August 11, 2012 cburnham

Foot Position in Bike Fitting

One aspect often overlooked in a bike fit is the feet and I am not talking about just cleat positioning.  Having an athlete take off their shoes, look at arches, look at the height of the Nuvicular (ankle) bone, and positioning of the toes (bunions are not natural) can give us a lot of information about what is happening upstream in the body.  Do you stand with your feet straight?  As you are reading this right now where are your feet pointed?  If your stable position is toes out than that tells us a lot about what is going on at the hips and how you hate your IT bands.

Another example, a collapsed arch (which is not a weight-bearing surface) and dropped talus bone is mnemonic tell of valgus collapse of the knee.  What does that mean?  It means your knee is collapsing in, your hips are internally rotated, your medial glutes are weak, and your knee and/or lower back is on its way to being broken.  Best case scenario is that you are losing lots of power.

Collapsed foot on the bike.

Corrected Foot Position


So what is the fix?  Short term we can provide support by adding in arch support, forefoot wedging, or heel wedging.  Long term you got homework.  What?! Homework from a bike fit to create a more athletic, stable, powerful, position?!  You mean you are not stuck with a broken, less effective positioning?! Crazy!  You can do better.  Working on cultivating a stable core with a proper neutral ankle and decent arch off the bike will translate to a better position on the bike with more power and comfort.  The easiest way to do that is to squeeze the glutes, brace the abs, and work on screwing your feet into the ground.  The amazing thing with creating rotational torque in the lower leg is that it aligns the Nuvicular bone and creates an arch in the foot.  The first step is to work to maintain that position throughout the day on a consistent basis.  Give your body a new default position of stability.

Interested in getting a comprehensive bike fit that can put you in a comfortable, efficient position and provide you a long-term plan to address any limitations that may be holding you back on the bike?  We can help.  Burnham Coaching just finished moving our fit studio to the brand new Peninsula Bike Works bike shop in Monterey, CA.  We are utilizing the latest technology to evaluate your functioning on and off the bike to provide you with a comfortable, efficient position now, as well as helping you address any limitations that may be holding you back on the bike. We look at how you function on and off the bike to create a dynamic bike fit and don’t put you into formulaic fit.  We know you are a unique athlete that doesn’t need to be sold a specific brand of accessories to be comfortable on your bike.

To celebrate the opening of the new fit studio and the best bike shop in Monterey, Peninsula Bike Works, we are offering comprehensive bike fits at a discounted rate of $150 through the end of October.  Contact us soon to schedule an appointment as those times are going to book up fast!  

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