You’ve spent countless hours training for your race. Don’t neglect getting your bike ready, too!
Get your bike ready for riding now to minimize distractions later! Besides a pre-season tune-up, there are a number of small details best sorted now so your training won’t get derailed later! Check out these worthy time investments so you can fully invest your time later in actually riding:
A Fit or Re-fit– Bodies change as far as strength and flexibility therefore your fit may need an update, too. Or perhaps you’re a former long course athlete who is focusing on sprints next year and wants a more aggressive position with less drag. Whatever the reason, the truth is it takes a long time for your body to adjust to a new fit. Matt Cole, owner and chief fitter at Podium Multisport says “it can take up to 90 days for an experienced TT bike rider and up to a 120 days for a beginner.” So the best time to make a change is when the miles and demands are low!
New Cleats– Getting new cleats sounds like a very minor change, but I’m always amazed at the number of suddenly appearing aches and pains that end up being due to a cleat or shoe change. Think about it this way-your body gets accustomed to thousands of pedal strokes in a certain position so a minor change can have major repercussions. Best practice is to bring your old shoes in to a professional fitter to either help you get the position the same or see if a changed position would be optimal. Then you have time to adjust before you ramp up the miles and intensity.
New Saddle– Are you merely tolerating your saddle? If this describes you, then the off-season is a time to finally take advantage of your local bike shop’s saddle trial program. Remember that changing the saddle may necessitate other changes such as seat height and position. All things that are best done when you don’t have a big race looming!
Accessory Changes– Considering changing up your hydration system or bike computer? The off-season is a great time to make these changes as well. Not only do you have more time during this period but it’s likely that your local bike shop mechanic does too. Therefore they might have more time on their hands to help you find the perfect angle for your new Garmin mount.