Do All Pro Cyclists Have Bike Fits? | GCN Asks The Pros

– Professional cyclists
spend thousands of hours on their bikes each and every year so a correctly fitting bike
is absolutely essential. So today I’m gonna go
and ask some of the pros whether or not they’ve had a bike fit, if they’ve stuck to the recommendations, and also some more in depth answers too. I’m looking forward to this one because I think they’re gonna
have a lot to say, come on. (smooth hip hop beats) Have you ever had a bike fit? – I have. – And did you stick to it? – Yes.
– Did you? – Yes, you have to go to someone
who you believe in though. Who you trust and believe in their theory, so if you just ring someone up
and go oh I want a bike fit, maybe if you’re not a professional cyclist you’d be willing to try but
riding the amount of Ks we do, if you just put your hands
in someone else’s theories that you don’t really know and you’re doing the amount of Ks we do, it’s hard to convince yourself to stick with any changes that they make. So you really need to
get to know the person who’s gonna fit you and
understand their theories and how they come about positioning you. So you can understand when
they make an adjustment, why they’re making it and from what information they’re
using to make that adjustment. – [Interviewer] Out of interest, was yours purely done on visuals or was it like electronic with lasers and all the pads and everything. – Lasers and the sensor stickers
are all the way to go now. The latest technology
which I’ve been using a lot is pressure pads. So we put pressure pads inside
the shoes and on the saddle, and so from those pressure sensors they can get information of, in the inner sole, if you’re pushing in
the center of the shoe, or if the cleats too far forward or back and so they can centralize the cleat, not necessarily in the center of the shoe, but in the center of where you’re pushing. It’s interesting stuff. – [Interviewer] Okay right, so you did stick to the bike fit changes. Were they big changes or not?
– No, no – [Interviewer] That’s what
I’m really interested in. – No I haven’t changed
my position very much over the last nearly 10 years. It’s all within small margins. – Yeah, a couple of millimeters. – Yeah. (smooth hip-hop beats) – Have you ever had a bike fit? – Yes I have. – On both bikes? – Both bikes, yes – Did you stick to the recommendations? – Over years it’s sort of
changed slightly, but it was very minimal changes to be honest. It was a professional bike kit from when I was a little bit younger. I haven’t grown so when
the results come with that bike fit, why change? – [Interviewer] What sort
of changes were they? – [Rohan] The TT bike, the only
thing I really have changed since 2012, was my arms
coming up instead of flat. Other than that, nothing. – And do you normally have a
bike fit then at the start of each season or not, just to make sure, no? – No we just scan each bike and we make sure it’s
the same as last year. If I change teams it’s the same as my last year’s bike and that’s it. Try to have minimal changes, one millimeter or nothing is our deal. – I’m here with Rolf Aldag,
the head of performance at Team Dimension Data, and well we go back a little bit don’t we? Probably too long, but you can’t seem to
shake me off actually. I’ve got to ask you, do all of your riders undergo bike fits? – Yes they do, in
different ways of course. One of all, like road bikes and TT bikes, that we really have to divide. And yes they do and of
course like bike fitting is a lot of a mental thing
because you have to believe in it because cycling always hurts, and you know, you want to put that pain, in the category like
that, something positive, and not something because
I sit wrongly on my bike. – [Interviewer] Now years
ago when we started to cycle, our bike fits were done by
probably the mechanic of the team or a local ex-pro or something like that. Who does your bike fits
now or does it vary? – It’s much more scientific
than it was in the past. You’re 100% right, I mean, the
head mechanic of Team Terra basically sent me off to my auto room when I came down to him to say, “Look the new handlebar
shape does not work for me “can I go back to the old?” his only comment was like,
“Doesn’t work for you? “Then you have to stop.” So that was the end of
the story, you know. – No option to go back. – About 30 years ago, and now of course you try to find a solution. And in bike fitting you have
a lot of people involved. So that’s a physical therapist, because you need to understand
the flexibility of the body, the limitations of the body. The mechanic is still a big part of it because ultimately it has
to be physically doable or people figure out and then
we still have the UCI routes that also became more and more tight. How far you can sit back
and how long it can be and stuff like that so
it’s a pretty complex thing that a lot of experts out there… And we keep it a little bit
flexible so we don’t force it, in general, on them
especially on the road bike. On the TT bike it’s more obvious,
it’s more number related. You know you go to a track,
have them riding around, you go through the wind tunnel, you have them sitting on
there and then you figure out what is the best and then you still have to make it ride-able for them so field mechanics still play a big role. – [Interviewer] And do
you find most riders stick to the changes that are made or, it is really tough isn’t it? You’ve already said it’s
a very big mental thing, and some riders, they’re convinced that they’re never comfortable,
I think, on a bike. All I’ve got to do is look
around here this morning, and the number of riders
who are still adjusting their saddle height, their
cleats, things like that. I guess part of your
job as well is probably just to reassure them
that things are okay. Would that be fair to say? – Yeah, true, give them a
little bit of confidence on this is done you don’t
