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Your Body and Your Bike

We understand that your time is valuable. We feel that its important for you to know a few basic, but crucial concepts regarding your pedal stroke. Please take time to read the following information and we know it will increase your perspective on what we do!

The lower extremity is dedicated to the vital tasks of weight bearing and ambulating; its health is essential to normal and efficient daily functioning. The same holds true for your pedal stroke. Any obvious deformity of the extremity may affect your pedal stroke! The ankle joint consists of three bones, the medial (inside) malleolus (distal end of the tibia), the lateral (outside) malleolus (distal end of the fibula) and the wedge shaped talus. The ankle gets its stability from the three bones, ligaments and tendons that surround the joint.

The structure of the foot is determined by bones of the tarsal and metatarsals (forefoot). These bones form the arches of the foot which are also supported by many ligaments and tendons. It is know that a (high arched foot tends to be very rigid) and not very good at absorbing shocks through the foot. The (flat foot is also poor at shock absorption because it collapses) during contact. Providing longitudinal arch support for both of these configurations can make a difference since you only make contact at a very small area of the pedal.

Take a look at a sample "Help" file from the fit solution!

Read about Soles Footbed in the News - World's Only Dynamically Fitting Footbed!

 

The knee is the largest synovial joint in the body. It involves three bones: femur, tibia and the patella and it should remain flexed during all components of the pedal stroke. The meniscus is a special type of connective tissue that provides shock absorption and increase contact surface at the knee joint. The knee joint relies primarily on ligaments for stability, sideways, forward or backwards and also rotational stability. The strongest muscles in the body, the quadriceps (thigh) muscles cross the knee and attach onto the tibia (tibial tubercle) to extend the knee. The hamstring muscles cross the knee joint at the back and function to flex the knee. Medial and lateral rotation can only occur when the leg is flexed. Perfect alignment is needed to protect this joint from excessive movement.

The pelvis and trunk shift laterally approximately one inch to the weight-bearing side during normal gait to center the weight over the hip. This movement is also needed as your in the saddle. By having a saddle too high, you reduce this needed lateral movement. The average length of a step is approximately 15 inches. With pain, advancing age, fatigue, or problems of the lower extremity, the length of steps may decrease. The same is true for the pedal stroke. e.g. 175mm cranks times 2 equals about 14 inches. A smaller crank can reduce stress on the lower extremity for any of the above reasons. The average adult walks at a cadence of approx. 90 to 120 steps per minute. This holds true for your pedal stroke! Changes in this smooth, coordinated pattern markedly reduce efficiency and greatly increase the energy cost. With advancing age, fatigue, the number of steps per minute decreases.

During the swing phase, the pelvis rotates 40-degrees forward, while the hip joint on the opposite extremity ( which is in stance phase) acts as the fulcrum for rotation. Having the wrong location of saddle can reduce this needed rotation movement.

The dorsiflexors of the foot (the tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, and extensor hallucis longus) permit the foot to move into plantar flexion through eccentric elongation so that the foot flattens smoothly. The wrong pedal stroke can cause the eccentric elongation of any of these muscles to be torn. Eccentric elongation is when you for the most part tear your muscles. This also affect your timing.

At mid stance, the foot weight is borne evenly on all aspects of the foot. Those with fallen transverse arches of the forefoot may develop painful calluses over the metatarsal heads. Any rubbing against the shoe can cause "Corns". A footbed helps spread the foot weight evenly on all aspects of the foot. It also helps hold the foot where it should be within the pedal stroke. A poor fitting shoe will cause you problems.

The toes need to grip the ground. Without a custom footbed you can't do this. Knee, the quadriceps muscles contract to hold the knee stable, since it is not normally straight. Weakened quadriceps may result in excessive flexion and a relatively unstable knee. Having a saddle too far forward causes a unstable knee. And having a saddle too low can cause unneeded wear. The knee is susceptible to injury primarily because it is subject to maximum stress, located as it is at the end of two long lever arms, the tibia and the femur. It is not protected by layers of fat or muscle and it is exposed both environmentally and anatomically, which contributes to its high incidence of injury. The bony contours of the knee are prominent and easy to find!

Acceleration

  • Foot: The dorisflexors of the ankle are active during the entire swing phase. They help shorten the extremity so that it can clear the ground by holding the ankle neutral.
  • Knee: The knee reaches its maximum degree of flexion between toe-off and mid swing, approximately 65-degrees. It further serves to shorten the extremity so that it can clear the ground.
  • Hip: The quadriceps muscle begins to contract just before toe-off to help initiate the forward swing of the leg. If one has poor quadriceps strength, he may rotate the pelvis anteriorly in an exaggerated motion to provide forward thrust for the leg.

    Declaration

  • Knee: The hamstring muscles contract to slow down the swing just prior to heel strike so that the heel can strike the ground quietly in a controlled motion. If the hamstrings are weak, heel strike may be excessively harsh, causing thickening of the heel pad, and the knee may hyper extend.

    Instability

  • People who have dislocating knee caps have unstable knees.
  • People who have torn menisci have unstable knees which may buckle.
  • People who have torn collateral ligaments have unstable knees which may buckle. If you have any of the above issues, you should see a professional (e.g. a skilled physician or physical therapists).
  • The foot and ankle are the focal points to which your pedal stroke is transmitted. Supporting the entire foot reduces wasted movement. A perfect cleat placement is integrated with the entire lower extremity. It allows you to pedal better and absorb shock coming from the road. The perfect cleat placement also allows you to reduce numb feet. This involves longitudinal and lateral cleat placement unique to each person.

    Just like hitting a golf ball, perfect alignment is key!!!

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