Get Low

Being my first season racing as a professional triathlete I had high hopes for great improvements and results and I am happy with the progress I have made toward those goals. The one thing that was really not going my way however was that I had made no improvement and on some courses I even got slower, in some cases much slower. This was totally baffling me as last year I was riding a road bike with makeshift triathlon bars swapped in and this year I was on a TT specific bike with a huge wheel upgrade. I decided to go in and get some fit changes worked out.

I visited Wade at Spokesman Bicycles and almost immediately he recognized that the position I was in was not all that aerodynamic. Without really knowing what I was doing I had picked a bike that was not fit to me that well and it was not allowing me to get into an efficient position. Below are some frame captures from the fit session. On the left I am on my Transition and on the right I am on the Cérvelo that we built to fit my body's geometry and optimize my TT position. The geometrical changes that we made were moving the seat forward 7 cm and dropping the bars 10 cm.

This new position did a lot of things to make me more aerodynamic and was simultaneously more comfortable. By being closer to the bars and with them lower my back became more horizontal making my front profile smaller and also put my arms in a more natural position so that my shoulders can rest in line with my neck and back so my scapulae are no longer flaring up and I no longer have to do any sustained lateral or vertical compensation. With the extra freedom in my shoulders I can also roll them forward to squeeze my forward profile even thinner.

The new position, though a better fit for my physiology, is agressive and stretches my hips and back more than I am used to so over a couple of months I am slowly stepping down the drop in the bars. The other thing we worked on was my foot and knee position. We added varus wedges to my shoes so that my knees would shift slightly outward and sit directly above the center of my foot. My knees had been slightly out of line and my leg muscles compensated so Wade also gave me stretches and exercises to compensate for the imbalances I have developed. In the videos you can see (hopefully) that my knees are moving into a more neutral and  efficient position engaging the proper muscles.

This is still a work in progress and my body is capable of geting into an even lower position which will require a different bike frame because we have almost reached the limit for drop on the Cérvelo. 


  1. Great Post! Your fit on the Cervelo looks awesome. You may find that glasses are an issue now. I don;t know if you race with them but as you get more horizontal, you may have to push your head up slightly to keep the top of the frame from obstructing your vision. I eventually found the Endura Marlin's and would highly recommend them if you do race with glasses on. You can't see any part of the frame while wearing them so you're head and neck can be comfortable. And there's no peripheral issues.