Thursday, March 1, 2018

Increasing Comfort and Power by Using the LEOMO TYPE-R for a Better Bike-Fit

by Bart Lipinski, a Peaks Coaching Group Elite Coach

In this article I want to explain how I used the LEOMO Type-R to fit myself on a new bike that I’ll be using for the 2018 road racing season. I am a Peaks Coaching Group Elite Coach and LEOMO Motion Analysis Certified, but I am not a certified bicycle fitter. So, what better way to test my coaching knowledge and to better help others, than to perform a little experiment on me?

Please note, that all my testing was done indoors on a trainer and that some of these settings might require re-adjustment once I have the opportunity to ride outside on a more consistent basis. Winter in New England along the Atlantic seaboard all but eliminates outdoor testing on a race bike!

This past fall, I picked up a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 frame set. Within a couple of nights, I had it all set up with measurements from previous bike fittings. I started to wonder what would happen if I slid my saddle just a bit forward from where I thought it should be, raised my saddle, tilted the nose of my saddle down, lowered my bars or installed a longer stem?  With my Type-R in hand and all the data that was being collected from the 5 motion sensors and the head unit, I should able to answer all these questions.

I first started to analyze data over a few weeks to see if I could establish some “consistency” with my TYPE-R MPIs (Motion Performance Indicators).  Once I saw some consistency in the data, I then needed to establish a base line before making any adjustments. Paying close attention to things like the Q1 and Foot Angular ranges were important. I was constantly correcting my foot angle in order to get a good balanced score. Once I was generating numbers that I could live with, I essentially threw everything else out the window.

(Data prior to saddle adjustments)

After reviewing the data from my base line PSI (Pedal Stoke Intelligence), I discovered I was generating most of my dead spots in the 6 o’clock position. I was seeing slightly higher scores on my left side; my right leg is just a bit shorter then my left.  So armed with that knowledge, I started by adding a shim under the insole of my right shoe. Instantly, the scores were much closer than without the shim.

Next, I started playing with the height of my saddle. Again, with most of my dead spot scores in the 6 o’clock position, I decided to raise my saddle. As a result, scores improved a little. I also wanted to see what happened if I slid my saddle forward a bit and tilted the nose down a degree or two. Again, scores were even better.

Over the next two months, I probably made ten or more small adjustments to my saddle height, tilt and fore/aft position; and by small, I mean a millimeter or two at a time followed by more testing.  I was paying close attention not only to my DSS (Dead Spot Scores), but also to Pelvic Tilt, Rotation and Rock scores.
Along with all the data from the TYPE-R, it is vitally important to assess how you feel on the bike.  With a ride or two lasting 3 to 4 hours on the trainer, I felt more comfortable than I ever have on any of my bikes and my power was great as well.  I was even able to raise my indoor FTP 10 watts in the beginning of January over a test completed in the beginning of December. I am totally happy with all the results to date.

(Data after saddle adjustments)

One last thing I wanted to look at was handlebar height and stem length. It’s always cool when the stem is “slammed”….but now, it was easy to tell how “slammed” I could go. So, it was time to test yet again, with 110, 120 and a 130 length stems and a handful of 5mm spacers. As a result I ended up with the stem that I would have never thought of using…..a 130mm with 12 degrees of drop (as opposed to a 120mm with 6 degrees of drop) and only one 5mm spacer.

 (Data after saddle and stem adjustments)

In conclusion, I want to re-state that I am not a certified bicycle fitter. So, with an open mind, a commitment to testing over a several months and with the knowledge I have of the Type-R,  this year I will be racing a bike that is more comfortable than any bike I have raced in the past,  I am riding in a more efficient position and I won’t be sacrificing any power. I am now riding a bike with a setup I would never have found or even attempted without the data from the Type-R. Once the New England weather starts to cooperate, I’ll be doing additional testing, evaluating that data and making necessary adjustments to further fine tune my cockpit.

Last year I raced in the USA Cycling Masters Road Race and Time Trial Nationals in Augusta Georgia. I started working with the TYPE-R a few weeks prior to Nationals and even used it during the Road Race, where I finished 2nd!  Now, with almost a years’ worth of data, my new Specialized S Works  Tarmac and an entirely new cockpit configuration , I intend to utilize  this technology and knowledge to “up my game” in 2018.

(Base and Current Bike Measurements)


  1. why did you do this over two months? Did you during that time move things back too to do anything to reduce error from training effect during that time?

  2. I did this testing over a couple of months making small changes little by little. Some worked, so didn't. But I did allow for a few rides each time making adjustments. IF the number got better with a seat height adjustment, I kept making small increases in the height until the numbers leveled out or started to decrease. If they decreased, I lowered the seat to the previous height.

    Did the same for height, tilt and front/back. Did the same for the handle bar height and stem length. Getting ready to start playing with the torso sensor. Will post what I find here.

  3. I am a certified bike fitter, and I just want to check what you mean by saddle angle. Is your saddle rotated forward, so the nose of the saddle is down by over 8 degrees? Have you ridden in this position for more than an hour? I'm concerned you will slide down the saddle and end up with all of your weight being supported on your perineum, which isn't designed to carry your weight. It would seem you'll either be pushing yourself back on the saddle using energy in your arms and shoulders, or you're risking numbness and other issues associated with carrying your weight on the perineum.

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  5. Royce, no issues of sliding forward or any numbness. Have done plenty of 4+ hours rides as well. I do find myself getting a little bit more of "grip" from that saddle which seems to work out great when climbing or pushing a larger gear.

    But yes, by saddle angle I'm referring to the horizontal tilt. Tip of the saddle is lower than the back.

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