Jerry Gerlich, a Steve Hogg Certified bike fitter based in Austin, Texas and I go way back and share a lot of common knowledge about bike fitting due to our mutual teacher and mentor, Steve Hogg. We dork out big time and get honest about fitting mistakes and learning how to reframe those experiences as learning tools. We relate Jerry’s musical talents as a drummer to some of the same rhythms and attention skills that bike fitting requires.
Welcome to the Cycling in Alignment podcast, an examination of cycling as a practice and dialogue about the integration of sport and right relationship to your life.
Colby Pearce 00:43
Good morning listeners, or good afternoon or good evening. Greetings and salutations, you have returned for another episode of Cycling in Alignment, and for that I am grateful. I’m coming at you live from my rollers in my basement. We just got annihilated by a massive snowstorm here in Colorado, as of the time of this recording, so I’m taking the opportunity to refine my Pelland technique. As you know by now, I’m a huge fan of the rollers, and also I’m a believer that technique is a keystone performance indicator in cycling, so if you’re not paying attention to your technique, you’re not working on cadence and supple muscle, I believe you are missing the boat, leaving performance on the table.
Colby Pearce 01:44
In any case, today’s conversation is with Jerry Gerlich. Jerry is a colleague of mine, he’s a Steve Hogg certified bike fitter. He’s based in Austin, Texas. He’s also a musician and a former member of a rock and roll band, he gets to tell us all about that stuff. And if all goes well, we’re gonna post a photo of Jerry during his rock and roll days on our Twitter drop, excuse me, our Instagram drop, when that goes out, maybe it’ll go on the Twitter’s too. I don’t know I’m not in charge of that stuff, we’ll see what happens, but I recommend you check it out. You probably don’t want to miss that, It’s priceless. Without further prognostication about the bush, I will leave you with the conversation I had with Jerry Gerlich.
Colby Pearce 02:43
Thanks for listening. We will.
Colby Pearce 03:00
Talk about bike fitting, it’s like my perspective has been that I’m kind of a maximalist perspective, I’ll say or like, anything that I could possibly use during a fit, I’ll store it away in this little box.
Jerry Gerlich 03:13
How Bike Fitters Keep Their Workspace Organized
Colby Pearce 03:14
Or whatever, because it’s like, you might need that little wedge of plastic that you cut off that other wedge to might be the perfect thing to sit on somebody’s heel when their foot beds crushed or whatever, and so you do all those things, and you then after 12 years, you end up with a lot of crap, and all that stuff had to come out of the office and go and there was nowhere to go, I’m not going to buy a storage unit like I’m really opposed to those things, No offense, to anyone who has one my mother in law, she has one, but I’m not buying a storage unit, I’m just not doing it. So everything went in my garage so the cars are out, the stuff is everywhere, there’s like saddles and handlebars and fit platforms and trainers and trainer parts and wedges and tape and you know all the things right?
Colby Pearce 03:57
I mean, I don’t have a cheese grater.
Jerry Gerlich 04:00
That box of one inch spacers that you just know someday you’re gonna use?
Colby Pearce 04:03
They’re literally in the car right now. You nailed it.
Jerry Gerlich 04:09
I gotta bunch of fitting LSF stuff in my garage, seven bikes, and two Velotrons, and they’re not even supporting, I have two mellotrons.
Colby Pearce 04:17
You still haven’t gotten rid of those Velotrons? Oh, who needs Velotrons? firstname.lastname@example.org something like that.
Jerry Gerlich 04:27
Jerrybikefit@gmail.com. Contact me.
Colby Pearce 04:30
Jerrybikefit@gmail.com if you’re looking for a Velotron at good price,
Jerry Gerlich 04:33
Right. The frames look great, the the wheels look right, nothing’s rubbing. I just don’t have any of the software to run it, and I don’t know the trams going to offer it.
Colby Pearce 04:43
Jerry Gerlich 04:44
Maybe one maybe one day, I’ll hook them together, red double flywheels, and build something into the ground and run a roller off of it or something.
Colby Pearce 04:52
Something super, super crazy.
Jerry Gerlich 04:55
Right? So you’re in a you’re in a big state of what am I going to do with all this stuff? Stick it out on the garage right now make a new plan.
Colby Pearce 05:03
Well, I’m about five minutes into, I’m going to process all that stuff and start to cleanse and re-examine my fit process, re-examine my methodology as a fitter. How do I want to be so maximalist? Or do I want to really trim things down? And I’m definitely leaning in the, I’ll give you the punchline of the spoiler, I’m definitely trimming things down.
Jerry Gerlich 05:22
Colby Pearce 05:23
And to that end, it’s been a very powerful kind of cleansing, It’s like Paul’s talked often in his lectures, Paul Chek about the first simplicity, which is when you’re born, of course. And that’s because when you’re born, All that matters is mom’s boob, and whether or not you’re warm, right?
Jerry Gerlich 05:38
Colby Pearce 05:39
Whether your nappy is wet, but then you go through life and you accumulate, accumulate relationships, you accumulate experiences, you simulate objects, you accumulate places to live, you accumulate shoes, you know, cycling shoes, and not cycling shoes, you accumulate all these things, dishes, and gifts and heirlooms and stuff that you don’t know what to do with and, and now then there’s a point in your life where you go through the second simplicity. And I think that model is that close to where I’m at, I’ve done several major points of like letting things go in the past where I’ve just gone “man, I need way less,” and I just let it go. But I’m definitely in that place right now, so it’s been powerful. Then I had a leaky garage, also, on top of that, it’s like, I’m putting all this stuff in here, I need this to not leak, and I don’t know if you know, but we I know as of the time of this recording, Austin just came out of the deep freezer where you guys had rolling blackouts and no water for a lot of people for a long time. We are about to get absolutely clobbered.
