Bike Fit Manchester - Pedal Precision

If you're suffering on the bike chances are it hasn't been set up properly. Although not "suffering" I have been feeling uncomfortable on the bike for several months, find that I'm always getting home feeling sore after a long ride. I've also noticed that my quad and hamstrings are getting tighter and tighter, with some niggles especially in my hamstrings. Although deep tissue massage courtesy of my brother and stretching has helped it keeps coming back.

With a long training weekend coming up and the 2012 season just round the corner I thought a professional bike fit with Richard Salisbury at Pedal Precision would be a good idea. His bike fit clinic is based at the velodrome in Manchester.

A bit about Pedal Precision

I was put onto Pedal Precision by Phil Jones. I was interested to find out that Richard set up Pedal Precision following being in a period of rehabilition from a serious illness himself (much like how my brother got into Sports Therapy). Richard has competed up to 1st cat level previously and has worked in bike shops from which he fitted numerous bikes and, as well being qualified, is well placed to offer advice for cyclists.

The Session

The session was really good. Richard spent 2 hours going through everything including using video cameras to record me cycling on the bike and analysing it on his computer. Now being useless I forgot to take some pictures of my own so I've borrowed these off Richard's website (if you're reading this Richard I hope you don't mind).

Feet

The first thing was to look at my feet, and having examined them he found that on my downstroke my feet have tendency to tilt to the outside before going flat on the backstroke. This was only a minor problem which was cured by putting a couple of layers of tape on one half of my sole to even out the tilt to make my feet flatter.

Cleats

The next thing was to set up my cleats. I had bought a fresh pair ready for the occasion. This actually took quite a while which was interesting to make sure everything was ok. Once setup I was quite happy to notice his markings her near to my original marks, so I wasn't too out.

Saddle Height & Position


The last thing to do was look at how I sat and pedalled on the bike. He hooked up my bike to the turbo trainer and I spun away for the next hour. My saddle height was pretty much spot on which was good to hear. Richard moved my saddle down slightly. At 89kg you won't be surprised to hear I'm not the most agile of people. Because my saddle was flat, my body was fighting with sitting back to stay in the natural position on the saddle while also leaning forward onto the handlebars, this would then put strain on the legs and genital area. Pointing it downwards slightly would ease off the pressure and allow me to sit better on the saddle.

Headset & Handlebars

The most interesting part of the session was the adjustment of the height and length of the handlebars. Richard reduced the height of my handlebars and extended the length to the hoods. This was because my back wasn't in a nice smooth curve. It went up sharply, went wierd in the middle and then nice and smooth at the top. These small adjustments will flatten and curve out my back. By doing this it will allow me to sit in the saddle allowing me to direct more power down into the legs.

Extras & More Stretches

After checking everything was ok, Richard advised that my ITB (a thin strip of muscle at side of your leg from your pelvis down to your knee) were tight on both sides and this would affect smooth movement of the legs. He will also be providing me with some exercises to improve my deep core, this is because my body loves what my legs are doing. So my body is moving backwards and forwards with my pelvis and really with cycling you want your body super still. Improving my deep core will keep my body still and allowing my legs to do all the work.

Conclusion

If you're having trouble, feeling uncomfortable, unsure or just want a health check it is well worth the investment, even for peace of mind. I'll report back in the next month with how I'm getting on but Richard was great to work with, a relaxing influence, reassuring and good to talk to.

You can follow Richard on Twitter @pedalprecision and you can visit his website at www.pedalprecision.com


1 comment:

Pedal Precision said...

Hi Andy,

Many thanks for the kind words and comments. Was a pleasure to help you get into the perfect position for your body, iron out a few creases and find a couple of areas we can give you some ammunition to improve in the future. Great to meet you, and good luck with everything cycling and music based in the future!

All the best,

Richard