In december I went on a short trip to London to collect my new training bike (Trek Emonda) and for a bikefit with cyclefit. Christina and I came over from Scandinavia and Penny was kind enough to meet us and give us a tour of London and help us get to the shop where the bikefit was going as we’d have to take the underground for the first time! We stayed at this grand hotel next to Stansted airport and started the day with the most amazing breakfast early in the morning. We got on to the train and thanks to Pen we made it to cyclefit in the centre of London unscathed.
We started up at around 9:30am with a talk about all sorts of things from goals for next season to injuries we’ve had. Christina and I had a room each next to each other and Jimmy was the one mainly helping me (Here are the staff that helped us http://cyclefit.co.uk/cyclefit-staff) but all of them were around helping both of us throughout the day. So, I started off telling about problems I’ve had mostly with my right knee and how sensitive it is to any changes of position and so on. I’ve also had some back problems after a couple of hard crashes, I’ve been told my hip is not in a straight line and my right foot hasn’t liked me running this fall. That is pretty much all the problems I’ve had with my body from time to time in the past 7 years.
After talking for a bit it was time to look at my body. How everything is proportionated and so on. The first thing Jimmy noticed than was how my right foot isn’t as it should be. He measured in different ways to get a good look at what was happening in that area, he had a look at my leg length, my hips and everything else. He had a chat with physiotherapist, Morgan, and he confirmed what Jimmy found out. My right foot collapses when pressure is pushed on to it. The difference from when I sit down with my feet on the floor and when I stand up for example is way too big. And then imagine when I apply pressure to it on the bike. My foot collapsing is then of course the reason why my knee is so sensitive, my foot has been hurting while running and can actually have something to do with my back problems as well. My hips look uneven at first sight but are not, it all comes down to my feet. My feet have one whole shoe size difference when I stand up, all because of this.
So what is happening because of my collapsing foot when I sit on my bike? First of all, my foot is trying to compensate by pointing my toes down when I pedal. It also makes my toes point in towards the crank, which apparently is the opposite of what normally happens when someone has this problem. All of this also makes my legs use too many of the small muscles and mainly the front of my leg which is not what you want as a bike rider. The main muscle you want to use is your gluteus. When I got on the bikefit bike I could see on a screen exactly which muscles I was using in every pedal stroke. So, not only do I get a big power loss from my feet. I also lose power from using the wrong muscles too much. Jimmy even told me he can’t understand how I’ve been able to ride like this for this long and at this level.
The guys made me new soles, heated and fitted for my feet for my cycling shoes. We fitted the bike as good as it can without changing my cleats since it will be too much of a change with the soles and the new position on the bike, all at the same time. We’re going to keep working on my position and experiment with my feet a bit more to get the most out of my power. I can’t say enough how happy I am to have the privilege to work with these guys. So professional and helpful, Christina and I both felt very much taken care of and they really dug deep to make everything as good as possible for us. I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys soon and continue our work together. These guys are actually the same guys that help Cancellara and the whole Trek Factory racing team with their bike fitting and I would say that says quit a lot about their knowledge and professionalism.
Except from the bike fit we also had a nice lunch with Chris from Trek, a photo shoot for a magazine & also for the team and a small city sightseeing around center of London. We got some quick shopping at Oxford Street done and a cozy walk around a Christmas market and a few streets of London. It was really an intense but interesting and great day and I thank the team of cyclefit and Trek for an amazing job!
Now I’m getting used to the new position and it’s a big difference from before. Suddenly my feet feel comfy in my shoes and I didn’t even know they didn’t before. I already feel that I’m using some different muscles and am excited to see where this will lead. I’m hopefully going to come out much stronger from this in 2015! I might even ride cobbles well after this, not losing all my powers in the vibrations. Let’s hope so!