Monday, March 10, 2008

Road Bike Action Magazine on Bike Fit?

To Slam or not to Slam?

That is the question when you want to mass market! Most of the industry just wants you to ride a bike, they don't care about compression. They don't really teach you how to ride like we do, even outside using Dartfish.
We are all for more people riding bikes...but at what cost? We are glad the industry is now taking note and using basic ideas for their dealers.

You can't change your bones or your joints. Your muscles move the bones according to the joints' range of motion. Where does flexibilty come into play when your in the middle of the joint range of motion?
You must learn to pedal just like a golfer learns to swing with their high-tech clubs!

We actually measure the bones using our proven methods and CAD tools so we can then better understand how to deal with the specific movement of the cyclist. Movement can take place only in the direction or directions and to the extent permitted by the configuration of the joints and their supporting structures.

Things have to be looked at from a rotary component: the force that tends to turn the bone around the fulcrum while in space.
We need to take into account angles, force vectors, compression forces, and shearing forces along with the components of muscle force that tend to rotate a bone about a joint and tend to create bending torques.

Muscle contractions tending to elongate tendons are said to cause tensile forces in the tendons. Even the size of the knee cap or the spine can influence these forces. Change the lever arm and you change the line of action for the force!
A very real problem with just eyeing things is that you can't get all the necessary vectors. Just going with a certain spine angle e.g. 60-degrees, 45-degrees, 30-degrees, 10-degrees is way too basic!

Why is there still a question of where the stem is in space? We all know that a fit is only part of the game. Out in the real world, where you have cross winds etc., you better learn how to pedal!
Then comes the question about the hip shape and it allowing you to use the quads and the hamstrings. We measure your hip shape and know where it needs to be in space according to the type of game you wish to play.

What about the riser FSA flat riser K-Wing Bars, placement of the hoods, shape of handlebars, etc.?

It is more about where the hands are in space than this "Slam or not Slam". I do agree with one statement: The more muscle groups that are engaged, the more power will result. And, you need that power when you climb or want to go faster. Just like a weight lifting, golfing, and skiing, cycling is dynamic.

I think a basic fit is better than nothing, but if you want to really learn to ride come see one of our dealers. Maybe very upright ski boots are the key for comfort & walking around in, but don't expect to ski well. I suspect many of them would have knee issues, perhaps most of them would be sitting on their butts on the slopes? But walking around the ski lodge and looking the part is cool! That puts more people near the slope! And yes riding a bike is cool!

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