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Apex bike fit...

UndercoverElephantUndercoverElephant Posts: 5,796
edited January 2015 in Commuting chat
Just had an Apex bike fit at Infinity Cycles in Durham, my Christmas pressie from Mrs Elephant. This is a system where they dynamically change your position on a static bike and take continuous power readings as you go. Turns out my saddle was (waay) too low and (a little) too far forward. When properly tweaked, the power I needed to push the same resistance at a given cadence was 10% lower...

10%!!

And it scales almost linearly with the load. How many upgrades can give you 10% improvement??

Posts

  • Someone in my club mentioned Apex a few weeks ago which peaked my interest in a fit.

    How long did the overall process take and how much time did they spend with you looking at cleat/foot position and alignment?

    A good bike fit is something that I've put off for far too long.

    Cheers.
    The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd.
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    I had an Apex bike fit at Infinity Cycles done about seven weeks ago. It was part of a discount offer to our club where we booked out the entire day and each fit was half price. The downside was that we only got an hour each and the process felt a little rushed. How long did your fit take? It feels pretty odd when they start making adjustments on the fly doesn't it?

    I found that my saddle was way too low and stupidly too far forward too. My saddle was raised 12mm and moved backwards a huge 14mm. Felt weird at first, but now that I'm used to it, my performance is noticeably improved.
  • I was there probably about an hour and a half. Luke, the fitter, checked out my flexibility with a few simple tests (I have hyper-mobility, so flexibility really isn't a problem) and worked out that my right leg is a little bit longer than the left, and that it liked to turn out a little and adjusted my cleats accordingly (right to the back of the range on my shoes and straight on the left, a couple of mm's further forward and slightly squint on the right) apparently the fact that I couldn't really tell any difference was a good thing. I have had pain in my right knee on long rides before, so I'm pleased that something's been done.

    Couldn't notice too much of a difference when he was making the small adjustments, but when he went for the big reveal (new position straight to the old position and back, it felt like I was curling into a ball). Saddle raised 25 mm and back by 5mm - more importantly I now know how to replicate that position on my other bikes.
  • Thanks for the info, I know the fit is only as good as the system and fitter but it sounds like a very big improvement for you on this apex system.

    It might just be me but it does seem to be a very fast process (fine if it works well though).
    The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd.
  • I guess it probably is quite quick, but I think a lot of that is that you don't need to keep hopping off and on the bike for him to make adjustments/getting back into a rhythm when pedalling - one of the real problems with other fits.
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    I guess it probably is quite quick, but I think a lot of that is that you don't need to keep hopping off and on the bike for him to make adjustments/getting back into a rhythm when pedalling - one of the real problems with other fits.

    Yes, the real beauty is that changes can be quatifiably seen and felt in real time.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    With the Bike Whisperer, Scherrit spent a good chunk of my time on shoes and cleats - must have been an hour in itself. In fact, by comparison, time on the bike seemed quite short (though, I think my bike wasn't too far off so relatively minor tweaks). Total session took 4 hours.

    Doing it by power is interesting. Couple of thoughts though:
    1. Are they certain that the most powerful position is the most "ergonomic"?
    2. Is there a possibility that, with muscle adaptations due to your "incorrect" initial position, your new ideal position is influenced by your old position? (Eg if your saddle is too low, you'll be using your quads more than normal - your new position might be influenced by having more quad power than is "normal")
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • With the Bike Whisperer, Scherrit spent a good chunk of my time on shoes and cleats - must have been an hour in itself. In fact, by comparison, time on the bike seemed quite short (though, I think my bike wasn't too far off so relatively minor tweaks). Total session took 4 hours.

    Doing it by power is interesting. Couple of thoughts though:
    1. Are they certain that the most powerful position is the most "ergonomic"?
    2. Is there a possibility that, with muscle adaptations due to your "incorrect" initial position, your new ideal position is influenced by your old position? (Eg if your saddle is too low, you'll be using your quads more than normal - your new position might be influenced by having more quad power than is "normal")

    I'm not sure how long they'd spend adjusting cleats if you had more in the way of problems that I have. I didn't need much adjustment with them.

    As for your thoughts, obviously I can't speak for them, but:

    1) He said that the most important adjustments regarding the power output are the saddle height and layback, once you get these right, the front end is just comfort (within reason, you don't want to be too high or too low).
    2) Possibly. The next rung up on their products is one where you go back after eight weeks and get re-tested. It's a fair distance from Edinburgh to Durham, so I'm unlikely to go for this.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    I'm not sure how long they'd spend adjusting cleats if you had more in the way of problems that I have. I didn't need much adjustment with them.

    Thanks - interesting

    As for cleats, the BW spent time and effort figuring out where my feet are within the shoe then setting the fore and aft position of the cleat based upon that (a fair difference L to R). Then the wedges within the shoe for maximum stability (this is a pretty involved process).

    Very happy with the result (the process is fun too) - never had any issues or pains with the only exception of a tight Achilles after L2E (but then everybody did - seems it's just a function of not having done those sorts of distances before)
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    With the Bike Whisperer, Scherrit spent a good chunk of my time on shoes and cleats - must have been an hour in itself. In fact, by comparison, time on the bike seemed quite short (though, I think my bike wasn't too far off so relatively minor tweaks). Total session took 4 hours.

    Doing it by power is interesting. Couple of thoughts though:
    1. Are they certain that the most powerful position is the most "ergonomic"?
    2. Is there a possibility that, with muscle adaptations due to your "incorrect" initial position, your new ideal position is influenced by your old position? (Eg if your saddle is too low, you'll be using your quads more than normal - your new position might be influenced by having more quad power than is "normal")

    After the flexibilty tests, leg length and foot dangle tests, then your cleats are adjusted accordingly. I've always had issues with my left knee tracking outwards on the upstroke and it now tracks much better after Luke adjusted them. No wedges or shims were used though.

    I don't doubt that your new position will be influenced by the old one, but Luke contacts you a few weeks after the fit to see how you're getting on and to see if you have any further issues. The issue with my old position, was that I was using my quads too much and not enough from my glutes. My new position is much more balanced in terms of where my power is coming from, especially during seated climbing.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    DKay wrote:
    the issue with my old position, was that I was using my quads too much and not enough from my glutes. My new position is much more balanced in terms of where my power is coming from, especially during seated climbing.

    But that's what I'm wondering - if you were using your quads more, they will be used to delivering power. I think the follow-up fitting would address this. I know that if I go running, it's the muscles I use less that give up earliest. It's probably not a big deal and I like the concept.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    But that's what I'm wondering - if you were using your quads more, they will be used to delivering power. I think the follow-up fitting would address this. I know that if I go running, it's the muscles I use less that give up earliest. It's probably not a big deal and I like the concept.

    I know what you mean and I had to go through a month of riding to adjust to the changes. At first I felt slower, as I was using muscle groups which I hadn't used sufficiently before and I was fatigueing earlier. But, I've stuck with it and now that I've adapted to the new position, it is better in both power, endurance and comfort.
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