Jerry Gerlich 06:38
I saw that, two feet or something of snow?
Colby Pearce 06:40
Were talking about feet of snow, at least. Today someone told me that up near Estes Park, they’re looking at 63 inches is the predicted forecast. For us. It’s about 48, like, interesting.
Jerry Gerlich 06:53
Colby Pearce 06:54
And this, I rode shorts about 10 days ago. So.
Jerry Gerlich 06:59
Yeah, that cold snap that we went through and it was the it was the longest and coldest cold snap, and it was the first time that every single county in Texas was under a weather alert, and they had pictures of snow at the beaches, places where it like never snowed before, and all these pipes were busting and the infrastructure. And then I don’t know if you read some about the political stuff, with the power stuff, and so heads are rolling there, and people are still getting their heads back round a bit. You know, today it was 81 and sunny and I’m getting into my new place. What you’re going through now I was going through in May, June 1st, we opened this new facility across the street for fittings. And so, March, April, May, you know, there was two months of being at home, you know, playing with the dog walking the dog three times a day trying to stay away from neighbors getting on each other’s nerves.
Colby Pearce 07:53
Jerry Gerlich 07:54
Then there was a month of, you know, Clayton said, we’re going to give you a new space so that you don’t have to use the whole gym. So my new space is it’s about four times larger than that little area that I you saw.
Colby Pearce 08:05
Oh, awesome. Good for you.
Jerry Gerlich 08:06
And the ceiling is four foot higher.
Colby Pearce 08:08
Jerry Gerlich 08:08
I’ve got cabinets, I don’t have I don’t have a bunch of stuff hanging on the walls anymore. Yeah, so I had to go through a lot of that purging that you’re talking about, because they said look, you get this cabinet, you get this rollaway chest and all the everything you have has to go in that.
Colby Pearce 08:23
Jerry Gerlich 08:23
So all this old Pinerello stuff, and I had a desk that had three drawers just full of detritus, you know, a lot of Pinerello.
Colby Pearce 08:32
One-inch headset spacers.
Jerry Gerlich 08:33
You know. So Matthews mountain bike grips, you just buy use them.
Colby Pearce 08:38
Jerry Gerlich 08:39
So I went through what you’re going through now, it took me about two months to get through that, and Gordon still has some stuff stored for me over there, But yeah, it’s a process, dude. It’s a process. So I really, I’m digging the new facility that I have, when you were here, you saw a very small area where I had like the villa Tron and a stationary trainer, and a big screen TV, and that that’s where all the adjustments happened. But as far as the functional stuff, the assessment stuff, I could get moved around to the gym in different areas and use different pieces of equipment. But I had to walk and I had, Sometimes you’d want to be using a piece of Pilates equipment or an assessment table or someone’s on their total body gym people can go back and forth. So this new thing that I’ve got they they took the studio across the street divided into four sections, and my little unit here has pretty much everything I need for a functional assessment remediation, bike fit adjustments. There’s some specialty equipment that we have over here, we have a Pilates Reformer, I love working with Pilates Reformers to show people different things, and doing squatting type stuff. You know, I heard when you were in Choate, we’re talking about some of the Cybex equipment. Part of the way I used to do things 10 or 15 years ago, is I bring them into the fit facility, I have warm up on a leg sled, total body gym, and I have them do that for 20 minutes, and that gave me time to take all their pre-fit measurements and make all my notes starting out.
Jerry Gerlich 10:09
Colby Pearce 10:10
And then I would bring them in, assess them, see what I see do some muscle response testing, figure some things out and then take them to different parts of the gym. Now I can, you know, you enjoy it, we’re talking about the Cybex machines, a fixed axis machines, you know, the leg extension and calf raise machine, which, you know, yeah, if Arnold Schwarzenegger can get a lot done with the 10 pound weight and step, do you really need a calf raise machine?
Colby Pearce 10:35
Or 100 pound weight and a step? Yeah.
Jerry Gerlich 10:40
I mean, you go back to pumping out he’s got literally a 10 or 15 pound weight.
Colby Pearce 10:43
Jerry Gerlich 10:43
But he’s doing he’s doing single leg calf raises with immaculate form, 15 pounds in one hand.
Colby Pearce 10:50
Cool. I’ve never seen that.
Jerry Gerlich 10:52
Then we switch hands, It wants to have you, you know, you want to list off in the other direction.
Colby Pearce 10:57
Jerry Gerlich 10:58
Now I’ve got some yoga wall, I’ve got straps, I’ve got a TRX system, got some Kettlebells free weights, I got a dozen Bosu Balls, a bunch of yoga mats, yoga blocks, my assessment table I can prop up against the wooden yoga blocks. So if I do need to do a little bit of traction, like an inversion table, I can take my assessment table, Excuse me, I just rode, prop some wooden blocks into the ends of the table legs, and so I can get a 10 degree decline. If I want to do like a little bit of traction on somebody, I get foam rollers, powerplay magnets, journal tool, zapper the rotating magnet thing, I’ve got big magnets for the feet. Headphone, I’ve got three different phones with binary beat music on them, I’ve got a big TV here, So if I’m going to do a zoom session, I don’t want to look at you on your bike, I can blow this thing up and see it on the big screen.
