Cycling Injury Management
Why have a Bike Fit?
Triathletes and competitive cyclists can spend a lot of energy, time and money on the most efficient, light and aerodynamic bike without thinking about the one thing that actually creates the most resistance in moving forward: their own body.
There are several forces that work against a forward movement: rolling resistance, mechanical friction, gravity and aerodynamic drag. Although there is some level of variation depending on many issues, such as road surface for example, rolling resistance accounts for about 10 to 15% of all the forces holding us back. Mechanical friction (which is basically existing in all moving parts of the bike) accounts for a similar percentage. Gravitational resistance accounts for around 25% of all resistance, but obviously this increases quite significantly when riding uphill. Remains the aerodynamic resistance or drag. This accounts for around 50% of our total resistance and is therefore the highest one to overcome.
Around 75% of this aerodynamic resistance (roughly estimated) holding an athlete back from moving forward on a bike is due to the surface of our body. This equates to around 37.5% of the total resistance! One of the most important elements of reducing this resistance is to avoid anything that can cause turbulence and drag.al. A significant gain can be made by creating a correct position on the bike, which will reduce that aerodynamic resistance to a minimum. There are two additional considerations in creating this aerodynamic efficient position.
First of all, the rider must still be able to push a certain power and last, but not least, the risk of injury due to comfort (or discomfort!) in posture needs to be minimised. These three elements are the key parts of a bike fit: position, power and comfort (or injury prevention). A bike fit is quite often a small investment compared to buying an aerodynamic bike, expensive tires with little road resistance and/or the newest aero skinsuit. Although these obviously all make sense in increasing your speed, the biggest consideration when doing a bike fit is the main objective of the rider, comfort or as little aerodynamic resistance as feasible and anything in between. But, whatever the objective, injury prevention is obviously always a major consideration.
A rider has five touchpoints with the bike: two hands on the handlebar, the pelvis on the saddle and two feet in the pedals and each of those touchpoints plays a significant role – they create pressure points and the distance between them determines the bike position. These are the factors that bike fitting can impact and allow a rider to effectively and within a certain range of comfort transition power from the body into a forward move.
By adjusting the distance between the touchpoints the rider can be positioned in a way that the surface of the rider minimizes to reduce aerodynamic drag as much as possible without reducing comfort (depending on the objective) – the position of a time trialist doing a 10 mile TT can potentially allow for less comfort compared to an ironman triathlete who is on the bike for 6 hours or longer (and has to run a marathon afterwards!).
Why Choose us?
LMC Physio & Fitness and Mensa Cosa Coaching combine their expertise to offer a comprehensive bike fit to suit your needs as a cyclist or triathlete. This bike fit consists of two steps:
- A full movement screening performed by an Advanced Chartered Physiotherapist. This will include assessment of your range of movement, flexibility and strength alongside a discussion about your cycling history and goals. You will be provided with some specific exercises to work on to improve your position and comfortable on your bike as well as ways to optimise your performance.
2. Based on the assessment, the actual bike fit will be performed by Mensa Cosa Coaching, using your own bike set up and a fully adjustable static bike to measure impact on power output. We can make small gradual changes to your set up and assess in real time the impact on your power reading and also your comfort.
The outcome will result in a bike fit suggestion (with adjustments made where possible) that suit your needs and reduces the risk of injuries – giving you the highest potential power output.
We believe by combining both of the steps described above gives us the opportunity to provide a service tailored to your body and the way you move and cycle. We feel this is much more effective than the 'one size fits all' approach of traditional bike fitting.
What does it cost?
Both steps will take around 45 minutes and will take place at Rugby (step 1) and Daventry (step 2) and the cost is £100. Please contact us for more information and for booking.