As I mentioned Sunday, I met with Ann Marie Miller (who is super legit!)—one Full Throttle Endurance’s cycling coaches—for a saddle installation and bike re-fit this past weekend. If reading about biking isn’t your thing (which I totally understand), here’s the SparkNotes version: overhauled my bike in terms of fit and installed a new stem, saddle, and seat post.
See ya, road bike parts!
However, if you’re interested, keep reading.
First, since having aerobars installed in January, I’ve been experiencing some major saddle pain. This apparatus moves your body into a more aerodynamic position, which alters how you sit. I have a road bike (Trek Lexa SL), and its saddle was obviously designed for road riding. Long story short, things downstairs hurt a lot during my rides; I’d consider it a good workout if I made it to the 40-minute mark without experiencing pain, and then I’d push through for the last 30 minutes or so. Triathletes spend a ton of time in the saddle (it’s the longest part of a triathlon), so you want it to be as comfortable as possible.
Anyway, Andrew put me in touch with Ann Marie, and we set up an appointment for Saturday morning at the Performance Center at Chelsea Piers (aka The Room of Doom if you’re taking a CompuTrainer class—ha!). First, we talked about my cycling background and primary concerns, and then Ann Marie performed a series of body tests and measurements. She discovered my right hip sits slightly higher than my left, and she also said I’m quite flexible (thank you, yoga!), which will make riding in an aggressive aero position easier. My hamstrings, back, and neck are quite flexible, too. Who knew? Annie Marie also said I have a long torso (no surprise there), and she was happy to see that my bike frame fits me perfectly. I obviously need to credit my friends at Syracuse Bicycle—who were also just named Best Retailer 2012 by Quality Bike Parts.
Anyway, Ann Marie completely rehauled my bike.
The first part of the appointment was dedicated to fixing the height of my saddle. Ann Marie determined it was a little too high, which was causing me to reach too far with my legs and sacrifice power; she lowered it 1.5 centimeters, and I immediately felt a huge difference. It’s crazy how slight changes can affect your ride!
Next, we moved to the saddle. Even with the height adjustment, the road one still hurt, so she put on an Adamo one.
As some of you know, I’ve put out several calls to Twitter to talk about saddles and consulted my teammates and other triathletes, so I hoped the Adamo would be “the one.” It’s highly regarded, especially by women, but once I plopped myself down, I knew it was a no-go. Although it alleviated the pain, it had too much padding for me, and as you can see from the picture above, the nose separates, which felt super awkward.
The next saddle I tested—and ultimately went with—was the Selle Italia SLR.
Prior to my appointment, I hadn’t heard of this brand, so it was definitely a wildcard. The nose felt much better, and since it contains gel, it felt much more comfortable. Honestly, though, I wasn’t 100 percent sure about it, but I ended up getting it.
For the next few hours, Ann Marie worked on overhauling my bike. She installed a new seat post, the EA70 Zero, which helps move me forward into a more aggressive aero position.
She also added a new steam to help drop my aerobars and adjusted the actual position of the aerobars. However, she recommended getting new ones: Profile Design T1 Plus and T4 Plus because both models can be attached closer to the handlebars and can be adjusted in terms of width. (The ones I have now are too wide for me.)
So what’s next? I’m meeting Ann Marie again this weekend to finish up my fit; she tracked down a 70mm stem, and I bought the T1 aerobars, so both need to be installed. She took some before and after pictures of the setup, so I’ll be sure to share those once everything is complete. I’ve also logged two rides in the new saddle for a total of 1:45, and I’m getting used to it. I don’t love it yet, but it felts so much better than the road saddle.
What’s the most recent piece of fitness equipment you bought?