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The Importance of a Bike Fit

Originally posted Aug 1st, 2018 / Gear Tips
Courtesy of Team Holowesko|Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources 

Team Holowesko/Citadel racer, TJ Eisenhart putting in the miles on the Omnium Over-Drive.

 

The average pro bike racer is in the saddle around 30 hours for a hard training week, about half that for an “easy week.” The Tour de France covers around 3500 km (2200 mi). If we’re talking about mere mortals: logging 10 to 15 hours a week in your cycling training plan would get you the respectable head-nod within your local racing scene.  Seven to 10 hours/week would keep you fit as a fiddle. But whether your weekly rides total three hours or 30, if your bike doesn’t fit you properly, you could be in for a world of pain.

A poor fit might start with something fairly innocuous like saddle sores, mild discomfort, or a weak pedal stroke, but it can quickly progress to knee and back injuries or worst of all … slower speeds and reduced power!  In short: there’s a long, negative list of very bad things that can easily be avoided with the right fit and accessories.

If you google “How to fit yourself on a bike,” you’ll get plenty of advice. Pages and pages of advice via step-by-step tutorials, videos, etc. But we suggest consulting a professional for several very basic, yet key reasons:

 EVERY ATHLETE IS DIFFERENT

One person’s femur length, hip flexion, arm-reach, core muscles, pelvis width, etc. is quite different than another’s. When things are out of whack (which can be hard to diagnose just by just looking down at your bike/body) your body will attempt to compensate and that’s when folks get injured.

A PROPER FIT ENSURES COMFORT

Comfort leads to enjoyment, which leads to more riding, which leads to puppies and butterflies (or puppies and cyclocross) and World peace.

A WELL-FIT BIKE IS A FAST BIKE

That’s right. If you’re not riding with an optimal fit, you’re likely sacrificing speed and power. Why would anyone ever want to do that?

BIKE PERSONALIZATION

A good fit might mean swapping out certain things like handlebars, saddle, stem, pedals, shoes, etc. This is referred to as “bike personalization” in Fit-Land. If you’ve been a cyclist for a while, you might have an arsenal of spare parts and accessories in your garage. But if not, not to worry! A professional bike fitter can make suggestions, swap out accessories, and make these adjustments for you, right at the shop or their studio so you can “try before you buy.”

There are many types of professional bike-fit methods out there. Some shops and studios may have elaborate in-house bike-fit systems, and others just use a traditional trainer in a quiet corner or a side-room of the shop. One trend we’re noticing is that the Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive Trainer is becoming a staple of professional fitters all around the world. Fitters have come to the conclusion that the same features of the Omnium that appeal to pro and amatuer cyclists make it the perfect bike-fit tool as well.

  • Simple fork-mount design: This allows for quick and easy set-up. Ask any racer (or rather a pro-racer’s mechanic) and they’ll tell you just how fast and easy they are. No fiddling with your rear cassette, no need for a trainer-wheel vs. a racing or riding wheel, no derailleur adjustments, etc.

  • Compatibility: The Omnium Over-Drive accommodates Road, MTB, CX, TT, BMX and even Folding Bikes as it accepts QR, 12×100, 15×100, 15×110 (Boost) Thru axles.*

  • Lightweight and portable: At under 14 pounds, the Omnium Over-Drive folds up easily and comes with its own tote-bag. If you’re an athlete, this means hassle-free travel to the races. But its compact nature also makes it perfect for small spaces at home. These same features allow a shop or studio to maximize precious space, and even allow the fitter to take it with them if they wish to fit a client in the comfort of their own home or on the road.

  • Internal Progressive Resistance: Just because it’s small and compact doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a powerful punch. The Omnium Over-Drive’s magnetic resistance is hiding in its two round, aluminum drums. The faster you pedal, the more resistance you’ll feel. But instead of the loud sounds of a wind or fluid trainer, it’s quiet. For athletes, you can hit this trainer with your hardest workouts. If you’re at the races, it’s perfect for warming up or spinning for a cool-down. A fitter will appreciate being able to talk to their client rather than having to yell over the trainer, and she or he will be able to watch your pedal stroke on the spectrum of an easy, relaxed pace, as well as standing up and hammering.

TESTIMONIALS:

“As a professional bike fitter, The Omnium Over-Drive Trainer has been the most versatile and adaptable trainer on the market. With the advancement of through axles, having the ability to use one trainer with different spacing options for all wheel sizes and axle widths has freed me up to focus on fitting. It is an indispensable tool of the trade.”

-George Mullen, Professional Bike Fitter, Peak Cycles, Golden, CO

“Traveling with a team’s worth of equipment is always a challenge. Trying to figure out how to get trainers anywhere used to be one of my least favorite tasks. The Omnium has really been a game changer for us. Light enough to fly with, quiet enough to use in a hotel room, and compact enough to pack out of the way until they are needed. Plus with the massive range of compatibility, you can always lend one out if another team is in need.”

-Doug Sumi, Chief Mechanic, Holowesko|Citadel p/b Arapahoe Resources

Chances are you’ll see more of the Omnium Over-Drive in the near future. Look for it in the overhead of an airplane, on the balcony of a hotel, at pro or local races, and of course…at your local bike shop in the hands of a professional bike fitter. For more information about the Omnium Over-Drive, please click here!

*Additional adapters for Lefties and QRx74mm can be purchased separately if needed. 

