Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An Introduction To The LEOMO TYPE-R And Motion Analysis

By Hunter Allen

The TYPE-R is a revolutionary device that allows cyclists to measure the motion of the his/her legs, feet and the angle of the pelvis while cycling outside of a lab setting.   The TYPE-R utilizes highly accurate motion sensors that are placed on the top of the thighs (close to the knees), on the tops of the shoes and on the lower back.  These measurements are taken 100 times a second and then recorded.  They can be uploaded later for analysis. 

The TYPE-R system is comprised of three components in addition to the Motion Sensors themselves. 
  • The TYPE-R head unit records data transmitted from the Motions Sensors and ANT + Sensors and displays this data in real time. 
  • The Activity portal (website) allows the user to display, compare and analyze post workout data that has been uploaded from the TYPE-R. 
  • The LEOMO Link Mobile Application resides on your mobile device.  This allows you to initially configure the TYPE-R, select the data fields, and data pages on the TYPE-R, set up Wi-Fi Network(s) on the TYPE-R, and enter personal information in the User Profile section. 

TYPE-R Head Unit

Individual Activity/Workout view from the Activity portal (website)

Dashboard view from the Activity portal (website)

LEOMO Link Mobile Application

What do the motion sensors capture?  
The thigh/knee sensors capture the LAR (Leg Angular Range) i.e. total angular movement of the leg up and down as you pedal on the bicycle. This is the range of motion for the thigh, as measured in degrees of movement from the highest point the thigh reaches to the lowest point the thigh moves.  This generally coincides with the top of the pedal stroke to the bottom of the pedal stroke, but not always.  One would think that because your crank length is the same on both sides, you would have the same leg angle range, but you quickly learn that each leg is different and the range is dependent on the foot angle at both the top and bottom of the pedal stroke.  There are number of other factors that can impact LAR, including bone length and mobility issues in the thigh, knee and ankle.

Left/Right Thigh/Knee Motion Sensor Placement

The foot sensors on top of the shoe measure the FAR (Foot Angular Range), i.e. total angular movement of the foot as it revolves around the pedal axle throughout each pedal stroke.   Each foot moves up and down from a miniscule amount to a much larger gross movement throughout the rotation of the crank arm and this can vary based on power output, cadence, and position on the bike itself.  Exercise physiologists generally believe that less movement of the foot throughout the pedal stroke is more desirable.  Less movement translates to a more direct transfer of power to the pedals from the legs. Unnecessary movement of the foot as it revolves around the pedal axle does not effectively contribute to transferring power to the drivetrain.  By doing this energy is wasted and should be avoided.  If a rider is able to hold their foot more rigidly in relationship to the lower leg, there is less energy being consumed by the lower leg muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus). 

Left/Right Foot Motion Sensor Placement

The sacrum or lower back sensor is attached via a double-sided adhesive strips to the lower back in the sacrum area and measures the angle of the pelvis.  The pelvis will change angles based on the position of the rider on the bicycle, so that a rider that is lowering their upper body to minimize wind drag (riding in the drops) will have a lower angle contrasted to a rider that riding on top of the hoods or is standing while climbing and could have an angle closer to 90˚, which would translate to standing vertically on flat ground. 

Sacrum/Lower Back Motion Sensor Placement

What does the TYPE-R head unit capture?
Motion sensors
The data from the five Standard Motion Sensors is captured and transmitted to the head unit via Blue Tooth.
ANT+ Sensors
Along with capturing motion from the (proprietary) Standard Motion Sensors, the TYPE-R head unit can also capture ANT+ data signals.  This makes the integration of data from a power meter and/or Heart Rate Monitor to the data from the motion sensors seamless and allows for a direct correlation between the two.  Any ANT+ equipped power meter or Heart Rate Monitor should easily “pair” with the TYPE-R allowing that data to be displayed and recorded.  
GPS Sensor
The TYPE-R also contains its own GPS module, so that the route as well as other GPS data is recorded while riding.  This also complements the ANT+ sensor and Standard Motion Sensor data.  GPS data allows the cyclist to see data for a particular segment of the ride and further allows them to analyze the metrics for just that portion of the ride.

Key features of the TYPE-R head unit
One of the key features of the TYPE-R head unit is its ability to be easily customized.  The choices on the screens are nearly infinite and a user can create custom screens to display exactly what they would like to see on one of many available data pages.   While reviewing all of these screens and options is outside the purview of this handbook, there are some key metrics that you should look at while riding.   One thing that many users miss is that by touching the screen with a long press, you can cause that metric to be full screen on the TYPE-R, which is very useful when focusing on one particular exercise.
DSS (Dead Spot Score) – This will be covered more in depth in Chapter 2- Motion Analysis, but a quick explanation is that this is a score which is assigned to each pedal stroke based on the number of decelerations in the foot that occur within that single pedal stroke.  A perfect score would be 0.0, meaning that the foot doesn’t have any uneven movements throughout the 360˚ circle.   This score is displayed at the location of the movement itself on the circle.   One might use this to gain a better understanding of where in the pedal stroke there are significant decelerations and then strive to reduce them.

DSS (Dead Spot Score) from the Activity portal (website)

Foot AR (Angular Range) (Q1)  –  This measures the movement of the foot from 0˚to 90˚or 12:00 to 3:00 in the pedal stroke arc.  This is measured in number of degrees of movement the foot moves down and is important because more movement here indicates greater use of energy in transitioning from the upstroke, across the top of the pedal stroke to the down stroke.   Again, reducing this number could result in reduced energy usage.

Foot AR (Angular Range)(Q1) from the Activity portal (website)

Pelvic Tilt This is very useful to see especially while riding in a lowered, more aerodynamic position vs. riding in a more upright position.  This instantaneous feedback will help to maintain the rider in a lowered position so they can ride faster.  This is also very useful when climbing, as many riders will not stand up “tall” enough when climbing to open up their chests and move their body forward in front of the bottom bracket axle to ensure maximum body weight transfer into the pedals on each down stroke.   Riders should have a much lower angle when standing, closer to 45-55˚.

Pelvic Tilt from the Activity portal (website)

Lap review – A critical screen for any rider doing interval repeats, so that they can review after each interval to ensure they are indeed averaging the power, heart rate or cadence numbers they wanted to hit in the effort.  

Laps or Segments from the LEOMO Link Mobile Application

Laps or Segments from the Activity portal (website)

LEOMO Link Mobile Application and Use
The LEOMO Link Mobile Application is a simple to use tool that communicates to the TYPE-R head unit and allows for the setup of Wi-Fi on the head unit.  Once the Wi-Fi network is setup inside the phone app, then those settings are transferred via the “sync” to the head unit.  Any recorded Activity can be uploaded to the Activity portal (website).  The phone app is also where the user sets up custom screens and personal settings like FTP.

Learn More at www.peakscoachinggroup.com/leomo