Monday, August 18, 2014

My Thoughts On A Recent Bike Talk

I recently had the opportunity to take a bike seminar.  The topic was varied from bike fit to bikes itself.  The guys name was Jeff Noftz.  I missed some of the intro, but he at one point was a professional biking coach and still is deep in the bike community, especially on the east side of Michigan.  He has a heavy influence in eastern medicine with meridian therapy and I think this has strongly influenced his ideas with the bike.

My take on some of his points I've put in italics.

Some interesting things.  As a bike shop owner he basically said that in order of purchase importance, number one was wheels, 2nd was fork and 3rd was frame.  These are what allow you to bike fast.  The rest is just add ons.  A lot of cost is in components so good info.

He had some very nice points on fitting your shoe and cleat.  Don't look at the heel, line it up with just the forefoot.

Most people sacrifice power/speed at first by going with an unnatural position.  He feels that this holds you back at the end.  Essentially, you start riding and just want to go fast and generate power and do so in a bad postured position.  He thinks taking a better postured position to begin with and be slower allows a greater tail end of speed.  Sometimes this may take 2-5 years.   (Do athletes in their prime have this time? Also, is biking natural to begin with?)

From personal experience I don't think a bike fit should be done until after a minimum of 30 min of biking at a decent effort.  The body conforms.  Muscles stretch.  Blood flow increases flexibility.  What started as a reach becomes a comfortable position.

He basically raised almost everyone off their aerobars (this was all triathletes) by almost 2-4 inches.  He thinks you will be faster with better posture.  (I'm not sure I totally agree with this)

He came back heavily into Tai Chi on many points.  How this can help your biking.  Flow.  Relax.  Speed comes from relaxing.  Just like sprinting.  I do believe a relaxed athlete is a fast athlete.  Will this come from Tai Chi?  I don't know.  I have doubts that one discipline will carryover much to another.  As it never has in other things.  To be good at a sport, you have to do the sport.  He mentioned you don't get good at biking by biking.  (This is highly disagree with as biking is a skill, you get better at skill based sports by practicing skills)

This doesn't mean I don't think that Tai Chi and some other yoga type moves can't help.  It could be a big benefit to learn to move and relax but from a  nervous system angle.  Learning to feel muscles move and relax.  Exploring joint positions.  All this can be great things for recovery.  Recovery is crucial.

He talked about breathing a lot.  How important it is.  I couldn't agree more.  People pretty much suck at breathing.  No one practices when tired.  Learn to breath with the diaphragm when tired.  This is power, this is recovery, this is posture.

One thing we highly agree on was the over training of most athletes.  People want to train.  They think that this is how they get better.  True to a degree.  He came back and stated several times that most people never truly recover and are wasting their efforts.  (This is agree with highly.  I think most people are just spinning their wheels (literally and figuratively)  I believe endurance workouts should be so boring they are painful or so painful they make you nervous for days leading up to them and nothing in between.

People are not comfortable with either.  They love the hard effort the medium hurt.

He gave a few examples of drills to smooth out the cadence.  Mostly single leg drills.  Good things to do on a trainer in the winter.

He gave an example of people able to keep pedaling and bring their nose to the stem.  (While cool, my question is does this really matter?  I don't care about anomalies, I care about the normal of the elite.  Does this equate to such great core/balance that when accomplished equals less back pain or performance increase?  Doubtful).  

I didn't stick around for the individual bike fit so I can't comment on that to much, but I can say he is a very passionate cyclist that I wouldn't hesitate to ask questions about bikes or equipment.

1 comment:

lucas said...

He was also a very good boxer, and as a cycling expert, I don't think you can find better person overall than Jeff Noftz.
Thanks for a good read.