Sunday, June 20, 2010
ADVANCED BIKE FIT AT SPORTFIT LAB
SportFit Lab offers 3 levels of bike fit (basic, standard and advanced). Great options for all levels of cyclists/triathletes/duathletes. I was going through the advanced fit and this is how it went.
I first filled out a thorough athletic history report as Doug set up my bike on the Computrainer and took some measurements from by current bike setup.
Inseam and shoulder width measurements were taken to rule out any flagrant flaws in my current set up. Doug had noted that my bars were a little on the wide side and questioned my use of bar end shifters installed on the drops verses on the aerobars. Both were due to mechanical failures during earlier races that I completed in and I had not reconfigured the front end with new parts. Something to fine tune down the road.
Doug then checks for lower joint issues under load by having you sit on the edge of a chair and then has you slowly stand to an erect position, then slowly sit back onto the edge of the chair (repeat as needed). He visually evaluates your joint motion as you perform this test. He found an excessive amount of pronation in my feet (I do have flat feet) that can lead to knee issues and recommended firmer inserts. I will definitely pick up a couple of pair. I have to admit that I do experience knee pain with severe climbing and the inserts may be the solution.
I then hopped on the bike to warm up into a comfortable zone before Doug applied resistance. He turned on an overhead monitor (a huge 32" flat screen), that allowed me to follow the spin scan results. He reported that I have nearly perfect symmetrical pedaling through out my pedal stroke. I looked up at the monitor and asked him to explain. There were a series of bars indicating power output at 15 degree segments for both the left and right legs through 360 degrees (one pedal revolution). It showed the peaks and valleys of power delivery to the pedals. My numbers flowed between 49/51 and 50/50. I was happy to see that drill work does pay off. Typically, riders get more out of balance as resistance is increased. Oddly, mine improved as resistance increased.
While I was spinning, Beth was taking video of the session and assisting Doug as needed.
After a good sweat, Doug had me hop off the bike to take a few more measurements. He measures for strength and flexibility. I pass, but received good core strength tips in the process. He evaluated the motion video and pulled some measurements from the screen. I was slightly extended, but due to my level of comfort and no physical side effects, we opted not to change this position, but noted it for future reference.
Doug made a slight cleat adjustment to help smooth out a minor asymmetrical reading on a segment of my right leg. I jump back on the bike, warm back up and look back up at the monitor. The adjustment did the trick with no odd feeling to my pedal stroke. After further discussion of how I use my aerobars, Doug suggested a slight repositioning of the forearm pads. This took a little more pressure off my shoulders and made the position more comfortable.
I'll share the printed results once emailed to me. Overall, I did not have any huge flaws, which I was happy to hear (but expected that my position wasn't too far out). My form was better than I had anticipated and I was able to fine tune some adjustments for better power and efficiency through the cleat and pad adjustments, along with the use of inserts. I'm anxious to put these changes through some mileage tests. I'm planning on riding the Saratoga 24hr in July and hope to log at least 400 miles. We'll see how that goes.
I've been cycling off and on for over 30 years (both recreational and competitive), so your results will likely be different from mine. A good bike fit is a valuable tool if you plan on cycling for any amount of time on a regular basis. And a must for any serious triathlete or cyclist.
Doug and Beth performed one of the most thorough bike fits that I have ever experienced and I feel that I came away with a more powerful and efficient position. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my experience or check out Doug and Beth at SportFit Lab.
Good Luck in your race season and thanks for following my quest.
Here I have added the printed results (6/22/10):