Star Physio “Bikefit”
“Bikefit” at Star Physio is the process of professionally fitting a bicycle to its rider using the assessment and intervention skills of a physiotherapist with specific expertise in cycling and its biomechanics. This ensures ideal positioning that maximises each rider’s athletic input while minimising impact on vulnerable parts of the body and reducing the risk of injury. For cyclists in pain or discomfort, we diagnose the issue and identify potential causes and faults related to cycling position or technique.
All “Bikefit” extended physiotherapy consultation services at Star Physio include comprehensive physiotherapy assessment and intervention in the form of biomechanically appropriate adjustment of your bike, as well as advice and exercises to assist with reducing or preventing pain while cycling and allowing you to continue to exercise to stay fit and healthy. These are an important part of our physiotherapy service and our ongoing goals of assisting clients in pain and allowing lifetime exercise to live a long and healthy life. As such, all of our “bikefit” physiotherapy consultations attract private health fund rebates.
At Star Physio, our “Bikefit” is conducted during a physiotherapy consultation of between 60 minutes and 2 1/2 hours depending on the complexity and details required.Check out our http://starphysiowa.com.au/bikefit-services/ page for more information on the types of physiotherapy “bikefit” services we have available, and what to expect during the appointment.
Did you know that the number one risk factor for early morbidity and significant disease is low fitness? Physiotherapists are experts in both treatment and prevention of injuries, but now more than ever we are ideally placed to assist clients in achieving and maintaining good levels of fitness, through recommending appropriate exercise.
Cycling is a fantastic, low impact form of exercise, that can be used at almost any age and any level of fitness for weight loss, fitness, commuting or as a competitive sport. However research by Wilber (1995) stated that 85% of cyclists will get injured! Dettori in his 2006 paper identified the main areas of pain in cyclists as the Knee (20-65%), Low back (15-50%), Neck & shoulder (10-50%), Handlebar palsy (10-70%), ‘Saddle sores’ (40-65%) and Numbness & Erectile Dysfunction (20-60%). These numbers are quite frightening which is why you should get on top of any niggles early and prevent these injuries where possible by trusting one of Star Physio’s expert physiotherapists to get your bike in the ideal position for you as well as provide advice to help achieve your goals.
Cycling is a unique sport in that the rider is attached to the bike at 5 contact points- two hands on the bars, at the seat, and via two feet clipped in to pedals at the end of crank arms where the cyclist propels the bike via the lever arms, but also where the crank arm pushes the knee towards the chest at the top of the pedal stroke (via hip flexion) while the hip and spine are fixed via bodyweight on the saddle. This movement typically happens 80-100 times per minute in road cyclists.
Our physiotherapists have the skills to alter the load on particular joints/ parts of the body via the adjustability of the bike and shoe cleats, and we can work with you to improve your ability to tolerate the load of cycling via treatment and specific exercises to assist with pain relief, increased movement or strength, or general fitness and performance..
The literature and research relating cycling, bike position and injuries is poor, and Star Physio and our colleagues both locally and internationally are working at rectifying this situation. Our first research was presented at the Sports Medicine Australia Conference in Melbourne in November 2016. This showed significant reduction in pain in cyclists following a bikefit with a Physiotherapist. We hope to see this research published in an international journal this year to further the understanding within our profession of the relationship between a cyclist and the bike, and well as the important role a suitably trained physiotherapist can play in assisting cyclists in pain.
Our findings in this research were no surprise to us as we have been successfully assisting patients with pain while cycling by adjusting their position on the bike for over 15 years. In the last five years, we have performed more than 2500 extended physiotherapy consultations with the primary physiotherapy intervention being adjusting the bike or “bikefit”.
Our professional fit is achieved with the help of world leading, state-of-the-art technology. Star Physio is the only physiotherapy clinic in Australia to offer dynamic pressure analysis at the saddle and feet alongside high speed video technology- with twice the frame rate of Retul and BG Fit systems for greater accuracy, which allows our physiotherapists to interpret high quality data and combine this with information from your assessment to find an ideal position for you.
