Poor Basil’s been languishing. Due to an unfortunate decision I made, some travel, and other complications, I’ve only taken very short rides with him during the past weeks.
Just before going to this year’s US Brompton National Championship, I’d been thinking about raising my seat post height so that my leg would be more fully extended — but not completely extended — while peddling. I like not having to dismount when stopping, but I decided that I wanted to see if I could gain some more cycling power by adding some leg extension.
Wisely, I didn’t make this change right before the Brompton weekend. Instead, I focused on teaching myself to dismount when stopping Basil. I actually don’t like the full stop/dismount process, but learning to do it went well. All for the greater good, after all.
Unwisely, I came back from the BNC, hopped on Basil the next morning, raised the seat post and then blithely set off on a twenty-mile ride with Dr. Diarist. It was a lovely ride, and, though it was unclear that my Garmin agreed, I seemed to be riding faster and with greater ease. That was thrilling!
The aftermath was less so: Though I felt no pain at all during the ride, I came home with saddle sores. Not minor saddle sores, either. Also plenty of pain.
I had cleverly used twine to mark the right post height, once I’d found it. Then I less-brilliantly failed to adjust the previously perfect angle of the seat to fit the new geometry.
When I first got Basil, it took at least ten attempts before I found the saddle height and angle that worked best for me. Once those metrics were set, the result was a very comfortable ride. A year and a half later, I’m not exactly sure why I thought I’d get such a relatively major change accomplished in only one go . . .
TL;DR: Made a major adjustment to my Brompton, rode for twenty miles, suffered the consequences for nearly two weeks.
Don’t do that. When making changes, pessimism isn’t called for, but judicious testing is. Lesson learned — at least until next time.