General Discussion Triathlon Talk » seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement Rss Feed  
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2011-01-27 12:30 AM

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement

Long story, bear with ...

I bought my P3C 4 years ago for my 2nd IM, with with R bend aerobars and a Profile Tri Stryke seat, got it fitted at the time, and rode it.  And rode it, and fiddled with it, and took it apart to put it in a bike case, and put it together, and rode it some more.  Never got re-fitted, etc.  Swapped out the stem when I thought I felt stretched out, otherwise never did anything else.  Rode six IMs on it in 4 years, and I felt pretty comfortable on it.

Two seasons ago I thought maybe I'd be happier with ski-bends (aka J bend aerobars) because my wrists tended to hurt in aero for too long.  Last year I thought maybe my seat was starting to wear out - it looked pretty crushed down in the middle.  But I didn't get around to doing anything about it.  And the Vision base bar was never all that great on my hands when not in aero, but it was sexy.

This season I thought, "well, maybe I'll finally swap the aerobars, and if I'm doing that, sure the base bar too, and that seat's looking worn out, so I'll buy a new one.   And I'll get fitted while I'm at it".  So I pulled the trigger two weeks ago, and have a new Vision base bar (the rounder UCT legal one), the J bends, and a new Fizik Arione Tri seat.  And a professional fit to got with the new parts, a $200 2 hour fitting.

OMG!  I was blind!  I had no idea what I was missing.  My P3C is vastly more comfortable now.  Was it ever this comfortable? No, I don't think so.  Certainly not the last two seasons and after years of my various blue-tape-marks-the-spot disassemble / re-assembles.

I've ridden it about 5 hours on the trainer, and I'm 80% of the time in aero.  II've never been able to do that this early in the season and never so effortlessly.  I had my wife record a video of me, and my back is flatter and my position is better than ever before.  The Fizik is by far the most comfortable seat I've ever ridden, road or tri.  And my hands just drop into the aero bars, no wrist issues whatsoever.  

I slap myself upside for not doing this sooner. Money well spent.



2011-01-27 12:35 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Pro
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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
Dude, that is so encouraging! I'm wrestling with some bike stuff right now regarding fit and comfort, so this gives me hope that there's light at the end of the tunnel!
2011-01-27 5:27 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Pro
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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
Superb post!

Using the right stuff and then getting fitted makes an enormous difference.
2011-01-27 6:56 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
Yeah, that's awesome. Was it a FIST fit or any particular method?
2011-01-27 7:56 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Champion
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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
What was the difference in method between first and second fit?

One question I know everyone has is how do you pick a good fitter. Just because a shop does fits doesn't make them good at it.

Can you share anything that might help those trying to find a good place to have a fit done?

Glad the new fit made a big difference!
2011-01-27 8:02 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Regular
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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
I have a Tri Stryke and tested an Arione.  I could not get comfortable with how hard that Arione is compared to the Tri Stryke.  I'm sure it just wasn't the right saddle for me, but the firmness difference is quite striking.  You didn't have any problems with the change?


2011-01-27 8:46 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
A dead giveaway should have been your inability to ride 80% in aero. Btw, I've found the Arione that came with my P2 to be the most comfortable nosed saddle I've ever ridden. I have an Adano from my previous bike that I loved but have never bothered toninstall on the P2.
2011-01-27 10:11 AM
in reply to: #3324194

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Master
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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
scottuf - 2011-01-27 6:02 AM I have a Tri Stryke and tested an Arione.  I could not get comfortable with how hard that Arione is compared to the Tri Stryke.  I'm sure it just wasn't the right saddle for me, but the firmness difference is quite striking.  You didn't have any problems with the change?


I was skeptical of the Arione Tri seat, but it was pretty much instantly comfortable and got more comfortable as we tweaked the angle a bit - very surprising to me.  The nose is narrower and that seems to make a big difference.  The firmness difference is there but seems an improvement.  I ride it about 2 degrees nose down.

BTW, as I suspected my old Tri Stryke seat was quite worn out.  In the bright light of the store, compared to a new one side-by-side, mine was smashed down in the middle, much softer, and heavy signs of wear on the fabric.  I suspect I was riding on the plastic seat foundation more than the cushioning.

2011-01-27 10:50 AM
in reply to: #3324182

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Master
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Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
KathyG - 2011-01-27 5:56 AM What was the difference in method between first and second fit?