Throughout the fitting service, we use high speed motion capture video analysis to view your positioning and compare adjustments made. This combined with our physiotherapy tools, ensure all measurements are accurate. After your bike fitting service, you’ll receive before and after pictures of your fit as well as the appropriate measurements and recommendations to maximise your cycling experience..
“Bikefit” Technology in Physiotherapists’ hands!
Bikefit is the process of professionally fitting a bicycle to its rider, ensuring ideal positioning that maximises each rider’s athletic input while minimising impact on vulnerable parts of the body. As physiotherapists with additional knowledge and experience in cycling and cycling biomechanics, we are highly trained to assist you to achieve the ideal position on the bike whether it is to alleviate pain or an injury, or assist you to be in an ideal position to prevent injury, maintain your health, and cycle efficiently.
Our professional physiotherapy fit is achieved with the help of world leading, state-of-the-art technology. We are the only physiotherapy clinic in Australia to offer dynamic pressure analysis at the saddle and feet alongside high speed video technology- with twice the frame rate of Retul and BG Fit systems for greater accuracy..
Throughout the extended physiotherapy consultation including your bikefit, we use high speed motion capture video analysis to show you your positioning and compare adjustments made. This combined with our physiotherapy skills and tools, ensure all measurements are accurate. After your consultation, you’ll receive before and after pictures of your cycling position as well as the appropriate measurements and recommendations regarding identified issues from the physiotherapy assessment to maximise your cycling experience.
Star Physio is the industry leader in WA for physiotherapy led professional bikefit services for comfort, performance and injury treatment and prevention. We offer a range of extended physiotherapy consult with bikefit options to suit everyone. Have a read through our bikefit services, and if you are not sure which one is the most appropriate for you, give us a call or send us an email and we will work this out with you.
We have a preciously held reputation at Star Physio of being a master of technology instead of its slave. When technology presents a clear advantage to our understanding of the interaction between rider and bike, we are happy to lead WA in its implementation. Regardless of this technology, the best fit still relies on the expertise, qualifications and experience of the physiotherapist and fitter, to interpret all of the information available, including the subjective and objective physiotherapy assessment findings, and put this all together to create a fabulous fit for you!
We always say that bike fitting is a process and not an event and we recommend regular follow-up appointments to check if any changes are needed to your new position should your body or aspirations change.
Our bikefit interventions are conducted by physiotherapists as part of injury treatment, prevention and general exercise advice or as part of a treatment plan, and as such are eligible for private health rebates. Our services are billed as extended physiotherapy consults. Contact your private health provider if you want to check how much you will get back on your consult, and also to ask which code we can use to give you maximum benefit.
Professional Bike Fitting Equipment in Physiotherapy
Star Physio’s unique new German-engineered Bikefit equipment gives us detailed pressure analysis at the saddle and at the pedals for comfort, efficiency and performance, as well as accurate data to help us understand the cause of cycling pain and injuries, be they present or potential, allowing us to find the optimal position for every cyclist. Nearly all of our “bikefit” clients present with some degree of pain or discomfort, and many have significant previous injuries or deficits in flexibility which require our skills as physiotherapists to find the appropriate position to protect vulnerable areas. Our primary goal as physiotherapists is to help you find a position while cycling to minimise this pain and prevent injury.
Our GebioMized equipment also incorporates high speed cameras for accurate digital measurement of specific angles to give us a true 3D picture of your cycling. Using this technology we are able to gain valuable and incredibly accurate objective information that is often missed in bike fitting performed with inferior technology. More important still than any technology is to have a professional physiotherapist to interpret this information to work with you to find your ideal position. Star Physio is the exclusive provider of “Bikefit” professional physiotherapy bike fitting services using the latest GebioMized equipment in Western Australia. We are proud to partner with Gebiomized and work closely with our German colleagues, who also include physiotherapists, to ensure that we are at the forefront of professional physiotherapy led bikefit internationally.
