Neal Ross started racing bicycles in high school and has been competing as a professional triathlete for two years. He’s traveled all over the United States, ridden trails in the deserts of Utah and Arizona, scaled 14,000-foot peaks, and traversed the unpredictable surfaces of the barrier islands on the east coast.
Ross spends a lot of free time on his bike and enjoys all types of environments, whether it’s the road for training or the mountains for fun and exploration, but one thing that never changes is his desire to ride. bike that’s the perfect fit. M&F spoke to this experienced cyclist and sales manager at LEOMO to learn more about the bike fit process and why it could be a game-changer for anyone who gets in the saddle.
“I’ve worked for LEOMO for almost three years and it’s been a dream job for me,” says Ross. LEOMO is a company that has built a solid reputation, using technological innovation to push the limits of movement. As such, they are the official training partners of the Movistar team and Australian Ironman triathlete, Adam Hansen. The company also offers one of the most innovative bike mounting systems available, using precise data points to create the perfect positioning. “I have always wanted to work in the endurance sports or cycling industry in one form or another and have been fortunate to find a company that truly welcomes my views and provides opportunities for growth,” continues -he. Whichever company or outlet you choose for advice on fitting bikes, the aim is to improve your performance and comfort levels, in order to break PRs and stay fit. for the race.
So what is bike fitting and what is measured?
“Bike fitting is the process of adjusting a bike to optimize comfort and performance,” says Ross. “There are many factors in fitting a bike, but the main elements start with correct frame size, saddle height and handlebar positioning. Finer elements then include fore and aft saddle adjustments (to ensure the saddle does not sit too far back or forward), cleat positioning (relative to the pedals) if the rider is using automatic shoes , finding the right crank arm length (to help with power, comfort and aerodynamics), as well as fine-tuning the stem and handlebar system. These are just a few examples and there are many other finer details that can be optimized.
How important is a suitable bike to overall riding performance?
“For performance, getting the bike fit right is just as critical as executing your workouts correctly,” says Ross. “You could leave so much on the table if you’re constantly changing positions due to poor fit. Finding the right saddle and making sure it’s in the right position is one of the most important parts of a good fit. The wrong saddle height could leave a rider reaching the bottom of the pedal stroke creating a dead spot or it could create discomfort at the knee joint. Improper saddle position can also create excessive hip tilting or rotation which, over time, can become very uncomfortable.
Is bike fitting only suitable for experienced or professional cyclists?
“Absolutely not,” Ross said. “A good fit is for anyone who wants to optimize their bike for a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Even a low-end bike, which someone might have found on a used market for a few hundred dollars, can be adjusted to ensure it is properly fitted. A good bike fit ensures that you are engaging all the right muscle groups throughout the pedal stroke. If you overstrain certain muscle groups due to a poor fit, it will can lead to injury or overuse imbalances over time, so if you’re someone who only rides a bike for general health and fitness, this is still pretty important. bicycles are such modular systems, so parts can be interchanged or adjusted to suit the needs of the rider.
How often should we check the fit of our bike?
“Once a bike has been initially set up correctly, that doesn’t mean it’s good for its entire lifespan,” advises Ross. “Our bodies tend to change over time, so it’s important to get checked in for a refit about once a year, to make sure you’re getting the best riding experience. Our bodies change over time, whether whether we notice it or not, and our bike fits should reflect that.Individuals can lose or gain flexibility in certain muscle groups or certain components of the bike wear out over time and a rebuild can fix these issues.
Where can you take your bike to ride it?
“There are dedicated bike fitters who have their own studios or some bike shops may offer a fitting service,” says Ross. “However, LEOMO has recently launched a remote bike fitting service where we ship our TYPE-S device to you with our wearable motion sensors. Through a series of tests, we can now help you find the correct saddle position from the comfort of your home. This is a very convenient service, especially for people who do not have an installer nearby or do not have access to an installer.
How is LEOMO innovating in the bike assembly process?
“Some traditional fitting methods require a specialist, with a pair of highly trained eyes, with little or no equipment. Others may have an adjustable bike from which measurements can be extracted,” Ross explains. “These are some of the fit methods I grew up with, and I have a lot of respect for these industry experts. But with LEOMO’s system, we can get precise data points that allow us to analyze changes in position. Our proprietary Motion Performance Indicators, which we call “MPI”, include metrics such as dead center score, pelvic rock and rotation, and foot angular range data, all contributing to fit precise of the bike. LEOMO’s technology also makes it possible to test positions outdoors, in real conditions, which has a truly unique value, especially in competitive sports for example.
What kind of improvements have you seen in people who adjust their bikes correctly?
“Some of the most common issues we tend to fix are related to hip instability or poor pedaling mechanics,” says Ross. “Looking back at some of the adjustments made, we’ve had a number of riders who have had dead spots or lulls in the pedal stroke where power isn’t being applied. We have these scores from the teens or upper twenties all the way up to single digits, which is a pretty massive improvement. We also saw pelvic rotation scores (the extent to which the hips rotate from side to side) cut in half. Excessive hip rotation can lead to rubbing in unwanted areas, so it’s a pretty critical component to correct for a comfortable ride.
The bottom line is, whether you’re trying to cut your PR time or just want to get out and ride in the fresh air, the right fit could be a game-changer for riders of all skill levels. “Bikes are meant to be fun, so how they fit can play a huge role in your comfort and enjoyment,” says Ross. “If you’ve ever been a person who maybe thought a bike fit wasn’t necessary, it’s time to find out what you’ve been missing.