REMOTE BIKE FIT
by ALAN LOTT
I consider this an overall equipment review since we used all of the tools in the shed!
Over the past few weeks I had the pleasure of working with Coach Rick Schultz (bikefitnesscoaching.com) on an online bike fit. I am in Virginia and Coach Rick is in California. As part of the initial assessment, Rick asked me if I had done any Physical Therapy work. I told him yes and that I continue to work with a local PT.
The whole process started when I called him about the Icebug insole that he carries and asked him if he would do a mini-fit with me to help resolve a ball of foot metatarsal problem. To start, he asked for two videos, one from the front and one from the side of me on the bike. He said it was important to have ample light and to make sure that I got all pivot points into the video. He walked me through what he wanted in the video.
I used a small tripod I had at home and a 30 fps (frames per second) camera.
Rick’s Note: Logitech makes a $99 webcam that runs at 60 fps which is the minimum frame rate to stop the blurring of cranks spinning at 100 rpm’s. Click on the picture to the right to be taken to Amazon to order the camera.
Making sure that the camera was square to the bike and using the camera timer, one video was made from the side. For saddle height, Rick asked me to place a piece of red electrical tape on the ball of my hip, one on the side of my knee and one on my ankle. Again, the camera has square with the bike for the front shot. I then emailed the video to him.
Using his software, he found that my saddle was too low and through a skype conversation, pointed out the need to raise it 3mm. After raising the saddle, I felt much better.
Next, Rick helped me with my knee position. I taped a small Johnson 3″ level to my crank arm and on the trainer dropped a plumb line from the front of my knee to the front of my crankarm to determine saddle fore/aft position. We moved the saddle forward.
Next, we went over my cleat position. Rick asked me to take another video from the front. Rick determined that my knees were going way out to the sides at the top of the pedal stroke. I added 2 cleat wedges to each shoe, 2 heel wedges as well as a couple pedal washers to each pedal and ultimately straightened out my knees and I also gained more power and stable foot position. Also, more comfort in the saddle.
If my bike had been set properly before working with Coach Schultz, then we would have focused more on body mechanics and spent more time with cleat position and wedges. Yet I am very satisfied at the progress made for the rate he charged and will certainly enlist his services again as needed.
So, was this a success, YES, I believe it was!
I have always enjoyed bicycling and, through a series of coincidences, became a Bicycle Industry Consultant and Product Tester. I continue to test prototype products for companies and publish only off the shelf production products on biketestreviews.com.