The Little Tinker

I’ve had my Boardman Bike a little over 6 weeks now (that reminds me I need to book a 6 week check up with Halfords).  Over the last six weeks, I’ve ridden 71.7 miles (according to Strava) on it.  Some people will smash that in a single ride, but I’m still getting used to the bike.

This morning I’ve had some time while the wife has popped out for a coffee date with a friend.  This has meant the Allen Keys have come out and adjustments have been made on the bike in a bid to make it more comfortable.  Issues I’ve been experiencing lately are;

  • aching knees when on the bike and for a bit after riding
  • uncomfortable feeling in the wrists
  • soreness in the soft tissue areas on the saddle

I’ve been doing research around basic bike fits from different cycling sites to YouTube videos.  There are a lot of useful videos on YouTube for setting you your bike for you and they’ve all been helpful.

Aching Knees

I’ve gone head-on against aching knees when cycling by doing two things.  The first I’ve raised the seat up about 10mm.  I found since having my new pedals fitted a few weeks back is when this issue started.  So I got on the bike, put my heel on the pedal and pushed the pedal to the bottom.  My knee didn’t go completely straight, there was still a slight bend – so the saddle wasn’t quite high enough.

Saddle alignment after tinker

The second part to this issue could have been coming from my saddle being a little too far back.  I had moved it forward slightly previously but never looked at it again.  Using a bit of string I found in my office and a screw as weight, I saw that the end of my knee was slightly behind the end of the crank when the cranks were level.  Simple adjustment of moving the saddle forward another 4mm.

If this doesn’t help out then I will look into the cleat and foot angles.  Everyone has a natural angle to their feet/ankles and I believe if this isn’t replicated to the bike properly when clipped in, it will cause discomfort.  But I will look into that after testing properly when I can next get on the bike.

The Wrists

I’ve been playing with the angle of the handlebars and hoods since I got the bike, but I’ve never been able to avoid getting discomfort with my wrist.  Step int he YouTube videos I’ve been watching.  I’m a tall guy at 6′ 4″ – the limit the bike is designed for.  I’m also quite a heavy chap.  These two combinations have been putting a strain on my wrists when I’ve been on the bike.

Handlebar stem after swap over

Apparently, it could be the handlebars need raising just a little bit, especially with me being at the top end of the size for the bike frame and me not being the most flexible of people.  I don’t have any spacers above the handlebar stem to use, they’re all already under the stem.  So I took to swapping over the stem, so it points up slightly rather than straight across.  This should give me some height in the handlebars thus making me feel more comfortable.

Saddle Issues

I’ve been putting up with the saddle for some time.  At first, it wasn’t too much of an issue, but now it’s getting more and more uncomfortable and at points during my FTP test on Zwift yesterday I had to get out the saddle for a moment.  This needs to be sorted before I can start putting in some longer miles in rides.

I got out the trusty spirit level as apparently starting from dead level is a good place to start from with the saddle.  I instantly found it was angled back by quite a bit (quite a bit being around 3 degrees).  With the spirit level sat on top of the first 2 thirds of the saddle, I’ve now leveled it off.  This should give me a good point to work from on the saddle angle and will hopefully help with some of the discomforts from here.

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