Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Size Does Matter

I've often wondered: is bigger necessarily better?

If you were to believe half the things you see or hear in the media--legitimate media or the questionable forms that appear in 24 hour stores and Supreme Court cases--you'd think that size was the sine qua non of satisfaction. Indeed, the whole world economy has been in a downward spiral due to the bigger is better, people borrowing (and banks lending) money at too much risk in order to get that McMansion or house they can't afford.

And when was the last time a woman swooned over the little guy--and Tom Cruise doesn't count because he stands on a box. And I would further note for the record that there was only "Mr. Big" in the popular TV series. There was no "Mr. Really Knows His Business" or "Mr. Just Right" or "Mr. Rocked My World" even "Mr. Kind."

But again, how can bigger necessarily be better? I mean, how can something that doesn't fit feel good? What of size-induced discomfort? I mean who wants to climb on top of something huge that just doesn't fit and try to make it work? Is that really fun? Does that really feel pleasurable? You can see, I hope, how someone who is 5'4" (with all parts scaled to fit) might wonder about such things.

But finally, this weekend, I knew for sure my crank was just the right size for the job. A lot of guys resort to self-help when it comes to crank size. And sure, I like a "do it yourself" crank job just as much as the next guy. DIY can be lots of fun and should be a part of any healthy person's life. There's certainly no shame in it. But, this time I went to a "professional," if you get my meaning. And the professional attention made all the difference.

The feelings and sensations were mind blowing. I just kept going and going and going. Six hours I went. Seriously! Six hours! And a few minutes after finishing, I was ready to go again. It was so smooth and effortless, gliding like a well-lubed piston fitting and moving within the tight walls of its cylinder. Sometimes I pushed hard and slow. Sometimes fast and quick. Changing tempos and position and pace.

I think I felt the earth move.

So, big thanks to Phil Shama of Shama Cycles for persuading me to reduce the size of my cranks on Carmen Tequilo, the tri-specific bike in my garage-mahal. It totally changed my pedal stroke and positioning on the whole bike, enabled an efficient, circular pedal stroke and markedly reduced the fatigue of riding 100 miles. Seriously, every part of the bike fit better and every party of the bike worked better with my body just by putting on a shorter crank that fit my anatomy better. It was remarkable and I cannot overstate how much Phil's expertise helped me out. Phil is the Jedi master of all things crank and bike related.


Why are you snickering and looking at me that way?

Of course I was talking about a bike. What did you think I was talking about?


Fe-lady said...

I am all for "compact"- regardless of what you were talking about! :-)

Happy that your ride went so earth-shakingly well!

Paula said...

You know 'fit' really does matter. I ride on the weekends often with a bunch 'on again off again riders'. Many times (more often than not) the bikes do not fit them at all...too big, too little. At the start, everyone seems on the same level, but at the end that is what is telling... They are not eager to start again.
Glad things are working out so well for you! Nice when things come together.

Kim said...

after my recent blog post, i thought you had some further insight.

i dont really know much about cranks. which is why you are going to school me in Cozumel ;)

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

as someone who is approximately the same dimensions as you, I have to ask -- what size did you come from and go to?

Bones said...

I went to a 167.5 cranks last year and set bike PR's on every course. I totally agree, I think a lot of folks have cranks that are to long.

Shelley said...

Here I thought this was about something else..oh well. :)

Wendy said...

Shelley and I were on the same page, but this is good, too ....

Coach Liz said...

Alright, so where are we riding this weekend so you can show me your new cranks?

BreeWee said...

ha ha ha! so funny! i hpe i get to see you and liz, you guys are hilarious! coach still is making me wait... ill tell you when i know and we can meet up!!!

greyhound said...

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG Bree Wee commented on my blog!

Dread Pirate, Phil put 165mm crank arms on the bike and they feel SOOOO GOOOOOOOD. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.