The process must start with the Physiotherapist gaining a good understanding of the athlete, their age, injury history, working status/type of work, cycling experience, cycling goals and of course the overall goal of the fit. To do this, I’ll sit down with you and ask specific questions that allow me to map out a plan of attack when looking at you and your bike.
Following this, the Physio must perform a cycling specific biomechanical assessment off the bike. This includes testing range of motion in key joints, muscle length and static and functional strength. These physical tests allow me to see how your body moves, taking into account any of your previous injuries. Combining the findings of the initial questionnaire and biomechanical screening allows the Physio to make well educated decisions regarding changes to both the bike and athlete.
Now it’s time to jump on the bike and see how you are moving whilst actually riding. From here changes are made to the bike; seat height, seat for/aft, seat angle, stem length, stem height, stem angle, cleat positioning and possibility of cleat wedges/shims (only if required). All changes are made on a highly individualised basis.
Now that the bike is “fitted” to you it’s time for you to be “fitted” to the bike. This may sound a tad silly, however there is a technique to cycling efficiently and to do this there are some specific drills and exercises that can be done on and off the bike. The Physiotherapist should correct posture and pedalling technique whilst on the bike. You will also receive a “body maintenance” regime that includes stretching, foam rolling/spikey ball release and functional strength/conditioning specific to the needs of your body.
You will be informed throughout the session using things such as video feedback and go home understanding why changes were made, why each exercise/stretch were prescribed and most of all – happy with the outcome.
This is a brief overview of the service CycleFit provides, and I hope it clears up any questions some may have regarding professional bikefits performed by Physiotherapists. Stay tuned for the next blog that will go into a little more detail on how a CycleFit Bikefit will help reduce the risk of injury whilst maximising efficiency, and maybe some new upcoming BikeFit deals.