This blog has really been inspired by one of our recent clients.
He is a keen cyclist and regularly commutes to work on his bicycle, but he also has Parkinson's (the relevance of this to be understood later). Let's call him Mr X.
Mr X came to us with a medial knee complaint which was only present when cycling. We obviously identified some biomechanical issues, but largely the bike fit was inadequate and promoting undue stress on structures which shouldn't otherwise be stressed (saddle too low and way too far forward). The classic overuse scenario.
The bike fit involved raising the saddle, and moving it back, whilst optimising the cockpit to promote a functional knee angle (around 37 degrees).
Unfortunately moving the saddle to this height highlighted some bike handling issues (i.e. how do you learn to get on the bike when you are used to sitting on the saddle immediately and pushing off, and how do you relearn this when balance isn't a strongpoint?)
The late Sheldon Brown & John Allen demonstrate correct mounting and dismounting here:
In this case, the position was ideal, but getting into it was not.
The question asked was, did we compromise the position slightly to improve bike handling at the potential cost of biomechanics, or did we allow some time to adapt.
Fortunately the client, being of an engineering brain adapted a known technology development (mainly for MTBs), and added it to his road bike. Most people would never normally THINK of even doing this because of the weight issues, cost etc, but Mr X found it gave him that trade off.
A dropper seat post allows a rider to maintain a good riding position for when they need to pedal, but a remote or switch drops the seat post e.g. for when going over technical terrain, or in this case, mounting and dismounting the bike.
Pics of what was done:
Anyway the reason we are sharing this is because bike fitting is a compromise between the rider and the bike. If this adaptation makes cycling more accessible for individuals who struggle with mobility, flexibility, balance or bike handling, then it could be a good solution to help with this problem.
Fit your Bike