New bike day is just as exciting for us here at MyVeloFit as for anyone else. I thought as a way to celebrate my new bike day I’d bring you along the journey of dialing in my position on my Trek Checkpoint SL 5. I can already hear some of you asking “surely if you run a bike fit company you already know your setup?” Well, kind of. If I had wanted to just replicate my position from my previous bike, we’ve written up a great method for doing so. But I wanted to take this opportunity to start from scratch.
I’ve opted to test out a slightly more upright position that I have in the past (more on this in future posts). So I threw my previous fit measurements out the window (not literally of course) and started fresh to see where I ended up. The process I took looks a little like this:
- Create a Blank Slate
- Find a Starting Position
- Completing My Bike Fit
- Get Out and Ride
In this post I’ll take you along my journey of setting up my new bike, and hopefully provide some insights on how you might be able to do the same.
Create a Blank Slate
What everyone should know is that the bike I (you) just bought should be completely safe and properly adjusted mechanically, but may not be ready to ride. Before starting any bike fit journey, we always recommend every rider sets their bike up to be a blank slate, and I’m no different.
What this means is taking a little time to get all the touch points on your bike into a neutral position so you’re not working against any less than ideal adjustments that may have been made to your new bike when it was getting built (either from the factory or at the shop). You may get lucky and find it takes very little to get you to this point, but it’s always worth checking and is a critical step not to skip. While these adjustments may seem small, they can make a world of difference when dialing in your fit later.
The steps I always take when starting to set up a new bike are as follows:
- Set up shoes and cleats (if you’re on clipless pedals)
- Choosing shoes and footbeds
Setting Cleat Position
- My cleats were already set, so I got to skip this step.
- Set a starting handlebar rotation
- For me: with the drops level, or pointed slightly down
- Checkout our full post on bar rotation and hood positioning
- Set hood/lever position
- For me: tilted slightly up and inward
- If you don’t have a preference: level with each other, slightly up, and straight (NOT outward)
- Level, Straighten and Centre Your Saddle
- Check out full post on setting saddle tilt
Once this is complete we’re ready to really dig in.
Finding a Starting Position
As I mentioned, I’m starting fresh on this bike and wanted to forget about all the previous fit measurements I typically use. So where do I start? The first step is finding a starting position, ideally as close as possible to where I think I might end up. Getting it perfect isn’t the goal, just close.
***If you have a position you’re already comfortable with, start there. No need to start fresh***