Saturday, 3 May 2014

Bike Fit, New Bike or Surgery

Bike Fit, New Bike or Surgery

Dear Adrian

Thank you very much for my bike fit last friday, despite your
shoulder troubles. My hope from a bike fit was to reduce the
stress that my unstable wrists were under and hopefully negate
the need for surgery in the future The early results of the bike
fit have far surpassed any expectation and I only wish that I had
seen you some 5 years earlier. I have now been out on 3 separate
occasions since last friday. One long slog in the Pennines, an
hours full speed blast and a long easy spin. During and since
these outings I have not experienced any wrist, neck or shoulder
pains; all of which I would have normally experienced- up to
the day of the consultation.

Previous advice from a bike shop had led me to believe the frame
I have was too big for me and suggested I have my saddle in a
maximum fore position. This led to negative feelings about the
bike and a desire for a new frame. The fact that the bike handled
like a nervous stallion due to the weight distribution added to
the desire to buy a new frame. Now that the fit has been
perfected the bike handles like I imagine it was designed to do.
I no longer feel I am about to be thrown of on fast descents and
fast cornering now raises a smile rather than a grimace! The
position of the saddle now feels like I can transmit more force
throughout the bottom stroke of the crank. Already this has
improved my climbing on stable gradients. Still found the steep
stuff as painful! It actually feels like I have a new bike. Being
a physio and having read some literature on bike fit I thought I
would not of been so far out with my position but I suppose that
is good evidence that you can't fit yourself.

Thanks again for your time and I hope you are recovering well
from the surgery.

Richard L

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Straight line cornering!

If you want to learn to corner, first learn in a straight line, by this I mean on a straight bit of road, this will help you understand what you do when you do go round a bend/turn. You first need to learn how and where to place your weight on your bike to make it turn, you will then have a far better understanding of what you actually do to get round a corner.

First find a quite bit of straight road, preferably traffic free. Always check over your shoulder before the following.

Riding down the left hand side of the road, first get into the drops keeping your arms/elbows relaxed, placing the left foot at the bottom of the stroke, keeping your right leg/ knee relaxed, then place some weight on the left pedal, feel like you are pushing the pedal into the ground, when you do get to go round a corner this will help you feel like you are pushing the tyres into the tarmac, don't just have the pedal hovering at the bottom of the stroke with no weight on it, next keeping the left arm relaxed, push the right side of the handlebars down and see what happens........the bike moves to the right, the more you push with the right arm the more the bike moves (this helps the tighter the corner becomes), have you actually turned the bars to move the bike to the right? No. What you have actually done is lean the bike underneath yourself, pushing the bar into the corner.

To move the bike to the left it is opposite to above, right pedal down and some weight through it, then push the left side of the handlebars down.

There is a bit more to better cornering than this, but all the above will help you have a better understanding of what you do when you do go round a corner.

Watch Fabian descending this is a great example of what I mean.

Bike fitting - feedback, foot/toe issues

Hi Adrian,

Chris here from Sheffield, i came in to see you the other week about a problem with a pain in my toe that I had had for a while now.

After having a better look you cut a hole in my footbeds to try and take the pressure off that area. Anyway just wanted to give you a quick update.

The results have been fantastic, I have gone from been in pain for 90% of a ride to been pain free for 90% of the ride, so a huge improvement. I have been able to increase my distance and today was the first day I enjoyed a ride in almost a year. The bike fit is perfect and I had almost forgotten how amazing it is to ride in the peak district.

I will take what we did to my insoles to my podiatrist next month and see if we can transfer it across to my regular shoes as well.

Il keep you posted on how I get on, but just wanted to say thanks for your help, I know it was an unusual one but I think if you saw anyone else with a similar problem in the future you would be able to help them too.

All the best

Monday, 2 December 2013

A few reasons for a bike fit.

A few reasons for a bike fit 1 to 7.

A lot of people put up with below because I think 'well it's a bike so there must be some discomfort'. Riders put up with bad because they have never experienced what good feels like.

There is lot more issues than this, but this is some of my observations and opinions on some of the things people have problems with and just put up with.

