BIKE FIT PHASE THREE: Ergonomic and Biomechanical Analysis using the Dartfish video technique and Retül infrared motion capture system

  • The third phase of the FITLAB experience involves real time tracking of your pedaling dynamics while on your newly assembled and customized bike, using video cameras in conjunction with Dartfish software and the RETÜL infrared monitoring system. When complete, this final stage of ergonomic analysis reduces all relevant physiological variables to known quantities. By using two complementary tecniques—the video and infrared systems—we are able to isolate every significant variable in the rider’s ergonomic and biomechanical profile. In this context, ergonomic refers to the rider’s position on the bike as it relates to balancing of anatomical proportions overall. Biomechanical aspects relate specifically to the rider’s pedaling dynamics, and maximizing power output while minimizing strain on joint and connective tissue of the hips, knees and ankles.

    The RETÜL technology, utilizing a series of infrared sensors, is an extraordinary tool in that it provides three dimensional imaging of your pedaling dynamics, particularly useful in diagnosing and correcting lateral anomalies in the motion of your knees, hips, and ankles. This data, in turn, facilitates the diagnosis and correction of flaws in the pedal stroke related to any such asymetrical anatomical anomalies. In addition to complex 3-D imaging, The RETÜL processor and software also provides us with a complete ergonomic and biomechanical map of the rider’s pedal stroke and position on the bike.

    Armed with this crucial data, our fit technicians are able to fine tune every significant parameter of the fit, ensuring that nothing is left to chance, and protecting the rider from unwanted pain and discomfort often experienced when riding an improperly sized and customized bike. This data also serves as a blueprint for future fit adjustments which may be desired due to changes in the rider’s range of motion. Range of motion may increase as fitness and performance levels rise, and decrease as a result of injury or reduced training opportunities.

    All of the common problems experienced by so many cyclists—including back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and posterior pain—can be solved through the proper application of the sophisticated analytical tools that comprise the FitLab at Ata Cycle.