Colby Pearce 11:55
Jerry Gerlich 11:56
So it’s been a learning curve doing some of the zoom stuff, and but now that I’m in my own little deal, my gym clients, like the fact that you know, I can get them started on an activity, and tell them we’re going to do four sets of this, you’re going to go 45 seconds on and 30 seconds off, I’ll set a timer. And while they’re doing one activity, I’ll set up the next activity. And in the gym, it used to be especially when the you know, busier times a days or weekends, you decide, “oh, I want to go do X, I want to go do some chest press or some pull ups”, or you go around the corner, “oh man, somebodies got the assisted machine,” you know, you know, whatever it is you’re trying to use, I would say 20% of the time 30% of the time, it’s not available, so you have to improvise.
Colby Pearce 12:38
Jerry Gerlich 12:38
And now, the, the workouts, and the bike fits initially, because it was so I had to learn how to adjust and improvise, Initially, the bike fits were a little slower, but now they’re significantly faster. And I’ll set a timer and say, “okay, we’re gonna have you ride this for x period of time,” five minutes, eight minutes, watch him. And I’ll make some little notes on my own, and then once I’ve watched them and made my notes, I’ll ask them questions without telling them about my notes to get an idea of what their perception is.
Colby Pearce 13:10
Jerry Gerlich 13:10
What they’re feeling and what’s going on, we’ll see if their perception, you know, comes anywhere close to what I’m saying. And we kind of compare notes and we go from there, So, yeah, you know, it’s things have changed up and it’s like, things have gotten a little bit more complex and more streamlined at the same time, If that makes any sense. I have to clean the place, I have to put all the tools back in the boxes, nothing on the walls hanging out like another place, so I couldn’t I couldn’t be you know, kind of haphazard with it, my place was starting to look a little like Steve’s. No offense, Steve.
Colby Pearce 13:46
Agreed. He’s the ultimate squirreler. Steve also deals with unusual clients that have really unique and challenging problems, you know, clients where he’s building up handlebar for somebody who’s got Cerebral Palsy and one arm is you know, 20 centimeters shorter than the other for example, So he’s got to come up with on occasion with extreme solutions.
Jerry Gerlich 14:08
Yeah, I’ll tell you that the the tool case over there on the left third third drawer down, sitting under the fit kit box is a dremel tool and a rubber mallet.
Colby Pearce 14:19
Yeah, I know where everything is, it’s just that there’s so much stuff and I started out with that cleaner aesthetic when the office first opened. When I got back from Steve I had very little out, I just had one or two magnet bars with you know, allen keys 10 to 0.5 mil, and hex, you know hex keys and then torque skis and the few essentials and then slowly you know, every every two weeks like, I need one of these, Okay, I need this, I need a 10 millimeter box, and now I need a 10 millimeter box, now you know 11 millimeter box, now and now I need a 12 mil, and sure enough, then there’s more things and clients give you stuff and you got bottles of wine and
Jerry Gerlich 14:56
Colby Pearce 14:57
Stuff just ends up accumulating and by the time I left the shop, I’ve sat and looked before I start tearing everything down. It’s like, “wow, there’s a lot of crap in here,” I want to try to have that slate clean because I’m a big believer in, not only is it my preference, but I really believe that as bike fitters and as humans, I’ll say, anytime you’re trying to put your attention towards a complex problem, the more stimulus you have, the more your body has to ignore. It’s just like proprioception, right? Like, if you’ve got a cleat or a shoe that’s totally blown, you know, take your pick, pedal, cleat, or shoe or sometimes I plan to have all three and they’re totally smashed. I mean, there’s all kinds of play in the cleats barely hold on the pedal, and everything’s wobbling all over the place. There’s not a lot of point in trying to fine tune a one degree wedge in any particular part of that client’s setup, whether it be a cleat wedge, a four foot wedge, or heel wedge, because the fact is, you’re just, you know, it’s a drop in the bucket, if everything’s wobbling all over by a few degrees in all directions. And so we have that, that need I think, to cleanse our space, so that then we can do better work, we can focus, and when I’m distracted by my tool, when I have to look for a tool for two minutes, or when I have to, um, you know, think carefully about how I’m going to solve a problem, because I don’t have the right tool to do it, instead of just having that tool on command, then that’s an interruption in my workflow. And it takes away from the service, I can provide the client, right?
Jerry Gerlich 16:26
Right. So are you boxes something out of the way or you have to shift a bicycle and a set of wheels out of the way, because they brought two bikes and three pair of shoes, and there’s just stuff everywhere.
Colby Pearce 16:37
Yeah, yeah, I kind of almost, I’m almost to the point where have you seen like a Kaizen warehouse where they have the little black and yellow stripe tape? Where the forklift goes, right?
Jerry Gerlich 16:47
Colby Pearce 16:48
I’m almost at that point with my clients. Like, “here’s your black and yellow line, buddy. Yeah, you can sit here in this chair, put your backpack here. Your wheels can be wherever they want. They just got to be in that box.”
Jerry Gerlich 16:57
So it kinda gives him anything that’s painted white.
Colby Pearce 17:00
Jerry Gerlich 17:01
Yeah, Clayton, so Clayton built that this the sky blue room with white doors and white trim, and somebody came in and said, “Wow, I guess this is a bike fit place or a high end daycare.” I mean, it’s like a really nice room, and I’m like, “yeah, you can put your bike wherever, just don’t let wheel get dirty.” You know, Clayton’s good about cleanliness, and yeah, with the with the COVID stuff, I mean, between clients, we have to mop and wipe down any surface they’ve touched after bike fit, I have to wipe down and put everything away. So I’ve gone out onto a, you know, 180 degree shift, since we moved across the street, I have more stuff to work with, I have more room, the flow has gotten better, but I have to clean things, organize, put things away, so that the next morning when I come in, the place is ready to rip. So it really is kind of like being in a band where you, you break down all your gear, you you get the sticks, all right in the right pockets, and you’ve got everything stored in a very specific place. Because tomorrow you have 30 minutes between client’s and you need to do whatever. So putting little marks on the floors, now I’ve got a box, I’ve got a jack, I’ve got the rocking trainer, I’ve got the rocking grotech trainer, I’ve got a box for the rollers, I can tilt the roller up a little bit, and I’ve got little marks on the floor. So it took me I don’t know, two or three months, of Okay, this lines up with this mirror and this, this makes it hard to get around the bikes. You know.
