Updated: Jul 30, 2019
I have crossed that point that many cyclists get to I'm sure - I have spent more on a bike than on a car. Specifically more on my bike than on my wife's car because don't own one. That means that along side the childish excitement I have of picking up my new Infinito, I am also acutely aware that I am spending a fortune on it without really knowing if the changes I asked for will work or be worth it. (For the cycling tech geeks of the world, the changes are all detailed on the site elsewhere). When I arrived at Lutterworth Cycle Centre Tim introduced me to Rob, a professional racer who would manage my bike fit. We chatted about my goals and went through body measurements for ages while he put all the data in a computer and then used it to set up the test jig. This as you can see with all its adjustable parts, looks more like the kind of lathe I hated in metal work at school, than it does a bike.
I jumped on and it and it felt horrible. Rob tweaked the machine and it still felt horrible. I felt like I was doing 75% of the pedal stroke and falling forward on to the handlebars. More micro tweaking ensued and Rob told me to pedal for five minutes and disappeared This felt odd and just not right and I was beginning to get nervous about the whole thing. I thought back to my last bike fitting which was all slow motion videos and measuring devices. Then it occured to me; that was 12 years ago when I was training for my first and only half Ironman. More importantly, it was before three slipped discs in my neck and two in my lower back. Every bike since has been set up the same way with no dispensation for age and injury. Now, that sounded stupid. so when Rob returned I explain this and went with the settings he was recommending, trusting he knew what he is doing. We settled on a position that works out, but realised it meant I need a shorter stem. I could have had a cheap one to get me going or wait 48 hours for the matching Deda stem to go with the carbon bars. I opted for the latter. I wanted perfection. On Saturday morning I headed back over. This time riding my Ribble with the aim of leaving it for service and riding the Bianchi home. I make the mistake of plotting the way using Garmin's 'follow the most popular route' option which decided I should go down a canal, through parks, a housing estate and seemingly someone's front garden, topped off by 500m of the A5 with its 70mph traffic. I was not in the best of moods on arrival but all of that disappeared as soon as I swung my legs over the Infinito to ride home. I won't do the feeling justice, but it took only a few minutes to work out what you pay the extra money for. The bike is amazingly responsive. It was a sheer joy to ride. I got back to HQ (Dough & Brew in Warwick) for a quick coffee. Having ignored the garmin on the way back I now checked it to see I was on 88km. Sadly I am one of those people who will ride around the block to round up numbers for a ride or for a weekly total. I went back out for another 12km to ensure I hit 100km, then got home and posted gormless pictures of my gurning face all over social media declaring my new found love. I know I had promised to only have a single shake down ride on the Bianchi before boxing it up for the trip in just 24 days, but I know already I'm going to break that promise. I will wake up in the morning desperate to ride the Infinito again.