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Podiatry and Cycling

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by boonkiak, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. boonkiak

    boonkiak Member

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    Hi all,

    I just want to seek advise on this issue about Podiatry and cycling. I'm a student at a uni in Melbourne, Victoria, mid way through my second year of my course and as a keen and competitive cyclist, I'm very interested in how podiatry relates to cycling and would eventually want to venture into the art of bike fitting, cleat positioning etc.

    Filled with a sense of adventure, I'm keen to get a head start in this whilst I'm in uni. The only thing is, the podiatry profession focuses heavily on walking and running (for a good reason) and there is limited literature out there to look out for. A quick search of Pod-Arena only reveals a couple of threads related to this field of cycling and podiatry. While I'm relatively junior in terms of knowledge about biomechanics and all (we are just starting out on the biomechanics of walking and running), it would be great if someone could point me in the right direction on where to start exploring this huge, relatively untouched field. So my questions are:

    1)Whereabouts do I start looking in for good credible literature on this subject?
    2) Has alot of this expertise need to be developed outside the classroom (my uni has no such module exploring this) or are there specific courses that I can take to learn about this?
    3) Do I need to be attain a certain qualification in this to be able to competently do fittings and deal with cycling related stuff or does my Bachelors gotten from uni already allows me to do so? I'm pretty sure that my uni degree will not adequately prepare me for this knowledge wise so what can I do be adequately competent in this?

    Thanks for reading this guys and I would greatly appreciate any help or advice.

  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  3. Hi Boon

    try these threads - Threads marked cycling lots of info for you

    What you need to do is work with a good bike shop.

    and because your in Melbourne you have a great opportunity - the VIS has a cycling section, contact them.

    VIS cycling

    good luck

    ps :welcome:
  4. Griff

    Griff Moderator


    The video gait analysis equivalent to cycling is a system called Retul.

    Looking at the list of suppliers Tri-Alliance seem to be the only registered fitters in Melbourne. Maybe you could contact them and spend a day with them observing etc?

  5. boonkiak

    boonkiak Member

    Thanks all. I'll definitely look into the articles that you've linked me to. Looks like I didn't search hard enough!

    With regards to my question on qualifications, does anyone know about this?

  6. fishpod

    fishpod Well-Known Member

    contact other students on sports science degreeswith regards to cycling as well as your national cycling sports body ie team australia etc they have performance labs where they physiolocically and biomechanically assess them in minute detail it hasnt in reality got alot to do with clinical practice in podiatry but its an interesting side line not many full time job prespects specallising in cyclists
  7. Boon:

    I have been interested in cycling biomechanics also for the last 25+ years. There is not a lot written on bicycling and foot biomechanics. I had the opportunity, during my biomechanics fellowship at CCPM in 1984-85, to work with Drs. Bill Sanner and Harry Hlavac, both of which taught me a lot about cycling biomechanics and treating cyclists with orthoses/cleat wedges/etc to improve performance and heal injuries.

    Probably the best book I have ever seen on cycling biomechanics is by Faria and Cavanagh from 1978 called the Physiology and Biomechanics of Cycling, but it is out of print.

    I have written a few newsletters on cycling biomechanics that I can send you if you provide me with your private e-mail address. You should also read the posts previously written here on Podiatry Arena since we have had a few good discussions on the subject. I am attaching a bike study that I was involved with two decades ago that was published in the Journal of Biomechanics where we found a correlation between forefoot to pedal position and STJ axis location to knee joint loads during seated cycling (Ruby P, Hull ML, Kirby KA, Jenkins DW: The effect of lower-limb anatomy on knee loads during seated cycling. J Biomech, 25 (10): 1195-1207, 1992).

    Hope this helps.

    Attached Files:

  8. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    I disagree with this. If you invest enough time and money on further study following the BSc degree (specialising in bike fitting/ergonomics) you could confidently offer a specialist bike clinic, which could also encompass your more specific podiatric examination/intervention also. In London you could probably see cyclists exclusively such is its popularity - not to mention all the triathletes you'd get through also. Despite it being quite niche, if one were so inclined I'd say it would be quite possible to achieve a full time clinical list of this kind (with some geographical execptions I'm sure).
  9. Lorcan

    Lorcan Active Member

  10. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member


    I am currently involved with cycling biomechanics and bike fitting with a lower limb focus. Initially the patients were Sports institute athletes (with funding) or professional cyclists with pre-existing symptoms (like anterior knee pain) who have been sent by a sports physician.

    However, local cycling clubs and triathletes have really taking an interest in this service and I now do a full day of cycling related assessments per week.

    I am amazed at the number of gifted athletes at international level that have never had any form of biomechanical analysis while actually sitting on their bike cycling!

    The time trial bikes that come through are quite often £5000-£7000 so the riders are happy to pay you to set it up properly if they are in pain.

    Bike fitting is time consuming (2hrs per patient) and there is quite a lot of terminology to come to terms with but if you are willing to invest the time researching valid literature it can be viable. There is loads of bike fitting wives-tales to sift through so stick to Sports medicine, biomechanics and sports science type journals. There has been an explosion of bike fitting courses of late with hugely over-inflated prices. Choose carefully!

    As Ian mentioned Retul is a portable 3D motion analysis system commonly used for cycling analysis but it is certainly not essential.

    2D motion analysis software that has a 'bike fitting' setting and the ability to dynamically track say knee extension and flexion angles etc throughout the pedal stroke can be useful.

    As Mike said.....approach the physios and biomech analysists at a sports institute like the VIS and shadow them if you can? I was able to shadow guys that were involved in the treatment of Olympic and world champion cyclists and triathletes which really kicked off the interest.

    Good Luck,
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  11. fishpod

    fishpod Well-Known Member

    yes ian i agree if you wont to get a job fitting bikes to athletes and people in london with money its possible but bike fitting is not podiatry bike fitting is well bike fitting.perhaps i can biomechanically assess customers of ferraris for thier seating position but then i would be a car salesman not a podiatrist. i was figuring if you custom fit a client for abike you would be selling the bikes components to them so really you are selling custom bikes not practising podiatry . how long is a piece of string.
  12. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

  13. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Fishpod, you need to open your mind. Obtaining a Podiatry degree is just the start for many people. They then decide on a route to go down (usually one aligned with a special interest or passion) and diversify, whilst still making use of their original undergraduate degree. Read Boonkiaks very first post again:

    Venturing into bike fitting would not mean Boonkiak would not be a Podiatrist. He'd be a Podiatrist specialising in Bike fitting. In anything it would give him a string to his bow that most Podiatrists would not have, and at the same time give him a string to his bow that most standard bike fitters would not have. Where I come from thats called a specialist. And one that has a passion for and understanding of the sport they are a specialist in. If I were a cyclist I'd be glad I could go to one place and have this all done by one person (and a registered health professional at that). And I strongly suspect most serious cyclists probably feel the same. It's win-win. Consumer gets a professional service they are delighted with, and Boonkiak gets a career which motivates him. Simples.
  14. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

  15. David Wedemeyer

    David Wedemeyer Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

  16. fishpod

    fishpod Well-Known Member

    that must make me a podiatrist specialising in property development i think i will write an interesting paper on it.

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