and farther on a cheap bike that fits than a high priced one that doesn’t. This is where a good bike shop is so important. I am a HUGE advocate of finding expert help that you can trust in this area. This is not something you can just read up on, or trust your other novice bike friends to help you with. Some shops have incredibly sophisticated systems for fit, some use crusty old guys like me with a calibrated eyeball. Either way, take the time and do this right. Also, avoid this very common mistake: don’t go to a [brand names interchangeable] Trek bike shop, get sized as a 56 cm, and then go on line and buy a 56 cm Fuji expecting them to be exactly the same. They are not.

            Warning, this next comment is my personal opinion and may be subject to some debate from other experts. I recommend that if you are borderline between sizes, you choose the smaller size. First of all you can make a bike “bigger” by raising the seat, moving it back on its rails, changing the angle and length of the stem and number of spacers under it. However, you can’t make a bike much smaller. In addition, by simple logic, the smaller frame is lighter. The smaller frame will also be easier for you to “handle” (ride on curvy roads).

Bike Tip #2

Don’t underestimate the importance of seat height and cleat position on the shoe, in power transfer and prevention of injury. While this is related to fit, it can still be screwed up even if you have the right size bike. GO TO A SHOP AND GET HELP.

But, in general, your pedal cleat should be under the ball of your foot, and positioned (left to right) such that your shoe is not rubbing on the crank arm as it rotates by. The angle of the cleat should be such that your feet are parallel with the bike, HOWEVER, be careful. Everyone’s anatomy is different and it is possible that your natural comfortable rotating position has your toes pointed slightly in or slightly out. Getting this right is very important to reducing risk of injury. The main thing here is that as you rotate the pedals (do this in a training stand with no resistance so you can FEEL your legs move through pedaling circle), you don’t feel like your natural movement is being “bound” in one direction or the other. There is something called “float” used in the description of cleats and pedals. Float is a design feature that allows your heel to move left and right, while your shoe is clipped in the pedal. Increasing float means that there is more freedom of this lateral movement of your foot while still clipped in. In general this is a good thing for injury reduction, however many elite riders prefer less float so that ALL of their energy goes directly to the pedal.

When setting your seat height consider this (once again get in a stand and have someone watch you): with your feet clipped into the pedals and your foot at the bottom of the stroke (closest to the ground) and your foot parallel to the ground (don’t point your toes) your knee should be nearly fully extended, with just a slight bend. When you turn the pedals as if you are riding, imagine a metal rod through your hips, that rod should stay parallel to the ground all the way through your pedal stroke.

When you are out riding in a group, look for that person whose hips are rocking back and for as they ride along. This is how you now know that their seat is too high (and that they probably will have a terrible rash at the end of the ride and not know why).

 

Bike Tip #3

Fixed (non rotating) weight reduction is over-rated. Most riders carry more excess weight in fat than they can shave off bike, save your money.

For all but the very best riders, shaving a few grams of weight (particularly on parts that don’t spin) is a waste of money. You will often feel pressure (at shops, fellow riders will say, “Dude my bike only weighs 13.5 lbs what is yours, like 18 man?”) to spend money on titanium and carbon fiber parts (or whole new bikes) to reduce your bike weight in tiny increments. Before you do that, here is a test: reach down towards your belly button and grab a hunk of flesh/fat; if that weighs more than the part you are going to replace, WORK ON THAT WEIGHT INSTEAD and save the money to buy good quality food.

If you WANT to spend money on your bike to reduce weight, start with things that spin. Weight reduction in wheels, pedals, gears, and cranks will have the most impact on your performance.

 

Bike Tip #4

 

The quality of bike shorts makes a huge difference; don’t scrimp on them, you will suffer. There are tons of choices when it comes to shorts, and this is NOT the item to bargain hunt for. Lousy stitching will chafe you, and poor quality material won’t last more than a few washes. Consider the shape of the pad. Pay attention to what it’s made of and its thickness. These elements have a big impact on comfort. The “number of panels” refers to the number of shaped fabric pieces that make up the short. More is typically better. Money-conscious Pamela wore a low-end bicycle short one year on the Melon Patch Tour, and after 70 miles she was reformed. You can’t get her to ride with anything but Sugoi now.

