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  • A Brief Discussion on Bicycle Size & Fit
  • Tour Tip – Cycling Shorts

A Brief Discussion On Size and Fit

More than twenty years ago, we bought this Italian “fitting” cycle that allowed us to kind of mock-up a bicycle and check top tube and stem lengths. It was a blue-green thing, very rickety, without pedals. At the time, we used it to determine correct stem length, thus preventing customers from needing to return over and over with incorrectly sized stems. And, it began to show us how to resolve issues such as stiff necks, numb hands, and sore backs.

We quickly learned that very few customers really “fit” on a stock bike with factory supplied saddle, handlebar, or stem. Often the top tube or seat angle just didn’t allow for optimum comfort and performance. We knew even then that the 4′ 10″ dancer or 6′ 11″ ball player would never find a “stock” bike small or large enough; or, that the customer who had repeated back surgeries or severe arthritis needed special attention paid to top tubes and handlebar/stem combinations. We found that chronic genital numbness, for example, was a condition which we were able to resolve – and still do with considerable success.

We also recognized that many of the problems took time to work out – results were, and still are, sometimes trial and error. That’s when the idea of a custom-only-shop began to take shape. And, in February, 1997, it became a realiity. We don’t stock hundreds of bikes; we don’t sell anything from a production manufacturer. Every bike is custom from start to finish. And, because we offer just that kind of service, our time is your time. And, that investment in time and patience pays off in your satisfaction with and commitment to your riding.

Most importantly, our customers are not necessarily Paris-Brest-Paris riders or Ironman triathletes – although, we’ve worked with both – but they are riders just like you. They ride for fun, exercise, self-expression, competition, and transportation. What they want is the best possible combination of frame, components, fit, and performance.

Today, we use a Serotta SizeCycle mounted with the Salsa Size-O-Matic stem for more accurate height and extension data. Our goal is to continually add useful tools and increase our expertise.

In addition to start-to-finish fitting for new singles and tandems, we also offer the service of working with you and your existing bike to enhance your riding comfort and performance. From pedals and cleats to handlebars and stems, everything will be checked and considered. A typical re-fitting on your bike takes between 30 and 90 minutes. A complete new-bike fitting ordinarily takes somewhat longer. But, plan to spend at least an extra half-hour to an hour with us. We will take ample time asking you questions pertinent to your riding techniques and goals. Once again however, our time is your time – we want to work with you until we are BOTH satisfied with the results.

©2000, Diane Lees & Brian Jenks

How Many Pair of Shorts Do I Need?

Since you want to begin with clean, dry cycling shorts every day – and CLEAN is the operative! – I would suggest at least 2 pair for every 4 days of travel. So, a 7 day trip would need 3 pair of shorts.

You can wash a pair out each night and re-use them the next day; however, drying time depends upon the weather – humidity, etc. AND, you may not feel like washing clothes every night.

IF you are unable to wash your cycling shorts clean before wearing them, you open yourself up to bacteria that can cause rashes, chafing, sores, and other unpleasant problems. It’s not worth testing this – believe me, it’s important.

If the shorts are not dry when you put them on, chafing and added moisture in areas where you don’t want or need it can cause similar issues as shorts that are not clean.

Perhaps one of the best solutions to extending the life of a short is the use of a liner. In addition to allowing you to wear a pair of shorts for a second day, a liner can add a bit more padding, offer a second wicking fabric between you and the chamois pad in your cycling shorts, and they wash clean and dry lightning fast!

You can read about the Andiamo unpadded Skins™ that we sell and see if this might be a solution for you.

If you are loathe to wear tight fitting cycling shorts, Andiamo also makes  padded liners for men and women that you can wear under virtually any garment – short, skirt, trouser, or Capri. They add a seamless pad, protecting you from the seams of other garments and will also wash clean and dry quickly.

My recommendation for shorts + liners: Take two pair of shorts for every 5 days and 3 liners. Just like feet, it’s always nice to have a dry bum!

…just want you to know i’ve been using your helmet mirror for at least a couple of years, and it’s fabulous. wouldn’t consider riding without it.

Tom Kelly

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