Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cyclocross Season is on and bet your life fans love the rivals!

What makes for good racing?  Jealous rivalries!  North American cyclocross races mean fans watch riders racing for their own interests and for sure, have their heroes!  Fans love rivals competing in the same field for superiority e.g. Tour de Whatever, Football, NASCAR, PGA, etc...   

Cyclocross is not some team road race with a strong team, up to nine members in control as they dominate.  If you didn't know, in road racing, a large squad can rule over smaller teams and it is rare that a underdog has a chance e.g. basketball, etc...  You ride as a squad, for the strongest, not for your own interests.  You see it all the time in crits!

That is not the case in Cyclocross!  Cyclocross is hard, yet only about one-hour long and it requires one's best skills and hard effort to place in the top five.  What is going to be the outcome of this season depends on the rider and what that rider brings in skills, effort, etc... We are very pleased to have 2007 series winner Georgia Gould (Luna) racing at the top again.  It does look like Kate Compton is going to be her rival and we love it. There are others who are getting faster and that is going to turn up the heat at these high performance fun filled races. 

High performance in cycling comes from the correct interface of a motivated human willing to learn and push their limits. Your basic fit solution equals a basic performance (close, but no cigar!), so if you want to go hard you have your bike solution right!  A race car, ski boots, etc... change for the event.

Clearly the industry doesn't care if you ride hard or not, how much effort you put forth, as long as you buy a bike from them?  In fact, that is why they have such upright bikes.  Perhaps that is why so many of the top racers use our high tech to help them learn how to ride harder. This is very simply to understand!  Things change when you go hard, race with more speed, climb mts., etc...  If you want to go harder, go faster, then we can help you.  We do it all the time, just ask any of our 15,000 plus users if it made a difference for them.  The only problem here is they all had to learn to pedal, to learn to get more aero and on and on.

Look! Don't go to the ski shop to learn how to ski!  Don't go to a ski school to learn to race. Don't go to the golf store to lean how swing better or to make it through the PGA school. 
You don't go to the experts and teach them?  You get the idea!

Learn the game!

To separate yourself from the pack with cutting-edge techniques, training, and racing information, you need to go where you can learn your optimal pedaling! Is pedaling hard not what we want to do on a bike?  Understand, that you will pedal hard when you go uphill and you need to make more power.  It will tax your body and if your bike is not setup for that, you will hurt!  How you make it hurt less depends on how you set your bike up!

I was just on the phone with Hunter Allen on the subject of power.  Many in the industry (coaches, etc...) did not buy into his understanding of power just a few years ago. It has been through his spirit, determination, and guts that has made a mark in the industry.  Their software is will used.  Hunter has seen first hand, us teaching people how to make more watts and more than once.  He has even had people from around the world come to us to use our high tech.  It makes a difference!

It takes much spirit, determination, and guts to rival the basics of the past decades!

In cycling competition there are many types of races, in which the competitors cycle all together and strive to pass the finish line first.  Then you have time trials, in which individuals or teams try to do a certain distance in the shortest time possible e.g. drag racing.  And then we have the mtb bikes and  cyclocross bikes where tactics and success depends on real choices harnessed through the bike.  A road bike fit doesn't work here!  So why use a basic road bike fit solution for this type of racing?  

In the last type of race, the performance improvement is ultimately due to an improvement in the relationship between muscular power produced by the individual cyclist and the energy lost.  In most cases, you can't get on a wheel and get pulled by four to five people like road racing.  

Perhaps that is why we see so many fitting ideas within road cycling?
It has been said if you are 1cm to 2cm close on fit solution, call it good?

In golf it is said that 1/000th of a degree = 20 yds!
Why not have that degree of attention in cycling?

In all sports,  attempts to qualify one's abilities are going on!   From a mechanical point of view, in cycling, it is the mechanical power generated by the cyclist that is most directly related to speed!  Sure factors such as strength & endurance contribute to this mechanical power in some way. Furthermore, you need more mechanical energy to climb mountains, (to overcome gravity), along with power to accelerate if you have any chance of being in the running of most races.  Here is where the correct fit solution pays off!

We feel that if you are in the top 5 of any given race, you are in the race, then it comes down to good vs. bad luck e.g. flats, chain drop, falls, etc...  You have to have your A-GAME and a bit of luck!

Many times the cyclocross course is on grass, sand.  To accelerate in grass, it is very important that you learn how to address the bike for a sprint.  So some track racing skills could be of help during the low end speeds!  We know that you need to have the drops in the correct space for sprinting.  Then on the top end, you have to generate enough force while moving at high speed and that determines performance. We know that it takes about 200 to 250 watts to be generated to compensate for a power lost to frictional forces at speed.  This is only a guide!
Power comes from your brain and how you address the bike!

Once again, a road bike solution is not a tt solution, nor tri , or a mtb , or a cyclocross solution. They are all different games!  Don't be shocked if someone rides away from you after obtaining the newest hyped fit road fit from your mass market dealer!  

Large mass market dealers want you to buy a bike and that is what ever bike they can get to be a bike dealer!  The focus is about getting you on a bike in a static form and out the door you go. There is a major trend from the mass market groups to get you to sit upright.  When you sit upright, sure if feels better while your in a trainer!  But when you get into the real world of cycling, your performance goes away!

