My bike setup: (not so) initial impressions

A while ago I had written about a good bike setup for me that allowed me to keep my shifting at the brake levers and use the aero bars. Last month, after a particularly brutal winter that delayed the onset of spring riding, I found a pair of deda akros bullhorns and strapped them on. The brake levers are at least 4 inches further forward than they used to be:  I needed to lengthen my brake lines to account for the increased reach. And the ride and handling is completely different, I’m thrown forward much more and feel like I need to  be conscious of steering with my hips because a little motion with my arms does a lot more.

But, all in all, the adjustment has gone well. This year, due to patellar tendinosis and work, I haven’t gotten in the miles I would have liked to, and I’m in not so stellar shape. But I’m clocking the  same speed on my Mercer Island 2 lap morning ride as I did when I was much leaner and riding with standard road bars.

The only issue has been saddle discomfort. I’m making an effort to stay in the aero bars more,  that puts a lot more pressure on my, well, my ‘taint’, for lack of a better term. Even though I’ve jammed the saddle all the way forward, I’m riding on the nose, and what I’ve got has got nowhere to go. I’m looking for some relief, doing online saddle reviews, which is by definition impossible. But I think I’ve found a winner  in the Koobi Au Enduro, a saddle that keeps the split going all the way down the nose of the saddle, which just sounds wonderful to me right now.

Now that I’ve adjusted to the increased reach and saddle fore-aft position,  I feel a lot more powerful on flats an slight uphills, even with a super weak left knee. In fact, riding is just about the only thing I can do, because it is in a single plane, unlike soccer.  I’m still in denial about soccer being hard on the knees, but this injury is primarily due to trying to follow some 20 year old kid around on the field. I’m just glad my soccer team has morphed into more of a drinking team, because that doesn’t require young, strong knees.

I’m still adjusting to the increased stretch forward, I’ve felt some back pain but that could be partially the result of my body compensating for the knee, as well as a bad posture at work. The other day I did a May Valley ride to Issaquah and felt some back pain, but was able to stretch it out and have it completely dissapear. So maybe the morning sessions on the TRX have not been completely in vain!

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