Modding the bike

Friday I went in for a bike fit. That is, I had somebody who knows what he’s doing adjust my riding position for optimum performance and comfort. I had done this a couple of years ago, but things change. My body has changed, and the guys at the bike shop probably didn’t put everything back exactly in the same position when I had the bike repainted.

The adjustments we made range from a few millimeters forward or back in some places, and a full centimeter in saddle height. It feels completely different. It’s amazing how less than an inch of modification in the riding position can feel so totally alien.

One of the changes involved replacing the stem (the part that holds the handlebars). The old stem was almost horizontal and made a perfect place to put my Garmin bicycling computer. The new stem has a fairly steep angle, which places the cycling computer at an angle that makes it impossible for me to read from my normal bicycling position.

So, putting my wood carving tools to practical use, I created a little wedge, hollowed out the back a bit so that it would fit on the stem, and then finished it. The result is that the bike computer again rides horizontal.

That should work well, although the wedge is still a bit unstable. I’ll take it for a test ride tomorrow morning. If it wiggles too much, I can replace the rubber pad between the wedge and the stem with rubber cement. That should hold reasonably well. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to fashion a bracket that clamps around the stem to hold things in place more securely.

There are other options. I could mount the bike computer on the handlebar, where I had mounted the old one. I prefer it on the stem, but if the wedge doesn’t work out I’ll probably get tired of messing with it and put the computer on the handlebar.

And, no, I don’t envision slowly replacing components with wood until I have an all-wood bicycle.