Questions & Answers
Are you uncertain what your optimal cycling position is? Do you have discomfort during or after cycling? Is your present cycling position potentially limiting your performance? Do you have cycling related injuries? If you answered yes to any of these questions then the Optimal Positioning System is your answer to pain free comfortable cycling and achieving your cycling aspirations.
Optimal Positioning System
Dr. Michael McMahon combined the most recent scientific research, fundamental laws of physics, proven bicycle fitting methods, over 20 years of cycling experience and his personal genius to create the MET Optimal Positioning System (OPS). An optimal position requires the integration of biomechanical and physiological efficiency, effective power production, aerodynamics, comfort, balance, stability, are optimally matched with riding style and individual characteristics. This could only be obtained by involving a wide range of professionals in the development of the positioning process including Medical Doctors, physical therapists, aerodynamic specialists, kineseologists, biomechanists, chiropractors, exercise physiologists, bicycle designers and structural engineers. Combine this with the best cutting edge cycling assessment equipment and software available and you have an unequaled, no compromise solution to your bicycle position needs – an optimal cycling position that enables the bike to be an extension of you, the rider.
An optimal riding position is created by adapting the bike to the body. At MET, we feel a proper bike fit is necessary to accurately achieve this optimal riding position. While almost all bike shops offer some type of bike fitting service, limits on their time and know how only produce ball-park estimates of the optimal riding position. The human body is very versatile and may adapt to a less than ideal fit. This situation can be the cause of discomfort, or lead to sub-optimal performance or injuries. Investing in a comprehensive cycling position assessment alleviates discomfort, improves performance and minimizes the chance of injury.
Before even looking at your position, we begin every assessment with a comprehensive interview. The goal of this interview is to gather information about you as it relates to cycling. Understanding your fitness level, athletic background, medical history and current cycling concerns are some of the many factors we consider in optimizing your cycling position.
The Physical Evaluation:
Objective measures of your muscular flexibility and core strength off the bike are recorded. Anatomical measurements such as leg length foot size and alignment are also made. These measurements create a frame-work of individualized reference points for accurately determining your ideal position.
The Positioning Process:
To start we record your present or baseline position on the bike if applicable. Next your position is critiqued using methods based on proven biomechanical assessment techniques developed specifically for triathletes & cyclists. We then begin with the foot and cleat placement and progress up the leg to the knee and pelvis then along the back including the lumbar spine, abdominal musculature and thoracic spine. Next the upper body is evaluated including the scapula and cervical spine and finally the arms, wrists, hand and fingers. This process involves objective tests and considerable biofeedback as we check and recheck adjustments to ensure you obtain your optimal cycling position. In order to postion you accurately we employ numerous measuring tools, specifically designed positioning equipment and other specialized equipment. We use typical tools including tape measures, plumb lines, digital levels and goniometers. We utilize cycling specific positioning equipment including a Serotta size cycle, special adjustable sizing stems, seat posts with varying degrees of offset, saddles of different shapes and sizes, handlebars and aero bars of different widths and configurations. However, it is our innovative use of specialized equipment that we’ve adapted for the positioning process that sets our positioning system even further ahead of others. This includes computrainers, lasers, biomechanical motion analysis software, etc. We use the Computrainer and accompanying software to control wattage and monitor rpm’s, pedaling efficiency, and heart rate. This provides us with objective empirical data to compare adjustments to your position and to quantify the efficiency and the effectiveness of
your position. Lasers are used for tracking limb and joint movements. Special Motion Analysis Software is used to document and accurately make critical biomechanical measurements. This ensures that efficient power transfer is maximized and positions that might promote injury are avoided. As we guide you into your optimal position we discuss the science and the benefits behind the changes taking place. This knowledge and insight allows you to understand how your body functions while on the bike and to continue to improve your cycling experience even after your optimal position is obtained.
Documentation & Follow-up:
Next, you will be given a spreadsheet and drawing of your bicycle’s critical dimensions and coordinates. This information can then be used to compare any other bike to the coordinates of your new cycling position. In addition, the video documentation highlighting the changes made to your position will be delivered to you in CD or DVD format. Finally, the cycling assessment is complete with a follow-up in the coming weeks to evaluate and fine-tune the new positions effectiveness.