Breaking News #4

After I had the components on my P1 transferred to the P3 frameset (see Breaking News #2), I discovered that I would need to be refit since there were some minor differences between the geometry of the P1 and P3. Fortunately, Freshbikes Cycling, the bike shop sponsoring my team, has several certified fit specialists on staff. After an exchange of emails with the Fit Director about my back issues (ankylosing spondylitis), we scheduled a three-hour fitting session for yesterday evening.

This would be the second time that I’ve had a comprehensive personal bike fitting involving video and biomechanical measurements. The first time was two years ago after I started having saddle and comfort issues during races. This time, it didn’t take Clovis, a former professional cyclist, Olympian, and National Cycling Champion for Brazil in the late 1980’s, more than 15 minutes to determine that the P3 was the wrong bike for me. Even after raising the saddle height on the P3 to improve my pedaling efficiency, there was nothing he could do to shorten my reach to the aerobars. The result was that my upper body, with the saddle height increased, was cramped and my line-of-sight ahead was severely limited.

The previous fitter had either ignored or marginalized the impact of my back issues on my position on the bike. And, since each bike brand has a unique frame geometry that is best suited to a specific body type, that previous fitter should have had the integrity to recognize that fitting me to the Cervelo frame geometry was impossible.

Clovis characterized the Cervelo frame geometry as “long (reach) and low (body angle),” while I needed “short and high.” It turns out that the Specialized Shiv frame geometry (see comparison photo below) is ideal for me. He had one in stock in my size and set it up for me to test ride on the trainer, using the fitting measurements taken earlier with the P3. The fit was perfect. So, I bought it. After the holidays, I will sell the P3 (with its components) and the P1 frameset for enough to cover the cost of the more expensive Shiv.


left: Cervelo P3 (“long and low” frame); right: Specialized Shiv (“short and high” frame)