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lukem

Bike Fit?

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Hi all,

 

Just got back from a great Level 3 + 4 up at Hampton Downs NZ and I really noticed how much my legs had taken a pounding over the weekend. Admittedly, the school days do have much more tracktime than an average race weekend, but I think always improving fitness will always benefit you on the bike.

 

I spoke to one of the instructors about when you can do to get more "bike fit" and he said "more time on the bike!" While this is obvious, for those of us who only own a racebike and do around one meeting a month, there just aren't that many opportunities to ride the bike! What I can do a lot more regularly is get down the gym for a mix of cardio/strength exercising so what I am wondering if there is any advice on specific things to concentrate on?

 

Any advice is much appreciated!

 

Cheers

Luke

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Just for bike riding, midsection (abs and lower back) would greatly benefit you, as well as doing legs. A good all around full body workout would be just fine.

 

The problem is that if you're going to be a sprinter normally and do a marathon once or twice, you're going to be sore. We have endurance riders on here, hopefully they chyme in, and I'll bet they're sore after a marathon. It's hard to train that regularly for something so taxing (marathon runners run marathons to train for it), but as the guy said, "more time on the bike."

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Hi Luke,

 

Sore legs after Level 3 is pretty common, and is an indicator that you were using the right muscles to stabilize yourself. If you had sore arms we'd be worried :)

 

I'm certainly no fitness expert, but perhaps if we look at the ideal scenario in terms of stabilising the rider on the bike, and the muscles required to do that, we can figure out some direction in terms of training...

 

Something that seems consistent when you look at top level guys and their training routines is that there's a lot of cycling incorporated into it. It makes sense right? Riding a push bike puts you in a similar position as a motorbike, and the muscles used are also similar.

 

Core strength also seems to be a common denominator, and again this checks out. If the legs are strong and can hold onto the bike, and the abs and core are strong and can control the movement of the upper body mass, there is less chance of the rider using the handlebars to stabilize himself.

 

Something I read in a Health and Fitness book written by a couple of scientists was really interesting. They said that if you have enough strength to perform 1 repetition of any movement, then the training should be geared towards endurance, as opposed to more strength. Typically, I thought about that in riding terms, and figure if you have enough strength to perform all the necessary actions on a bike at least once, then there is no need for additional strength, only more endurance. They're quite specific in how to go about this, but to simplify it means lots of repititions with low load, as opposed to lifting heavy weights just a few times.

 

Anyway, maybe that gives some direction for you.

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Hi Luke,

 

What everyone has said is all good, I would suggest that you have a look into Crossfit, you have one in Auckland and one in Wellington (http://www.crossfitnewzealand.co.nz/) it is endurance and strength based is very intense and works the major muscle groups we need for riding, legs,core strength and endurance, add riding the old pushbike and some side lunges and you should be Sweet as Bro smile.gif

 

Dylan

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I have tried alot of different fitness styles over the years, but struggled to stick with any sports I took up, until I took up cycling, I aim to cycle 100 - 150 miles per week now, my fitness is through the roof and I have lost a few pounds too! This all came about when I read an article about Casey Stoner and Leon Camier cycling for training!

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Cheers for all the replies! Definitely some stuff to look at and some handy info

 

Thanks

Luke

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Hey Luke, just want to check something... when is it you need to work your quads for a lock on? Corner Entry, Mid, Exit or all of the above?

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Cheers for all the replies! Definitely some stuff to look at and some handy info

 

Thanks

Luke

 

Hi Luke,

 

I think cycling is excellent. Aside from decent ab and back strength, also enough upper body strength to get the bike steered well. I'm currently trying the program by Dr. Al Sears, PACE. I don't know why the book is so expensive new, but so far I've liked it a lot, and it makes sense to me while being very easy to do.

 

Stretching is oft overlooked, I do well when I do.

