Bike Fit with Freakin’ Lasers

Those are lasers in the background during the fit process at Cycling Northwest. After busting my ribs up last week in an accident, decided it was a good time to adjust my fit and visited Russie’s studio. Russ is a former pro, elite cyclist, and looks damn good in a Hugga Cap.

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Regarding the lasers, he said:

The Laser is simply a point of reference for alignment of the knee over the foot. Using the knee dots placed on the Tibial Tuberosity and centering a plum laser line with your foot and ankle, a fitter can see how the Patella (knee cap) tracks laterally. This will show you in which direction to move the foot to achieve knee over foot alignment. Some fit systems use light capture or video to achieve the same view. This is one of the most important (and often overlooked) pieces of a thorough bike fit. Without proper knee/foot alignment the risk of torsional strain and risk of injury to the knee join goes up. It also improves power and efficiency… all things any cyclist should strive for.

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Old school builders and bike shop fitters may scoff at this, as who needs freakin’ lasers, but where it definitely helps is for the cyclist to see changes to a fit in real time. That’s much better than looking down at a plumb line from the saddle. The changes made to my fit include

  • 1cm down
  • Wedges under cleats
  • cleats all the way back
  • 20 m axle spacer
  • Stem up 1cm
  • stem shorter by 1 cm

That gets me slightly more upright and breathing easier.

The rib is healing and I’m back to racing and training this weekend and will report on how this fit works. Traveling as well to Toronto and we’ll also start the big touring miles this Fall before Cross Season.