Fit Moron.

I play around with my bike fit from time to time. Some times it's something minor like saddle angle or cleat positioning. Other times it's different stems, handlebars, seatpost offset, or other components. Sometimes it's completely intentional, other times it's "gosh, that sure is pretty" and I don't care how it feels.
I've always thought of myself as a 56cm frame kind of guy. That's what has traditionally worked for me, with minimal toe overlap and a comfortable balance fore-aft. Because 100mm stems usually come with 56cm frames, that's usually my starting point. Whatever handlebars I happen to throw on there (and what looks pretty) and a suitable seatpost finish out the fit. Then I just deal with the results or sell the bike as being "wrong for me".
My Russian titanium bike has really opened up my eyes in more ways than one.
I threw it together with a lot of parts I had on-hand. Parts I had laying around but never used because they didn't match some other minor $49 component. Among those were some old FSA wing handlebars. They were always comfortable enough, but I always preferred the 3T aesthetics more. Function was following form. The drop and reach just didn't work for me, but I was too stupid to realize it. I couldn't spend significant time in the drops on the 3Ts because they just didn't fit. I was too stretched out, and it took the random configuration on the ti bike for the lightbulb to finally go off for me.
So, when I started buying expensive aero carbon handlebars I started paying a little more attention to drop and reach. If I was going to pay ungodly amounts of money for a hunk of plastic, I wanted more than "pretty". I wanted functional. I wanted "feels good". The Easton EC90 bars I put on the race bike were a great start. They just fit, allowing me to stay low and balanced for longer periods without my back giving up the ghost.
I finally got around to rebuilding my Madone 5.2 Pro, adding a set of 3T carbon bars that actually feel pretty good. They look pretty good too, because I'm vain. It was nice to give the bike the attention it deserves. This was mostly spurred by the creaks and groans it emitted during the Arctic Bike Club group ride. I hate when my bikes make noise around other people, because it highlights the fact that I'm a horrible person who has far too many bikes and doesn't maintain any of them properly. A little quality time went a long way to rectifying this issue with my most trusted bike.
Little by little I'm leaning more about what works for me. Some of the issues I was blaming on poor fitness, core strength, or flexibility were actually partially attributed to my endless pursuit of shiny bits of carbon fiber. It's been quite the education.
I just wish education didn't cost so much.


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