Monday, October 14, 2013

Professional Bike Fitting at Cahaba Cycles

Hello friends,

My name is John Karrasch and I provide a full complement of professional bike fitting services at Cahaba Cycles in Homewood, AL.



I am also a full time Physical Therapist Assistant and have been in practice for six years.  I have been racing (ultra endurance MTB focus) and wrenching on bikes for the better part of fifteen years. I have a passion for all things cycling, especially it's interaction with the bicycle. I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site and hope the information here is helpful in your search for a better cycling experience.

With my awesome fiance, Melissa, in Savannah, GA

Start line of Trans Iowa V8. 332 miles of gravel.

Blood Rock descent at Oak Mountain State Park



Every bike rider has their own unique combination of posture, mobility, and coordination. This requires a holistic approach from the bike fitter to see that each rider's fit helps to make their cycling experience the best it can be.With my combined experience as a therapist, racer, and mechanic I have a unique perspective on the relationship between a rider and their bike.

 My fitting method relies on the latest research in the field and careful direct observation of the rider. I have taken multiple fit courses to continue my education including the latest Trek Precision Fit course with Triathlon specialization. During the fitting process I will optimize each rider's position including foot support and correction, a balanced and stable seat position, and a comfortable yet efficient bar position. This ensures a position truly tailored to the individual rider.

Regardless of performance level or experience, every rider should be comfortable on their bike. A major part of the fitting process will identify how the rider functions off the bike and how this can be improved through a customized exercise program to improve performance.


What to expect during the Fitting
·         Pre fit interview to outline cycling related goals and relevant physical issues.   
·         Thorough evaluation of your strength, posture, and mobility.
·         Dynamic assessment and adjustment of foot/pedal interface, seat position, and bar setup to improve comfort, handling, and power.
·         Off-the-bike exercise program to improve bike specific strength and mobility.
·         Detailed position records for future reference.
·         Expect to be at the shop 2.5-3 hours. Triathlon/TT may take a bit longer.

Where to go:
·         Cahaba Cycles Homewood
·         2834 18th Street South
·         Homewood, AL 35209                     Parking in front or back (back is usually easier).

What to bring
·         Bike(s), shoes, fresh cleats if available, any orthotic devices/insoles you have, any cleat shims or wedges you currently use, cycling riding kit, helmet, gloves.
·         Bring your bike ready to ride. Tires aired up, check your suspension pressure for mountain bikes, shifters working properly. Check your cleats and dig out any debris/mud. If you have any doubt as to the condition of your bike, get a tune up a week or two before the fit.
·         Water bottle for hydration, snacks, shock pump, seat mast cutting guide or other tools/spacers/items specific to your bicycle.
·         If you have any parts that are broken, not comfy, or you are unhappy (folks that hate your saddle, shoes, etc.) with… consult me pre fit for replacement recommendations. Feel free to bring extra parts (stems, seatposts) if you have them handy.

What to wear
·         Casual clothes and athletic shoes are fine for the off bike portion of the fit.
·         Cycling kit (jersey, bike shorts, cycling socks). No baggy shorts for riding!

What I cannot do
·         Diagnose or treat injuries.
·         Perform cleaning/tuning/repair services to bicycles in need of attention.
·         *Be responsible for questionable equipment that fails during a fitting session*

Please do what you can to address any ongoing physical issues with a doctor, physical therapist or other specialist.  By arriving with any pertinent diagnostics, I will have more information from which to base our fitting decisions.  I am part of the equation to help you move/feel better.  I do have access to several excellent health professionals able to provide assistance with physical issues. The last point* is to cover just a few “unknowns” that can occur.  From time to time we see equipment/accessories in need of repair or replacement that cause problems or fail in the course of a fitting session.  Cracked or splintered carbon parts from previous adjustments are an obvious problem.  The same goes for incompatible parts, faulty suspension, improperly installed seats, and lack of grease/carbon prep on parts.  These are considered pre-existing issues for which Cahaba Cycles/myself cannot be held responsible.  Cleat screws that have been over tightened and/or installed without the appropriate thread locker/grease or walked on to the point that the head breaks off while attempting to remove them can present a major time setback during the course of a fitting. I will point out issues with your equipment needing attention that I deem important for your comfort and more importantly, your safety.  We have the appropriate tools to handle most jobs safely but encourage you to examine, clean and adjust your equipment before arriving.  Prep your machine as though you were about to ride at an important event so we can focus on the fitting


Pricing
  • Comprehensive road, cyclocross, MTB fitting - $250. Triathlon/TT fitting - $280
  • Setting up extra bikes - $150 if within 8 weeks of initial bike.
  • Cleat fit with footbed optimization - $80
  • Strength, stability and mobility assessment without  bike fit…$75
  • Cutting seat masts, ATB handlebars or other necessary “surgeries” with the appropriate equipment – Cahaba Cycles shop rate per hour
  • Replacing parts such as tires, chain, cassette or other components necessary to conduct the session – Cahaba Cycles shop rate per hour
  • Additional adjustments – free for two months after initial fitting
 We cannot predict every issue that can arise during a fitting and understand that things just happen sometimes.  Minor issues that arise which can be remedied quickly (brake pad adjustment, slight wheel truing, minor derailleur adjustment, rewrapping handlebar) will be handled promptly free of charge as we roll through the fit. More involved (many Tri or aero road bikes) component or cable installations may need to be done post fit at shop labor rate as mentioned above. A reminder about bar wrap and grips is important.  Be prepared to replace it if your current wrap has issues going back on in a quality manner.  Bring your own fresh wrap if you have a specific product you enjoy.  We stock some great options for wrap and grips for replacement if need be.  Bring or be ready to purchase fresh cleats if at all possible. Footbed options are available if your current ones do not provide sufficient support.

What to expect after the fitting
  • Easy riding (conversation pace) to let your body get used to the position changes. This can take from a couple rides for small changes up to a couple weeks if we have to make large changes.
  • New balance and handling dynamics, so ride often and take it easy on the corners and technical terrain
  • Stay away from sprints, hard group rides, and technical descents until the requisite muscle firing patterns and stability patterns have set in and the bike is feeling normal.

I always encourage clients to allow themselves a 2-3 week window of EASY, frequent (at least 3-4x/week) riding post fit. 30 to 60minutes is a good ride duration for most rides during adaptation. This is a time to cruise and enjoy the scenery. That is not always possible as some riders come in due to acute issues during a time of heavy activity and I can advise on uncertain scenarios before the fit. 
This is a serious investment of your money and our time.  I am as passionate about performing quality work as you are about enjoying your cycling experience.  Feel free to call at (205) 427-9869 or email johnkarrasch@gmail.com with any questions.  I look forward to meeting and working with you towards a great bike fit!

John Karrasch, PTA 
Cahaba Cycles Homewood                
(205) 427-9869                 
 johnkarrasch@gmail.com