Professional Bike Fit - Steve Hogg

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Professional Bike Fit - Steve Hogg

Postby Rockford » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:50 pm

Steve Hogg - Professional Bike Fit
http://www.cyclefitcentre.com/

Where bought and price
Located in Rosebery, Sydney expect to pay $550 plus parts

Service Offered
From the Cyclefit Website
1. Full structural assessment, static and dynamic.
2. Positional correction including any equipment changes or modifications required, whether to bike or shoes.
3. Detailed advice on the best way to resolve structural issues identified.
4. Referrrals to appropriate health professionals.
5. Ongoing advice and tech support as required.
6. Information pack for self reference and further reading.
7. Detailed diagrams of Ideal Frame Dimensions and Rider Positional Parameters.
8.Any other measures required that result in a better performing, injury free rider.
9. CAD drawings for both ideal frame dimensions and optimal positional parameters

Description
Well after reading a few threads about bike fits, I figured I should provide some insight into a fitting by Steve to give people an understanding of why it costs as much as it does. It’s not like a bike fit you get at your LBS, I’m just going to go over the main points as there was so much other stuff we did I’d be here all night. Note: I'm just a recreational rider so my primary goal was a fit that would enable me to ride all day and be exhausted but not crying like a girl due to pains in my legs/shoulders and hands. I had my fit done last week.

It took approximately 3.5hours. You are the sole customer there, and you have his undivided attention, no going off to help other customers, answering phones or anything so it’s a solid 3.5 hours of fitting. And yes you will feel like a lab rat throughout the whole process.

You get there and he runs through a host of questions, age, health, medical history, accident history, what your goals are, what your current cycling regime is etc, etc. He then gets you to change into your cycling gear while he gets your bike up on the trainer/ergo. He then goes over your bike with a level, metal rule, small level, various protractors and stuff and gets every measurement and angle on your bike down.

He then does a host of basic physical measurements of you, and then gets you to step on a pair of scales, one each leg. Turns out my left leg is supporting 12kg more than the right…hmmm. So he starts taking some more measurements. Blind folds me, and gets me to march fast on the spot. Take blindfold off and I find I’m 3M away to the right. Does some more measurements and it turns out one leg is shorter (hip is higher) than the other, the right is shorter so I’m ‘leaning’ on the left, hence why my right leg is locked while standing normally and the left is slightly relaxed to compensate and I’m leaning on it as it has the most comfortable ‘support’ not being in the locked position with no flex. Then we look at my shoulder lines, hip line, spine lines via his contraption and note down issues.

Next we check my pronation and he applies sloped wedges to the insides of my shoes. Now here’s the weird part…he couldn’t convince me this was fair dinkum but looking back at it I assume it must be. He would ask me to hold out my arm and he would push down on it hard and I was to resist him. First go, no chance, puts a wedge in my shoe (tells me to push down on it), does it again, no chance, puts another wedge, pushes down again, he nearly was in the air trying to push me down and he couldn’t. It’s like a perfect support is put on your foot and everything just clicks into place and you can channel the strength from your core up to your arm. It totally spun me out, I kept on saying you’re doing something different, etc, etc. But I could see his muscles flexing and him lifting slightly off the ground trying to push me down. I could feel my calf muscles all of a sudden clench and resist him and it just went up through my body (like some old martial arts theory I remember). This went on through much of the day from getting my leg heights the same, to the pronation aspects, my posture, my core, to my riding position on the bike. Each time it got to the point where I could hold him easily. Everything just clicked.

Then we measured my flexibility with various exercises, my flexibility is woeful and a big issue for my riding. So I’ve got a whole plan of exercises to improve this (hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors).

You may remember me saying about how I tend to ride with my legs splayed out in a thread and what did it mean. It turns out my hips are rotated out and my knees faces outwards normally so riding with pedals close in means I’m having to ride bow-legged just to keep the thighs inline with the hips but my poor knees are copping a beating having to be the pivot and provide the power (due to my bad seat position). So out come the pedal knee savers to bring out my feet so they are in line with the top of my thighs. These are machined bolts that sit between the crank and pedal.

Image

We then put little metal bits on my feet after measuring the exact centre of the balls of my feet and put them in the shoes and marked where it was and set the cleats to that point (well 9mm behind that point). Then it was time to get on the bike. Pedal for a bit, then stop, adjust toe in/out. Rinse repeat.

Here you can see the different wedges (white are the spacers, yellow are the pronation ones)
Image

All this time I’d been thinking that moving my seat forward and bringing it closer to the handlebars would give me an more upright position like a flat bar roadie, and I was always thinking how do people say they can ‘play the piano’ when I found it impossible to do so. I’d moved my seat so far forward that my knees were doing all the work and putting my centre of gravity so out of whack I was putting all the weight on my hands and shoulders which were trying to provide the functional stability to my all over the place bottom half I had pins and needles and sore shoulders. So the seat went back. Adjusted the seat nose down to 0.7 degrees and the whole seat down 2mm.

Image

A 10mm spacer was put on the stem and a (almost flat bar roadie like stem was installed) to give me the height I needed to compensate for my poor flexibility, plus my handle bars were adjusted. I can now play Fur Elise on the handlebars while pedalling even with my crappy core strength and my arms are the perfect angle, straight at the wrists with slight bends on the elbows. We tested all possible hand positions from drops to climbing (the ergo thingo does hills very well…).

Image

I also noticed another thing, my glutes were doing a lot more work now and my pedal strokes were a lot more smoother (although my flexibility still lends to me surging on the downstroke). He marked my back to watch my hips in action to confirm the cleats were working ok, although he wasn’t happy with the knee savers as he wanted a bit more. We then looked at me out of the saddle pedalling. He then put me on a 6% incline for about 10mins to see how it stacked up with a bit of pressure.

We then sat down at the computer and he went through the CAD drawing of my ideal bike and the various physiological issues I have and what stretches I need to do to resolve them. Also all the various changes made to the bike before and after and what the ideal settings were. He also marked various important aspects and explained to me the significance of changing any of them.

Image

Throughout the whole process he told me of the ‘why’ he was doing what he was doing, so it was very educational in learning how it all fitted in the big picture. A bike fit is not just about your physical measurements, it’s also about your personal bio-mechanical makeup, no-one is perfectly symmetrical, this is where Steve’s method comes to the fore. He is very passionate about what he does and why he does it, and by the end of it he comes across as genuinely caring about you and your fit.

Hope this provides you all with a small insight into the process and gives you an appreciation of what you are getting for your money. Yes it is a lot of money, but I see it as an insurance towards minimising chronic injuries now and later in life due to bad riding position. A few sessions with a physio due to bad knees/back will put the cost into perspective. Best of all you will become a better rider out of it, more efficient and more effective.

Positives
+ good things about the product
Very personalised
Very indepth
As close to an ideal fit as you'll get

Negatives
- bad things about the product
Only available in Sydney
Fairly expensive if taken out of context.
Long waiting list

OVERALL SCORES

Quality Image
Very good service all round. Would be in the top echelon of bike fitters in Australia.

Performance Image
Too early to tell, will revisit this thread in a 6 weeks time and revise.

Value for money Image
I think it is, yes it's expensive, but by that same token I think you get a lot for your money.
Last edited by Rockford on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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by BNA » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:18 pm

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Re: Professional Bike Fit - Steve Hogg

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:18 pm

Moderator note: This post has been moved here from a general discussion thread so that it can be easily accessed by others as it is a fantastic review of Steve's service. If you wish to discuss the topic, please do so in the original thread.
master6 wrote: Moderators are like Club Handicappers; I often think they are wrong, but I dont want the job.
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