 

Bike Tip #5

The 169-gram torture saddle makes your bike cool but doesn’t make it faster. Pain reduces focus and effort in most humans.

I have seen (and sold) bike seats that look like a medieval torture device. When your bike is in the rack at the transition area it will look really intimidating with that sleek carbon plate and no padding, but when your ass hurts so bad that you hobble like a bull-rider during the run I will come trotting by with a smile on my face.

A seat is “fixed” weight. It means almost nothing in terms of speed. Be comfortable.

 

Bike Tip #6

Tire pressure is huge for minimizing flats and reducing effort. Own a good floor pump and use it before you ride, every time. Many flats are caused by not having enough air in your tires. If your tire is underinflated and you run over a stone or a big crack in the road, the tire flattens out and the tube gets pinched against the rim ,causing a puncture. In addition, the more pressure there is in the tire, the less the tire comes in contact with the surface of the road. This reduces what is called “rolling resistance” which is actually a surprisingly big factor in reducing effort for a given speed (or going faster for the same effort).

Keep the tires up to the maximum recommended pressure for that specific tire (some of us even go a little higher than that especially during races). It is nearly impossible to get enough pressure in your tire with a little frame mounted hand pump; those things are just for emergencies to get you home after a flat. Buy a floor pump.

Tires lose air over time. You need to re-inflate them often. Don’t worry if your tire pressure drops by 10-20 pounds when it sits in the garage for a while, this is normal, and it is not necessarily a leak.

 

Bike Tip #7

Check before every ride: tire pressure, brake release levers closed, wheel spindles secure, helmet, sunscreen, flat kit, and emergency money. Make yourself go through a routine every time before you ride. Like I mentioned before, air pressure is key. Once you become experienced, you can tell pretty well what your tire pressure is simply by pushing down hard on the tire with your thumb.

Most bikes (unless they belong in a museum) have a lever that opens the brake caliper up to allow you to remove or install the wheel without totally taking apart the brake. It is a really common oversight to forget to put that lever back in the closed position after repairing a flat or after taking your wheel off to fit your bike into your hatchback car. If you don’t close the lever, the braking will be either really poor or not work at all. You do not want to find this out as you are heading off the road towards an embankment. Same thing goes for the wheel spindle lever (used to clamp the wheel in place). My most common nightmare is flying down a steep technical mountain road, and then realizing that I forgot to tighten my front wheel clamp.

You should always stick a few bucks into your saddlebag. You never know when you might need to make a call or buy a drink because your water bottle flew off when you hit a pothole.

 

Bike Tip #8

Ultra narrow tires shave off seconds in a 40K ride, while flats add minutes. My father-in-law and I once lost a 40-mile bike race in Baytown, Texas because I flatted out on skinny tires. Not worth the risk. I see a lot of people riding on ultra thin 18mm tires in circumstances that don’t make sense to me. Yes, these tires shave off a tiny bit of rotating weight and arguably they are more aerodynamic as they have a narrower profile to the wind. However, the very thin tires have a higher likelihood of flatting. So over a 40KM bike course, they may save the average rider 10 seconds (yes, that little), but the risk is a flat.

How long does it take you to change a flat? In the best of circumstances I can do a rear wheel in about two minutes, and I have done it more times then I would care to count, so to me, it just ain’t worth it.

What really makes me chuckle though is when the aerodynamic argument is brought up by some huge guy with terrible body position and a too-loose jersey flapping in the breeze while he rides along on his 18mm tires. I want to pull him aside and say “Buddy, if you just got down in the drops once in a while and got a jersey that was the right size it would have 50 times the positive effect that those tiny tires do.”

