This latest post is about a trip to PedalPrecision.com
Bit of background
In March 2009 I broke my leg quite badly and it really affected my cycling, over the months I was struggling more and more with various niggles and pains. Through the Bikeradar forum I heard about a small fledgling bike fit operation – Adrian Timmis (Cadencesport) and took the plunge. That was early in 2010 and since then I have waxed lyrical about the service he provided and the difference it made to my cycling. This is well documented already.
In short, during this fit I had angled wedges placed inside my shoes and under my cleats, also Adrian found a leg length discrepancy, so I had a 1cm stack on right shoe. The front end was sorted and some gems of advice imparted.
The biggest thing with Adrian’s fit were the moulded footbeds, they had such a profound effect I spoke to my GP who referred to a podiatrist. The podiatrist found very quickly that I needed inserts all the time and I had some custom inserts made for my shoes.
In 2011 I broke my back and collar bone, changed my bike, have bought new cleats a few times and I had slowly ‘unfitted’ myself. Furthermore over the last 2 years I have developed pain at back of knees, ITB issues, lower back problems and a distinct loss of motivation.
I have had the leanest few months of cycling in years, I’ve not even managed 300 miles in 2013, including turbo mileage. I was doing that much a week before.
Decided it was time for another bike fit…
Due to the increased cost of the fit at cadencesport (was £100 3 yrs ago, now £180 but it’s now in a VERY nice shop, if you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit not least for all the Tour memorabilia, classic bikes on display and all the lovely kit to buy. Nice coffee too!) and travel distance I decided to try Pedal Precision (Pedal Precision) at Manchester Velodrome.
I contacted Richard by email and an appointment was made. There are three levels of fit, I opted for the middle ‘Pro’ fit.
Today I entered the hallowed entrance to the world hub of track cycling and was met with Richard’s friendly face, taken to his office and given a nice coffee while we chatted about my cycling, my issues and my goals.
Richard started from scratch, he looked at the way I walked (he could tell by the way I used it I’m not a woman’s man) and looked at my mobility/range of motion. This took about 30 mins. Richard found that my ‘leg length discrepancy’ was not in fact an actual discrepancy but appeared that way due to a mechanical issue with weakness in my right hip. The mechanics of it were all explained to me in detail using a diagram.
Ditched all the cleat wedges and the stack but kept the footbeds. Kept the angled insert in the shoe and bolstered it up slightly.
Then I got on the bike
My Knee/ITB issues, I was told, were due to muscle weakness in certain areas. Turns out I’ve hardly ever used my glutes whatsoever, for anything! Once these start joining in I hope to be getting some more power out. It appears I’ve not been using the outer part of my quads either and my ITB has been working overtime to correct this. This has then caused ITB tightness. I have been given exercises to address these, thus I will eventually sort the root cause of these weaknesses rather than deal with the end result of them through use of shims/wedges. This should make me a stronger cyclist and be less sensitive to changes in position.
Whilst on the turbo I was filmed from various angles and examined in slow motion, and of course watched ‘live’. Looking at my rear on the screen you could see the weakness at the bottom right of my back. It was also a big fat ass. Need to do something about that.
Adjustments were made to my saddle position and explanations given as to what was being done and why. For the record I was moved a fair bit forward and a little up. The saddle was tilted slightly forward but not that you’d notice to look at. My legs immediately felt more comfortable and due to the change in angle I could feel my glutes firing without having to contort myself or compromise the power from my quads. I was riding very smoothly with no ‘grabbing’ which had been causing the substantial pain at the top of my calf on longer rides. There were no issues with the front end fit at all and no adjustments made.
Richard will be sending me an email with all the exercises detailed and all the bike measurements on a diagram.
I was glad I had the footbeds from Adrian, maybe it is something Richard could look at (unless he does them already, I never broached the subject)
In all an excellent, very detailed service with a full and open explanation of what was done at every stage. No hidden secrets here. Learnt a fair few things about my body and I have come away with a very positive outlook about my riding again…
Richard is a really nice, relaxed guy. Very easy to get on with to and interesting talking to him about his background and his life changing events.
I have said this before and I’ll say it again, people don’t baulk at paying out money for upgraded components that don’t acually improve anything but bragging rights (I’m as guilty as anyone) so in the grand scheme of things, a bike fit is peanuts. I’d recommend to getting a good bike fit to anyone who cycles. I’d highly recommend both fitters I’ve been to, they both have different approaches, but I was really pleased with the results from both.
I will post an update in a month or so with how I’m getting on having done the exercises for a month. Unless no-one’s interested, then I won’t bother…