Off-Bike Assessment + Bike Fit = Better Performance!
As the cycling world continues to spend fortunes on bike fitting, it’s been suggested that cyclists and bike fitters alike are neglecting or undervaluing the importance of an 'off-bike' biomechanical assessment.
This 'off-bike' assessment — potentially followed by corrective exercise in the gym — is where the process SHOULD begin.
For many people coming into cycling for the first time, or those already at a higher level, getting an off-bike assessment is a great way to increase performance for two main reasons:
#1 - it ensures you're not getting a bike fit with an existing movement dysfunction or muscular strength deficit
#2 - it will decrease your risk of overuse injuries
With a quick search of the internet you'll come across loads of information with the majority focussing solely on your position on the bike. This is fine if you're body is in perfect alignment and all your muscles are functioning correctly with no imbalances. As I'm sure you'll appreciate, this is not the case because we all have imbalances which we must manage.
Another issue with bike fittings is using them to alleviate joint pain. This assumes that there is a problem with either the bike or your position on it. However, in most cases the problem has been with the rider! In other words, the rider has a muscular imbalance, a movement dysfunction or both which is affecting their position on the bike. In these cases only an off-bike assessment coupled with a conventional bike fit will solve the problem.
The equation is a simple one:
'off-bike' + 'on-bike' Assessments = increased performance & reduced overuse injuries
Other benefits include:
- Increased power production
- More comfort
- Improved technique
- Improved pedal efficiency