Bike Fit at Wimbledon Physiotherapy
EXPERT CYCLING ASSESMENT SERVICE
You can with our expert Cycling Assessment Service.
Our Cycling Assessment Service is an expert assessment conducted by a qualified physiotherapist, specialising in cycling injuries, in order to determine the most suitable body position and bike adjustment.
The service aims to cater for all types of cyclist, whether the discipline is road cycling, mountain biking, commuting, or cycling as a means of rehabilitation after injury. The service also aims to be adaptable and customised to individual need. This ethos reflects the numerous forms and disciplines of cycling.
COMMON CYCLING INJURIES
So why should you approach our expert physiotherapist specifically for a Cycling Assessment?
We screen your body prior to looking at your cycling position including:
- Taking a detailed medical history.
- A tailored physical examination depending on any specific injuries or pain you experience when cycling.
- We complete a dynamic analysis whilst you cycle your bike on our stationary turbo trainer.
- Using a slow motion replay of you cycling gives us a better reflection of your cycling position and lower limb alignment compared to a static analysis.
- After consideration of your physical examination and the riding position you currently have, alterations can be made to your bike and also the way in which you ride it, depending on the type of bike that you own, cycling style and goals.
- Alterations to your bike may include adjustments to your saddle position, handle bar/aero bars positioning and cleat alignment.
- Home exercises may be advised for you to work on your flexibility or strength.
- We may advise to replace smaller components on your bike such as your saddle or stem but we will take every effort to work with what you currently have.
BIKE FIT CASE STUDIES
Problem: Emily had been suffering with patellofemoral pain for approximately 2 years, seriously curtailing her cycling. She had recently consulted an orthopaedic consultant and patellofemoral pain specialist physiotherapist and she had started working on an exercise and activity modification regime as well as taping her knees.
On initial assessment her cycling position is reasonable in terms of knee and ankle angles. Her general flexibility was excellent but she did show some slight overreach in her favoured cycling position with extended elbows and slightly forwards position of her shoulders.
Due to the problems Emily was experiencing, and buoyed on by her level of flexibility, we changed her position by raising her saddle to the maximum we could achieve within sensible limits. This enabled a reduced knee angle at the top of the pedal stroke and through the power phase of the pedal revolution. This was aimed at reducing the pressure through her patellofemoral joint and also optimise her knee position over the pedal spindle when pushing hard on the pedals.
Emily felt the saddle height increase made the reach to her handlebars slightly more uncomfortable, and because she valued comfort over aerodynamic performance, we decided to raise her handlebar and improve the position of her shoulders and elbows.
“I am a keen cyclist who has travelled from the UK to Berlin, Paris and across Portugal on my road bike. On each of my long rides I experienced knee pain (which I ignored). This was eventually diagnosed as patella femoral pain syndrome. After attempting a half marathon in 2016 my pain got worse and I was advised to reduce my sporting activity. I felt so disheartened and hated the fact that I could no longer train.
Over the period of a year, I tried to re-introduce cycling back into my life but each time was left with recurrent pain. I came to see Phil in 2017. He video recorded me on my bike using special software and as a result adjusted my positioning on my bike significantly. We watched the footage back and it was clear to see the improvements. I was quite surprised that such an adjustment was needed because when I bought my bike (from a very well regarded bike shop), they had measured me up for it, so I thought that it wouldn’t need adjusting, but now I see it wasn’t quite right for me.
I can’t thank Phil enough. Since my appointment I have been back on my bike with no pain and I feel stronger and faster than ever before. I would recommend this service to anyone who cycles regularly. Phil has the knowledge and experience to fit your bike to perfection, therefore avoiding injury or re-injury.”
Problem: Anthony was experiencing symptoms of high hamstring tendinopathy (back of thigh) as well as muscular neck and shoulder pain on rides over 80 kilometres.
The main problem was a saddle that was too high causing an overreach at the bottom of the pedal stroke. This in turn causes increased drop to the handlebars and quite an aggressive back angle. The hamstrings will be under more tension due to excessive knee extension and forwards tip of the pelvis where the muscle originates. This also means the neck and shoulders have to work harder to maintain the head in a more extreme position of extension for riding.
Anthony did not like the feeling of lowering his saddle, as this made him feel less powerful on the pedals. This was very unlikely to be a true reflection of his power production, but we take care to listen to our customers, and therefore we only lowered his saddle just enough to reach to reach normal limits of knee extension.
This change was combined with some manipulation of his handlebar position to further reduce the drop from the saddle to the bars. This allowed for more relaxed back and neck angles, and further reduction of the tension though his hamstring by allowing some posterior rotation of his pelvis.
“Phil’s bike fitting has really helped me feel a lot more comfortable in my longer rides, even increasing my speed & power due to my better posture! My hamstrings & pelvis can handle longish rides (120+km) without discomfort, and my shoulders only need normal stretching during my long rides. I highly recommend Phil’s bike fitting; I am even going back for a tune-up before this summer season!”
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