 

Bike Tip #9

Riding like a fool on congested roadways hurts all of us, so if you can get to quiet roads do it. If not, obey all traffic rules. It drives me nuts when I see a rider cranking through downtown traffic, ignoring traffic rules, sprinting like he is in the time trial of the first stage of the Tour. These people, and there are unfortunately many of them, seem to think that

  1. The rules of the road don’t apply to cool people like      them.
  2. That vehicle drivers should telepathically know which      road rules the cyclist is going to ignore and anticipate his reckless      moves.
  3. That all drivers have perfect vision, don’t get blinded      by the sun, don’t have other obstacles to avoid aside from him, and, when      in doubt, should sacrifice their vehicles to avoid hitting him.

We NEED drivers to like us. We need them to want to share the road when necessary. We WANT them to vote for legislation that helps us. We want them to agree without protesting to be inconvenienced when roads are closed for our races. Some people I have talked to believe that they have the right to chose to ride wherever they want and as recklessly as the want to because they think they only hurt themselves. THEY ARE WRONG. They are hurting all of us by encouraging drivers to stereotype us all as ignorant and selfish.

If you live in a high traffic area, if at all possible, throw your bike in a car and drive somewhere where there is not as many cars and sharing the road is easy. We live in Houston, and we love to take our bikes out to Brazos Bend State Park. At the very least, please be careful, obey the road rules, and bend over backwards to be courteous to the drivers. If your normal bike workout time over your favorite route is 20 seconds slower because you braked and yielded to a turning car, it’s not going to kill you. But if you don’t ride that way all the time, then someday it might.

 

 

Bike Tip #10

Each time before you clip in, close your eyes and take a minute to thank those that make it possible to do what you are about to do. Most if not all of you who will read this blog have circumstances that allow you to ride a bicycle because you want to, because you enjoy it, and because its good for you. I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit and have seen firsthand conditions of hopeless abject poverty for a staggering number of people. There are people whose entire lives are built around trying to scrape together enough for their family or themselves to eat that very day. There are huge geographic areas with no paved roads and nowhere to ride even if circumstances allowed it.

All of us that have the opportunity to ride are blessed and lucky. People have fought and died for the lives we live. People have worked hard, paid taxes, sacrificed and volunteered for the things we now take for granted. Service people like police officers, public works employees, fire and emergency service workers, and many others spend their days doing jobs that make our rides possible. There are people we love that are around us taking care of things in a manner that allows us the time and opportunity to do the thing we love to do. We owe a debt of gratitude. We need to always acknowledge that and keep it in our hearts. We need to stand on a soapbox and broadcast our appreciation every chance we get. We need to be grateful.

And one of the groups we should thank? The owners of your small, local bike shops.

I am a HUGE advocate of supporting local bike shops. I encourage you to identify the shops in your area, visit them, talk to the staff, figure out the one where you fit in and then support it with your business. Bike shops are not all the same, and they will not all fit your personality. Find the one that does, lock the address in your GPS, and support it with your business.

Yes, you can typically buy bikes and components for a few bucks less if you by online, but every time you click “add to cart,” you are pounding a nail in the coffin of your local shop. There will be times when you need to run out and get a tube for that ride in the morning and if we do not make good choices, that shop will not be there. The margins on bikes are very, very small and with the increasing volume of business going to the internet “stores,” margins and volumes have also shrunk dramatically on the accessories that used to keep the shops alive.

Pamela wanted me to add that you can still contribute to the “Eric Hutchins bicycle shop ownership recovery fund.”  Make the check payable to her.

Please feel free to post questions in the comments, ask me on Twitter (@trimon29), or Facebook.

Eric

THE END

Pamelot

p.s. Isn’t he awesome? ;)

 

p.s. Be first to hear about new book releases, 1-2 times a year (don't worry, I won't use your email for anything else)! <-- click here

Do you want to get these blog posts in your inbox?
If so, enter your email address here:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tagged with →  
Share →

52 Responses to 10 Bike Tips for Real People (from Eric/Bubba-mon/@trimon29)

  1. gene says:

    “look for that person whose hips are rocking back and for as they ride along,”. love it. i do that all the time, especially when riding/driving in a car. it has become such a fun thing to do, my wife even plays along!
    keep up the great work!
    peace out!
    -g-

  2. Pamela says:

    Eric wrote this thinking I would close the internet and focus on the writing I was supposed to be doing this month if I had awesome guest posters. Isn’t he sweet? I still seem to find myself here, there, and everywhere, though. Shhhhh, don’t tell.