1. Hand pain/numbness - too much weight on the bars, causing you to lock your arms out due to supporting a lot of your body weight, normally due to one or all of these, saddle too far forward, nose pointing down especially if nose is lower than the middle of the saddle and/or saddle too high causing you to ride on the nose of the saddle as your body tries to maintain a shorter leg extension. Also if the angle of handlebars and brake levers are setup wrong this can cause the same issues, if levers are to far forward this will cause you to over reach and cause you to over extend your arms, again putting your weight on your bars.

2. Shoulder pain - due to all of the above, i e supporting most of your body weight on your shoulders with arms locked out.

3. Neck pain - due to the above if you are to far forward you have to pull your head back more, causing you to fight locked out arms and shoulders.

4. Tried 'dozens' of saddles - saddle discomfort often has nothing to do with the saddle, as well as the above if the angle of the handlebars is wrong this can cause your pelvis to tilt forward putting pressure on the pubic area. I had one person who came for a fit who had bought a dozen saddles, not from me by the way as I wouldn't of let them buy/try that many, as I know there is more to a saddle than how it looks or feels with your fingers, in the end I fitted him to the second saddle he had bought, but because the angle of his drops and hoods were wrong no saddle was going to feel good, but once I'd adjusted bars and levers that saddle felt great. I can change the way a good saddle feels just by changing the angle of bars and break levers, but most people would blame saddle discomfort on the saddle not on the handlebars.

5. Can't ride on the drops - a lot to do with above 1, 2 and 3. People think it is a lot to do with flexibility, height and reach of bars and stem, but if the angle of the drops points down towards the back wheel even with good flexibility you will struggle. Compact bars are by the best to fit.

6. Bike handles badly - too much weight on the front wheel due a lot to 1, 2 and 3. Riders will blame the bike, but you can be the biggest influence on how a bike handles for good and bad, geometry between a similar size frames across brands is not that different, the way the contact points are set up, i e saddle height/layback/angle, handlebar/lever height/reach/angle can have more of an influence on handling. You might read a great review about a bike that has been perfectly set up by the tester, but if you get the same bike and it's not properly set up to you it may handle like a bag of 'spanners', and you'll think what was the reviewer on about.

7. Trouble feeding on the bike - this is something people don't think about when it comes to a good fit, they think it's about pedalling performance, but if you can't feed your pedalling performance will be reduced. Again back to 1, 2, 3 as well as 6, due to you having too much weight on the front you are unable to flex your elbows allowing them to rise and fall freely, if you can't do that most people are fearful of taking their hands of the bars because the bike feels so twitchy. I've had the some people that before being fitted they have had to stop to feed because the bike handles so badly.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Tour finisher

This is the day after Alpe d'Huez, the stage started in Bourg d'Oisans, with 50km of climbing straight from the gun, Col du Lautaret onto Col du Galibier, with Roche's team attacking from km zero. We then climbed Col de la Madeleine, with the finish at La Plagne. This image defines who I am, it is the only day I thought I might not make it to Paris, i sat up within km's of the start on the Lautaret, but Paul Kimmage shouted at me that it was too early to sit up because of the time limit, somehow i managed to get back in the line and wait for the autobus to form. The autobus did form, but because it was so early in the stage and the pace was so high at the front of the race we couldn't ease off on the climbs or valley roads because of making the time limit. Looking back this is the day I became a Tour finisher because it was the day I had to dig deep both physically and mentally just to get to the finish in La Plagne.

I'm 2nd from the left, this was taken a few bends from the top of the Galibier.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sports science, advantages?

Hearing a lot about doping & who maybe on what & advantages it may give to achieve 'super human' performances, serious question to sports scientists out there, we are not hearing much about what advantages can be made with current research based training methods, nutrition, biomechanics, equipment, recovery etc and what these are and would it be possible to achieve 'better' performance even if it meant living like a monk to achieve them.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Bike fitting no aches or strains

Hi Adrian
You did my fit yesterday for both of my road bikes.
Just wanted to say thanks so much!
Did an hour and half this morning on my turbo trainer.
The difference on and after was significant to previous.No aches or strains at all.
Can't wait to get out on road.
Just great !!!!
Thanks again
Best regards