December 28, 2020

RIDING POSITION

When I was a kid, I would hop on my bike and fly away to what always felt like new worlds and adventures. I remember treks to other kids’ houses that would take what seemed like hours to ride to. In those days, I would ride standing up practically to scale a hill. Or I would crouch down and keep my head low, similar to a motorcyclist trying to gain speed.

Sometimes, I would stand on the pegs of another person’s bike while holding their shoulders. Or sit on the handlebars in the front. Sometimes I was the driver, contorting my position to the point where I could barely see the road, sometimes the passenger, managing to pretzel my limbs around some semblance of security on the bicycle frame.

But that was then, and this is now. If you’re like me, a fall or a scrape takes 2 weeks to recover from, rather than the 2 minutes it used to.

So now, thankfully, the bikes contort to us! We all have our own resting position, or rather, a position that feels ‘just right’ as if we were Goldilocks. I was happy to receive my DŌST because while I knew it had an adjustable seat (pretty common), I was unsure how this adjustable handlebar would work. I had never heard of an Ergotech stem. Certainly, my kid bikes long ago didn’t have such a device.

Curiously, I approached the stem and noticed measurement markers on the side. With a simple hex tool (sometimes called an Allen wrench or key) I could dial in the comfort level of my choice for my riding position.

I was surprised to find, I didn’t feel right sitting very up-right. Call it the extra weight I am carrying around the mid-section these days, but I actually preferred it slightly forward. As I rotated it (it has a rotation rate of 90 degrees!), I played with different seat heights and pre-load adjustments on the front fork as well.

Once I got it all set up, it was seriously game-changing. If I hadn’t paid attention to these settings, I may have gone to bed with aches and pains. Luckily though, I got configured perfectly, giving me more time and miles on my DŌST.

My wife, on the other hand, was equally surprised that a rather stiff and upright posture was the golden ticket for her. While I marvel at how nonchalant we were as kids hopping on and riding bikes, I am now equally marvelled as to why some people don’t take advantage of these finer details.

My advice: Get your DŌST setup for your preferences to the finest detail. The tire pressure, pre-load adjust on the front suspension fork, the seat height, and of course, the Ergotech 90-degree stem. Riding a dialled-in bike is like wearing a tailored suit. Once you try it, there’s no turning back.

Not only does this make the rides so much more enjoyable, but it critically reduces aches and pains that now take us a little longer to recover from!