If you read my previous blog, you would remember that I have been battling a chronic knee injury in Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) – essentially caused by a muscular imbalance and an IT band you could strum to a tune. Dormant glutes and a weak VMO wreaked havoc on the muscoskeletal strucuters of my right knee ultimately bringing my cycling and racing to a halt. All of this was allowed to develop from inadequate stretching and body maintenance, and an improper bike fit.
13 months later I am still hitting the gym to retrain my posterior chain and inner quads. Luckily the easy part of fixing all this was the bike fit. Major advances in technology have realised some incredible techniques to fine tune not only your bike fit, but also your pedalling technique. The guys down at Jet Cycles in Sydney have it all. Specialized’s Body Geometry Fit, gebioMized’s pressure mapping technology, and most importantly trained and qualified staff to analyse and interpret the results.
The fit process these guys carry out is nothing short of comprehensive. I have had a bike fit done before where the basic principles of bike fit get applied to you with little consideration for a tailored solution. Welcome to the other extreme – this is how it is done at Jet:
- A full flexibility assessment to gain information on the riders foot structure, leg length, anatomical build, and other physical attributes;
- A staionary trainer session to analyse pedalling technique, position on the bike through pressure mapping technology, and even how even the spread of force is applied to your foot bed.
- Adjustments to all the usual variables such as saddle height and fore-aft and handlebar rotation and reach, but also any required shims for leg length discrepancy, wedges and arch support for foot pronation, and saddle width matched to your sit bones.
- Iterative adjustments are made and each time a reassessment of your pedalling technique and weight and force distribution is made until the fit produces the best result.
This is the Gold Standard of bike fitting. Industry leading bike fit philosophies backed up by one of the worlds most reputable bike brands, mated with cutting edge German pressure mapping technology providing real time feedback on even the slightest adjustment. The pressure mapping technology feeds information from 128 pressure sensors (32 in each foot and 64 on the saddle) in real time to a monitor and maps out the information as you pedal away. Left and right foot forces can be compared, and even how squarely your hips are positioned on the saddle.
The assessment established that my right foot pronates more than my left, and my right knee tracks poorly – both which are likley to contribute to the ongoing knee issues. My fit increased my saddle height (co-incidentally equal to the 109% rule), provided much greater foot support to counter act 6° of foot pronantion, and reduced saddle setback to straighten knee tracking.
Two weeks later I have sensed that the new position has recruited the VMO a little better, and that my right knee is tracking straighter. On top of that is the peace of mind that my position is the best that it can be.