Time for a CycleFit

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As you have no doubt seen Team LDNM are no strangers to copious amounts of cardio. A large contingent of our cardio is formed from cycling, be it on singlespeed or road bikes.

Personally speaking (JE) I tend to ride 5-7 times a week, averaging anywhere between 120-150 miles. Cycling is both a form of fitness, a way of maintaining my shred but equally a passion and hobby of mine.

Whilst the health and fitness benefits of cycling are plainly obvious, one area that concerned me was the potential damage and negative impact substantial miles could have on my body- in particular, my back . Cycling (and cardio in general), like weight lifting requires perfect from and posture. Put simply a poorly set up bike is undoubtedly going to adversely affect the longevity of your back and other related areas.

It was clear to me that a CycleFit (Professional Bike Fitting) was a necessity and a worthwhile investment. I chose to go to Pearson Cycles (EastSheen), an highly respected and class leading facility, with an added bonus of being local.

What’s the Purpose of a CycleFit?

  1. Injury Prevention
  2. Ensure optimal efficiency
  3. Increase riding comfort

What’s involved?

The session takes anywhere between 2-3 hours and typically consists of;

1)   Cycling/Sporting History; An insight into your specific requirements, how far you cycle, the type of journey, average mileage, and in addition any other sports or hobbies which may have a bearing on how you set up your bike.

2) Training objectives be it cycling or other; this is your time to make it clear whether or not you wish to be the next Bradley Wiggins or are cycling more to keep your body fat low and aid you in your cutting phase.

3) Injuries/pains; sadly very few of us who train regularly have an injury free body. Most have some kind of lower back or shoulder gripe. Here is the time to mention it so that the fit can ensure that these injuries are not antagonised.

4) Range of motion; just in the same way as when we train in the gym, to maximise both muscle formation and indeed efficiency we always want to make sure we are fully utilising the muscle isolated- i.e. our legs.

5) Cleat position/Foot/Arch-Shape

For those of you guys who ride with cleats (as I do) this is a vital part of the session. Here the technician spends considerable time aligning and balancing your foot/cleat position to ensure maximum drive and that you are engaging the correct muscle group at the correct stage of your pedal-stroke. Suffering from one flat foot, this was an invaluabe part of the session. My left foot clearly pronated during cycling and with the addition of some wedges on my cleat this issue was quickly eradicated.

Findings on the day:

In a word- WOW. Throughout the years of cycling I have done I never fully appreciated the true importance of having your positioning professionally and critically analysed. It was soon discovered that my bike was set up in a way that meant that almost all my weight had been heavily focused on my shoulders and triceps, and my glutes were almost redundant. Adverse amounts of pressure on my shoulders from my position may well have been a contributing factor to an ongoing shoulder injury I have. The technician adjusted the height of my saddle, distance of the saddle to the stem, and height of my bars with pinpoint accuracy. The result being that there is now only the minimum pressure required to keep me upright on my shoulders and triceps and my legs are now fully engaged throughout my pedal-stroke.

The difference is (as cliché as it sounds) night and day. The comfort level has substantially increased, my shoulder’s and triceps are  eternally grateful and the numbing sensation I previously experienced in my lower back has vanished.

Final Thoughts

I haven’t gone into extreme depth into the scientific side and precise measurements in mm on purpose. I wanted to keep it simple and effective for those of you who like me, love cycling, love the fitness but aren’t training for the Tour De France, and are mad about your aesthetics.

I genuinely can’t recommend this enough for those of you who regularly cycle, both in terms of the immediate benefits and the undoubted long-term benefits on your physiology. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner.

A massive thank you to Pearson cycles for their dedication and professionalism from start to finish.

To book your CycleFit or to find out further details visit the link below;

http://www.pearsoncycles.co.uk/store/content/68/CycleFit/

Twitter: @pearsoncycles

Web: www.pearsoncycles.com