Colby Pearce 18:23
Jerry Gerlich 18:23
Get everything set up. But yeah, I can set the bike up for a fit now, I can reset the room from where it is now for exercise, to ready to rock for a bike fit and about 15 to 20 minutes.
Colby Pearce 18:35
Jerry Gerlich 18:36
Whereas in the Velotron lab, you just walked in and start it because everything’s hanging out in the walls, yeah, just grab and go.
How Jerry Gerlich Became a Bike Fitter
Jerry Gerlich 18:42
And so, yeah, so tell us a little a little bit about where I’m from and how I became a bike fitter. Well, I started out in Baytown, Texas, and grew up playing the trumpet, at four or five years old. I was five my brother was four when he started playing the trumpet, and by the time we were in junior high, we were playing songs, whereas other kids were kind of learning the horn, and so we kind of had a leg up on the trumpet. And somewhere in my sophomore year in high school, I fell in love with the drums. I was working into the meat market and this gal was going through divorce, and this guy had left some old drums at her house, and she was mad at him and she sold them to me for super cheap and I could pay like five bucks a week for them. I came dragging this drum kit home, my parents were,
Colby Pearce 19:28
Jerry Gerlich 19:29
Yeah, the whole time I was riding bikes, you go find my Facebook page, and there’s a picture in 69′ of me on my my sister’s bike. If you look closely, you’ll see the fork is bent, and I got the scar on my chin.
Colby Pearce 19:42
Jerry Gerlich 19:42
At four years old I was popping wheelies on it, and the axle came loose.
Colby Pearce 19:46
Jerry Gerlich 19:47
And so the wheel stayed on the ground and I came down on the fork, and of course you’re supposed to be going to church, right? I got out of church, right? Anyway, started out in Baytown, played the trumpet did a lot of music was always riding the bicycle, used to love to roller skate. I would mow yards for bicycle stuff or buying cheap motorcycles or roller skating, started playing the drums, and within about two years got pretty good on the drums, and I had this idea in my head that I was going to be a professional drummer, and my parents. So got out of high school, lasted a year and a half at junior college, and then I got a gig with a local cover band. So in 85′ and 86′ we toured, we played a lot in Houston, and we also toured up in Oklahoma and Louisiana and North Texas.
Colby Pearce 20:38
What was the name of your band?
Jerry Gerlich 20:40
MINX, which is slang for a for a young, sassy woman.
Colby Pearce 20:45
Jerry Gerlich 20:47
Um, excuse me, it was a glam band so I had like hairspray.
Colby Pearce 20:50
Jerry Gerlich 20:51
Makeup, and oh, yeah, it was I look at those pictures in cringe now, dude.
Colby Pearce 20:56
Can we put one on our Instagram release?
Jerry Gerlich 20:58
Yeah. Actually, there’s one that I don’t mind from that era. If you take a look at it, there’s a mic coming in, so I’m playing the drums and I’m looking over here to sing, I’m spinning a stick so it’s mid spin on the stick and I’m going over to sing, and you can see this other symbol off to the left is actually angled strong smashing this symbol one spinning a stick I’m about to sing, If you look at the look on the face, it’s it’s almost like those racecar drivers that when they’re going through a spin out and you look at their face, they got a real calm focus look, they’re not, it’s actually a good shot of trying to multitask and flowing.
Colby Pearce 21:33
Jerry Gerlich 21:33
Why you are just beating the crap out of these drums. Let me know, guys, it was back when all this Poison and Motley Crue and AC/DC and Zeppelin, and it’s just like Jerry, just these guys were five and six years older than me, and you just need to hit hard, every time you hit the drums hit really, really hard. And that’s when the drum sounded best. She had a decent technique and you whack a snare drum really, really hard, It sounds great. So that became the norm, and I did that for two years, and Jamie Isaac’s will come up later, in the end of 86′, He says, “Well, I got good news and bad news.” Well, “last year, you guys made 38 grand.” “Oh, sweet.” He says, “the problem is you spent 52 making 38.” Thirty-eight grand between three musicians and a road crew of five, so eight people combined, managed to generate 38 grand. So needless to say, a couple of years of that, Okay, that’s enough, cut my hair went back to school, I thought I was going to be some type of, my father had retired from Exxon as an accountant, you know, he’s one of those guys, he’s got the first job he applied for stayed there until he retired. And I started going back to school or taking some accounting, and I was actually kind of getting into it. I passed my first accounting exam, which was a huge surprise, and I kind of enjoyed it, but the the requirements for accounting, is like there is no art, you know, there is the ledger, and the ledger needs to be the way so there’s no wiggle room.
Colby Pearce 23:09
Jerry Gerlich 23:09
And so learning the math stuff that had always been hard for me in high school, always did well in English, and music, and anything that that allowed, gave me some free way to kind of experiment, I did well in that kind of stuff, but the math and the sciences were killer. So anyway, cut my hair, went back to school started working at a Red Lobster. So going from going from being a glam rock drummer, to a short haired guy learning how to memorize the Red Lobster menu and working with my brother.