    As for his tips, I can tell you that he is more guilty of #3 (trying to shave bike weight) than he admits. Ask him about “the wreck”. Re #2, he has SAVED me here. He switched me over to Speedplay, and it has helped my knees tremendously. I know, purist/professionals don’t like the float, not efficient enough. Blah blah. But I wouldn’t be pedaling at all with IT Band Syndrome, and that’s what I get in a rigid cleated position.

    Thanks for posting, honey!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PamelaFaganHutchins, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: Bike Tips for Real People, from ERIC/@TRIMON29/BUBBA-MON! http://f.ast.ly/f7AKE […]

  4. Hi, Eric. This was a very informative post. I have a question for you…What do you think about buying an expensive bicycle for a child? My seven year old just learned how to ride a bike this past summer. We looked around before we bought a bike and even looked at high performance bikes for kids in the 3 to 5 hundred dollar range. I thought this was ridiculously expensive so I got him a regular, run of the mill, kids’ bike at Toys R Us. However, if the expensive bike is safer and will improve his riding experience, I will drop the money on it in a heartbeat. What are your thoughts on this?

  5. I used to have a Cannondale mountain bike, waaaaay back when I rode such things. Just dropping it to say howdy Eric. Pamela told me to, and for some reason, I do everything she asks. Is that normal? I think not……

    Anyhow, I like the picture………and all that information is helpful. I will pass it on to someone, somewhere, I am sure.

    Cardinals, huh? Hey, any team’s better than my Broncos this year. Even the Cardinals.

    Terri (rambling, as usual)

  6. Hi Eric;
    Me again. Too bad you can’t edit these comments, especially when you’ve had 1.5 glasses of wine. “Just dropping it to say howdy…” should read “Just dropping in to say howdy….”. I’m so embarrassed. AND I just ran out of wine. Dang. Enjoy your riding.
    Actually, I did have one other thing……..they just opened the Bypass Bridge at the Hoover Dam a couple weeks back. The week before that, there was a really cool “bike run” over the bridge. It was on TV and everything. You would have enjoyed that ride! I believe it took the riders from Vegas through Boulder City, and then over the bypass bridge and back. Very cool scenery! I watched it and kinda wished I was still riding. I actually used to ride a lot in my 30s and early 40s. Now I just run my mouth.

    Terri

  7. Eric Hutchins says:

    Tough Cookie Mommy,
    That is an excellent question. The short answer is you did the right thing!. At that age kids are going to grow out of the bicycle so fast that they will never get the value out of the expensive bike. They typically also are going to let it fall over in the street and leave it out in the rain, not really understanding the value.

    An inexpensive mass-market bike like what you can get at wall-mart or toys r us is great for kids up through teenage years. Once they become mid to late teenagers, then there is a legit decision to make. If the child is just using the bike to ride a few blocks to school or over to friends house (basic transportation) then stay with the mass market bikes. There are some kids however at this age that really start to get the cycling bug and want to start riding to train and compete, or if they simply have a long way to go, at that point, paying more for a bike starts to make sense.
    What you get when you pay more is (typically) the materials used to make the bike will be of better quality, will last longer and will be less likely to break. The precision of the more delicate components (like the gear shifting) is better so the bike will function properly for longer without repair. The things that make it easy to move along (like the bearings in the wheels) will be better so the bike will be a little bit faster for the same amount of work. But, Think about it, making a kid work a little bit harder to get where they are going is not necessarily a bad thing if you want them to be getting exercise.
    Hope that helps

  8. Heidi Dorey says:

    I had no idea that any of these were options.
    I never participated in races or anything, but it’s fascinating.
    Now what’s the tip for keeping the seat from making itself too “at home”? ;)

  9. Eric Hutchins says:

    Hey Teresa, That was a hoot (your drink-and-writing) :). and you are right I would have loved that Hoover Dam thing (as opposed to the Damn Hoover thing, HAH and I am not drinking.). I have all these cycling vacations planned for Pamela and I and she is thinking quietly to herself, NO Please God nooooo,,,, let him find a new hobby.

