Most great ideas in life are accompanied by an unforeseen consequence of equal or greater magnitude. For instance, no one predicted that the Industrial Revolution would pollute our air and set off climate change on a global scale. Similarly, no one realized that when placing unfathomable computing power in the palm of our hands in the form of smart phones, it would gridlock traffic as people sit idle at green lights while updating their Facebook statuses. But most of all, no one anticipated that the invention of the Internet would reveal an entire population of people who can judge the quality of a rider’s position simply by looking at a photograph of the bicycle itself. That’s quite a Carnacian talent, one that might have saved the great Eddy Merckx quite a bit of time and hassle.
Legions of people have tried their hand at methodizing bike fitting for the obvious reason that it is theoretically possible and sounds nice and tidy. The problem is that we don’t understand the alchemy of biomechanics, aerodynamics, and physiology that determines the rider’s optimal position. As it stands, bike fitting is more art than it is science where experimentation informed by performance is the only way to get things perfect. Continue reading