One man’s drive TT Improve.
Before I was going to hammer my credit I was going to get a bike which fitted me. Not me try and wrestle, slip, curve and hold onto a bike. Often people go out and buy a bike and then get a fit to make it as setup for them as it can. It made no sense to me. I wanted to find the bike which had the right dimensions for me. The right stack, the right reach. A bike which would allow me to race fast, be efficient and work for me.
I looked up who was the best bike fitter in the world and while there were a few options one stood as repeatedly being mentioned. Unfortunately the fit is done overseas and this was just not possible for me. I then thought if he is the best, who does he recommend, who has he trained, and who has learnt through his thinking and knowledgewhile also having a huge amount of industry experience to hold as an equally high qualification.
Peter from Cycling Edge was the person who stood out. His belief, “The bike should fit you. – not you have to fit the bike” made the call easy. Peter had all the tools necessary. His sessions were totally one on one. Not someone coming into a shop and asking questions in the middle of a fit done by an untrained worker.
After discussing my past history and alignment problems with Peter I soon saw I had made possibly the best decision I could. In fact this first meeting did not feel like a task which one must complete but an investment in permanent, health and success.
Like a lot of athletes, especially triathletes who have to run from a long bike, I have developed a hip problem. Standard bikes don’t work for me. They are fast to just ride and not run from, or are fast for the bio mechanically sound.
I had suffered hip injury resulting in bone rubbing on bone. Closing my hips was exaggerating this. However the industry thinking is often that you must have closed hips to ride a time trial bike in an aerodynamic way.
Cycling Edge fitting opened my hips up, increasing the angle in my hips by simply shortening my cranks. Easy you say. Sure but the experience of actually knowing the increments to change and ability to trial different sizes with ease is world’s best practice.
Peter’s machines allow quick changes to and from different equipment so a reliable physical comparison is given in true real time. No waiting 20 min to adjust a saddle, crank length or Tri bar.
If I thought one saddle was too long. No problem. Have a look at the twenty on display to try. One too thin or too short? “Let’s try this,” said Peter. Saying this, I really did not have to try many as Peter automatically diagnosed the problem and eliminated the choice to around two.
Peter’s machine is also linked to the latest Compu Trainer and video analysis. Removing any doubt that improvements were being made, it’s “in time“ data showed my pedal efficiency, if dead spots occurred, if imbalances needed to be worked on.
Being a bike racer comes with cost. These include often being near a crash. At times you fall. At times you hit the ground. When you hit the ground the impact can be hard, resulting in broken bones. Sometimes these bones heal in different places. This results in arm lengths of different sizes or other aspects of the body which physically cannot be changed. Strength and muscle work can help but if you find your arm is at actuate angles and it is fixed in that position, one is forced to work with it.
My arms are not the same length post a crash. Peter sees this as part of people. Instead of me sitting uncomfortably trying to get in an aero position or having to stretch to change up and down gears he caters for the individual’s needs.
My shifters and arm pads were altered to cater for this. No more reaching. No more stretching. No more feeling like I had to fit in a box. Similar to having to fit into the box most factory bikes are designed to fit. All of a sudden I was totally in the bike. I changed gears with no movement I drank with no major change in muscle use. I was again beginning to be able to fit the bike. The bike was starting to finally fit me.
This custom change is easy and quick but has to be done with analytical eyes and through someone with the confidence and experience to explain why it is done.
A change even if productive has to be explained to an athlete. If it is not embraced , then the benefits cannot be maximised. All the benefits are explained and shown with the video set up. This set up is first class in all dimensions. It is calibrated and recorded on computer. Live feed is on view on TV and all displays can be drawn on using the latest fitting instruments.
Every cyclist has strengths and weaknesses. One thing that could be identified to improve was a minute angle I held my leg at a certain point through the pedal revolution. This is not detectable at normal speed. Slowed down however it is obvious to a trained bike fitter. Slow down again it can be fixed or improved by a professional like Peter.
The video included still frames, showing where a few valuable watts were being wasted, where energy was going nowhere. Now Peter identifies these findings and explained how I could improve. We were able to adjust the saddle, trying a cut -away nose, standard nose and other different sizes in order to allow a freer revolution.
From there it opened up a world of different ways to improve, whereas before it was not functionally fixable. My posture could be improved while increasing aerodynamic positioning. I was gaining free speed through aerodynamics, while reducing fatigue in muscles I use when I have to get away and run, and at the same time not changing my power.
A change of Tri bars allowed my upper body to again rest. Tension reduced. However Peter identified one or two upper body movement by slowing down his back camera. We stretched me out – relaxing me and from there this energy could be saved. Saved for increase power if I decided or to use in a way on the run.
Cycling Edge does not just leave it at that.
Next, were the shoes and how efficient my platform was for my feet. One look at my stance from Peter showed a solution was visible. Arch support. However not both my arches need the same support. Again through analysing gait and arch height an insert was created to support me under the platform. This was higher in one than the other. Only slightly but small improvements all collected increase performance.
Looking at my worn Knicks also gave Peter some added information. Suggesting I was not quite straight on the bike.
When the fit and data had been collected all details of recommended changes and data were explained. The measurements were given as to what to look for. Cycling Edge then investigated known brands and lesser known, still of the high quality one would expect, possibly higher, to come up with suggestions of brands and bikes which would be best. Varying on budget further exploration is done. This is done to select a part. One bike may fit but only with a select time trial bar. Possibly a change in crank length, a headset swap or gear shifter customisation.
All this is done by Peter who with industry experience can see quality, workmanship, value to the rider and can ignore advertising promises with little supporting fact.
Before investing in a bike the first thing I would invest in would be a call to Peter. Cycle Edge is by far a better product investment to gain speed, fitness ,power and maintain health than the latest toy sold in a flashy display.”