Sunday, June 13, 2010

Quick note: Bicycle Fitting "Apps"

First - don't get me wrong.  I'm not a Luddite. I love many things that have come along in the technological revolution.  But, we still must be careful how much gravity we give these tools and applications that actively or passively claim to replace humans.

I've talked some about the bike fitting calculators which can be found at various locations online and how; while they may be based on good equations, there are two inherent flaws when it comes to claims of delivering "correct fit" or "correct frame size":

1. The accuracy of the resulting dimensions is only as good as the accuracy of the measurements used in the equations.  Garbage in, garbage out.

2. Unquantifiable factors such as injury history, desired riding position, physiological asymmetries, riding history and goals are not accounted for.  Additionally, flexibility and ranges of motion also weigh heavily into determining a rider's optimal on the bike position.  These factors are glaringly absent from these applications because they introduce an "X" factor which cannot be caluclated.

So in the end - using such applications as a guide or a starting point is not bad and may help you narrow the herd a little.  But, until an application comes along capable of evaluating and somehow quantifying the unquantifiable; there will be no replacement for the hands and mind of an experienced bicycle fitter.

Now, go ride! (And if it hurts - go see your fitter.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bike Mistakes Series

Here for your easy browsing; an index of the posts I have created (and the planned posts for future publishing) on what has turned out to already be a popular topic. I hope you find all this helpful in making your bike more comfortable, run more smoothly, and last longer.

Have any suggestions? The comments section of this post is the place to leave them; so comment away!  But most importantly - enjoy.

Bike Mistakes - Part 1: Handlebar

This is the first in a series on common mistakes on your bike... 

I've been thinking about a series of posts about common mistakes that most everyone (even some shops) makes on bicycles. I'm going to give this a stab here and see how it goes. I'll be focusing on mechanical mistakes as well as those that may effect comfort, handling, or safety. I don't know how many parts there will be - this will just sort of evolve. If you have a suggestion or something you'd like to see covered: leave a comment and let me know.

So, let's start at the front of the bike - and with an important contact point: the handlebar.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Choosing the Right Road Tire

Part of a series I'm calling Tires 101 with lots of great info to consider when looking for new tires.


You'd be amazed at how many of these topics are inspired by my daily conversations with customers and clients (and even further amazed by how many of those common conversations I never get around to writing about...)

This is actually a frequent conversation I have. There are so many tire choices out there that it is hard to sort through the marketing spin and quasi-technical data to the stuff that really matters. So, for the sake of this post and to simplify things; I'm going focus on traditional clincher tires (maybe we'll discuss tubulars and tubeless at a later date...) and break the road bike tire market into 3 segments:

-Racing/High Performance/Light Weight

-Training/Medium Puncture Resistance/Better Tread Life

-High Puncture Resistance & Tread Life

Tires 101 Series


This series kind of came together after the fact as I realized how much complementary material I had written about bike tires. I think this is especially helpful when you have been disappointed with the tires you've been riding or just know you need something different.

As a whole; the individual posts will address much of what I cover when I talk in person with a client about their options for tires. Of course; that exchange is much more conversational and often less exhaustive because we can assess needs and narrow down the options in a hurry.  Here we don't have that luxury. But; check it out - skim the sections that don't apply to your situation - and enjoy the rest.

  • Choosing the Right Road Tire - Simplifying the myriad options into categories and addressing their unique qualities and characteristics to hope to bring some clarity to the chaos!
  • The Truth about Tire Pressure - Because it's not as simple as just pumping your tires up to the maximum pressure on the sidewall. (And why more is rarely better...)
  • Fascinating Tire Test Results - Some surprises and some confirmations. Putting some data behind the speculation.
  • Worn Tires and Flatting - Sudden chronic flatting can be caused by excessive tire wear. A quick photo guide to the most common types (all seen on one summer Saturday in the shop...)
  • Tubeless Cyclocross Tire Tips - A "guest post" with some great helps on setting up wheels to run tubeless for cyclocross season.

    Got any lingering questions? Something you'd like to see covered in detail? Leave your idea in the comments and it may become the next in the series!


All content - except where otherwise noted - copyright 2006 - 2013 Matthew Magee. Do not use without permission.

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