Colby Pearce 23:41
Jerry Gerlich 23:41
I just total, you know, anyway, fish out of water on that, did that for two years, and then my buddy, Alan Cotton, who I’d played with that kind of garage band in Baytown, before I’d started touring with that as a band. He talked me into moving to LA. So in 87′, he started talking to me about “Hey, man, you need to come out and check out this musician Institute place, It’s year round, you play your instrument four to six hours, five or six days a week, and it’s a way to get really good on the drum kit.” If you go over to the University and say, “Oh, I want to get a degree and percussion.” Great. You’ll be in the orchestra, and you get to play the triangle and a drum set is not considered a part of the orchestra, so they’re going to teach you the rudiments, and all the you know official ways to play in an orchestra not track drum set. Well, the musician institute that Alan was going to learning how to play with a click track, getting to watch really, really good drummers come there’s a guy named Steve Gadd, who is probably, I think the best drummer that’s lived in our history as far as pop music goes. Played with Steely Dan, you ever hear that song, Fifty ways to Leave your Lover?
Colby Pearce 24:50
Jerry Gerlich 24:51
Listen to the intro on that.
Colby Pearce 24:54
Jerry Gerlich 24:54
That’s Steve Gadd, you know, dozens of really, really good drummers try to emulate that, but you nobody really can except Steve Gadd. I got to see him at this school that Alan got me into, and so I saw a lot of really good drummers while I was going to school there, and that wound up influencing my bike fitting significantly later.
Jerry Gerlich 25:15
With regard to feel, and setting things up, there’s a guy named Don Perry, who is one of the instructors he played for Jethro Tull, and if you listen to Jethro Tull’s music, it’s, it’s very dynamic, and then it’s also all over the place with time signatures and complex polyrhythms, and this guy would be up there playing this really intricate stuff, he’s explaining it and you’re watching it go across the board, and it’s just like, I mean, it’s like John Tomac, picking his way through a downhill and telling you exactly what’s going on, he just made it so easy.
Colby Pearce 25:49
Jerry Gerlich 25:50
And when he you know, so when he would have office hours, I’d go and talk to him about, you know, I’m having trouble learning a certain song or a certain technique with the kick drum, I’m trying to do a jazz thing, and you would think that this guy who’s such a, you know, a technical player, and has this mountain of information on all this really technical stuff, he was really just like, simplify everything. And say, “Oh so you’re trying to learn, Walk This Way, By Aerosmith and you’re having a problem with the kick drum?” Hmm. “Do you know the tempo of that song?” Oh yeah, “it’s about 100 beats a minute,” good. “Let’s set your drum kit up left handed, and practice it at 30 to 40 beats a minute.” What? Really? “Just put your eye out over here, put the snare over here, put your left foot on the kick drum, with your right foot and leave with your left hand and play the snare with your right hand.” Like Well, “that didn’t make any sense.” He goes, “look, try it, and then when you’ve tried it, and you stumble around, and you have questions, come back, and I’ll tell you why”. So I did try it. And he says, “Look, do it for 10 minutes, take a break, walk around, walk around the block, smoke cigarette come back, come back up, and then try to play a right hand, don’t try to practice it at 100, practice it at 90.” So record yourself at 90, see where you’re stumbling, and then practice it at 30 to 40, left Handed for 10 minutes and then come back and record it again at 90. I was like “Dude, that was so much better, How does that work?” He says, “Well, here’s the bottom line, if you learned to do on your right side of your body, what you do with your left side of your body.” And he was keeping it really, you know, I was just hardcore rock and roll guy, he wasn’t saying ambidexterity or right left hemisphere doing similar things, he was just saying, when learne how to do similar things on both sides of the body, It puts the signal across more of the brain.
Colby Pearce 27:36
Jerry Gerlich 27:37
And it makes it makes it easier to execute and you don’t have to think so much, So when I’m having a hard time playing, “Yeah, I’ll set my drum set up the other direction.” And then he says “remember the movie Rocky? When they taught him how to box right-handed, he’s a natural lefty, but what do they do? They teach him how to box right?”
Colby Pearce 27:53
Jerry Gerlich 27:54
So late in the match, he can go back to it. There you go.
Colby Pearce 27:57
Jerry Gerlich 27:59
That has stuck with me huge on bike fitting stuff.
Colby Pearce 28:03
For sure. There are a lot of implications for that. I mean, one, the simple one that comes to mind for me is, when I have people get ready for a cyclocross season, you know, as a coach, I’ll have them do left and rightside dismounts. And most people, of course, they can do their regular side, which is off to the left, right? And carry the bike on the right shoulder, that’s normal for everyone, but of course, a smart promoter is going to throw in a couple turns, where it’s advantageous for you to dismount on the other side, or occasionally just everything happens in a cyclocross race, you get a bunch of people, you know, and on top of each other in a pile and you get up and you’re on the other side of your bike, what are you gonna do run around your bike, you can do that, but you’ve given up three or four seconds. So.
Jerry Gerlich 28:44
Colby Pearce 28:45
It’s useful in competition, but it’s also useful as a proprioceptive nervous system, brain dominance hemispheric drill, like you’re describing, to help you establish that connection on both sides and learn an activity. Because when you change sides like that, it becomes so mechanical, right? It becomes so like, wait, what am I doing? How does this hand work? And Steve talks about stuff like that, like brushing your teeth with the other hand, now close one eye and close your dominant eye, now stand on your non-dominant foot, while you’re brushing teeth with that dominant eye closed, and what happens? You know, How weird is it all? How awkward is it all? But you do these little nervous system drills and it can help wake things up, turn things on. Sounds like that’s what your your drum guy was saying. Yeah.
Jerry Gerlich 29:27
And it also improves kinesthetic awareness and neuroplasticity. So learning to learn in the moment.