 

Best,

Cobie

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Hey Luke, just want to check something... when is it you need to work your quads for a lock on? Corner Entry, Mid, Exit or all of the above?

 

Hey Jason

 

I noticed it the most when gripping the tank under braking to turn in, but I guess if you're locked in then surely you're quads are getting used throughout the corner.

 

Hi Luke,

 

I think cycling is excellent. Aside from decent ab and back strength, also enough upper body strength to get the bike steered well. I'm currently trying the program by Dr. Al Sears, PACE. I don't know why the book is so expensive new, but so far I've liked it a lot, and it makes sense to me while being very easy to do.

 

Stretching is oft overlooked, I do well when I do.

 

Best,

Cobie

 

Hey Cobie

 

That is a very good point- stretching is one thing that I admit I have overlooked. It is definitely something I am going to be looking into as I think being more flexible will help with a load of situations on the bike.

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Hey Luke, just want to check something... when is it you need to work your quads for a lock on? Corner Entry, Mid, Exit or all of the above?

 

Hey Jason

 

I noticed it the most when gripping the tank under braking to turn in, but I guess if you're locked in then surely you're quads are getting used throughout the corner.

 

 

Great move to exert effort into the quads (calf raise) to jam that knee into the tank prior to your steering input... this'll give you a good basis for a pivot steer.... You may find if your position is right in the seat, once into the turn you can relax a considerable amount of effort in your quads...doing this may even help with relaxing lower into the hook turn position.

 

If you're maintaining maximum quad exertion throughout the turn you will tire quite quickly, that may not be the case, but worth noting as a warning sign in future.

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Hey Luke, just want to check something... when is it you need to work your quads for a lock on? Corner Entry, Mid, Exit or all of the above?

 

Hey Jason

 

I noticed it the most when gripping the tank under braking to turn in, but I guess if you're locked in then surely you're quads are getting used throughout the corner.

 

 

Great move to exert effort into the quads (calf raise) to jam that knee into the tank prior to your steering input... this'll give you a good basis for a pivot steer.... You may find if your position is right in the seat, once into the turn you can relax a considerable amount of effort in your quads...doing this may even help with relaxing lower into the hook turn position.

 

If you're maintaining maximum quad exertion throughout the turn you will tire quite quickly, that may not be the case, but worth noting as a warning sign in future.

 

Hi Jason,

I have been tiring a bit more than usual at trackdays recently, which has been quite confusing to me as I am much fitter than I have ever been through cycling.

thinking about it I think I hold the calf raise locked on position for the duration of the turn, but if I relaxed my legs once I reached max lean angle would I not lose my lock on and fall to the inside of the bike?

 

Bobby

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Hi Bobby, give it a shot buddy :) If you're locked in on the outside leg then you don't need to hold that calf raise on in the turn. Any slipping towards the inside (from bumps/throttle/lean) will indicate the position in the seat isn't optimal.

 

Might be a good time to ask that question to other major muscle groups... arms, abs, back, neck? Having anything other than a relaxed posture on a bike mid turn should sound an alarm that we need to work out why, and if it's appropriate.

 

Pop a reply back after your next corner caving session, let us know how you go.

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I think Acebobby and Jason are onto a couple of good ideas.

 

While strength training is specific (so motorcycle riding is the best conditioning for motorcycle riding), riding a bicycle is probably the next closest thing. It also gives your heart a good workout and a strong heart is supposed to make racing less stressful.

 

On the other hand, when do you HAVE to tense your legs? I ride a maxi-scooter at the posted speed limit and only tense up my legs for heavy braking. While I CAN lock into the seat (by pushing my bottom back against the seat pad), I CAN'T lock into the tank because their simply is no tank. I get around the corners fine by relaxing my legs and arms as soon as I get off the brakes. It seems like the more I relax, the better my vision, steering and throttle control become. The centrifugal force keeps me planted in my seat.