  10. Eric Hutchins says:

    And one teeny tiny comment on Pamela’s reply on me being guilty of #3, FIRST OF ALL :) this is funny coming from the women whose bike is far lighter and nicer than mine (and I am not complaining that IS the way it should be…) AND, I never spent any money to make my bike lighter, I did however remove a few things that were not necessary, in order to make it lighter….(and more aerodynamic. Unfortunately it probably also made it a little harder for that driver that turned head on into me at dusk a few years ago

    • Pamela says:

      He removed REFLECTORS, road after sundown, and then was hit head on by a car and nearly died. And broke his back and still suffers from back pain that will eventually require surgery, as of this minute. So, why did he remove the 1.5 oz reflector?? WEIGHT. DRAG. SLOWED HIM DOWN. omg omg omg.
      So, WAIT. Don’t remove your safety equipment. :)

  11. Eric Hutchins says:

    Heidi, not sure which sex has it harder on those #$@^&@*^ road bike seats. One of the tips coming up in the next group Pamela releases is about seats

    The facts are:
    There are big differences in seats and one that is perfect for one person just tears up another.
    Good quality padded shorts help
    Seat position is HUGE, height, forward and backward on the rails, and angle (you can adjust the nose up or down in small increments).
    TINY adjustments make a big difference (ask Pamela, whew). Once you find a seat you like find a friend with a wrench and ride around annoying the crap out of this person making a 1000 adjustments until you get it right. And then once its right, it just means you can live with it, it does not mean you are at home on your sofa.
    And you eventually build up callouses down there, something to look forward to!

    • Pamela says:

      Let’s just say peeing blood is not supposed to happen, yet can, if one’s seat doesn’t like one’s…parts.
      Callouses are your friend.
      The goal is to become essentially like an old piece of shoe leather “down there”.
      Now, it’s not just biking that does this to you.
      I’ve had the same problem with distance running (blood sweat and tears, baby).
      You don’t want anything with raised seam for either sport.
      And you sure as heck don’t want a center seam while cycling.
      Oh God do I have stories. Nightmarish stories that Eric doesn’t want to relive with me, whine, whine, whine.
      THERE IS NO SEAT IN THE FRICKIN WORLD THAT FEELS GOOD TO ME AT ANY HEIGHT OR ANGLE.
      I’ve got to stop or I’m never getting on my bike again….

  12. bikerly says:

    Yeah, he is pretty remarkable. I love bikeshops too, Eric.

    Love the comments… blood, sweat, tears, pain and fun… it’s great to bike and run. I’m not the competitive kind at least in biking so my tips would be more like bring a camera, know where your local park benches are, and water is not the only thing that can be stored in a water bottle cage :)

    P.S. love your rotating family photos on the banner!

  13. Eric Hutchins says:

    No fear Bikerly. Som of the tips to come are more like what you mentioned.
    And thanks for the comments. AND if you haven’t already,check out her blog “of cardinals and men”, and “floaters”

  14. Susie says:

    You sold Peter the first bike that he bought after becoming a grandfather in one of your bike shops in the Virgin Islands five years before we knew you would be our son-in-law. He loves riding but thanks to injuries he spends more time riding the bike on the training stand than riding in rides- because he often makes the mistake of turning a “ride” into a”race”!! However, I know your tips are appropriate for bike tainer rides as well as road rides! Great tips.

  15. Gordon Taylor says:

    Hey Eric,

    Great tips. I’ve been having a problem with my fingers/hands going numb during long rides. After about 25 miles my ring finger and little finger on both hands start tingling then it spreads to all my fingers. The tingling is soon followed by numbness. By the end of the HHH, my left hand was completely numb and I had no gripping strength. In fact it was so weak I had to reach over with my right hand to shift gears. It took about 3 weeks before the strength and coordination returned in my hand.

    I raised my bars almost 3 inches to try to reduce the amount of weight I was putting on my hands, but I’m still getting some numbness around 50 miles.