Colby Pearce 29:33
Jerry Gerlich 29:34
So, you know, it’s you learn how to operate your left foot more like your right and vice versa, so your most drummers, it’s funny, the right hip drop thing. Nine out of ten drummers will play right handed, you know they got the high head over here, and they kick with their right foot, and they put their left foot high up on the snare drum, with the left hand, so just whack, whack, whack.
Colby Pearce 29:54
Jerry Gerlich 29:54
With the left hand, which is very stable and slow, and then all the complex stuff happens with the right hand. Just like standing on your left foot and opening a door with your right foot, stand on your right foot and open the door with left foot.
Colby Pearce 30:08
Yeah. And, and to that, to expand on that briefly, like, you know, we’re talking about right hip drop, and just to briefly explain for our listeners, make sure they know what we’re talking about. I would say probably 85% of the riders who come through my door have noticeable hip drop, everyone has it, it’s just some people, you can see it a lot more, you know, depending on where you’re on the scale. But 85% it’s, it’s definitely there even at low intensity and of that 85%, probably 85 or 90% of those are righties, meaning,
Jerry Gerlich 30:40
Symmetry and the Bike
Colby Pearce 30:40
Basically, track a marker on the on the posterior aspect of the right hip, so what are we talking about? We’re talking about the right SI joint or the right iliac crest, for example, right? Um, or just call it the right butt cheek, and basically what’s happening is that right iliac crest, kind of follows the foot, as it pedals, so as the foot goes from 12 o’clock, or straight up to three o’clock, where the crank is horizontal, that butt cheek or iliac crest will shift forward, and then as the foot drops down past three o’clock, four or five, six, the right hip iliac crest will drop down. So really, it’s it’s like hypermobility, almost, you might say of that whole right side hip is kind of going in a circle along with the foot. What does that do? That asymmetry causes some sort of consequence somewhere where the consequences could depend on the rider, right? It can show up as chronic IT band tightness and pain in the left side, it can show up as chronic knee pain on either side, it can show up on saddle sores on either side, it can show up as lower back pain on either side, probably more commonly in the left side, I would say because the left lumbar musculature is kind of trying to stabilize it all fulcrums to that side of the lower back, right? It can show up in chronic scapular discomfort where someone’s kind of stabilizing the opposite shoulder, because when you have right hip drop, the head tends to go to the other side on each pedal stroke, which gives this sort of diagonal torque across the backside of the spine. Right? So I talked about, you know, client, what’s great about this, now I have a posted documentarium, and I think the sixth section is titled “Congratulations. Yes, you have a pelvic obliquity, and here’s what to do about it or a starting point.” People are so surprised that they’re not symmetrical on the bike, that they see, I show them a video I filmed with my iPad, show them here, here’s what you’re doing, here’s your hip drop, and they’re like, “wow, I must be the only person in the universe is doing that,” Sorry to tell you, man. Well, how do I fix it? Well, that is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s the wrong question. Maybe we don’t want to fix it. We want to examine the dysfunction in the greater, greater context. Because there are many riders who come in with massive hip drop symptoms, I’ll say they exhibit massive symptoms in that moment of hip drop, but they have no problem whatsoever. Then there are other I’m sure you’ve seen this as well, Jerry can tell me if you agree, there are other clients who come in and they barely got perceptible hip drop, and they’re on the verge of quitting the sport.
Jerry Gerlich 33:14
I’ve got one of those right now, who’s probably going to be listening to this with a finetooth comb, extremely sensitive, really strong cyclist, really good function, I mean, I can explain something to him off the bike, you know, with a kettlebell, doing a squat with a credit card between your knees on spin board, right? Squat all the way down and come all the way back up, and don’t let that spin board move. I mean, in two days, he’s got it. Very strong rider, and so I would say he kind of fits in that category of, you’re more of a Cinderella, Princess and The Pea, kind of feel, you feel a lot of little things.
Colby Pearce 33:52
Jerry Gerlich 33:52
And some people are clueless, and they don’t even notice that the right knee is coming in and left knee swinging wide, but when you show it to them, some people want the data, and you know, it’s like, I don’t have the Velotron, I don’t have goniometers, If you really want to see it, I’ll hang up, hang a ruler from the kinetic rock and roll, hang a ruler from the side.
Colby Pearce 34:14
Jerry Gerlich 34:14
And so the side that’s dropping, right side, that that trainer is going to bounce down and you can actually put a laser on the center line, and you can actually measure “Okay, well, this is going down between 10 and 15 millimeters as your right leg is going down.” You can video it and then you come back later, you know, two and a half hours later, if you’ve done what you’ve done, and, you know, sometimes it’s doing the same thing or sometimes it’s only going 8 to 10. And so, so those people that don’t have a lot of kind of kinesthetic awareness that don’t realize they’re dropping their hip, they tend to rely on a show me the numbers, show me where this stuff is going wrong, and yeah, okay, I’ll do something to kind of show you with video, but let’s work on that kinesthetic awareness. So let’s do some stuff with your eyes closed. Let’s have you stand one foot on each scale, and do some squats. You know, I don’t have a pressure plate, I don’t have a lot of the fancy whiz bang gear, but I can put somebody on scales or Bosu Balls or some, you know, a couple of spin boards and have them do 10 squats.
Colby Pearce 35:17
Spin board, that the poor man’s.
Jerry Gerlich 35:19
Colby Pearce 35:20
Jerry Gerlich 35:22
And you put it you put an eye mask on him,
Colby Pearce 35:25
Jerry Gerlich 35:25
Say okay, now show me 10 squats with the spin board, and there goes that left leg externally rotating and the right leg internally rotating. It’s like whoa, check it out, you’re showing you the hip drop in your squat doing this.
