Share this page

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Introducing Greenrock

We are really excited to be working with Greenrock, who offer truly amazing trips. For instance who does not fancy an 11 day ride around Bhutan, 4 days in the North of Norway, the entire TdF route or even the mental sounding 4700km Race Across Europe!

Their list of Tours is here

Will keep you posted as we confirm more details of our partnership. Exciting times!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

More metal magic from those magicians from Massachusetts

This frames blows my mind. I would love to do a Bespoke version with our blue as the highlight colour.....

And proud of it.....

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Trek 5.9 with Ultegra Di2

When I was at Trek World last summer I was told about this bike and the spec it had. Its the only bike I have ever placed forward orders for as I think it makes an unbelievable buy given its £3500 price.
For that you get a Madone 5 series frame with integrated seatpost, a full Ultegra DI2 groupset and Ultegra tubeless wheels

We have just recieved a 54 and a 56, and am hoping for more to arrive as we all feel these will be sold out very soon as the issue will be getting more, especially given Shimano's inability to keep up with Ui2 demand....

Gareth's Trek Project One Madone

Gareth had a fitting in late Jan, and 3 weeks later his 'custom' Madone is here. We needed to have a high front end to hit the contact points, so the Madone was perfect as we could spec the H3 (highest) head tube size on the 52 frame.

We also had the ability to spec much shorter crank arms than on his current bike which will really help pedalling fluency.

The built kit is Ultegra and Bonty wheels - these are winter wheels and Gareth is also going to spec a 'summer special' wheelset in a couple of months.

Gareth chose custom paint - looks really deep and metallic in the flesh. Would pop more if we had some sunshine!1

Chris's Parlee Z5SLi (with LWs)

You have seen this bike with the Mavic Carbone tubs, here it is with the Lightweight clinchers. Very nice indeed!

Toby's Piinarello Dogma 2

This is a lovely new Dogma 2 in the Black on Black finish. Gruppo is Chorus and we went to town on the wheels with some of the lovely new Zipp 303 Firecrests. Bars are shallow carbon compacts and the saddle is our new favourite the Kurve

Its rare that a Dogma is accused of being subtle, but this one really is. The decals are very discrete but really 'pop' when you look closely

Tony's S-Works Venge

Tony has a Parlee Z4 and a Z5. He says they are the best bikes he has ever had. However he has the itch for a new bike, and we decided to do something very different and base the project around the Aero bike concept. So we got a stealth black S-Works Venge. The Gruppo is his usual Dura Ace 7900 and we went with full S-Works contact points. So the wonderful Romin saddle and the carbon shallow reach bars. Finally some Zipp 404 Firecrest clinchers to complete the package (though the eagle eyed will notice its a placeholder 303 in the picture!).

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The importance of getting your shoes properly fitted...

And yes that is a plug for our services, be it choosing shoes, getting custom insoles or getting your cleats perfectly aligned!

We take shoe sizing seriously, and for that reason we stock SIDI, Specialized, Bontrager, Giro, Bont and Northwave shoes. Each has a different last and sizing philosophy

People that are new to cycling often buy cycling shoes that are a size too big as they are used to having more room in their training shoes. I have also seen people that have wide feet, but who like the look of narrow Italian shoes, go for a size bigger to compensate. This can lead to issues with correctly positioning the cleat on the shoe.

Cleat placement fore/aft is very important because it affects which part of the foot is loaded during the power stroke. If the cleat is too far forward, you will load the toes which can often lead to reduced power production and increased strain to lower leg muscles. To gain maximum leverage without loading the toes, I position cleats so that the pedal axle lies under the first and second metatarsals (balls of the foot). This is the same part of the foot you would load during a hop.

I am looking for the forces to run a straight through down through the foot and create a straight line of force that could be drawn through the middle of the knee, middle of the ankle and 2nd metatarsal (base of the second toe). Concentrating on pushing through the second ball of the foot and relaxing your toes helps this process. Pushing through the first ball of the foot causes the line of force to track towards the inside and can cause pronation (dropping of the arch of the foot).

When shoe manufacturers design shoes, they drill the cleat holes roughly where the balls of the feet should be for that size of foot. If you use a pair of shoes that are a size big, the cleat holes will be further forward, which often makes it harder to correctly position the cleat.

In the same way that people have different distribution of length between the legs and the body, people have differently proportioned feet (long toes and short metatarsals vs. short toes and long metatarsals). It is especially important for people with long toes and short metatarsals to not use shoes that are too big as the balls of the feet are already further back.

Cycling shoes should be snug. When trying shoes on in the shop, you don’t want to have your toes against the end of the shoes or the sides uncomfortably squeezing the feet. But visa versa, you don’t want the shoes to feel roomy. Hold the back of the shoe and check that your heel doesn’t move when you pull up. If you know that you have wide feet, try something like a Northwave, while Sidi will suit a narrower foot.