  16. Christina says:

    Eric-

    Please stop making me want to buy a bike.

    Sincerely,
    Christina

  17. LBDDiaries says:

    I have a black bike with fat tires. That is all I know. I get on the bike. I ride the bike. I get off the bike. The end. Oh wait, I forgot! I have two bikes! I forgot about the other bike. I can ride it fast or I can ride it slow but either way, it never goes anywhere. I like it. It is a recumbent bike (hoho).

  18. Ally says:

    AHHHH – I think I love the comments as much as the post! Pamela – I’m so glad to here you say this: THERE IS NO SEAT IN THE FRICKIN WORLD THAT FEELS GOOD TO ME AT ANY HEIGHT OR ANGLE. I’m overjoyed that it’s NOT JUST ME! Bottom line is that bike seats are not comfortable. I’ve been through five. I’ve finally settled on one I can live with (after about 653 “tiny” adjustments). But that’s it. Live with. Now I need to find some good quality padded bike shorts. (Ironically, the best bike seat I’ve found? My husbands. Of course it’s old and no way could I find it now. Somehow I don’t think I’m getting his.)

    • Pamela says:

      I will only wear Sugoi. But everyone’s …bottom… is different. And we too have a closetful of women’s bike seats. I think I need to start a resale shop.

  19. Eric Hutchins says:

    I love Sugoi, I think there stuff is great. Pricey but worth it, BUT, as Pamela (and I) said, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.

  20. Eric Hutchins says:

    Ally,
    That was funny, and true for 99% of the population. Hang in there, it does get easier, or else maybe its just your personal parts getting numb. Either way…..

  21. Eric Hutchins says:

    LBDDiaries,
    Sometimes that’s all you need to know.

  22. Eric Hutchins says:

    Gordon,
    Ultimately we can switch to email if you would like but I think others would benefit from this discussion.
    Many people complain (or have it and just don’t talk about it) of similar problems with numbness in the hands.

    The first thing I have to ask is what is the material of construction of your bike (aluminum, steel, titanium, carbon fiber, being 99% what makes up the possible choices) and maybe more importantly, what is your front fork made of? Also how old is your bike? Unfortunately part of the problem may lie in the bike itself.

    What you did should directionally help although it also is likely to make you less aerodynamic. Now if it didn’t make much of a difference with the numbness that also tells us something.

    I would like to hold off on a final opinion until you answer the question above but there are things that you can do to help alleviate the problem:

    1. Put on new handle bar tape and go with a shock absorbing gel type as apposed to the cheapest or lightest weight type.
    2.There are some excellent gloves out there in the market with gel pads woven into the palms that are also very effective.

    Improper bike sizing can also effect this but lets assume for now that the bike is roughly the right size.

    Let me know about your bike material of construction and I will get back to you.

  23. Gordon says:

    Eric,

    I purchased my bike back in August. Its was around $900 but has an aluminum frame with carbon forks, and carbon seat post. I did purchase some expensive gel gloves prior to the HHH, which is before the bar adjustment. The problem was so bad that I didnt care about the aerodynamics when I changed the bars (which impoved the condition). I’m also about 10 lbs away from my target weight which I think will relieve the pressure on my hands/wrists once its gone.

    I met a guy a couple of weeks ago that specializes in bike fitment utilizing state-of-the-art Retul 3D motion capture technology. Here’s his website link: http://www.dynamicbikefit.com/ . He charges $250 and he told me it takes about 3 hrs to complete. It sounded a bit pricey but after he told me all that it entailed I’m actually considering it.

  24. Eric Hutchins says:

    Gordon,

    Sounds like its a great bike, Aluminum frames dominate the market and although they transfer a lot of road vibration to the rider, when they are matched with carbon forks and seatpost they are typically just fine. Is it the least vibrating set up you can buy? No, but it is probably not your primary problem and I suspect it can serve you very well for many years.

