The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks of Hicksdesign.

Now it fits me

I’m approaching three years of being on a road bike, and I’ve finally had a proper bike fit. I’ve always known I needed one, but have ‘got by’, doing my own fettling. Two things motivated me to get it sorted:

Firstly, there hasn’t been anywhere locally to get one done, but as of four months ago, Witney finally has a decent bike shop in the shape of Mickey Cranks (not, as it sounds, a cockney gangster) offering Retul Bike Fits.

Secondly, while the position on the Colnago wasn’t perfect, riding the Boardman CX has actually felt painful – in the feet, knees and calves. The last time I was out I muttered “I’m. Going. To. Get. A. Bloody. Bike. Fit!” all the way.

So… how far out was I?



My Colnago setup ready for the Bike Fit

The main difference was in my cleat position which was way out, the cause of the knee/foot pains I was having. They also compensated for the higher Q factor of the Boardman so that I could use the same shoes/cleat setup on both bikes. Then both saddles went up a few mm, and forward a fair bit (10-16mm). Combined with the new cleat position, this placed me correctly over the pedals.

The final change was to the handlebars, which went lower, especially on the Colnago. I’d been getting problems with very hands and had thought this has meant that the bars weren’t high enough, but the opposite was true. Which is fine by me, as lower bars/stem are more aesthetically pleasing ;)

It also confirmed that the Fizik Aliante was the right saddle choice for me – someone with low back flexibility who rotates their pelvis forward more to compensate. While it’s not quite as sleek-looking as the Arione or Antares, the Aliante is a jolly comfy fit, and I love the ICS (Integrated Clip System) saddlebags that clip into the back of Fizik saddles. It makes it very easy to swap it between bikes, and there’s no velcro, which I find never lasts very long.



(I can hear people quoting Rule #29 at me already, but I care not).

I now have a proper cleat and bike setup, as well as a definitive set of measurements for setting up other bikes. While I’m still not 100% sure the Boardman Cyclocross Frame and disc brakes were the right choice for my winter/commuter bike, it’s not painful to ride anymore. I wish I’d done this from the start!

Peter Capaldi's Dr Who Costume

I like it! Simple and classy, mixing sombre dark blue with the red coat lining, and Doc Martens. Its like Jon Pertwee’s costume with less frills, and the very antithesis of Colin Baker’s. Colin has always said in interviews that he hated what producer Jon-Nathan-Turner had made him wear, I bet he wanted something like this!

The Shed

It’s rare for me to enjoy a conference so much, but Milton Keynes Geek Night All-Dayer was tremendous! I enjoyed every single talk and took something away from each. Big round of applause then to David Hughes and Richard Wiggins for organising it, and to all the many folks that helped it run smoothly. I’ve come away with some new enthusiasm, and hope that the motivation sticks.

I was talking about the importance of having a Shed, a metaphor for saving some time for experiments and creative challenges. Not long time consuming side-projects necessarily, but short things – perhaps even as little as a couple of minutes. I’ve uploaded a PDF of my talk here – such as it is without the audio to make it understandable. As far as I know the sessions were all recorded, so that missing part may well appear!

Links mentioned in the talk

The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks, one half of the creative partnership Hicksdesign. Take a look at the work we do.

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Upcoming Talks

I sometimes pop up at conferences and waffle about design, icon creation in particular. Here's where I'll be next:

An Event Apart Chicago- "Icon Design Process" - 25-26th August 2014

Web Expo Guildford- "Icon Design Process" - 26th September 2014

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Oxfordshire, UK

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