Bike Fit

Coach Burke’s Saddle Sore Treatment

Saddle sores are an inevitable part of being a  cyclist.    It doesn’t matter if your position is perfect, your saddle is comfy, or if  are riding bib shorts that cost  as much as a cross county flight.    If you ride for long enough, you’ll eventually get  a saddle sore.     I am luckily enough that I seldom get them, but  when I do, I use the same treatment  every time, and it has never failed me Step 1:  Wash up in the shower   and be sure to use hot water, antimicrobial soap, and god old fashioned scrubbing.

Step 2:  Dry well with a clean towel, and then sit around panstless  in order to let the area air dry for a while.


Step 3:  Put a Band Aid brand Advanced Healing Bandage over the saddle sore and leave it there.

Step 4:  Wait, don’t take off the  bandage, unless it begins to peel off.   In that case, start over again at Step 1.

This method has always worked well for me, and  others claim to have had good luck with it as well.   That being said, I’m not a doctor, so don’t consider this medical advice.    If the sore gets worse after a few days, begins  to exude puss, or develop a fever, I ‘d suggest going to get checked out  by your physician.

I hope you’ll never have to use this advice, but unfortunately you probably will at some point!



Some thoughts on bike fit:

I had a customer call and ask me a few questions about bike fit the other day.   Specifically he asked: " So the software tells you where you need to be.  Right?"        I think this is a common misconception people have about   many  of the  high tech bike fitting systems.  

The fact is that no  measurement device can tell you exactly how a rider should be positioned on a bike.     Some systems help measure the rider, and some of them do this  dynamically and with a high degree of precision.   The fitter can then examine the measurements  and compare them to commonly accepted ranges for joint angles, etc.   The rest of the job is then up both the fitter and the athlete.    The fitters uses experience and training, as well as the feedback of the rider to help put that rider in an  optimal position.     The fancy measuring system and  a list of the  measurement ranges  are not enough.   In fact some riders may fall outside of the accepted ranges and still be fit properly ion the bike.    If a position helps a rider be comfortable, strong, and injury free, then that  could  be the best position for  that rider, no matter what some chart or a piece of software says.    Without proper input from the rider and a good, knowledgeable fitter, all of the information from  the fancy systems is useless.      Do you need a fit?  Just reach out  to us and we can set you up with an appointment.



Retul Bike at by Studeo DNA - Part 1

I had a Retul bike fit done with Chris Bennet at Studeo DNA in Carlsbad last month, this is Part 1 of a 2 part entry on my experience with Studeo DNA and the Retul System. I'd like to start off with my  thoughts on bike fits, and fitters in general.  A good bike fit is can be one of the most elusive parts of a cyclists training and fitness regime. Fitting an athlete and a bicycle is equal parts science, rider feedback, personal experience, black magic and voodoo. I've always been skeptical of expensive bike fits that use lasers, smoke machines, and other fancy equipment. After all, the most important part of a quality bike fit is the fitter himself. You often see shop mechanics doing bicycle fits, but this never made much sense to me. I don't go to TP Automotive for my shoulder pain, so why would I go to a bike mechanic to help me with a bike fit. Even a week at some bike fit school, and a certificate on the wall doesn't necessarily impress me. I'm not saying that all bicycle mechanics are bad bike fitters, I've met many excellent fitters who also know how to turn a wrench. My point is that working in a bike shop does not necessarily qualify someone to do a good bike fit. In my opinion, the most important aspects of a bike fitter are( in no particular order) are:

1) Experience on the bike: A good bike fitter should have logged literally thousands of hours on the bike. This means that they have several years of experience riding bikes themselves, and simply know what it means to pedal a bike for mile after mile, hour after hour... and how to pedal a bike hard. Their understanding of how a bike and a rider fit together needs to be more than academic, it needs to be experiential.

2) Experience watching others: Ok, this mostly comes with logging the miles themselves. But spending all those hours riding with others riders allows a good bike fitter to instantly sense when something isn't right, to recognize the "suplesse" of a a bike and a rider working in perfect harmony, and to try and help you replicate that yourself.

3) An understanding of biomechanics and physiology: A good bike fitter has to have a fundamental understanding of how our muscles and bones work together to put the power to the pedals. This is where some good old fashioned book learning comes in. Fitters can be self taught, take college classes, go to weekend or week long bike fit classes, or combination of these things to learn and understand the biomechanics of pedaling a bike.  A good background in biomechaincs  allows an experienced fitter understand how parts of the body are related, and adjusting one part effects the rest.

4) Experience doing actual bike fits: Practice makes perfect.   That is not to say that all new bike fitters give poor bike fits,  simply that experience counts.

Each of these things is equally important and helps a bike fitter make you more comfortable, faster, and injury free on your bike. What you sometimes find in a bike shop employee is someone who has some background and understanding of biomchanics because they went to a "fit school", yet I assure you that all of these things cannot be learned in a weekend. Many bike shop employees loves bikes, and love to ride them but don't get all that , much saddle time. If a fitter has not had long hours riding the bike and watching others, a good understanding of biomechanics, and actual experience doing bike fits, then approach with caution.*

Studeo DNA in Carlsbad specializes in doing bike fits only.     Chris is an experienced masters racer, with many miles on under his belt, and one look at Chris clues you in to the the fact that he is a former bodybuilder.   As a bodybuiler and cyclists, Chris  has spent  years   studying and absorbing information about the human body and biomehanics and is as well versed  as anyone how all of those muscles, bones,  ligaments and joints work together.    Chris would be using the Retul Fit System to  help examine my current bike fit, and  possibly recommend any changes in my bike fit.   People usually get a bike fit because they are either new to cycling, have pain or discomfort, or simply want to find a more aerodynamic or  improved biomechanical position.     I had no particular reason to change or  alter my current fit, but I figured I would see what these guys have to offer.

Coming next...the actual fit process:

* I don't want to seem as if I am bashing bike shop employees here, I'm just trying to drive home the point that being a good mechanic  and  being a good bike fitter are not the same thing!   I have also seen non bike shop  bike fitters that posses all of the attributes I've mentioned, at yet still give terrible bike fits!