The human body is full of asymmetries, insufficiencies and discrepancies, not just in physical limb lengths, but in how the body is controlled. Current research would indicate that neuromuscular (motor retraining) rehabilitation is key in facilitating the recovery from biomechanical overuse type injuries. Cycling is a very different activity from the normal mechanics of ambulation and therefore needs careful consideration.
With the success of British cycling in recent years at world and Olympic level, cycling is attracting more people than ever. Bikes can cost anything from £500 to £6000. Then there are the myriad of pedal systems and other equipment from which to choose. It is a minefield. Regardless of the cost of your machine, the type of shoes and pedals you use and the sort of riding you do, it is essential to be positioned correctly on your bike.
Here at Physio at the Lodge we take into account not only your body shape, morphology and equipment you use, but additionally how your body organises its’ movement patterns, aiming to identify relevant areas of overuse or underuse. The objective being to optimise your position on the bike resulting in reduced symptoms, increased efficiency and also lessening the risk of future injury.
Central to our ability to develop and offer this service is Richard’s previous elite cycling career. He is well versed in the intricacies of cycling technique, has detailed knowledge of the full range of cycling equipment (frames, saddles, shoes and pedal systems etc) and can advise accordingly, and finally his professional Physiotherapy expertise in human movement.
A significant part of this process is the foot, shoe, pedal interface. The majority of cyclists do not appreciate their relative needs at this important interface. Particular attention needs to be paid to leg length, rear-foot position, forefoot position and the relative position of the pedal axle. Different brands of shoes and pedals present further opportunity for confusion.
What we do
Fundamental to this service is the comprehensive assessment of the needs of your legs and feet, followed by Physiotherapy movement analysis of your current position, technique and movement patterns. We utilise video analysis which we securely upload, which you the client can then access at any time, these video clips will also detail any relevant measurements or observations for comparison and future reference.
Following this your issues will be discussed in detail. Treatment can include the provision of various corrective cleat raises, wedges or in the shoe orthotics (additional cost). In addition to any necessary adjustments to your position (seat height, set back, type of saddle, stem length, brake lever position, crank length, type of pedal system/shoe, cleat position) and personalised relevant biomechanical rehabilitation strategy. K-Tape is an extremely useful treatment modality.
It is important to realize that the majority of bike fit services fit the bike to you, via static, linear adjustments. With the human body being anything other than static and linear their failings are only too apparent. As important as it is to fit the bike to you, it is imperative to fit you to the bike.
I've done 11 rides covering just over 160 miles since the bike fitting of varying distances at different times of the day. with the shortest ride being five an a half miles and the longest being 36 miles.I have as suggested reduced my cadence, which if you remember I was comfortable pedalling at 100-110 rpm. The next ride I did was almost 17 miles long at a much reduced cadence (80-90rpm) I found this much better on my knee and have adopted this slower rpm over the remaining rides since except the last one yesterday. This ride was the longest since the fitting at 36 miles where I mostly kept to the 80-90 cadence with intermittent bursts of long stints pedalling at 100-110rpm on the drops into a headwind. I had much less knee pain both during and after.I've found the new position positive, accompanied with a reduction of my cadence. I've had no other pains just the odd ache now and again which seems to be when I'm tensed up, but this doesn't concern me at all. I'm convinced you've sorted out my position and don't feel there is a need to alter the bike anymore. I have become about my knee movements during day to day activities and found particularly at work that I do hyperextend my knee quite regularly whilst pulling and pushing.
I came to see Richard for a bike fit after suffering from a sore knee and saddle induced numbness. After reviewing my riding position and a relatively minor adjustment to the saddle position and height all my troubles have been solved. Riding is fun again and long hours in the saddle are no more uncomfortable than an hour was before the bike fit. Can't recommend it enough.
Having been working with physio at the lodge and Richard for the last year I have found the bike fit service a crucial part of my development as a bike rider. In a sport where every marginal gain counts ensuring you are as efficient on your bike as you can be is a crucial part of becoming successful. Working with Richard has allowed me to achieve this; but importantly has also allowed my bike fit to work in coordination with Richards physiotherapy expertise ensuring not only that my bike position has been correct but, that my body is strong enough to ensure the bike fit has its maximum affect on my performance. Richards’s extensive knowledge of racing at the top level on both the road and track is a major benefit of having a bike fit at Physio at the Lodge. This depth of experiences of racing ensures that whatever situation you may find yourself in it is almost guaranteed he has experienced similar, allowing the bike fit to be specific to your needs rather than that of the general cycling population. Furthermore unlike many other bike fit services Physio at the Lodge’s gives you a chance to be analysed whilst actually out on the road rather that been observed on a turbo, making sure the best result can be achieved! On the whole this service has been a vital part of my development over the last year and something I would happily recommend to all aspiring cyclists.
Alex Braybrooke Velocity wd40 race team. 3rd junior national series 2014