Sometimes it’s impossible to perfectly position the cleat fore and aft due to abnormal distribution of foot length or strange placement of the cleat holes. If the cleat is within 5mm of optimal, I would normally leave it where it is. More than this, I’d be looking to use an adaptor plate or drill new cleat bolt holes.

Knee Over Pedal: is this the be all and end all?

A staple rule for fitting a road bike over the last number of years has been that the knee should be positioned over the pedal when the crank is horizontally forward. This rule doesn't change, it's the same for every rider no matter what height or body proportion. It's been used as a part of bike fitting long before the advent of sophisticated video or 3d motion tracking system as it's quick and easy to do by anyone with a plumb bob. But should more research be done regarding the use of knee over pedal as a rule for setting the setback of the saddle?

The knee over pedal rule changes however when we're fitting a tri or time trial bike. All of a sudden, knee over pedal doesn't matter and we move the position so the knee is anywhere from 2cm to 10 cm in front of the pedal depending which fitting guidelines you are following. Why is this? To open up the hip angle as you clear top dead centre (also known as hip closed position).

So why is hip closed position important? A lot of people can not activate their glutes from a closed hip (deep squat) position and also have hip muscle imbalances in hip muscles which are caused by poor posture and incorrect motor mechanics. These tight and/or weak muscles pull you out of a perfect straight alignment as your pedal comes over top dead centre and the hip closed angle decreases. This means that some of the energy being generated by the power stroke of the opposite leg is being sapped stretching these tight hip muscles over top dead centre and can not produce maximum pedal force until further round the pedal stroke when the knee is back inline with the foot. For people with imbalances, the tighter the hip closed position, the more the less power is produced.

So how does the knee over pedal fitting technique effect the hip closed angle? Let's use an example of two riders; both riders are the same height, have the same overall body, arm and inside leg length. Position wise, they are set with the same knee angle at the bottom of the pedal stroke, knee over pedal, the same back and shoulder angle. The difference between these riders is that rider A has long thighs and shorter shins and rider B is proportioned the other way round. Positioning the knee over the pedal will mean that rider A will have to be set a lot further back in the saddle compared to rider B due to the length of the thigh which will close the hip angle and create different hip mechanics between the two riders.

If we spend all this time standardising the knee mechanics at the bottom of the pedal stroke, why aren't we spending the same amount of time standardising the hip mechanics over the top of pedal stroke?

With wider spread use of video and motion capture systems, measuring the hip closed position is easier than ever before. Therefore, I believe that more research needs to focus on this area, particularly it's effect on those with hip muscles imbalances.

Our new Retül Müve

I’ve returned from my holiday in Canada to a great new present: The Retül Müve fitting jig. This is a significant upgrade in our fitting department as it allows me to adjust the position in seconds while the rider never has to get off the bike or even stop pedalling.

Four handles are used to adjust the vertical and horizontal changes to both the bars and the saddle, with one turn equalling only a 3mm change. This means that I can make minute changes to the position and the process takes half the time as there are no clamps to be undone and no bolts to be done up. This means that I can spend longer fine tuning the mechanics of the rider. The system is also more accurate as the rider doesn’t have to get in and out of the saddle, which often leads to people sitting in a different part of the saddle.

The adjustable cranks on the jig have an even greater range of adjustment (155mm to a whopping185mm) and are quicker to change than our previous jig. So it’s very easy to show a rider what shorter cranks feel like. The Muve also comes with a Powertap built into the resistance unit. So we can do fittings certain power levels. I am going to experiment and see if it is accurate enough to show how power production is affected by crank length.....

In addition to the great Zinn digitiser and measure tool, the Müve has a neat trick to quickly measure the current stack and reach that is being used. This allows us to suggest which frame size would be closest to the current set up.

I have only been back for 3 days and already I have used the Müve during a road, triathlon and mountain bike fit and have been incredibly impressed. It’s stable and allows me to make three times the amount of measurements and changes in the same amount of time. It’s a big step forward for the Bespoke Performance Lab.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Chris's Z5SLi

This is Chis's Z5 SLi, with Enve cockpit, a Rotor BB30 crank and his Mavic Cosmic Ultimate Tubulars. The wheels are actually very subtle in the flesh but they have a reflective decal that really pops when a photo is taken. Its for the Pro photographers to give Mavic more exposure during race coverage.....
Chris has a set of Lightweight Clinchers arriving this week, so we will take a pic with them as well

This will be the 3rd Z5 in Chris's house. He bought the standard Z5 in Autumn and then bought his girlfriend a SLi for her Christmas present. I guess he got bike envy and needed to build a climbing special for all the GPM10 events Chris does!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Mike's new 2012 Parlee Z5

The Parlee Z5 gets a new colour for 2012 - its a mixture of dark grey with red piping and some clearcoat carbon showing
Looks lovely in the flesh, especially when you choose the right parts!

Mike has gone with SRAM Force and a BB30 crank, Shimano Dura Ace Tubeless wheels and shallow reach carbon bars
A Fizik Kurve (what else?) completes the build