A scene from the 1957 movie, “The Incredible Shrinking Man”

the incredible shrinking man

During a recent doctor appointment I was asked by the nurse what my height is. My answer was “Well, I used to be 5’6″, but the last time I was checked I was down to about 5’4 3/4″ I think.”. She told me to step up to the place where they measure patients and low and behold she told me I now measured 5’4″. In all fairness, I don’t think she measured me carefully and accurately. I just measured myself and I got 5’4 1/2″. I noticed a few weeks ago that I seemed to have too much leg extension while pedaling even though the boom had been adjusted correctly and was fine for a long time. Today I shortened the boom just a bit. I seem to be the victim of a cruel hoax … another ‘incredible shrinking man’, if you will. I sure don’t seem to be having any problem in my vertical measurement lessening, but the horizontal measurement is another story. At the rate I am going it won’t be long before my horizontal measurement is more than my vertical measurement.

I only am sharing this because this same scenario could be happening to others and they too may need to readjust their boom. In doing so remember that it may also me necessary to shorten the chain if your derailleur can’t handle the adjustment to the boom. Typically a rear derailleur can handle about two inches of “extra” chain length (which is about one inch of boom movement), but that is only when talking about from the one extreme to the other extreme … when both the chain and rear derailleur were set up correctly initially. If you are already near the one extreme when you move the boom the chain may need to be shortened. Having too much chain for the derailleur to handle will result in the derailleur not being able to move back far enough to take all the slack out of the chain and having the chain rub against itself while pedaling like in the picture below.

chain rubbing against itself

So if you find yourself experiencing what seems to be too much leg extension even though you had the correct boom setting in the past you too could be another incredible shrinking man or woman. No matter how short we get hopefully we can …


FREE GIFT awaits you!

You can watch the movie here:

Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (


  1. Your story reminded me of something that happened today & which may also serve as a reminder for us older riders. Most of us know to be cautious of a sudden sharp pain in the center of our chests, myself included. Today though without any warning I had one of those sharp pains, I knew enough to take an aspirin as a pre-caution & since I don’t have a history of heart trouble I decided to lay down for a little while & see how I felt. After 45 minutes or so the pain was still present & was radiating through to my back so I thought I better get myself checked out. The staff at the clinic were fantastic & I was seen to by a nurse & doctor within 15 minutes of arrival. They did the usual preliminary questions, blood pressure, temperature. stethoscope. Then they started with the questions, “what had I been doing, eating, how long had the pain been present,” etc. Then they took blood, gave me a cocktail & took x-rays of my chest. By this time 2 hours had past & I was starting to feel much better. Diagnosis? It turns out I am allergic to Kiwi fruit! Damn! Be careful out there. It’s dangerous trying to stay healthy.

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