BF Podcast Ep. 6: What is Bike Fitting with Happy Freedman

Ep. 6 Sponsors

Festka bicycles are made from the combination of the best carbon and graphite industrial fibers used in the spacecraft industry, handcrafted with tube-to-tube connections, Ti drop-outs, and modern finishing materials.  Festka produces state of the art bicycles in 24 different sizes as well as custom geometries and sizes.

BikeFit Podcast listeners receive custom geometry, a $340 value, for free!  Just contact Festka via their website and be sure to mention the BikeFit Podcast!

BikeFit Training provides the tools to become a competent bike fitter or take fitting to the next level.  See our upcoming training dates.

Ep. 6 What is Bike Fitting? A fitting conference within a conference at the Philadephia Bike Expo.

In Ep. 6, I was invited by renowned bike fitter Happy Freedman from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to join a talk with a group of fitters from around the country where he attempted to answer the question, “What is bike fitting?” In our conversation, some of the visiting fitters from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Tennesee, Kansas received the opportunity to share their thoughts and ask Happy questions about fit. He describes the current state of bike fitting, where he feels the focus should be, and the future of fitting.

The episode occurred in a large atrium of the Pennsylvania Convention Center at the Philadelphia Bike Expo.  It’s wonderful to see that the expo is supporting bike fitting through a few symposiums and also Happy requesting fitters around the country to help cyclists enjoy their ride more and meet their goals through bike fitting.

Happy provides some incredible insights into bike fitting from the wealth of knowledge he’s gained through over 40 years of experience.

The dive in Ep.6 by topic:

  • The definition of fitting
  • Bike Fitting as a real estate grab
  • Creating a history and definition of fitting prior to the point where a national certification exists
  • How to serve all communities with different types of fits
  • Teaching the skills of recognizing one’s own body in space and it’s application to bike fitting
  • Mobile
  • The rider as a the dynamic source in the fitting
  • Fitting for a cockpit or range vs. a single spot on the bike
  • The goal of bike fitting: efficiency vs. watts
  • How cyclist history influences fitting
  • The role of airflow (elasticity of intercostals)
  • Aero vs. breathing
  • The future of bike fitting
  • The big picture: rider’s needs vs. bike needs
  • Fitting for an injury
  • Fitters can’t fix everything–referrals
  • Size Cycles in fitting
  • Coaching requirements vs. fitting requirements
  • A millimeter does not make that much of a difference

Fitter’s who asked questions or commented in the episode:

Happy Freedman is passionate about bicycling and creating a synergy between the cycling and medical communities, advancing the science and art of bike fit, to help riders of all abilities to achieve their performance goals. He has been instrumental in developing the first multi-disciplinary, hospital-based, state-of-the-art bike fitting program of its kind here at Hospital for Special Surgery, where he has worked in a range of capacities for over ten years. He works in close cooperation with physical therapists and investigators in the motion lab, and the new bike fit program will advance performance, clinical bike fit evaluations, and research.

Happy has presented on bike fitting at the International Cycle Fit Symposium in London and numerous events throughout the US. He is a founding faculty member of the Medicine of Cycling Conference held annually at USA Cycling in Colorado Springs, where he presents both on bike fitting and on medical emergencies in cycling. He is on the advisory committee of IBFI, the International Bike Fit Institute, and was formerly faculty at the Bike Fit school, established by Ben Serotta. He is an experienced cycling coach, including over ten years for the Columbia University D1 Cycling Team, as well as having been a certified coach and official for the United States Cycling Federation.

Happy focuses on fitting the cyclist, not the bike, to address the individual needs of the rider, and collaborates with staff in Performance Services to develop an evidence-based protocol for bike fitting.

Tel: 646.797.8005
Fax: 212.774.2089

https://www.happyfreedman.com/

https://www.hss.edu/rehab-staff_Freedman-Happy.asp

BF Podcast Ep. 5: The Foot is a Microcosm with G8 Performance CEO David Lee

Ep. 5 Sponsor: Festka

Frames made from the combination of the best carbon and graphite industrial fibers used in the spacecraft industry, handcrafted with tube-to-tube connections, Ti drop-outs, and modern finishing materials.  Festka produces state of the art bicycles in 24 different sizes as well as custom geometries and sizes.

BikeFit Podcast listeners receive custom geometry, a $340 value, for free!  Just contact Festka via their website and be sure to mention the BikeFit Podcast!

In Episode 5, I connected with CEO and founder of G8 Performance, David Lee.  While there is, of course, some inherent bias as I need to mention that BikeFit is the North American distributor of G8 insoles, the conversation with David is not a sales pitch but rather an exploration of the often ignored and overlooked extremity of the body: the feet.

David transitioned from an investment banker to a member of an elite special forces unit in the US Army to the eventual company owner and relentless advocate for the promotion of foot health.  He focuses on on the foot as a microcosm of its own rather than the belief that the “foot is just a lever.”

We discuss the dangers of current footwear, how they significantly impact and injure the feet, the brain’s connection to the feet, and the imperative need to promote movement and blood flow within the foot during any type of athletic activity.