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Hi Bobby, give it a shot buddy :) If you're locked in on the outside leg then you don't need to hold that calf raise on in the turn. Any slipping towards the inside (from bumps/throttle/lean) will indicate the position in the seat isn't optimal.

 

Might be a good time to ask that question to other major muscle groups... arms, abs, back, neck? Having anything other than a relaxed posture on a bike mid turn should sound an alarm that we need to work out why, and if it's appropriate.

 

Pop a reply back after your next corner caving session, let us know how you go.

 

Hi Jason,

I was out on my Ducati today, its a road bike in standard trim and what I noticed was that I was so much more comfortable than I am on my track bike and I think I was doing the calf raise correctly.

I was putting that pressure on my outside foot as I pushed the inside bar for a positive steering input (like the sword fencer in twist 2), and I was relaxing for the rest of the turn and really enjoyed the ride!

I think somewhere down the line I have got my wires crossed and have been using the calf raise to wedge my knee into the tank for a lock on and kept the tension in the leg for the duration of the turn, I will put some focus on correcting this next week on track!

I also noticed how comfortable my ducati was compared to my track bike and it made me wonder if maybe my rearsets were positioned too high for my lanky long legs!

 

Bobby

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I have tried alot of different fitness styles over the years, but struggled to stick with any sports I took up, until I took up cycling, I aim to cycle 100 - 150 miles per week now, my fitness is through the roof and I have lost a few pounds too! This all came about when I read an article about Casey Stoner and Leon Camier cycling for training!

I agree with this. My first track weekend this summer was early on, after I spent a lot of time on the gym, with lots of leg workouts, squats, etc. After the weekend my legs were pretty sore which surprised me.

 

My second track weekend was about 6 weeks later after I had spent a lot of time cycling; in the summer I take a break from the gym and train for triathlons (although I never did one) and thus do more running and cycling. This time my legs were tired but not sore, so I do think the cycling helps a lot.

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Hi Bobby, give it a shot buddy :) If you're locked in on the outside leg then you don't need to hold that calf raise on in the turn. Any slipping towards the inside (from bumps/throttle/lean) will indicate the position in the seat isn't optimal.

 

Might be a good time to ask that question to other major muscle groups... arms, abs, back, neck? Having anything other than a relaxed posture on a bike mid turn should sound an alarm that we need to work out why, and if it's appropriate.

 

Pop a reply back after your next corner caving session, let us know how you go.

 

Hi Jason,

I was out on my Ducati today, its a road bike in standard trim and what I noticed was that I was so much more comfortable than I am on my track bike and I think I was doing the calf raise correctly.

I was putting that pressure on my outside foot as I pushed the inside bar for a positive steering input (like the sword fencer in twist 2), and I was relaxing for the rest of the turn and really enjoyed the ride!

I think somewhere down the line I have got my wires crossed and have been using the calf raise to wedge my knee into the tank for a lock on and kept the tension in the leg for the duration of the turn, I will put some focus on correcting this next week on track!

 

Bobby

 

 

Well, I will definitely be keeping this in mind this weekend at my track day!!! I kinda got muddled in that too I guess, and tried to keep the calf raise throughout the corner... Thought that that was how I would weight the outside peg, but yeah, if I have a good lock in, then should be able to relax more... Thanks!!

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Great stuff guys! Nice win there Bobby, it's kinda important for a rider to not feel worn out considering the decision making we do at speeds way above what we're designed to do eh :D Excellent stuff.

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Hi Luke,

 

What everyone has said is all good, I would suggest that you have a look into Crossfit, you have one in Auckland and one in Wellington (http://www.crossfitnewzealand.co.nz/) it is endurance and strength based is very intense and works the major muscle groups we need for riding, legs,core strength and endurance, add riding the old pushbike and some side lunges and you should be Sweet as Bro smile.gif

 

Dylan

 

I agree with Dylan. Crossfit will get you ready for motorcycling and life itself. It will get you in the best shape of your life if you stick with it.

 

Ed

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