Monday, November 03, 2008

Lance Armstrong uses Dartfish! Why Not You!

Why does biomechanics connect the sciences?

Throw your bike in a trainer (mini lab) and have at it! Alignment fanatics, concepts and interpretations arise!

First, it should be known that there is no blame here, just calling a ace an ace.

Yes, athletes need to know how their bodies work. Its a good thing Matt was exposed to US Ski Team, he was able to understand how things better work. He is aware of balance, muscle recruitment and nerve functions, joint proprioceptive receptors and more. He knows a few things about his body and how it works best in space. He also owns a company "Coyote Design," that makes prosthetics. Matt also knows to be at the top of your game, it's the last 20% that makes a difference.

Since he is the marketing director, he knows the concept that shoots for the less perfect 80%. In other words how the marketing game pushes comfort. Matt knows that most cycling folks don't have the time or the money to do the last 20%. The focus is to just get you on a bike.

Today, it is accepted that an experienced fitter performing alignments are needed. Not even 7 years ago was this true. Retail stores and reps didn't buy into it. It slowed things down with hard goods. Today, there are thousands of people in retail, or the trend "specialty shops" nationwide attempting to dial you in. This is good news, to a point. We know how that works, pick your ski boot store wisely!

Major problem, shop technicians attempt to get trained each year, but don't stick it out and move on. If you own the store, each year you had to retrain someone. Ouch! The same for bikes, suggest a bike, maybe suggest a footbed, or even cant your foot or the shoe. Great, but you still need to learn how to move. In the fitters defense, little education has been available. And we all know, just because your in the health care, doesn't mean you know how to play the game.

If that was so, then we would see the ill care (MD, PT, PA, PhD, OT) tag on the front of a Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong? The sport is not in a crisis, restoring a person to the level of functioning (to work properly and normally). What's normal?

Coaches are more like ski instructors and focus on your training concerns. Do they go out and ride and teach you skills? The industry even has a government signing off on who is who and what is their rank? Sounds like the old US Ski Team and PSIA governments.

Note the head of the cycling today was the head of skiing in the US? They make a ton of money for a cycling government teaching. Pay your dues coaches! Lessons learned, there was good money to be made with the PSIA & US Ski Coaches systems.

Why does top gun skier B. Miller do his own thing? Why is Lance Armstrong hiring international experts, one who's dad is very famous, named Eddie M., and made bikes from a country just west of Germany?

Cycling offers a sense of choice. You can elect to do it or not do it. Cycling exists in a non-authoritarian (government) atmosphere in which it is up to the individual to groom his/her own sense of self-confidence and accomplishments.

You don't have to be on the PSIA or US Ski Team to learn! We are not on some private slope where they can run you off the hill for teaching!

There is a new age where knowledge, technique, and equipment advance all the levels of sports. It is like cell phones, they change fast!

Fact: You don't choose your parents! In fact, you don't pick your country, government and could have i.e. a French or a Austrian, or a German influence on teaching, coaching. Europe and the US is not on the same page regarding educator and coach. The focus is to turn concepts into reality or is that money?


I thought you might find this interesting. I seem to recall hearing most of this before! I hope you are well.

"I have this hump in my back and I can't rotate my pelvis to straighten it out. I will go longer, narrower and more behind the hands if I can," said Armstrong.

"Last Saturday I tried a whole new position, seat back, nose of the seat up, elbows very narrow and bars low and I couldn't pedal the bike. So Sunday we went with nose of the seat down, moved the seat forward, widened the elbows and raised the bars. It was still fast but not as fast. However it felt infinitely better. So if you are 5% slower in the tunnel, but you gain 25% of your power back, that's what I mean about the perfect intersection of power and position," said Armstrong.

Mike Godfrey

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

It does appear that cycling is more art than science. Techy looking bike fitting services abound. These devices are for quick, qualitative assessments or a quick performance check. Just show them something and get them out the door. Does this accelerate the learning curve? To do that, you need a great depth of understanding, and time. It can be overwhelming!

