Sometimes a small adjustment makes a big difference. Lately I’ve been tweaking my fit on my road bike. I went from a 120 mm stem (the short piece attaching the handlebars to the bike) to a 110 mm stem and then to a 100 mm stem. 10 mm is about 4 tenths of an inch. What a big difference. When I went from the 120mm to the 110mm stem I felt more comfortable with my hands on the shifter hoods and when I pedaled standing I felt my hips coming into a more powerful position. It was a good change, but when I went to the 100 mm stem I couldn’t believe the difference. I noticed three dramatic improvements. First, when I stood out of the saddle my hips felt in line with my power muscles, and my hands rested on the bars very lightly. When I sat, I immediately sat into the correct position on the saddle…every time. The biggest change though was in descending through a complicated set of switchbacks. My position felt amazing. My elbows tucked in closer to my body and I felt amazingly comfortable and in control.
Sometimes tweaks make no difference at all, and sometimes the result of a tweak is amazing. The key to making tweaks is to make them intelligently. Whether its in church or on a bike, the key is have an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.