The deeper dive in Ep.5 by topic:

  • Foot movement during force expulsion
  • How the use of modern running and cycling shoes affects nerve receptions and muscle atrophy
  • The Golden Ratio 1:1.618 as seen in the pyramids and the Mona Lisa.
  • Cycling shoes are worse than running shoes
  • The foot as a lever vs. its own piece of complicated machinery
  • Calf and Achilles issues in cycling
  • The foot is an ecosystem–an ant mound.
  • The foot has the highest concentration of nerve endings in the body
  • Comparing insole types
  • Foot function and movement in the shoe
  • Rehabilitation possibilities of an insole
  • G8 benefits
  • The connection, or lack there of, with brain to foot based on insole
  • Foot correction affects other parts of the kinetic chain
  • The lifecycle of an insole
  • Benefits of a flexible orthotic
  • Bike fitting and injury prevention should start with the foot

David references a number of scholarly articles in the podcast.  Please see the links below for more information:

David Lee’s approach to the health of feet is simple: to reduce injury and increase athletic performance for everyone, whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or someone who simply likes to go for a social walk or a bike ride.

David has long understood what it means to have issues with foot pain, numbness, calf cramping, and shin splints, suffering from these since he was a teenager. These issues were exacerbated for him during his time as a soldier in the US Army from 2003, where he worked and trained with US Elite Special Forces, and throughout six deployments, where the pressure and stress on his feet and legs were unparalleled. 

After leaving the army and returning to Australia, David sought solutions to his foot issues, at one time importing an adjustable orthotic device from the United States. This had its limitations, so he ultimately decided to develop his own product – and from there, G8 Performance was born.

David has been active within the performance orthotic industry since 2010, owning G8 Performance since 2012. Unlike other insole and orthotic solutions which merely provide a “band-aid” approach to foot issues, David’s business seeks to actively address the core problems which cause pain in the feet and which can be referred into the legs, ankles, knees and even the hips. He also wants to change the way the industry approaches feet – both in the cycling and sporting arena, as well as in everyday life.

David’s vision for the future is to bring “podiatry to the people” via outlets that prescribe customized foot solutions and which consider the function of the foot within a shoe – regardless of whether it is a cycling shoe, an athletic shoe, or even everyday footwear. With improved dynamic foot health, athletic performance is enhanced and injuries are reduced.

 

Contact David

G8 Performance

 

BF Podcast Ep. 4: Watch and Listen: The Tools of Bike Fitting with Jerry Gerlich

In Episode 4, I spoke with professional fitter and elite trainer, Jerry Gerlich.  When we connected for our pre-meeting, I sincerely wanted to describe Jerry as the “MacGyver” of bike fitting with his cavalcade of intricate and sometimes odd tools and his solution-focused philosophy that endeavors for answers in non-traditional formats, but as we traversed his bike fitting journey, two main topics arose: watch and listen.

The pod will describe it, but Jerry went from investing in the leading technology in fitting back in 2005 to now where his assessment and treatment relies heavily on the ears and eyes.  He listens to the sound of pedaling, the cadence and the rhythm of the chain.   He intently observes the cyclist; the patterns, body movement and global functioning on the bike.

Jerry also possesses the uncanny ability to describe the experience as if you could feel it yourself as if you could see fitting through his eyes.

Inside Episode 4 of the pod, Jerry delves into a range of important topics:

 

  • Jerry’s history of bike fitting and use of the Velotron
  • What looks good in the bike fit studio doesn’t always feel the same in real life
  • Using Duct Tape to augment arch support
  • Sock movement’s guide in fitting
  • Global functioning across the bicycle
  • Jerry’s unique tools (image to the right)
  • Customizing G8 Insoles (cheese grater, toe nail clippers and heating plastic)
  • Teaching the cyclist how to ride (feedback loop)
  • Proprioception in Cycling
  • The worst first approach to fitting
  • How the cyclist feels vs. how they look (stability).  Which one is more important?
  • Stability and symmetry
  • The journey from high tech to low tech: moving away from the numbers
  • Listen to the bike
  • Incline and decline testing in fitting
  • Fit expectations vs. the functional reality of a cyclist.  Why you should not attempt to emulate the position of a pro cyclist
  • Preconceived ideas could lead to unintended consequences
  • Small changes make big differences
  • Big Changes make small differences
  • Shoes are the most important part of bike fitting
  • What to look for and ask when trying to find a competent fitter

Jerry Gerlich has worked with cyclists and triathletes since 1990, gym clients since 2001 and delved into the world of endurance auto racing in 2015 with effective ergonomic suggestions, functional movement remediation, and foot correction techniques.  His knowledge, experience, and truly unique techniques combined with a passion for improved function, posture and performance have improved the lives of hundreds of local, national and international clients.  Jerry’s training includes a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, personal trainer certification the American Council on Exercise, advanced conditioning through the C.H.E.K Institute, Powerplate USA, Trigger Point Therapy, Heartrate Zone Training/Cycling certifications with Sally Edwards along with dozens of continuing education courses since 2001.

Jerry is one of the few “Steve Hogg Approved” bike fitters worldwide and one of two in the United States.  Because of the stringent acceptance requirements, less than 10% of applicants get through the door to train with Steve in Australia. Steve’s patented fitting techniques are challenging to learn and more challenging to execute across a wide variety of clients.  Some have compared these techniques to effectively tuning musical instruments by ear.  Less than 30% of those allowed in for training make it through the process successfully.  Steve was so confident with Jerry’s bike fitting, assessment, and movement remediation skills, that he was referring U.S. clients to Jerry three years prior to training him.  All of Jerry Gerlich’s comprehensive fitting sessions come with free follow up consultations and a money back if not happy guarantee.

Jerry also has experience helping golfers, skiers, equestrians, musicians and auto racing drivers with improved comfort/function and achieving new performance heights.  Clients have ranged in age between 15 and 94 with many of them arriving from different states and countries. Testimonials can be found on the Castle Hill Fitness Ergo Lab and Steve Hogg’s bike-fitting websites.

Contact Jerry

Castle Hill Fitness

 

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