Becoming a cyclist: part one – collecting the bike
RCUK’s Colin Henrys takes the plunge into road cycling with an Apex bike fit at Bike Fit North East
Summer is rapidly approaching and the number of people heading out on two wheels is increasing accordingly.
And as the summer draws nearer those numbers will include me.
Why is that significant? Well, having caught the cycling bug in a big way thanks to covering the pro racing scene for Road Cycling UK, the time has come for me to ditch the rusted old machine which served a purpose during university and move onto a proper road bike for the first time.
My summer pedalling will be done aboard a Cube Peloton Race, a machine highly recommended by my colleagues at RCUK Towers, which I have now been acquainted with at the brand’s concept store in Durham.
The bike, which boasts an aluminium frame and tapered Cube CSL Race Carbon fork is the brand’s chief entry-level machine.
Dressed in Shimano’s 105 groupset and boasting a claimed weight of 8.7kg, the bike costs £999 and in order to ensure I get the most of my machine, I took advantage of Cube’s bike fit service.
Rocking up at the store in my jersey and bib shorts from Dare2B to pick up the machine but without the slightest idea what I was letting myself in for, I was the epitome of ‘all the gear, no idea’.
The Cube Store and Infinity Cycles use the Apex Bike Performance Fitting System. It ‘quantifies the marginal gains’ according to the poster up in the fitting room, though it is fair to say I will be needing more than just some marginal gains if my measurements are anything to go by.
More details will come when my bike fit report is finalised, but for those – like me – who are knew to the whole process, here’s a quick breakdown.
My fitting started with a brief chat with Luke Parkin, head technician, about my history (minimal) and my goals (ambitious).
Then it was into a pair of cleated shoes for the first time and onto the jig – which, I can already say, is much easier to clip into than the real thing, though more on that soon.
My every movement was analysed, with a significant output difference between my left and right legs identified almost immediately.
PNF stretching, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching to the biomechanically-minded, followed and the discovery my left leg is marginally longer than my right – which was news to me.
More stretching and a quick adjustment of the cleats followed and the results were almost instant – my jagged output graph became rounder and my left-right balance more symmetrical. Easy this cycling lark.
The onset of fatigue – much earlier into the test than I’d normally admit to – shattered such illusions, but more stretching and adjustments followed and my measurements were ready to be applied to the bike.
And so here I am, the proud owner of a perfectly-fitted Cube Peloton Race road bike, clipless pedals, cleated shoes and new kit.
All the gear, no idea indeed.
Read more at Road Cycling UK