Colby Pearce 35:36
It’s so common to see that.
Jerry Gerlich 35:38
But everyone smile, you’ll see the exact opposite off the back in what you see off on the bike. So it’s a it’s tricky, there are no, you know, I’ve heard what is the saying anything over 90 minutes is a waste of time on a bike fit? I mean, sometimes it’s like, I’m in 90 minutes, and the clients “like when are we going to start the fitting stuff?” It’s like, “dude, we have to figure out what makes you tick first.”
Colby Pearce 36:03
We started a second you walked in the door, pal.
Jerry Gerlich 36:05
Yeah, yeah. You know, what, how did I get into this bike fitting thing? I mean, it’s almost like a curse, the more you learn about this stuff, It’s like you’re starting to like forget things that you were doing four or five or six years ago that you used to always do, And you realize, “oh, man, I had three people, I did that with, and it didn’t do so I blew it off.” Well, there’s still some people you can help that with, but you’re starting to learn newer and newer things, and you’re finding ways to expedite the fitting process. But you’re still gonna see curveballs, so how did I get become like that? How did I make that leap from, from drums to bike fitting? Well, I started working at a bike shop in LA, I was out there to go to music school, and my buddy, Jamie Isaacs, who now manages Seven, six or seven of the Bike Barn stores in Houston, he called me down there to help him out. He’s like, “man, we just had to fire a guy I’m here at the mechanic doesn’t speak English, you have to watch the register. Just get down here.” I managed for a bit, he managed the band that I was in, on the context that eventually he would take 20% of everything we made. For two years, he worked his tail off, and the only thing he got in return was free drum lessons for his little brother. Every you know, once a week when we were in town, I would do go every give his little brother drum lesson anyway, Jamie calls me on Saturday, “dude, you owe me get to the bike shop.”
Colby Pearce 37:29
Jerry Gerlich 37:29
Just wear shorts and a t-shirt. I was still in bed 10:30, I get down there, and look stand behind register the phone’s gonna ring, make sure it goes to the second ring, Pick it up, Say “thank you for calling safety cycle, How may I help you?”
Colby Pearce 37:43
Jerry Gerlich 37:44
And their gonna say something, you’re gonna have no idea what they’re talking about, just let them talk. And when they when they do, and there’s a gap, say just a moment, let me get somebody from that department, I need to put you on hold, put him on hold. So Jamie’s wearing five hats running around doing stuff at the back and service and people on the floor and talking to clients coming in, and I’m over here, guarding and register and the phone, and this little guy comes through the door. He looks up and he says, “Who are you?” I was like, “I’m Jerry.” “Do you work here?” It’s like, “well, kinda.” “Where did you start?” “10 minutes ago.” I was talking to the owner of the store. Oh, Jamie had only been working there a few months, So this Texan comes in.
Colby Pearce 38:29
Jerry Gerlich 38:30
This guy, he’s got his buddy coming in as long haired, You know, I got like a Van Halen t-shirt on of something. You know, my specialized 23 edge specialized hard rock, you know, I had this killer mountain bike, and so that’s how I started, You know, my pay for the day was at the end of the day is about six o’clock, You’re like,” like, are we paying this guy?” He goes, “man, I worked with this guy for two years for free. He can give me a day.”
Colby Pearce 38:53
Jerry Gerlich 38:53
Like, we got to give him some things like, Well, how about dinner? So my pay for the first day in the bike industry was about $8 a Burger King. And that’s how I got paid.
Colby Pearce 39:02
People making their first first day work in the bike industry, Probably many actually. So.
Cyclists and Drummers: Similar and Different in Many Ways
Jerry Gerlich 39:08
So yeah, I and I thought it was kind of fun just watching what Jamie was doing running around, and and seeing people asking about bikes and and yeah, I just thought it was cool environment variable bike shop. And so I worked there for a while, Jamie wound up moving back to Texas, so I just worked there on Saturdays during the week, I worked as a maintenance person at a movie theater, and an office building, and I made pretty good money. And I was working these night shifts like two nights a week, I think I worked midnight to eight, and then three nights a week I would go and work like eight to 10 cleaning restrooms. So I was like cobbling this money together to try to survive out in LA and just, you know, barely barely making my $500 a month rent. But yeah, I was going to drumming school. I got really good in about six months playing drums five or six hours a day, in six months, you get good. And then you start running into problems that cyclists run into. It’s like, “Oh, my hands are starting to crack. I’m starting to get some weird stuff in my elbow.” You know, sitting too low on the on the drum throne. Yeah, my right butt cheek starts to go to sleep after a while. Right? So I’d go back to these instructors, and they’d say, what’s going on? And one guy looked at my hands he saw how cracked, he goes “are you putting your hands in a lot of water?” like yeah, “I work as a maintenance person.” He goes, “No, no, no, you got to put on gloves. Get some Sav, get some baby diaper rash stuff to put on your hands. Don’t be putting your hands in water anymore.”
Colby Pearce 40:34
Jerry Gerlich 40:34
So Casey Shrill and played with John Luke Ponti really good fusion player, Don Perry, Fred Dinkins who is my private lesson instructor, they were all giving me these tips, you know, on basically how to stay alive in LA, and not just shred my body by playing too much. And Don said something really important, He said, “if you’re playing for X amount of time, say you’re going to practice for hours. don’t do anything for more than 45 minutes.” And every two to three minutes, even if you just stand up for two seconds, stand up between songs, stand up between exercises, give your butt a break, you know, twist a little bit, do something a little different. So he says, “you want that stuff to have blood flow in it. So you can reduce it from going to sleep.” And it’s you know, just real basic stuff.
