Saturday, 13 October 2018

The New Bike!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up my new bike. I'd been looking out for a while for a bike that would be good for general riding, and also comfortable enough for longer rides.

Finding a bike based on the GTD frameset proved impossible, I just couldn't find one anywhere despite the YouTube videos showing them being tested and quoting specifications etc. Looking round at dealers there didn't seem to be many options there either but then I struck gold - well, green actually!

An old friend of mine owns a well-respected cycle shop in Horwich, just north of Bolton - Green Machine Bike Shop ( I hadn't seen much of John over the years since we'd been in venture scouts and occasionally climbed together, but I'd popped in to see him on the Grumpie's inaugural Lancashire ride in March 2016 and also the day before Ironman this year, when I was with Kate, who also used to hang about in the same circles back in the day.

The venture scouts at the Cantilever Stone c1978
Learning via the web that John was a registered Kinesis UK dealership, I immediately called him and asked him to build be a bike based on the Kinesis GTD (for 'Go the Distance') frameset. I opted for a simple Ultegra chainset (50/34 and 11/30) but allowed myself two luxuries; a PowerTap G3 hub-based power meter and a SON 18 hub dynamo for those long days in the saddle when losing power to your Garmin and mobile phone would be the last thing you want to happen.

To be honest I didn't have much (well, none) experience of the hub dynamo market and John was great, looking into the subject himself, running through a couple of options before opting for the SON device.

John kindly built the bike and I picked it up a couple of weeks later, taking a day off from work specially.

Whilst there, John offered to set the bike up for me with a fitting, but I had to be back in Sheffield quite quickly but also the following day, I had booked a bike fit with another friend, Matt Withycombe of Bikefly (

Matt and I train together at Steve Harrop's Skyhook Coaching Services (https://skyhookcoaching.comand Matt has recently taken advantage of the available spare room in Steve's offices and expanded his bike fitting services based on years of experience in the field, as a cyclist and triathlete himself and also as a practising physiotherapist.

We initially looked at the cleat position (I use Speedplay pedals and cleats) and they seemed fine with the pedal spindle just behind the big toe joint. Matt noted that I also had a wide stance and the cleats were already in (shoe out) as far as they could go to give the widest possible stance without extending the pedal spindle length.  

The initial observations were that it looked a little overstretched when trying to get to a riding position 'on the hoods.' This in part looked exaggerated as you tend to sit with your pelvis rotated backwards with your upper back more flexed. It's probably a position I sit in a lot at work, spending hours staring at computer screens, and is possibly partly my default spinal posture.

Having said that' things weren't too bad in other areas. The knee angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke wasn’t too far off (recommend is between 35-40 degrees) at 40.6 degrees (180-139.4).

Matt only made a few small adjustments to the saddle position. We went slightly forwards and up. 

The handlebars were also tilted slightly backwards to take some strain off the wrists (it surprised me how different and comfortable this difference made when riding a few days later).

Below is Matt's final photo after the corrections. The knee angle is approx. 38 degrees at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The knee over foot position was better and we both agreed that I looked - and felt - much less stretched and in a very comfortable riding position.

I've ridden the Kinesis a few times since picking it up and having it fitted. It's a lovely bike; very comfortable and it feels as though it's going to be just the job for long days in the saddle. I'm really looking forward to spending time on it and I'm sure there will be more blog posts that involve it in the future.

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