Another good piece of advice from Mike Day here, this is especially important if you are a youngster and growimg taller at an alarming rate……is your bike set up correctly for you??
If you read the info below it goes over the fact that you can do all the training in the world but if your bike or components are wrong then you are not going to reap the benefits .
Have a read-
“Set ’em Up!” Get Those Bikes Dialed.
By Mike Day
As 2014 is coming to an end, and you reflect on the season, are you spending any of that time thinking about your bike set up, and how it could improve your riding? A lot of times, talking to riders at the track, this is the last thing they think about. All the focus is on training, or mentals, or money–but not so much on the machine that will carry you to victory (or not).
There’s the guy riding his bars way too low, the gal who is on a way-too-small frame, or the little guy riding the Expert XL frame. Or cruiser dad with cranks that look like they belong on a pit bike. We can do all the training we want, but the right bike set up is essential to race at your potential. I’ll be the first one to admit that the perfect length frame or perfect gear isn’t going to get you a rippin’ holeshot every time. But the off- season is when you can try some different set up options and see what works best for you.
One of the most important to experiment with is frame length. This was huge for me as I was going through the amateur classes; I was always one of the tallest guys.
During my 16x season, I grew four inches. My bike felt terrible. I couldn’t get out of the gate, I was awful in the rhythm section, which was my strong suit. It was all due to the fact that my bike had suddenly become too small. The result was that my body position was in the wrong spot on everything I did.
So if you’re looking at a new frame, be sure to look at the manufacturer’s site to see what size and rider area is best for you. Ask for advice from the manufacturer, or knowledgeable members of their factory team–that’s what we’re here for.
Next area to review is your handlebars. Rise, width, sweep, they all play a huge role in how you put power to the pedals. Bars that are too low will hunch you over the bike, and ruin your form, so if you have been thinking about going up a size try it out. If you only want to go up a little bit and the next size up is to much remember you can put a spacer under your stem. Bars that are too wide will throw off your straightaway torque and may cause the bike to feel “squirrely” and near-out-of-control. Most manufacturers assume you’re going to lop some width off, so stock bars may not be the optimal width for your size and riding style.
All these “little” things could play a huge part in getting better starts and accelerating faster, in general.
Lastly, I know you or your parent/coach may have changed it a hundred times, but look into what gear ratio works best for you. I always say “find the best gear ratio and use it everywhere.” The very best guys use the same gear at regular BMX tracks that they use on the much-faster supercross-style tracks. They don’t change it because the tracks are faster, they have found what works best for them and use it everywhere.
We have talked about testing with timers in the past and this will come in handy when you change up your bike. Test with the set-up you have now, then practice with your new parts. Then re-test to see if it’s better or not. Don’t get discouraged if it’s not faster right away; it will take some time to see a difference in any new set up.
We have talked a lot about the off-season in the past couple #WinningWednesdays messages. That’s because this is an important time to make gains for next season. If you look back, almost-all #WinningWednesdays posts can be worked into this period before the start of next year’s racing.
Yes, changing parts can be expensive. But pick the components you think will be the most important to change, then test, test, test! And always remember: have fun with the process because, before you know it, you will be at the races in 2015!
Mike Day, co-founder, Pedals 2 Medals
As always you can get more info here-http://pedals2medals.com/