One question I know everyone has is how do you pick a good fitter. Just because a shop does fits doesn't make them good at it.

Can you share anything that might help those trying to find a good place to have a fit done?

Glad the new fit made a big difference!


My first fit on the bike was done by the bike shop on the bike itself, by person who wasn't "FIST certified" or anything like.  This was the kind of fit I've had before, eyeballed by the fitter, angle measurements, plumb bobs, etc.  Seemed reasonable and I was comfortable at the time.  I've had the same kind of fit done on my road bike twice, once by one of the "best fitters in the Northwest" who has since been dissed by others here as an "old school" fitter.  Note my signature line - fior each expert there is an equal and opposite expert.  Triathlon appears to do that in threes, not just twos.

Anyway, the way I looked for a fitter this time was to drop by and see how they do fittings.  I spent 20 minutes with Brian and he just explained how he would do the fitting, and then I made the appointment.  The fact it would take 2 to 3 hours alone indicated we'd be doing much more than any of my prior fittings.

Brian is listed as FIST certified fitter, although he used a Serotta fit bike and the Serotta SizeCycle.  I don't much care about the brand name of the system used, just the end result it produces. 

To start with, Brian fitted the bike with my pedals from my bike, the Fizik Arione Tri 2 saddle, the Vision base bar I wanted, and Vision Vector adjustable aerobars with J-bends.  Then he interviewed me and filled out the Serotta form.  How long I'd been riding, type of riding, etc.  Next we did body measurements like inseam and the like with some tools (not just a tape measure).  Then it was up on the massage table type thing to do various range of motion checks on my knees, hips, etc, again with angle measuring tools.  Those numbers all go on the form.  He also measured my bike in various ways. Then he punched some numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, and voila out comes some basic numbers to start with on the SizeCycle. 

Then I got on the bike and rode it, and we moved things around a little bit at a time.  The seat up a bit, the aerobars in closer a bit, angle of the seat changed a bit, that sort of thing.  Cameras in front and to the side, and he watched my position and I could watch it.  He did measurement checks with various tools, and we chatted about comfort, how things looked to him and felt to me.  I've been riding for a number of years and as a result I can provide pretty good feedback about how things feel.  An inexperienced rider would have had to rely more on Brian's feedback, we had a good back-and-forth about things.

All total we spent about 2 to 2 1/2 hours on the fitting.  Then he measured the final positions of everything on the SizeCycle, and transferred the numbers to the Serotta form.  He emailed that to me, BTW, and explained how to use the numbers to set up my bike in the future if I take it apart.  Brian was also the person who installed the new parts on my bike and had them match the numbers we had determined during the fitting.

The improvement is not just because of the fit alone, but I will credit that as a big part of it.  As I titled this post, it's the seat + the new cockpit + the fitting that add up to the big improvement.   My seat is slightly higher than I had it, the stem is 10mm shorter and the cockpit is slightly higher, the J-bends are a good 20mm closer in than the R bends. 
2011-01-28 11:18 PM
in reply to: #3323902

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Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement
X2 on the cockpit changeover for me too! I was initally fitted by a certified FIST. My ride came with the Profile Designs Carbon Stryke (ski bends) along with the OS Wing base bar and Arione Tri2 Saddle. About 3 months I switched saddles to a Tri-Stryke and then to an Adamo Road. After tweaking the Adamo saddle, stem height, fore/aft saddle adjustments I thought things were finally better (but not quite there because each ride felt a little different) plus I couldn't stay in the aero position very long. This past month I decided to make a drastic change and swapped to a T2 "S" bend extension, a T2 Wing base bar and OMG, what a difference for me. So much that I went back to my Arione and no longer have any discomfort. Initially alot of folks were saying how comfortable the Arione saddle was and I thought they were crazy. The Adamo is great but after switching back and after two 50 mile hard rides, I too, can stay around 80% in the aeros with no pain in the neck, back and virtually no pain "down there" with the Arione. 
Weird. But now I can't wait for the Tri season to start.
2011-01-29 7:13 AM
in reply to: #3323902

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Elite
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Raleigh
Subject: RE: seat + new cockpit + fitting = amazing improvement

Great post Bruce,

I get a "updated" fit every year at the beginning of the year because sometimes I am more fit or less fit depending on the prior year and my updated fit changes things just a little.

A fit is not a one and done thing for everything.... and you are great proof that no matter how talented or seasoned you are, a FIT is always benefitial.



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