By Julie Young Preface: Fitting road, cyclo-cross and mountain bikes follows a similar formula; TT and Triathlon bikes depart from this formula. For this article, we will focus on the road bike.
In part II of this three part series on the o2fitness-Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab bike fitting system we discussed aspects of the actual on-bike fit manipulation. What differentiates our fit from others is that it is comprehensive and robust and constitutes more than simply manipulating the fit. Our fit empowers the athlete with the understanding of the off-bike, proactive measures they can take, to continue to improve the fit and performance. And we support the athletes in this objective by providing specific activation, mobility and stability exercises to accomplish it. During the fit process we also provide insights regarding our thoughts on maximizing pedal stroke efficiency. Read on…
Additional Teaching Opportunities
We use the bike fitting process as an educational process to empower the athlete. This is accomplished through:
- Single-leg pedaling drills. These help us — as fitters — to understand the individual’s motor skills and strength left to right. It helps the athlete understand how they can polish their pedaling technique to improve efficiency.
- During the single-leg pedaling drills, we discuss our views on how to utilize the ankling technique around the pedal stroke. While there is no absolute and this varies with each individual and based on terrain and intensity, we stress that for all joints not producing power, it is optimal to maintain a more neutral position, this goes for the ankle as well. We articulate the ankle around the circle to produce a tangential force, but it’s just enough. It’s not a stiff ankle, but a stable ankle. And extraneous movement in simply energy leak.
- Stabilizing and recruiting muscular power in to the pedal. During the fit process, we ask the rider to hold the pressure we produce by pulling back on the wheel. This simple exercise provides insights on strength left to right, as well as how the rider stabilizes to produce power in to the pedals.
It’s More than Just Manipulating the Fit
The fit is the opportunity to help individuals connect the importance of the off-bike work to continue this on-bike improvement, in terms of fit, injury prevention and performance. In our fits, I think the value-added is the off-bike hip activation, hip and trunk stability, as well as mobility exercises we provide. With proactive off-bike work, cyclists will continue to improve their fits, performance and cycling experience.
If you have questions about bike fitting or are just looking for advice, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.