have to play around with it, but for some it’s just
like clicking a box. So in the morning they take an Allen key, and they open a screw, and
tighten it and that’s it. We just have to make sure
that they keep within the right torque range and everything, that they don’t mess up the
bike, but at the end of the day if somebody sits 80cm high centered to the top of the saddle, and he lowers the saddle by a millimeter, that’s, try to calculate yesterday, 0.12%. 0.12%, so that’s not super relevant. Do you get a different feeling, of course. Just imagine we have a transfer in the car to the start of the race 140K, and you know you have your
legs bent all the time. Of course you feel, first
time you get on the bike, you feel too high, ’cause you can’t stretch
your legs anymore. It’s a natural thing, you
just can’t overrate it, and get out, be confident in what you
do and that’s the best. – Thank you very much. (soft chillstep) – Right Adam, I’ve got to ask,
have you ever had a bike fit? I’ve had many bike fits over
the years, I think we all have. Yeah, it’s very subjective, I’ve actually done a bike fit course. So I wanted to know more about it, because every bike fit’s done
on opinion of the bike fitter. – How was yours done, forget my words, was it done motion sensors and lasers or was it purely just
on wow that looks good. – Well a lot–
– Because years ago that’s how a lot of bike fits were done. – [Adam] True, the
traditional way of bike fit was you want to spin just
right over your knee cap. Make sure it goes through
the ball of your foot and it’s through the pedal axle and it’s a bit different now. They have pressure sensors in your foot, and the obvious idea is
to maximize the amount of the force over time
plot so that’s one thing. I use a LEOMO device a lot
which measures your leg angles, your foot angles, and everything. In training camp we usually
have a lot of riders using that. We do a lot of tests,
’cause it also measures your pelvic rocks, so
we did a lot of tests with rides at training camp, you know, what seat is better for them, and also to maximize your leg angle range to get the most amount of power, and the LEOMO device does that very well. – [Interviewer] And then with
the feedback you get from that you could possibly change your
position slightly to suit, is that something which
riders have been doing? – Oh for sure, for example,
if I jump on my spare bike I don’t even need to look at the position, and I can just see the data from that, that my legs aren’t going as
high up and down as possible, as in my previous race
bikes, and then I can check and I can see that my
seat’s actually lower. So yeah you can use it. – [Interviewer] And this is something you’re subconsciously thinking about then when you’re riding as well, trying to adjust your
riding style in which when you start to tire. – Yeah well the strange thing is when you’re doing a bike fitting, you’re doing it in a
controlled environment, you’re doing it in a lab, and you’re sitting very
well sitted on the seat, where in a race you
move far more forwards, and when you do move far more forwards, you’re actually sitting
close to the bottom bracket, so the distance between your
sitting position from moving more forward to the
bottom bracket is shorter. So your leg angle actually changes when you come more forwards so, with the LEOMO it’s pretty good like this because then you can actually set up your position more race mode and then you know you can get
out in the real environment and you can test on the
climbs and everything. Because what other people fear too is when you ride uphill your bike changes, and it also changes you, everything. So it also compares it
to the center of gravity. It’s a german company, geobiMized, they do a
lot of their bike fits based on center of gravity because when you’re, with their
mountain bikes for example, they set them up mostly because they want the maximum
amount of power riding uphill. – ‘Cause it’s interesting isn’t it, sometimes when you start climbing you end up falling back
on the saddle just to try and get that extra leverage. Have you ever had some
adjustments made after a bike fit and you thought I just
can’t ride like this or do you give it quite a bit of time? – Oh for sure ’cause you know
going back to what I said, a bike fit’s you usually have a company that has their theories, but it’s really up to the bike fitter and how he wants you
to sit up on the bike, and that’s his theory, but a lot of times you just can’t ride it. – I think you’re right you need someone who understands the cyclists
and their physiology. I mean you guys, world tour riders, are totally different
to your average cyclist because you’re riding quite
a bit more aren’t you. So you can possibly ride
in a more extreme position and also ultimately suffer
the pain a lot more as well. – Exactly, well you
know there’s a balance. If you’re in a good position
and if it’s not so comfortable, if you get the power out of it, and you can sustain that
power for six hours, so okay you want the power gains
if you can handle the pain. – Now you’ve done a bike fitting course, are you tempted to fit up any
of your team mates or not? – Well I’ve had them on the
LEOMO device and they’ve changed their position training
camp based on that, but you know I give some advice, it’s a touchy subject you know? Everyone’s very individual,
so I just pass on a few words, that’s enough, I don’t like to play around with other people too much. – No, no, you might not be that popular if you (laughs) do too much. There we are, bike fitting
as told by the professionals. Let me know though, have
you had a bike fit done? Was it done the old fashioned way, just thinking well that looks about right, or were you using motion sensors, and lasers, and all the latest tech. Remember to like and share this
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