Australian Physiotherapy Expertise, German Precision
Gebiomized are now the preferred Bikefit providers for many of the best cyclists and triathletes in the world including the Trek and Cervelo Teams. Star Physio, utilising our many years of bikefit and physiotherapy experience are trusted by some of the best triathletes and cyclists in the world including the British Cycling Team, Orica Green Edge and AIS and WAIS athletes alike.
Recently some of the world’s best have benefitted from our new technology and physiotherapy training to optimise their bikefit for performance and injury prevention including World Time Trial Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist Emma Pooley, on her road to Rio in the Olympic Time Trial. Also our local heros Robert Power and Jai Hindley from the Orica teams and world Time Trial, Oceania Champion and 2017 Australian Criterium Champion Jess Allen trust Star Physio for their Physiotherapy driven Bikefit and treatment needs for performance and injury prevention. We are also very proud to partner Rio Para-Olympian and World Ironman Record Holder Brant Garvey beyond Rio and a Para-Olympic triathlon medal in Tokyo!
Pressure mapping is the latest tool in the arsenal of Star Physio’s highly-trained cycling analyst physiotherapists to help determine your optimum riding position, saddle selection, shoe and cleat setup.
At Star Physio, we’ve observed the development of pressure mapping with interest and have recently formed a technology partnership with GebioMized. We have integrated the GebioMized system into the Star Physio fitting process, enabling us to accurately measure pressure and better visualise the rider’s contact with the saddle and shoes.
Combined with our bikefit physiotherapist’s professional knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, pressure mapping provides objective feedback, enabling us to make small, precise adjustments and interventions to optimise your connection with the bike and making it possible to maximise your stability and comfort on the saddle, and your foot contact at the pedal.
This in turn assists in making you more comfortable to conquer your exercise and health goals, minimise injuries and ease any current pain or injuries you may be suffering from.
High Speed Motion Analysis
The cornerstone of any detailed physiotherapy assessment in sport is high speed motion analysis. This allows us to review movement in slow motion to accurately identify positional faults or movement discrepancies which may be related to pain or an increased risk of injury, and to assist is in adjusting your bike to the best possible position.
Our high speed cameras operate at 60 Frames Per Second which is twice the rate of Retul and BG fitting systems. This means we don’t miss important details when making decisions about your analysis and bikefit. Run through our Gebiomized data analysis system, we can then accurately measure your position and critical angles and show you the changes as they happen, assisting you in achieving the best possible position to reach your exercise goals, keep healthy, and minimise the risk of injury.
Power Based Bikefitting with Adjustable Incline
There is not much point having you in a comfortable position while riding at 50 Watts, when your race load is 220 Watts, or if your pain only comes on when riding at high intensity uphill! On a bike your body is supported at the saddle, the feet and the hands +/- forearms. The harder you push the pedals, the less load is on the saddle and your hands. Using our Wahoo Kickr we are able to set a load appropriate to your riding for accurate assessment of your position and issues related to power output and high muscle demand..
You may only get knee pain when riding hard or low back pain while climbing steep hills. We need to reproduce these parameters during your physiotherapy consultation and bikefit to accurately identify the cause of your discomfort.
In addition to load adjustment, we can also change the incline of the bike on our custom made bikefit platform and then combine this with our High Speed Motion and Pressure Analysis to get the full picture and accurately adjust your bike.
Our “Bikefit” Physio Team
Professional “Bikefit” is conducted as an Extended Physiotherapy Consultation by Star Physiotherapists Damian Oldmeadow, Brett Buist and James Lewin. All of our physiotherapists who conduct extended consultations for bikefit are avid cyclists, some still competing in high level competition.
As physiotherapists with additional training in cycling biomechanics and cycling related injuries, they are the ideal people to assist you in finding the best possible position for reduction of pain or injury, to allow you to exercise comfortably and maintain a long and healthy life.
These are an important part of our physiotherapy service and our ongoing goals of assisting clients in pain and allowing lifetime exercise to live a long and healthy life. As such, all of our “bikefit” physiotherapy consultations attract private health fund rebates. Call 08 9212 4254 to book an extended physiotherapy consultation “Bikefit” appointment today.
Damian Oldmeadow has worked at numerous Olympic Games and has been a trusted physiotherapist to some of the world’s top cycling and triathlon athletes, including 6x Olympic Cycling Gold Medallist Sir Chris Hoy, 3x World Triathlon Champion Peter Robertson, and Perth’s own World Junior Time Trial and Senior Oceania Champion Jessica Allen. His interest and passion for cycling and bike fitting has seen him actively working with cyclists, triathletes and mountain bike riders of all levels for over 15 years. Call 08 9481 1003 to book a bike fitting service with Damian.
Read Damian's Full Bio
- Australian Olympic Team Physiotherapist
- Sky British Track Cycling Team Physiotherapist
- WAIS/AIS Physiotherapy Services Provider
- Clinical Director Star Physiotherapy West Perth, CBD and Mosman Park
For the novice through to the weekend warrior, Damian has provided professional bike fit services in Perth since 1998 currently conducting 10-15 per week with over 400 done in the last twelve months. He considers himself a cycling tragic, having raced at an amateur level on BMX, Track, Road, Mountain Bike and triathlon and worked at a bike shop as a teenager with a current stable of 11 bikes at home (last count!).
At the other end of the continuum, Damian has worked as an AIS physiotherapy provider since 1997 including WAIS and Green Edge/ Australian Team cycling athletes. He has been the British Cycling Team Physiotherapist (Perth based) since 2000, including 6 time Olympic Gold Medalist Sir Chris Hoy. In addition to this he has worked with WAIS and Australian Triathlon including 3 times World Champion Peter Robertson. Damian has travelled the world working as an Australian team physiotherapist for the last 15 years and has worked at three Olympic Games- Sydney, Athens and London. He is a regular lecturer at undergraduate and post graduate university level, as well as for the Australian Physiotherapy Association and Sports Medicine Australia.
Most recently he was a keynote speaker at the Sports Medicine Australia Cycling Symposium. In addition to his international work Damian has worked in private practice for almost 20 years, and has been based in Perth since returning from work at the AIS in Canberra in 1998. He is the principal Physiotherapist and clinical director of Star Physio and was previously a founding partner of Physiotherapy Solutions.
James Lewin is a physiotherapist and qualified exercise physiologist.He is an experienced bikefit professional and has conducted research into the performance and pain relieving effects of bespoke bikefit performed by physiotherapists. He presented this research at the 2016 Sports Medicine Australia Conference in Melbourne and has submitted it for international journal publication. He is a previous WA State Half Ironman Champion and also 2013 WA Triathlete of the year. He has raced professionally locally and internationally including for a pro team in Germany. His passion is assisting cyclists and triathletes to achieve their ideal position whether for comfortable cruising or high speed racing as well as treating any injuries relating to the bike. Call 08 9481 1003 to book a professional bike fitting service with James.
Read James' Full Bio
James Lewin (BSc Exercise Science, physiotherapy student, professional triathlete)
James has grown up on a bike being involved in elite cycling and triathlon since his early teens. He has been one of the states most accomplished cyclists and triathletes and in 2013 won the state half ironman championship and was awarded WA triathlete of the year. He also has raced professionally in Europe for the German ‘Magic-Sportfood’ Landesliga team in 2011 and 2012.Through his career he has managed to complete a sports science degree and works part time as a triathlon and swimming coach, and has developed specific exercise programs for rehab and prevention of cycling related injuries. Having been affected by different injuries throughout his career he not only understands bikefit for elite performance and speed in both road and time trial/ triathlon cycling, but also how to ensure a comfortable and efficient position. This is critical to help prevent injuries in cycling in the long term to make sure you get the most out of your bike and cycling experience. James has worked closely with Damian for many years first as a patient, and in recent years as a health professional colleague and the two regularly collaborate to ensure that they are abreast with the latest research and information surrounding bikefit to give our clients the best possible fit.
Brett Buist is a physiotherapist, exercise physiologist and cycling enthusiast and combines this skill set with his experience in professional bikefitting. Brett has also been involved in research with an in-depth review of the science behind bike fitting identifying the most common cycling injuries and their respective contributing factors, and aspects of bike fit that can affect performance. He enjoys the challenge of achieving a balance between comfort and speed on the bike and is passionate about helping people to achieve their desired goals.
