A matter of millimetres

Last week I got back on my Canyon Aeroad for the first time in a while. I wanted to test myself with a “race pace” style effort on a local course. After a quick warm-up I set off, aiming to stay at or above my target power for the duration of the effort.

I felt fresh enough, but noticed I was definitely down on power. Not a lot in the scheme of things, but consistently down on what I was expecting. I wasn’t feeling quite “right” on the bike, not completely “planted” or as comfortable as usual, especially when tucked down low trying to get as aero as possible. Although the time was reasonable, I finished below my target average power.

Afterwards at home I was going over the bike and spotted this:

That black tape is my seatpost height marker. It was roughly 2cm too high during my ride (I lowered it a bit before remembering to take the photo). I must have neglected to set it correctly last time I serviced the bike. A serious rookie error! Two centimetres might not sound like much, but that extra height must have pushed me into the “too high” range and affected my pedal stroke.

I adjusted the saddle height and went for a spin. It instantly felt better. Placebo? Maybe, but there’s two take-away points here. Firstly, attention to detail during bike maintenance is important. Secondly, getting your saddle height dialled can make a big difference to your ride.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Anthony says:

    I am thinking that I really need to go for a proper bike fit…or maybe just experiment a little.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just experimented with my position over the years with the help of club mates and YouTube guides, but I’ve always wondered if a proper professional bike fit would get me even more comfortable / efficient on the bike. Maybe one day.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Anthony says:

        If you’re dialed in enough to notice when your seat post height is off (though perhaps you couldn’t pinpoint it on the ride) I doubt you would need to do much better.
        I am now thinking I should go for a bike fit before I buy my next bike. Apparently, they might recommend something that suits me better.
        Of course, in these tough economic times, I don’t know when that time will come. Maybe never.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. ericritter65 says:

    Off by almost and inch! Yikes, I would feel that in the knees and calves for sure!
    I once had a “professional” bike fit, didn’t like the results at all. I’m happy with a slightly more upright position than fully slammed. If you go, just remember to stand your ground on what your objective(s) is/are, so that you don’t get fit the way the fitter likes to ride!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. bgddyjim says:

    That’s a lot, brother! Ouch!

    Liked by 2 people

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