So how do we cut through it all the concepts?

Power cuts through a lot of the compromising factors that dilute the significance of time, distance, speed, and heart rate as measures of performance. To say you ride a certain amount of miles per week and you pedal at 100 rmps is just another way to say you have the time and perhaps are in good shape.

Today, most know that intensity rather than duration is the focus for training the body to adapt. What is the point of spending time doing something less than perfect if it lowers the performance? So to focus on a higher % of perfection is a good thing.

You can't go by perceived exertion "I had a hard, moderate, or easy" ride today. These are very vague so to ask a person who is on the bike "how does that feel" is wrong! Most people don't pay attention to their game, nor care to focus, so they just ride. You always hear how tough or brave someone was this day or that on their ride. That is where a technical coach, a person who can define the concept.

Much of the focus is on training only. So it is no wonder at one time, the heart rate monitor revolutionized training to measure intensity and training changed. Then is was found it has limitations from its shifting lag to "catch up" with what the muscles are really doing. Better than nothing, but not the best. Not much of a technological breakthrough here!

Lactate measurements have been used for as a indicator of effort (not how you feel). Bottom line, the more lactate in the blood, the greater the intensity of exercise. Great for measuring fitness, not great for instantaneous feedback. It also lags and is not "real-time" measure of intensity. Too funny, we knew this when the Sweeds used Ingamar Steinmark to test even back in the 60's, 70's, standing on the side of a ski hill. How many decades is that with this new approach? It is promoted that we are witnessing something new?

Again, power is a direct measure of work or better (the sum of your effort). How do you get a mechanical advantage (lever length & its ration to the resistance arm)? What is the best angle of knee extension, what is the best line of pull? Where do the loads decrease? First if you don't know, then you can't use your brain to fire the muscles in the best firing order, your power is lower. Then the faster you get it done, the more power it takes.

Only with properly functional alignment of the bones can you work as efficiently as possible. The only real truth here, is there is no such thing as ideal!

That allows everyone to jump into the concept game!

Now think about your friend who is 2 times your size. They have to make more power than you. In other words pedal force multiplied by leg speed is more power. The more you can generate, the greater your potential is for getting good results in a race.

Peak power in tt is a better predictor of a race than aerobic capacity (VO2max). Once again, what is it you want to do?

Technology has taken its sweet time to help cyclists and cyclists don't care too much for the cost of accurate, reliable, lightweight equipment. Perhaps it has been retailers and coaches don't have the money for the high-tech.

About learning. No sliver bullet! It may take years for a rider to develop the skills, and that is more true for the self-coached athlete. Most people don't have the financial resources to have all the technology, nor pay a coach who just tells them what to do.

The mixture of motor control, awareness, self-perception, imagination and spiritual strength is the secret of top performance and learning. Knowing about these elements and skillfully applying the knowledge gives validity to the term "professional." Only then can you convert potential into talent.

"The centipede was very happy quite, until a toad in fun said, 'Pray, which leg after which?' That worked her mind to such a pitch, she lay distracted in the ditch, considering how to run." Anonymous

Computer & instrumentation technologies continue to advance useful dimensions to the cyclists. This process will never end! And we are at the front, cutting a path to better understanding!

We know a few things about teaching. When you go outside you really teach people how to improved their game. Less guesswork will allow you to address the subtle changes that occur. Your perception of what you are doing might be off! Why spin your wheels doing the wrong thing?

Today we use video for live on the open road monitoring, to get better results, just like the replays that come from football, tennis, etc..., to make better calls. We always knew what you you do in a trainer is not what you do in the real world. That is why so many don't notice our fit until they get outside in the real world. A stiff trainer is not real world!

So if Lance uses Dartfish why not you? It is a viable training tool, but not the only tool that he uses, but he has the brains to review it. He also has the brains and money to go to the wind tunnel to micro adjust his tt bikes.

