Sunday, July 22, 2012

Matty Reed in the Performance Lab: Part 2

The Bike Fit
One of the most important things to remember about bike fit is that power output depends not only upon angles, but also upon the rider’s strengths and weakness and how to make a rider stronger.

After series of single leg squats, planks, and joint mobility measures, it was clear that the position of comfort and maximal power would depend upon further stabilizing Matt’s core muscles.  His aerodynamic position was already  tested in the wind tunnel, so I was more concerned with keeping his frontal area minimized while changing his core stability

Because riding position changes with different power outputs, it is important to use a point on the power curve that approximates race-pace wattage.  The point that we chose was where lactic acid starts accumulating.  By testing the bike fit at this point, we could see how the changes were affecting him.

After a few changes to his elbow pads, we did another trial at race wattage.  His exhaled carbon dioxide dropped, meaning that he was not accumulating lactic acid.  
Moving the elbow pads further forward let Matt use his aero bars as levers to pull back and activate some of his core muscles which gave him more power as he pedaled.  My big concern was that this position might lead to more acid accumulation, since he was using more muscles, but the changes resulted in less lactic acid accumulation, meaning he could pedal harder before the burn of the lactic acid would cause muscle fatigue.

Using stop motion video, I was able to measure and maintain his hip and knee angles that he was comfortably using. 

He had two weeks until his next race the Boulder, Colorado 5150, in which he got second place.

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