Fit isn’t always fitting.

So what if it's a little small?

So what if it’s a little small?

Red Kite Prayer posted a thing today about noticing how adaptable our bodies are to our bikes. Maybe we notice that some aspects of the fit aren’t quite right but quickly, imperceptibly, without us even noticing, our bodies begin to make a thousand adjustments to make us work better on the bike. Just one of those miracles of the human body, like eyeballs, opposable thumbs and brains with billion of synapses.

I had fit on my mind just the other day as I pondered a new mountain bike for my freaky, long arms, long legs, 6′ 4″ body. I’m like an old white NBA player from the 80’s, a point guard trying to climb on a bike.

I’ve spent hundreds and hundred of dollars getting special fitting sessions to not only determine the dimensions of a new road bike frame but to dial me in on an existing bike. That seems to matter a lot in terms of back and knee and wrist and neck pain. I’m anti-pain. I’m always hitting the aspirin and red wine every night and that’s just the daily living part.

At age 59 I look at the costly fitting as an absolute necessity. So when I started thinking about a new mountain bike — full suspension this time for this old bag of bones — I did the usual senseless and frustrating search for “XXL mountain bikes” and a few other hopeful search terms. I got back the usual answer — they’re aren’t any unless you’re paying custom. Honestly, I’m sick of paying custom. I still have one kid to put into college and pay for those four years.

Then I talked to a few bike shop people and they all insisted that perfect fit wasn’t such a big deal for mountain bikes. Shortly thereafter I came across the RKP post about how all our bodies simply make the adjustments and I thought, fantastic, maybe I’ve been too anal retentive about this, maybe I can save some dollars.

So now I’m looking at the Santa Cruz Tall Boy and the Trek Fuel EX 9. They’re roughly 23 inch frames with is still too small for me. I suspect there is a new stem and crazy long seat post in my near future.

But them again, okay, I’m not racing. I’m not trying to perfect my power output, I don’t need my weight positioned in the absolute ideal spot front to back on the bike. I’m fine with good and maybe even not too bad. My Calfee Manta is custom and so was the fitting but maybe it’s time to relax, buy the Tall Boy and stop obsessing about ergonomics and bio-mechanical efficiency.

Maybe I should just ride the bike and, like, not worry.

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One Response to “Fit isn’t always fitting.”

  1. Yes, Matt. Just ride your bike and enjoy! After all, life’s too short to complicate things.