I stated in a previous article on On-Bike Efficiency, that in order to get most out of your training and fitness, and to improve your on-bike economy, there are several factors to consider. Most of us get carried away with improved mechanical efficiency e.g. aerodynamic tubing, ceramic bearing, or lowering the weight of the bike by replacing the nuts and bolts with titanium just to save a few grams. This may give you an edge depending on what you want to do on the bike, however, before you start spending money on high tech equipment, consider choosing proper equipment in relation to your riding and racing style.
Consider your body positioning or riding posture (bike fit). Getting an appropriate bike fit may take up to 3-4 hours and will take in consideration your unique or Irreplaceable Biomechanical Circumstances (IBC) e.g. the differences in left and right side, muscular flexibility and joint range of motion, hip, knee, and foot aliment, your training, racing details, etc. The key part of your bike fit is your connection to the bike when you transfer the power to the pedals – the shoe, cleats and pedal system.
For the shoe, cleats and pedal set-up consider choosing the right type of shoe and the right size (consider a proper insole as many shoes won’t come with a suitable one), and pedal system. Next is to position the cleats based on your IBC. This will consist of foot fore/aft positioning, stance width (side to side positioning), arch type, forefoot tilt and alignment at the foot and pedal interface. This key alignment prevents the repetitive side-to-side movement of the knee which can have negative biomechanical effects from the foot all the way up to lower back.
If you get this set-up done accordingly, your on-bike economy will improve significantly providing comfortable and efficient pedaling. It will help prevent injuries and will enhance the recovery time.
At PCC we offer bike positioning and fitting. We use cutting edge technology ITS WedgeTM and Cleat Wedge by “BIKE FIT SYSTEM®” to make corrections and proper alignment.
Bike Fit System
By Houshang Amiri
Photo courtesy: Project 303