    OK, this is actually very common. In fact, I am certain that if I only had standard handlebars, my wrists and hands would also be terribly numb after an hour or two. I have aero bars on my bike and they are not only for aerodynamics. Aerobars allow you to rest your weight on your forearms and completely take the weight off your hands. And they allow you to have many different hand positions: resting in the aerobars, hands in many positions on the bars, on the bar pads, and all over the bullhorns. My advice is to move your hands often, change your position, sit up at times you can, like when the wind is at your back or when you are climbing.

    It is possible that you are “reaching” too far, you can slide the seat forward on the rails, and or buy and install a shorter stem. However, I would really like to see you on the bike before you were to buy a new part. The seat adjustment is easy though and you can try that any time.

    With regard to the fitting…. At many good bike shops a proper fit is part of the sales price of the bike which would sure make it frustrating to spend this money now on the dynamicbikefit.

    Without seeing you on your bike I really cannot say if you would benefit much from this fit. I spent a little time on their sight and it seems legit but…. hard to tell.

    In general a bike fit like this will directionally help, although I suspect it may not have a huge impact on your hand numbness.

    So after all that mumbling what am I saying? If you want to get a professional bike fit for the typical benefits they provide then go for it. But, if you are only doing it to try to solve the hand numbness problem, it may or may NOT help.

    PUNCHLINE: Gloves, Bar tap, possibly areobars, and CHANGE BODY POSITION all the time giving your hands a break.

  25. Great post, Eric…didn’t you try telling me once that you weren’t a writer? Watch out Pam, I think he’s going to create his own blog and start trying to take over all your followers. Hahahaha, nice job Eric.

    Darryl

  26. Rob Grissom says:

    Hi Eric,

    I couldn’t agree more with you on the importance of bike fit. I would also suggest that when buying a new bike do not take the marketing materials and reviews at face value. Take some physical measurements and go to a few of the online fit calculators to get an objective opinion of what geometry will work for your body type. This holds true for the neighborhood cruiser and the die hard racer. Then go out and test ride a few models before putting down the hard earned cash.

    A bike shop should be able to at the very least a neutral fit that keeps injuries at bay.

    Great article!

    Coach Rob

  27. Ally says:

    Love this series – can’t wait for next week!
    Ally recently posted..Rub In Those Holiday Greetings- Blog About It &amp Get Free Cards!

  28. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: #Bicycling Tips(from @trimon29: #fit #position #weight #shorts # #seats #tirepressure #checklist #http://t.co/xzRRgLz […]

  29. Ann Brennan says:

    I am with Gordon. I love the article and particularly the part about the tires because I have never thought about it. But….the comments are hilarious.
    Ann Brennan recently posted..Becoming an Athlete

  30. Hello Pamelot,
    Lots of good tips here. I wish to ride a bike again someday. My dream is to put one of those thingys on the back of my car to transport the bike somewhere safe to ride it. But before that even to ride from my house to the downtown Y wouldn’t be a bad thing despite the whole I’m-going-to-get-hit-by-a-car-on-the-way-because-the-drivers-downtown-are-crazy. My favorite bike had a seat as wide as the cushioned part of me. It wasn’t very aerodynamic though.

  31. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darryl, PamelaFaganHutchins and Simon kirk, PamelaFaganHutchins. PamelaFaganHutchins said: 10 Bike Tips for Real People (from Eric/Bubba-mon/@trimon29) http://f.ast.ly/5yQaU […]

  32. gerard says:

    Super-Duper site! I am enjoying it!! Will come back once again – taking the 10 Bike Tips for Real People (from Eric/Bubba-mon/@trimon29) « Road to Joy feeds also, cheers.

  33. […] This should lead to a spike in Icy Hot sales.    10 Bike Tips for Real People (from Eric/Bubba-mon/@trimon29) […]

  34. […] p.s. I think Eric should DEFINITELY add this to his top 10 bicycling tips post. […]

  35. […] the second page.  At Pamela’s request (even though the only other things I have ever written are a post on bicycle tips and technical engineering reports), I am going to break it down into digestible pieces, and she will […]

  36. Bike Tip Number 10 is awesome. Nicely said! I don’t know bikes, but I do appreciate a person who is thankful for what he/she has. And the plug to buy local was an excellent one. Thanks Eric!

