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  • Posted Jun 20, 2006

Fit specialist Donny Quixote has over 300 fittings to his resume. His athletes include professional road racers, triathletes, casual weekend warriors, comfort cyclists, RAGBRAI riders, and much more. Here he expands just a little of what he knows to help you get more out of your bike fit.

This month Donny focuses on your bike fit versus just one product. Read on to make your cycling experience more comfortable and efficient. We touch the bike in three places: the pedals, the saddle, and the handlebars. These contact points can be moved in many different ways to relieve stress and strain, provide better cycling efficiency and output, and create a more comfortable position. Let's look at a few ways in which we address these contact points. Arch Support and Foot Cant The human body was designed to walk and run, and in our walking gate our feet function extremely well. Our arches collapse when we land our feet, providing an internal suspension system and when we step they act as a leaf spring guiding us forward. Our bodies are not designed to ride bicycles. Hence, when we're cycling our bodies do not understand that we are making hundreds of pedal revolutions but rather we are making thousands of little steps. Our arches and foot cant angulations which are so valuable in out step then become a source of poor pedaling efficiency and possibly pain when we cycle. Knee Alignment For our uses, the knee isn't the greatest-designed joint in the body. It can not handle large amounts of lateral force and consistently wants to work in a straight, up and down motion. If our bike fitting has not addressed arch support, cleat placement, foot cant, saddle height, leg length discrepancies, etc. The dynamic nature of the knee will be the tell-all. Our knee will no longer operate in a piston-like motion during our pedal stroke, but rather shift from side to side. This lateral shift can be extremely dangerous under prolonged use as the tightly woven muscles, tendons, and ligaments that surround the knee may create slight tears, swelling, fluid build-up, and pain. Saddle Height There is a very small window for each of us when it comes to saddle height. This small window is based on total leg length, femur length, leg length discrepancy, foot size, and cycling goals. If are saddle height is within this window we have a proper leg extension, produce adequate power, and we are comfortable. If we lower our saddle slightly our power output will drop slightly and there will be a minute shift in muscle recruitment. If we raise our saddle outside of the given parameters our output will have a dramatic drop, we will be more inclined to knee pain, saddle numbness, and hip flexor issues. Hip and Leg Angles Hip angles are primarily determined by core strength, flexibility, and your cycling goals. A competitive time trial cyclist and triathletes may have very extreme hip angles, a road or mountain cyclist will be more shallow, and a comfort rider may be very close to upright. It is important to understand your physical attributes as well as cycling goals before determining what type of bike you should be riding. Our legs work as a lever and like any lever it has three parts: length, angle, and fulcrum. It is essential to understand that as we align the joints of the legs to different fulcrums during the pedal stroke we can achieve different muscle recruitment. A triathletes may demand a pedaling position that does not capitalize on the quadriceps and gluteus to leave more strength for the running portion of their event. A RAGBRAI cyclist may demand something completely different for the hills they'll encounter across Iowa. Handlebar Placement The space between your saddle and handlebars is referred to as the cockpit. This space is primarily filled with your torso and thus the length of your torso will determine how far out your handle bars should go. The drop the handlebar (how much higher or lower than the saddle) will be determined by the length of your arms, core strength, and flexibility. Men tend to have longer torsos and equal arms while women tend to have shorter torsos and longer arms. This will create to very different bike fits and no off-the-floor bike purchase can be guaranteed to be exact without taking these matters into account. Getting Your Bike Fit There's a lot of information and theories out there about proper bike fitting methodologies. One of the hardest decisions for a cyclist to make is deciding which method is the best, and consequently, who should fit their bike. With Donny Quixote and Rasmussen Bike Shop, the research is done for you; they've compared and analyzed competing theories and practices; cut through the hype, and have come up with the best solution: the hands-on Rasmussen Bike Shop approach. When push comes to shove, a properly sized frame can be adjusted to fit any cyclist. Unless you're considering or require a custom made frameset, what brand of bike you want to ride should ultimately be at your discretion, based on your research, and should not be a decision made for you by someone else. Furthermore, the idea that a frameset can be "custom tailored" via a website algorithm or a phone call is equally troublesome. A proper bike fit requires individual attention and the vigilance of a master fitter's trained eye. Only when the athlete is on the bike can the fitter see from all angles exactly how the bike and rider work together as one. The Rasmussen Bike Shop fit methodology is based on practices and information gleaned from recognized industry experts, and real-world experience. They've extrapolated the best expert practices and integrated this information into our own unique method. The result is a hands-on approach where each rider and bike combination is a new problem to be solved with the greatest care and attention to detail. So whether you're looking for a brand new or custom built bike, or if your current bike is not comfortable, come in and visit Rasmussen Bike Shop's fit specialist Donny Quixote. You'll soon agree: you never felt better, more efficient, or more powerful on a bike.
Schedule a retro-fitting and receive a Free $15 Gift Card to Rasmussen Bike Shop

