Velo Porte

Velo Porte

Pronounced VELO-POR(TAY)

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A new cycling venture just set up in Adelaide – VELO-PORTE, a high performance bike hire company.

For those looking to come to Adelaide for the Tour down Under, or in fact visiting Adelaide at any other time, but don’t want the hassle of transporting your bike to Adelaide, Velo-Porte offer an alternative high performance bike hire opprotunity.

They can provide door to door service to hotels for visitors. Drop off also available at Euride stores for locals (Formerly Mega Bike).

The important bit – The Bikes – FONDRIEST TF3 1.2

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Some comments from a Road Cycling UK review of the TF3 1.2

“Impressed by its capabilities over a stern but short test, we hopped back on it a few days later to confirm our findings in a less demanding scenario, and concluded that the Fondriest TF3 1.2 was an excellent ‘jack of all trades’, one able to hammer round a crit, handle long training loops with riding buddies, and offer the comfort of a machine we’d be happy to ride on a long sportive”

Sounds good.  The guys over at Velo Porte tested the new bikes a week or so back and some good feedback was provided.

Further images can be on their  facebook page – velo porte facebook

All bikes are same spec’s Full Carbon Frame and forks, Di2 Ultegra groupset

The frames they are running are the same as current Junior World Road Champion used.

  • Mavic Cosmic SL Wheelset (upgrade to standard package – additional $)
  • Garmin 800 GPS Computer (upgrade to standard package  – additional $)
  • All bikes come with Lazer O2 helmet, pump, tube and 2 bottle cages.
  • LOOK Keo pedals are standard with Speedplay and Ultegra available in limited numbers.

This link takes you to their Velo Porte website, which for the next week is a holding page, but you can still request an order.

All the best guys with the venture.

For those reading this blog with friends who are looking to come to Adelaide, please help this new startup by forwarding on this Velo Porte information.

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Crash Assesment – Err in the side of caution

Editor’s note: The graphic in this article has been extracted from the original which appeared in  velonews

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As those who know me, I am no medical practitioner, so what I include in this blog is not advice, however there are some good tips to follow if your riding mate has suffered a crash and there is no immediate medical help at hand.

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Back Pain in Cyclists

Editor’s note: This article has been modified from the original which appeared in  Medicine of Cycling, which was written by Anna K. Abramson M.D., Sonny S. Gill M.D. , Michael Ross M.D.

Cyclists are a demographically unique population, but studies of amateur and professional athletes alike indicate that up to 60% suffer from back pain.

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Consequences of back pain result in medical visits, costs and increased use of medications for pain control, decreased quality of life, and decreased performance.

Causes and Evaluation of Spine Pain:

The lifetime incidence of 48.3% of neck pain and 67.8% of back pain is reported in cyclists.  Of these athletes, nearly one-quarter is due to disc disease, with frequency of spine pain increasing with the years in sport.   Bicycle fit has been cited to be the most common problem causing spine pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options:

Common diagnosis causing neck and back pain in cyclists include:

  • Trochanteric bursitis, due to the repetitive motion of pedaling.
  • Hip joint degeneration and arthritis, especially as the cycling population ages.
  • Snapping of the iliopsoas tendon especially during the down stroke of the pedaling motion.
  • Trigger point spasms can produce significant axial pain.
  1. Quite often, the trigger points are on the left side upper back, attributed to the         cyclist straining to look over the left shoulder for overtaking traffic.
  2. The trapezius has also been cited as a source of symmetric trigger points.
  • Hyperextension of the neck can lead to narrowing between the vertebrae and can cause nerve irritation of either the cervical (neck) or lumbar (low back) plexus.
  • “Unicyclist’s sciatica” is a pudendal nerve impingement from prolonged sitting on bike seat.
  • Pedal Pusher’s palsy is a form of sciatic nerve entrapment at the sit bones.

Assessment of a cyclist with back or neck pain should also include discussion about the core muscle strengthening program the cyclist has been undertaking.  The muscles of the low back serve as the platform for powering the bicycle.  A weak core creates a defective link in the chain from the shoulders to the pelvis that is meant to control the bicycle while absorbing the micro-trauma of road shock and vibration.

An aquatic therapy program can be especially important in cyclists because it allows the individual to off-load the core due to the buoyancy of the water but still perform exercises in the water that can progressively strengthen the musculature.  Furthermore, a supervised land-based therapy program that includes back, hip, gluteal and abdominal muscle groups that create pelvic stability in the saddle.   Advanced core strengthening can include activities such as pilates or stand-up paddle boarding.

Red Flags Symptoms in Back Pain – requires urgent evaluation by a physician
Change in bowel or bladder control
Sudden loss of power or control of the legs
Numbness or “pins and needles” in the legs, groin, or around the anus
Back pain after fall with high velocity or from a height
Onset of back pain along with fever, night sweats, or weight loss
Onset of back pain after an infection

Bike Fit and Back Pain:

In many cyclists, low back pain can be directly related to bicycle position.  Considering that most overuse injuries occur due to lack of core strength or lack of aerobic conditioning to meet the demands of exercise, bicycle fit should be tailored to maximized available core strength.  One test that is extremely valuable in assessing for core weakness is the plank.  This position mimics the forearm/shoulder position during riding and it also mimics the position of the back when riding.

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Plank position:

  • The athletes body weight is distributed on the forearms and the toes, back is level to the ground without bending at the waste or sagging.
  • Keep the shoulders over their elbows and keep the back in line with the thighs.
  • Hold position for 1 to 2 minutes.

  • If this position cannot be maintained, place the elbows on a small platform, such as a bench or supportive box. Keep raising the level of the platform until the cyclist can maintain the plank without back pain.  Once a comfortable position is achieved, attempt to set up the saddle/handlebars to replicate this position of comfort.

One of the most common causes of low back pain in cyclists is  a decreased support of the spine, with a long stem and a setback seat post, causing low back loading.  This is a position into which many riders place themselves hoping to increase aerodynamics without any regard for back comfort.  When the distance between stem and seat is too great, the result is in an increased bend in the hip angle.  The gluteal muscles which typically work together with muscles of the low back to stabilize the pelvis become stressed. The result is rocking of the pelvis from side to side and low back muscular strain.  Pushing the seat forward can alleviate this stress on the low back.

Some cyclists may resist losing aerodynamic advantage in favor of low back comfort, but shortening the cockpit can alleviate many causes of musculoskeletal pain and possibly avoid excessive forward bend that can result in disc herniation and spine pain discussed above. Additionally, these changes can make riders more efficient on the bike; the same power output can be achieved with less energy use.

Another consideration in bike fit lies with saddle height.  A saddle that is too high for tight hamstrings will pull the pelvis backwards, putting tension across the lower back muscles.  For proper bike fit, the angle between the trunk and thighs should not exceed that formed when lying on the back with the leg comfortably bent at the hip while the knee is kept relatively straight.

Bike fit performed by a trained expert can help prevent acute onset and more insidious onset back pain.  Though most cyclists can continue to train and compete through back pain, this pain reduces power on the bike and quality of life.  If the time is taken to assess the way the body works at rest, positions of maximum comfort may not be the most aerodynamic but will yield the best power output and speed by the cyclist.

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