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

 

BF Podcast Ep. 3: Paul’s Corner–Saddle Height and Saddle Selection

Part 3 and the final part of our series on saddle height in bike fitting continues with an interview with the founder of BikeFit, Paul Swift. We refer to these regular episodes as “Paul’s Corner” where he not only weighs in on our previous podcast topics but expounds upon what he perceives in the world of cycling and specifically with bike fitting.  

Today’s riveting topics cover the following:

  • The range of saddle height and the variables that affect it.
  • Challenges to setting up proper saddle height.
  • Rider variability
  • The art and science of bike fitting
  • “T-r-i” which is the same as “try” but we were thinking of our triathletes
  • The Saddle Changer’s impact in finding the right saddle.
  • Saddle discomfort
  • Saddle shape and selection
  • Sit bone measurement
  • The BiSaddle
  • and much more…

Paul Swift is an 8-Time US National Track Cycling Champion and a gold medalist at the 1998 Goodwill Games.  After retiring from competitive cycling, Paul founded BikeFit and Bikefit Education to share his passion for cycling. Paul is a Master Bike Fitting Technician, a certified USCF sport coach, and a former member of the USA Cycling Board of Directors. Paul specializes in training bike fitters to correctly deliver comfortable and consistent fits to any type of rider.

Paul is a product designer or creator of the following:

He has trained over 1000 bike fitters and cyclists around the world.  Currently Paul’s Level 1 BikeFit Pro training course is taught in over 12 different counties and in 6 languages.  He is also the co-author of the BikeFit Foot/Pedal Interface manual When the Foot Meets the Pedal…

He continues to innovate in the bike fitting and cycling world with revolutionary ideas and products.  

If you have questions for Paul or interested in taking one of his courses, please contact him via e-mail: [email protected]

BikeFit Education

BF Podcast Ep. 2: The Science of Saddle Height with Dr. Rodrigo Bini

Part 2 of our series on saddle height in bike fitting continues with our episode this week The Science of Saddle Height. Our guest Dr. Rodrigo Bini joins us remotely from Latrobe University in Australia.  

While last week, our guest Tom Wiseman focused on pelvic stability as the indicator of potential saddle height problems, Dr. Bini delves into the research that supports saddle height change.  We talk about some of the following great topics:

  • The amount of saddle height change needed to show statistically significant values in force or oxygen uptake
  • Knee angles
  • Static fitting knee angle vs. dynamic fitting knee angle
  • Should I throw out my Goniometer? Spoiler Alert – No
  • Technology in Fitting
  • Much much more… 

If you missed last week’s episode, you can listen to it here.

Rodrigo Bini, PhD, is a Lecturer and researcher in Exercise and Sports Biomechanics at La Trobe University – Bendigo Campus in Australia.

Currently, Rodrigo is an associate Editor of the Journal of Science and Cycling and the Human Movement journal. He also is a member of the Editorial Board of the Sports Biomechanics Journal, the Journal of Sports Sciences and the European Journal of Sport Science.

Rodrigo is also one of the editors and authors of many chapters in the book Biomechanics of Cycling, published in 2014. Rodrigo has published over 60 articles, the majority involving studies on sports biomechanics and he pursues particular research interests in the application of muscle mechanics principles in sports actions, with special attention to cycling and running.

BF Podcast Ep. 1: Establishing Saddle Height with Tom Wiseman

Saddle height is an often debated topic in cycling and there are multiple methods used to establish it.  Due to the massive amount of information about saddle height, this is our first of 3 episodes delving into this ubiquitous topic.

Professional bike fitter and BikeFit Pro Tom Wiseman of Cycling Solutions joins us for a candid conversation on how, after over 1250 bike fits completed, he establishes saddle height, the definition of pelvic stability, the importance of fit in the process, and identifying factors of improper saddle height.

Tom Wiseman initially studied fitting with Michael Sylvester, then at the Serotta International Cycling Institute.  Next, he completed both Level 1 and Level 2 courses with BikeFit, established a mentorship via Curtis Cramblett to achieve his Level 3 status with the International Bike Fitting Institute and also studied special topics in fitting with specialist fitter Happy Freedman.  He is also a Level 2 USA Cycling coach and a fantastic mechanic.  Tom’s business, Cycling Solutions, provides comprehensive bike fitting, coaching, and bike service to the Akron, Ohio area.

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