You may remember a blog Is This Aero? from a few months ago, discussing the aero road bike options available to my friend Tony. We settled on the Specialized Venge, mainly on the recommendation of a top triathlete.
After looking at his options, Tony settled on a little used S-Works Venge, with limited edition Mark Cavendish paintwork. Having checked the bike over myself before purchase, Tony was assured that he could be riding a pretty special super-bike for the price of an off-the-shelf Specialized. Deal done.
Having spent less on a bike, the next part of the advice package was to spend more on a bike fit. Enter my old friend Mike from Bike Fit
Tony was in UK on a last-minute short visit but he did manage to bring with him from Abu Dhabi, a borrowed bike box (more on that later). As the trip was arranged at short notice, we were unable to see Mike himself, as he’s usually booked up well in advance. Instead we did managed to see Mike’s colleague, bike fit expert and local Time Trial legend, Steve Biddulph.
As Tony was brand new to cycling Steve helped choose some shorts, a shirt and some cycling shoes, selecting some great Bontrager tri shoes with mesh fronts, perfect for the heat of the Abu Dhabi Formula One motor racing circuit, where Tony will be doing most of his training rides. In summer it can be 40°C even at 10:00a.m, that’s well over 100°F for our friends across the pond!
The bike was already reasonably well set up, here’s Tony sitting on the bike for the first time – facial expressions are optional.
As you can see, he’s naturally positioned his hands at the back of the handle bars. Some of the adjustments made by Steve, included moving the seat both forward, and very slightly higher. Once the adjustments were made, Tony’s hands naturally fell onto the brake hoods but what was most telling was the ease with which he could pedal, producing more power, he felt that it became easier, even though he was riding faster. At this point I was a little worried that he might do to me on the bike, what he already does on the run….was swimming to be my only preserve?
Once back home, it took us almost an hour to get the bike into the box. Tony looked on expectantly as ‘the expert’ disassembled his new prized possession and then proceeded to twist and turn the frame, forks and handlebars in a way that the box seemed to agree with. Thirty feet of foam tubing later and the bike was safely wrapped up, box closed and ready for a flight to the land of sand. I’m just grateful that Tony was on a 56cm frame and not the 60cm I ride!
Thankfully, Tony’s mate and cycle box owner in Abu Dhabi was able to help him reassemble the bike and recreate the set-up, using the tape markers left by Steve. Wasting no time, Tony was out the very next morning for his inaugural ride.
Here’s a screen shot of his first ever ride:
Not bad at all. Almost 30km/h, so nearly 20mph average.
As some of you may recognise, I taught Tony one thing during the whole experience:
“If your ride ain’t on Strava, it didn’t happen!”
He has a few rides under his belt now, and so far, he hasn’t fallen off and hasn’t yet forgotten to unclip at a standstill. Perhaps he’ll be the first ever cyclist to bypass that learning experience?
Enjoy the ride Tony, it’s gonna be a blast!
The GI Tri Coach