It was pointed out that Lance has a 3D fitting system in a his shop in Austin, Tx. So to respond to the question. Why then is he going to a wind tunnel? Why go outside and use Dartfish?
Is the qualitative sizzle in appearance not enough (skin moves over joints) in contrasted with quantitative technology. We use Dartfish to help teach in the lab and real world!

We have SRM within the Dartfish or is that Dartfish within SRM and it takes into account (quantitative & qualitative). Still accurate interpretation and only with the most effective communications can you get the horse to drink water!

We not only have 10 years of service in cycling, we also have years of teaching (interpretation & communications) people to move and at the highest level in the world in other sports. Many made fun of our visual models, not knowing to teach you have to express things to the lowest common word, for the listeners, as they may not be fluent in language? Who is?

Countless books on cycling have been published and they all claim to be the Bible. Sad, but true, most of them come short of that goal and most are yet another rehash of the same old material under some "new, exciting approach."

Constructive illustrations are very effective teaching methods. Clarity and dimension is needed to the written word. In many cases for the arrow to stick in the target (brain), oversimplification is the only way.

"To study medicine without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study medicine from books is not to go to sea at all" Sir William Osler

Another little-spoken-of, but important, aspect of learning cycling is vicarious feedback that can be provided instantly and continuously. Anyone who has any time coaching knows you can kill a athlete's talent by overload!

So when we started with our PhD, PT, PA, 3 Engineers, then the many sources from Germany, USA, and Switzerland , we said "let the baby walk" let it stand on its own feet. And let the "ill minded critics" have at it. If it works, the voices that dis, can't stop it and they will, like all without good sense or judgement have no hesitation in tackling a situation that even the wisest would avoid. Real engineering!

We find it funny that some use their degrees to hype their services (not to be at sea). We didn't feel the need to share the degrees of our staff of PhD, PT, PA, 3 Engineers, 2 with master degrees. We know how some do that, rather we wanted our services to obtain the results. We know how people learn, how they achieve results. Too often we been told how to do something.

Ten years of services and teaching and results we have.

Looking at style is like looking a white light. It is very complex but its complexity is not obvious.

If you want to impugn someones intelligence, the options are almost limitless. Better what is their motive, can it be money? As we are seeing in business anyone can buy inventory. We sell service, work done for a customer other than manufacturing sales of soft or hard goods.

Why is it then, many don't understand that we all can learn, even a Lance Armstrong?

It must be what they get at the feed lot? Perhaps its the Alpha ego? Perhaps in cycling like golf, skiing, its because they fail to see it with their untrained eye? Or, they are just a stick in the mud.

Lance Armstrong adds Gruene to win list.... with Dartfish help!

We are only as good as the truth or in cycling trends.

I guess you have to have some smarts to short
through it all.


Cyclist may move their feet in circles during pedaling, but applied force and developed torque in no way appears circular.

We can clearly illustrate how pedal forces and torque vary during a pedal cycle. Know this, the magnitude of forces applied at various stages within the cycle is far from equal. Now think of the above picture of our 3 time World Tri Champ Matt Perkins!

There is a mechanical necessity to single-leg efforts. I guess having two legs just trips people up! Same for skiing, two legs just get in the way of the other, the key is now to get one out of the way! We show you!

A email from our Dartfish friends!

Tom look who is using Dartfish.

Best regards,


Victor Bergonzoli



No question, if Lance Armstrong uses something people follow. Funny how that works?

We hold the only partnership in the world with Dartfish. Why, because they know that we know what we are looking at and we are lead sheep! The rest just follow!

So if a Lance Armstrong has enough sense to learn and wants to improve his game, what's wrong with the rest of the world? It has to be his genetic code! The information carried by the DNA.
How else can one of the best in the sport "LEARN" when so many don't? I guess being slow is cool!

We have been taking people outside and making them faster for years. Its simply amazing how slow the world turns.

Do something that really make a difference in your game. Get a fit solution that makes a difference! Then go outside and let's make you faster!

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