Do you think a retail store really cares how you ride?  They don't make their money teaching you how to ride. They also don't want to be a training center.  In most cases, they have so much vested in the stock, buying it in Oct., and pay it off by July, only to do it over again.  They have to focus on moving hard-goods and soft-goods.

The same holds true for any golf club company who places their clubs in x,y,z, store.  They make their money by the sell of the clubs, not your score!  Do you think that they care about that 1/000th of a degree that equals the error of 20 yds. Do you think they care if you hit the ball 325 yds.  For the most part, they are not set up for that.  That's OK!  It's just good to understand!

We have made a mark in the bike fit industry, and even had one of our new dealer's in N.C., asked to leave a mass market retail store after one of the stores worker's went to get a Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish fit.  What is funny about this is, the worker loved his new fit over the mass market basic fit and his game improved.  We hope he keeps his job!  This happens more than you know!  Understand that large mass market companies can hold a gun to the head of their dealers!  Wait until they see the 30% price increase coming.

Clearly, we know how the mass market guys push "their way or the highway" on their dealers! In fact they don't want after market products when they make them.  So you have about 3 thousands stores like this. Our solutions and results within the many different cycling events has upset the apple cart of the upright design!  That is good, as it will rival them to improve their fittings and bikes.

Rivals are good!   In our game, we see basic bit fit solutions getting pushed on the retail store. They claim 3D, yet still use a plumb line, 2D because they use a cam, copy us with lasers, video tools like Dartfish, etc... But they are not us and they did not blaze a trail!  We did!  We are the real deal and we are the only company in the world who has a legal contract/partner with Dartfish.   The same people said, our way didn't work?  Now they attempt to copy?

Those people didn't care about bike fitting only a few years ago, and even many of the reps said we would not make it.   Not until they started seeing and learning that their bikes are not moving like they use to have they come up with their own school.  For years, they always said it was their bike.  Myth busting is making a difference! 

Wow!  You mean the bike really doesn't make that much of a difference?   That the person riding it will do better to learn how to ride it and work on their pedal stroke?  That is not what mass market retail has been pushing on us these many years!  

While at Interbike, thousands attend, to check out the night CrossVegas race.  It has become quite the event! This year's CrossVegas was even larger than last year. Big guns like Lance Armstrong came out for the racing.  The sport is really growing and most people can afford it. And having Lance attend during a time when the federal government  is looking at a massive bailout plan for Wall Street doesn't hurt the sport.  Money is tight, and these bikes are within reach of our pocket book.

It is not about the bike brand, rather the human motor and their focus! In this game, you don't need a high priced bike.  You do need a good motor, a will to race, and a good bike fit solution that allows you to use your skills.  People have different skills and different skills show up at these kinds of races.  That is why this type of cycling is so fun,  you see a lot of different courses bringing out the many different skills. 

When you race on grass, it really taxes you pace!  You need to be able to make a lot of power out of the hole and with the wrong bike set up , you loose the power to attack, so forget about catching someone ahead if you don't have it right.

So, how did we do? We are very pleased with the Luna Chix's Gould and Nash  racing against US Champion Katie Compton (Spike).   Seems like things are equally matched for the season and that makes for good racing.  That means the small mistakes will make a huge difference. Just one un-clip and the the other person can get away! 

That was the case in a sharp corner for Nash, as she watched Compton get away.  Georgia Gould was also setting-up a attack (a tough act to catch up), but crashed over a barrier, doing a swan dive into the soft grass, then dropped a chain and was dropped by the leaders to take third-place. Even with all that a 3rd place is super.  Great results!

Why take your ideas to racing?  That is the best place to test "what works" and that is why we follow it!  Even with the results, the world stills learns slowly. You always hear about people who are old school (I have been doing it for 20 years) and why change?  

Now comes the racer!  The truth is, they don't want the others to have the fit solution?  Would you? When you know they are going to have to work harder each and every race.  That is what drives them to learn how to pedal better, faster, etc...  IT'S HARD WORK TO LEARN!

There are many fitting systems today!  There are many mass market systems that are placed in their stores (bend over touch your toes).  They all have their approach!  But come race day, it is the Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish solution that is always in the running!  Because we care about fitting you and then teaching you what you need to work on.  We don't push you on our brand bike,  sit upright, then call the 1cm to 2cm good to go!  We measure you to the mm!  The upper body is a counter weight for the work of the legs.  Learn how to play the game!

Grab any golf club, you still have to learn to swing it.  Sitting upright is not learning how to play the game.  OK, your not Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong, but attempt to learn the game.
You will get better if that is your focus.

In golf it is said, to be off 1/000 th. off = 20 yds. error, at contact with the ball.  That is the same level of focus we are after!  We care about 1/000 th,  as we want you to make the perfect pedal stroke each and every time.  They add up!

Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish makes a difference and if you have not used our services, then you might be off that 1/000 error?  In racing, you attempt not to guess, rather win and that is why our racers do well.  They work very hard on each stroke!

In the grass, coming out of the corners, you need a very quick sprint e.g. track racer to keep pace.  If you have a strong sprint, you can attack those who just sit on the saddle expecting to come up to speed.

We are also glad to see Sue Butler Monavie Cannondale getting 6th place with such a high power race. 

Elite Women

1. Kate Compton  (Spike)
2. Katerina Nash  (Luna)
3  Georgia Gould  (Luna)  WN & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish
6.  Sue Butler         (Monavie Cannondale)  WN & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish

Do you want to go harder?  Go see one of our dealers!

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