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Race-Day Warm-up with Amanda Nauman

Though we all know that warm-legs are fast legs… it’s can be hard to know where to begin. You might wonder, “Should I use a bike trainer or rollers?” How hard should I go before a race?”, “For how long?”, “Should I do intervals?”, “Why is my skinsuit so tight?”, “Is my number pinned properly?”.  While we can’t really help you with the last two questions, we did find some experts to share what works for them in terms of the first four.

We asked our friends, David Sheek (Carmichael Training Systems Coach) and Amanda Nauman (known to friends and the cycling community as “Amanda Panda”) of Team SDG – Muscle Monster for some general preparation tips and a warm-up plan to help anyone maximize their race-day potential.

——————

~From Amanda and Dave~

Our friends at Feedback Sports have really stepped up the game with a solid range of traveling goodies that are also amazing products to have in any garage. Whether traveling to Europe or chasing events around the United States, Feedback has made it easier to be prepared at home and on the road. A few of our favorites are the Team Edition Tool Kit, Omnium Portable Trainer, and Sprint Work Stand which all fit into the bottom of our cases for travel.

Being Prepared: Pre-Event Warm-up

A pre-event warm-up is designed to increase muscle core temperature, start the body’s cooling processes, and activate energy systems. Here’s a step-by-step guide to activating your body for a great performance using the Feedback Sports Omnium Portable Trainer.

Warm-up

It’s pretty common for a warm-up routine to be 45-60 minutes. You need to spend some time at lactate threshold and throw in a few high-intensity efforts to activate the processes related to producing and processing lactate, but you want to do as little as possible to achieve those goals. A generic warm-up includes 15-25 minutes of spinning, 5-10 minutes at LT, and two 1-2 minute VO2 max efforts. Variations of that will typically get the job done. A long warm-up is likely to generate more heat so weather and other variables are taken into consideration.

The nature of your event also plays a role in your warm-up. If your event is going to start out relatively slow, like a road race, then you can minimize the warm-up activities. If the event is going to start hard, like a cyclocross race, then it’s important to activate your energy systems and lactate processing systems.

Variations on the Weather

There is a fine line between activating your body for a great performance and hurting your performance through overheating in your warm-up. After warming up some higher energy systems, your muscle temperature and core temperature are elevated and primed to race. In warmer temperatures it is recommended to cool down for about 10 minutes before going to the start line to avoid any chances of overheating. In cooler temperatures it is recommended to add clothing layers and maintain that elevated core temperature en route to the start line.

Go to the Start Line

If you’re going to be standing on the start line for a long time before you start, as is often the case with cyclocross races, you’re going to be standing still. In this scenario, try to go to the line wearing enough clothing or layers to stay warm. Plan to hand your clothing off to someone with a few minutes to the whistle.

The focus on staying warm during and after a riders’ warm-up routine pays off because you will be ready for action right from the start. Keeping your core temperature at an optimal level enables you to start faster, get to the front of the race, and stay there.

Taking the proper steps to activate all your energy systems through a proper warm-up, all starts with the right trainer routine. It’s difficult to find an event that allows for sufficient open road to correctly hit the warm-up zones that your preparation requires. Traveling with the Feedback Sports Omnium Over-Drive guarantees the freedom to create and execute a routine around an ideal warm-up that will set you up physically and mentally for success.

Time CTS Zone Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 10-Point Scale
10 min Endurance Miles (EM) 4-5
2 min Tempo 6
2 min EM 4-5
2 min Tempo 6
2 min EM 4-5
2 min Steady State (SS) 7-8
2 min EM 4-5
2 min SS 7-8
2 min EM 4-5
1 min Climbing Repeat (CR) 8
2 min EM 4-5
30 sec Power Interval (PI) 9
2 min EM 4-5
30 sec PI 9
5-10min EM 4-5
Off Trainer – Head to Startline
10 min Active Cooling 2-4

*Amanda is currently rocking the cyclocross and gravel scene. She and David clearly know a thing or two about race-day preparation. Thanks for the tips, David and Amanda!  We’ll see you (and your Feedback Sports Race Day Essentials) at the Cyclocross Nationals in Kentucky! #pandapower

GiddyUP! Film Tour

Do you like bikes? Of course you do! Do you like movies about bikes? Sure you do!

Well the GiddyUP! Film Tour is coming to Fort Collins.

What is the GiddyUP! Film Tour you may ask?

The GiddyUP! Film Tour brings bicycle lovers together for a unique social event featuring the best in mountain bike cinema. Each event kicks off an hour or so before show time so you can knock back a cold one, catch up with riding buddies, check out the latest gear and talk about ride plans for the coming season.

Once the curtain opens, GiddyUP! Film Tour unveils films from around the globe showcasing exactly why we all love to ride… A love of tight and twisty singletrack, nailing that tricky technical section perfectly, grinding out a solid effort all the way to the top of a climb or simply shedding all the stress from a long day in the office.

Doing good, Feels good. That’s our mantra.

Each year, we host fundraiser shows and donate the proceeds to Amy D Foundation to help support their efforts to empower girls and young women in cycling.

Curious what is in store for 2018?

Check out the trailer, and come on out to the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre April 26th at 7:00 PM for an action packed night of short-form mountain bike films. HALF of these films feature women riders and filmmakers. There will be an intermission with chances to win great prizes from Feedback Sports (us),  as well as our friends at CLIF bar, TrainingPeaks, Handlebar Mustache Apparel, and Skratch Labs. You won’t want to miss this! Bring the whole family or just your riding buddies GiddyUP! has something for everyone.