  37. Irene says:

    I live on a country road that is rather straight, it’s a great road for testing out a V8. Unfortunately, the area’s cyclists like to use it as well. They do not have the philosophy you have Eric. They feel THEY have the right of way and that WE have to look out for them. Therefore, MANY MANY car/cyclist road rage occurs. My husband has gotten into a few scuffles with these “I have a right of way, so YOU look out for me” people. They will ride in the middle of the road, gradually move over just enough for a vehicle to pass, mind you passing them on a double yellow is illegal, and then get all indignant because we disturbed their timing. Not all are rude, I’ve come across some that have thanked me for giving them room and for not tailing them (THAT if I find rude in drivers-tailing cyclists-not a safe thing at all!). When they cycle in groups of 5 or more, it’s even more dangerous because now you’re wondering about what each one of them is going to do. And they never ride single file. So now you’re risking again, passing over the double yellow (and if the road is cresting…forget it, you have to ride behind them til you can see over the hill). I really wish they would read YOUR #9. With the amount of traffic in my area now, it’s one reason my Schwinns are hanging in my shed (aside that they need new wheels-movers can be SO brutal with your things). It’s just to dangerous. Great post! And that seat suggestion is SO true. I’ve felt like I’ve ridden a camel across country sometimes. Come to think of it a camel would probably be more comfortable!

  38. Eric Hutchins says:

    Thank you Teresa, Its a long post, I hope people actually read to the end and see that part because it is so important to me!

  39. Eric Hutchins says:

    Irene,
    It is such a tough and touchy subject. I know what you say is so true and have experienced it myself, and have experienced the other end of the range with very courteous people both driving and riding. The reason I encourage the idea of pack-cycling is that a group of riders is simply so much more visible. It sounds strange but one person on a bike does not seem to register in many drivers brains, its like they are not big enough to see. (or I have heard it explained that there would be no witnesses :) ) but I also know that sometimes when cyclists ride in a pack they forget their common sense and courtesy and ride like idiots.
    Anyway, my opinion remains the same. If you can, put your bike in your car and drive to somewhere with the least traffic, (or a bike path). And if you can’t even if you don’t like the idea, assume that you are a guest on the road, obey the rules and be defensive.

  40. Irene says:

    That’s very true, riding in groups does make the cyclists more visible. It does make it harder for cars to pass though.

    It’s a give and take approach. Patience with the driver, courtesy with the cyclist. I’m not sure if there’s bike paths in my area, I’m sure there are. There has to be with the number of cyclists in the area and the Allentown Veladrome.

    Like the signs say “Share the road”.

  41. Sandy says:

    Thank you for #9 Eric! Either I live where all the rude cyclists live or all of them everywhere are rude. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I try to not go out on Saturday mornings because I have an almost uncontrollable urge to mow them all down. They ride 4 and 5 wide down the road completely blocking the lane they are in….single file please. Twice I have been hit by cyclists while stopped at a stop light/sign. They come zipping up on the right side of me and “WHAM” they run into my side mirror!! The first guy moved my mirror, then I cranked the screw down so tight that the second guy was knocked off his bike. I have to admit…I smiled. They then complain to me about my mirrors sticking out too far….ummmm, I haul horses, I kinda need that!

    That sharing goes for mountain bikers also that share trails with horse riders. I once saw a mountain biker come around a corner so fast he ran into the back of a horse. Fortunately, the horse was good natured and didn’t kick his teeth out.

    I am willing to “share” but that has to go both ways. I “share” the road when I ride my horse down the road. I do not block traffic. I delayed commenting on this because I knew I would go off on cyclists, but my experiences have not been good for the most part. I will also admit that once in a while I see the lone cyclist that “shares” the road. It seems when they pack up is when the trouble starts.
    Sandy recently posted..Taking Things For Granted

  42. Eric Hutchins says:

    Sandy,
    I appreciate your comments and feel your pain. I wish more riders would read what you have to say. I promise you its not like that everywhere and with all riders. Unfortunately it seems like where you are there are a lot of jerks. I am sorry for that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge