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 https://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.
What do I bring?
What about bikes with integrated seat posts (ISPs)?
I want to buy a new bike. Can you advise me on what bike/frame size I should get?
What about Retul and Similar Computerised Bike Fit Systems?
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.