Read Brett's Full Bio
Brett has a Sport Science and Physiotherapy degree and is currently undertaking a post graduate Master’s Degree in Sports Physiotherapy. As well as his work with Star Physio, Brett is a physiotherapist for the WAFC U16 State Academy and also lectures at UWA School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health. He has always enjoyed sport, but even more enjoys being behind the scenes helping to optimise sports performance in others. On top of his physiotherapy career, Brett has 10 years of experience working in gyms providing strength programs giving him a breadth of knowledge across injury prevention and management, and conditioning to assist performance. He was relatively late in starting cycling but that hasn’t stopped him from completing multi-day charity rides, some incorporating up to 6-7hrs on the saddle.
What do I bring?
Your bike, and the clothes, helmet and shoes you cycle in . We have windtrainers and tools including accurate tension wrenches to perform your bikefit. If you know your bike has any “out of the ordinary” parts that require special tools, please bring these. If you are having a bikefit for an injury please bring any relevant scans/ referrals you may have. We work in a professional physiotherapy clinic so would really appreciate if your bike and gear is reasonably clean and in good working order. If you are thinking of making any significant modifications to your bike such as adding tri bars or new cleats, please do this prior to the bikefit appointment. We will adjust them for you but want to make sure we can spend our time together giving you a great fit and advice.
What about bikes with integrated seat posts (ISPs)?
Due to warranty issues, we do not cut ISPs. We would prefer to measure you up on a similar bike with adjustable post and then advise your bike shop of the height to cut the post at. Static measurements are inaccurate and do not take into account your riding style/ technique and can lead to costly mistakes. Most of the good bike shops can lend you a similar bike (if you don’t have one)for the day to guarantee cutting the post at the right height. We will then just require a 30minute consultation for the fine tune fit of the new bike once you have spent a few weeks getting used to it.
I want to buy a new bike. Can you advise me on what bike/frame size I should get?
We love bikes and are generally up with the latest in technology and most bikes on the market. We also have a great network of friends in bike shops who will really look after you once they know you are a Star Physio client! Due to the dynamic nature of cycling and the many factors that affect how you ride a bike (including flexibility, previous injury, ankle pedalling angle, spine shape), we need to see you on a bike (even your old one or a borrowed one) and assess your cycling and injury history to give you the best advice. We can then discuss your cycling goals and bike “dreams” and have a look at some good options including sizing and geometry for your ideal bike. Please book a professional physiotherapy bikefit after which we will give you a good indication of the measurements and position your new bike should be in. Your shop will be able to set up your new bike for you with the measurements we provide and then we will only require a 30 minute review for a fine tune once you have settled in to allow you to achieve your cycling goals with minimum injury risk.
What about Retul and Similar Computerised Bike Fit Systems?
The manufacturers of Retul are the first to acknowledge that their system is not a bike fitting system, but a measurement system. In the right hands these are nice measurement tools, but a good fit still relies completely on the person performing the service. Unfortunately there are errors associated with trying to place markers on the skin over odd shaped and sized bony points and these errors can be multiplied through a computer if not accounted for, and the user may not be trained in identifying your individual characteristics and challenges to the “perfect fit”.
Physiotherapists are highly trained in anatomy and biomechanics and are the ideal professional to assist you in finding the best position to ride more efficiently and minimize your risk of injury. At Star Physio we combine these skills as highly trained physiotherapists with additional skills specific to cycling with the best cycling analysis equipment in the world.
We use a 60FPS high speed video analysis system with pressure analysis at the saddle and feet where appropriate to take measurements, compare, and to illustrate our thoughts and plan during a fit so that our physiotherapists can interpret this information to assist you in finding a great position on the bike. One of our bikefit professional physiotherapist’s- Kate Luckin-has trained and worked with Retul and has first-hand experience at the problems that can occur in inexperienced hands due to the narrow position margins that the system allows for.