The One Bike Theory

tricross 2013
I’ve been riding my Tricross bike for everything lately. I use it for commuting to work, getting around town, running errands, and weekend rides. I’ve even ridden two (hilly) populaires on it. According to my statistics, I’ve ridden well over 2500 miles on it since I bought it used in 2010.

I have a road bike that is currently sitting in storage until my favorite shop ride resumes in the spring– I think. I have a folding bike that I had bought to be multimodal, except now I either ride an entire trip on a bike, or I take the Metro, or lately I’ve been multimodalling it via Capital Bikeshare.

Maybe I should only have one bike? I’ve been thinking of eventually selling the Tricross and getting a nimble yet solid steel-frame bike– or at least a bike that fits me a little better than what I have now. Like Alex, size is an issue for me too, but I can’t afford a custom-built bike right now.

And yet– I’m not sure whether I want to give up my road bike. I like it for short, fast weekend rides, but not for longer rides. I can’t decide.

Bike Fit

On Friday, I did something I should have done long before: I scheduled an appointment for a bike fitting for my Tricross.

I’ve been saying all along that the bike doesn’t feel quite right, but I couldn’t say specifically what was wrong with it. I don’t get any aches and pains from riding, but there was still something that prevents me from feeling 100% comfortable on it.

At my bike fit appointment, the specialist asked me questions about my bike riding habits and on my general fitness level. He took measurements of my inseam, and my shoulder width. While on the bike, he measured the angle of my shoulder to my torso and the angle of bend in my knee at the lowest point of the circle. He watched me pedal and took notes on any unusual movements.

The result? He said that most of my adjustments should be in the handlebars and stem. My handlebars are slightly too wide for me, and that my reach slightly too stretched out. He said that the frame size is at the upper limit of what I can comfortably handle, which is fine for short-distance commuting, but ultimately not good for longer rides.

All of this rings true for me. I plan on getting narrower handlebars and a shorter stem for now, and hopefully that will make me feel a little more comfortable. In the future, though, I am going to look for a bike that fits me better, based on the measurements I have obtained from this bike fit.