Scheduling a Casual, Retro-Fit, or Time Trial Fitting To schedule a fit, just call us at 515-277-2636. We will set aside a minimum of 2 hours to evaluate your needs and positioning. Our fit process is incredibly extensive and takes into account your flexibility, any leg length discrepancies you may have, proper cleat positioning, and we also include laser alignment for your knee tracking. Or e-mail Fit Specialist Donny Quixote to schedule an appointment right now! Testimonials Donny Quixote has added over 300 fittings to his resume. Working with casual cyclists, performance athletes, and special needs cyclists who have physical discrepancies or general pains: the following testimonials attest to the quality, diligence and concern we invest in each fit.

"I can really feel the improvements from the bike fit at Rasmussen Bike Shop! My legs feel powerful and efficient with the shims that Donny put in, and my position is much more comfortable." Jay, Expert Mountain Biker

I have been cycling for only about 3 years and never had a bike fit done. I had heard about this service but to be very honest, I was pretty skeptical. Rasmussen's Bike Shop has always treated us wanna-be triathletes with the best service and has gone above and beyond with taking care of the CIMC clubbers and their families. So, after the boys down as Rassy's put together my new road bike for me, I met Donny and we talked about the bike fit. Again, I was hopeful that it would help, but skeptical. We scheduled the fit and Donny was very professional in every aspect of this service. Everything he did to adjust, fit, fix, measure, tilt, slide, turn, and twist was right on. I ended up having him order some Jammer aerobars to use for 3 triathlons this year that involve a lot of climbing and are more suited for a road geometry and he helped my fit be "spot on" from the beginning. At my last triathlon I ended up having one of the top 5 bike splits out of over 400 people and felt great for the run. So, after starting out the process hoping that it was worth the time and money, I can encourage everyone that is definitely worth both! Reed, Triathlete

I've put about 120 miles in with the new fit (70 getting use to it and 50 hard miles last night) and it feels good. Actually, it feels great. I am so much more comfortable on the bike now. Greg, Road Cyclist

I'm so glad I got fit tested for my new Specialized road bike at Rasmussen's. I was trying to decide between a couple of different sized bikes. Not only did getting fit tested help me decide what bike to order, but then my bike was also set up to fit me personally. Because we knew how long my arms were, for instance, Donny could figure out how big my ideal cockpit size was and fit my bicycle accordingly. I feel so comfortable on my bike now, it virtually took the guess work out of it! I don't have strains in my back or tightening up in my knees because everything moves smoothly. It makes riding my bike so much more enjoyable, not to mention making me more effective in the saddle. Thanks so much to Donny and the crew at Rasmussen's for setting me up!!! Sara, RAGBRAI Cyclist

Still Not Convinced? That is why Rasmussen Bike Shop offers pre and post wattage test on your bike fit. During this test the cyclist maintains a prescribed wattage on a computerized bicycle trainer and repeats the test following the fit. Here are some recent bike fit test results that may help convince you of the benefits offered from the bike fit at Rasmussen Bike Shop: Rick, Triathlete Pre-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 185, Avg HR 178 Post-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 196, Avg HR 165 Nathan, Competitive Road Cyclist Pre-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 198, Avg HR 155 Post-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 201, Avg HR 138 Jenny, Triathlete Pre-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 135, Avg HR 142 Post-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 139, Avg HR 132 Sean, Mountain Biker Pre-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 205, Avg HR 145 Post-Fit Test Results: Avg Wattage 209, Avg HR 140 Donny Quixote Quixote Coaching Programs 515-277-2636

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