His Brain is Gone!
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paoli, Wisconsin
Bikes: RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
Reporting back ...
This was an excellent event. I attended sessions on nutrition, knee pain, back pain, and bike fitting. All were good, with the knee pain and fitting sessions being excellent.
The knee pain session was given by an experienced sports medicine doctor, who has performed many surgeries on knees. She was sharp, answered questions without hesitation and really seemed to know her stuff. Gave us a lot of information on how to identify different knee pain symptoms, how to react to them, and what the treatments would likely consist of. She said that some injuries are hard to avoid, they just come with the territory of living an active lifestyle and our own genetic makeups. Others are the result of poor conditioning, poor judgement, and improper bike fitting.
Near the end of the session, an attendee asked about Glucosamine / Chodroitin (sic?). The Doc said that if the pain was the result of cartilage damage and wasn't associated with advanced arthritis, then there was a good chance that it would help. She regularly recommends it to patients with the appropriate symptoms and has seen it work wonders for many of them. She said it was very poorly absorbed into the body, thus the need for rather large dosages, like the typical 3 pills a day of the double strength 500/400 dosage, or twice for the 750/600 dosage. Said that people over 200 pounds may need to take 4 doubles or three triples for maximum effectiveness.
The bike fitting session was extremely informative. It was conducted by a local firm that specializes in bike fittings. They had one guy running around making all of the points and measuring angles, while another guy road a Seven bike on a trainer. The bike had some special gear on it which allowed easy changes to be made to handlebar placement. They spent about 45 minutes illustrating how altering various leg, knee, shoulder, back, and hand placement affected the riding position, riding efficiency, and susceptibility to injuries.
When the bike was adjusted properly, the efficiency and mechanics of the rider were a marvel to behold. Perfect knee angle, perfect back angle, perfect shoulder angle. The movement was so fluid and the rider looked so comfortable. Then they would move something a half-inch to an inch. It was immediately obvious that things were then off, the rider was too extended, or his legs were not as able to drive the pedals, the back angle looked uncomfortable or the shoulders were obviously out of their natural position. I thought it was one of the best show & tells I've ever seen.
They charge $190 to $245 for basic fittings, which take about 2.5 to 3 hours. After seeing this, if I were a rider who was going to either invest serious dollars or time into cycling, and especially if it was going to be on a road bike, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a fitting. The charge goes up if you use them for a deluxe fitting that would be used to order a custom bike - again this seemed reasonable. If I were going to drop $4000+ on a bike, spending $400 or so to make sure it was the perfect bike makes sense.