Colby Pearce 41:19
Jerry Gerlich 41:20
So these guys are giving me all these tips on getting good on the drums. I’m getting better on the drums, then, within about the end of the year, Jamie moved back to Texas, he wound up getting married, eloped got married, I was left at the bike shop, And they wanted to demote me, I was supposed to become some kind of a assistant manager, and so that’s when I went over to High Martin Imports. Well, no, I worked as a bike messenger for three months, so that bike shop demoted me. I went from making like, I don’t know, $7 an hour to $5.75 or something. I worked as a bike messenger in LA for three months, it was the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Colby Pearce 41:57
Jerry Gerlich 41:58
The first few weeks.
Colby Pearce 42:00
The fixie and the jeans and everything? Or?
Jerry Gerlich 42:02
no, no, no, by this time, this is like a year and a half later, I had moved up from my Hard Rock to my Rockhopper Comp. Now, Jamie said, “23 inch Hard Rock might be a little big,” So we got to 22.5 Rockhopper Comp. Anyway, I started doing a bike messengering on that mountain bike, and I was in LA on going to the West Side, so I’d ride from Hollywood over to the west side of LA, and now here I am, I’m playing in bands at night, but I’m spending six to seven hours a day doing bike messengering, which is not great training. You wear a messenger bag, you’re in and out of office buildings, locking up your bike.
Colby Pearce 42:41
Jerry Gerlich 42:41
Usually in a hurry, and you’re in LA traffic. I kept going by this one shop by Martin Imports, which is right there by the Beverly Center, in the area that I was carrying it, and I’d break a spoke, something would come loose, something would start creaking, I get a flat tire, and so I kept going into Martin, and I’d run back to the service desk and say, “hey, I have a broken spoke, I’m working, is there any way you can help me out? I’ll give you 10 bucks. If you can do this, I’ll give you 10 bucks on top of the fees if you can do this right now, I’m supposed to be working.”
Colby Pearce 43:13
Jerry Gerlich 43:13
So after about the second or third time of getting like this immediate service, the manager comes in, and he goes, “man, long hair guy on his bright yellow, like I see you coming in here all the time, and somehow you managed to stand around in like 15-20 minutes your bikes ready to go. People are waiting a week.” So I’m like, you know schmoozing with the guys and giving them little tips and stuff and say well, “yeah, worked over, you know so and so? You know big ol’ Jamie?” Yeah, “he was my roommate.” He goes, “what do you do?” “Bike messenger” “In LA? What’s wrong with you?” Yeah, “I play in bands” He goes, “Oh, dude, you’re, you’re riding a bike in LA traffic all day long.” That’s. “And so you’ve already worked at a bike shop? What would you think about trying out here to see what we have going? Why don’t you come in a Saturday morning. Let’s give you try out and see. Maybe we can get you off the road.” So it’s really cool, and go in for my first day of work, and of course, I’ve got like a Van Halen or AC/DC shirt on, they give me one of the company shirts. You gotta tuck it in, have your little fanny pack with your measuring things. First day of work, the first Saturday, I work at I. Martin Imports, ten after ten, somebody steals, a set of Assos bibs and walks out the back door, He clipped the sensor off of it, and all the service guys they’re walking around in circles, I just walked by some of them talking to each other, really quietly. I was like, “hey, Milton, what’s going on?” He goes, “the guy that went out the back. He’s in the dress shoes. Yeah, he take the bids. He cut it off. He got the sensor.” Wire clip, so ran out the back door, and he was walking down the alleyway, and I yelled “Hey,” he started running so I chased it down.
Colby Pearce 44:54
Jerry Gerlich 44:55
- Yeah, real brave, anyway, I dragged him back into the store.
Colby Pearce 45:00
Jerry Gerlich 45:00
And I wouldn’t do it again, I wouldn’t do it at this age. But anyway, I brought him back into the store took them to the manager and the owner and they’re like, he’s like, “Who is this guy?” “That’s the new guy, Jerry, he just started today,” Like, “it’s not even 10:30 you’re chasing people down the alleyway.”
Colby Pearce 45:15
Jerry Gerlich 45:16
Full on Texas accent, long hair, you know, and they made him pay for it. Look, “you’re gonna go up here, and we’re going to run your credit card for the full amount of this thing, and you’re never to come in the shop again.” So they didn’t press charges.
Colby Pearce 45:29
Jerry Gerlich 45:29
They just made him pay for the bibs, and at the end of the day, they said, “okay, we’d like to, we’d like to point out Jerry, where’s Jerry, the new guy, the tall guy over the long hair, you come over here, this guy chased down a customer that had stolen something.” Now, we appreciate his vigor in doing this, but it’s not a real smart thing to do, especially if the guy’s got a weapon or something. But for your efforts, and they pull me down a pair of mountain bike tires, and how should I say this? It wasn’t the most expensive pair, the tires I actually had we’re nicer.
Colby Pearce 46:04
Jerry Gerlich 46:05
Thanks for the tires dude. Okay, that’ll be that’ll be my first pair of tires to go on the tire stack.
Jerry Gerlich 46:09
Jerry Gerlich 46:10
Yeah, so I started at I. Martin Imports, and net Brad Karns and Rod Gilchrist, so it first I was just like, you know, I had been a service guy over the other place and answering the phones and ringing things up. Well now it’s like, okay, you’re going to be on the floor, mountain bikes over here, the road bikes over here, these new things called hybrids that were coming out, and just follow these guys around and you’re gonna follow, Eric and you’re gonna follow Rod and Larson, anyway.
Colby Pearce 46:40
What year was this?
Jerry Gerlich 46:42
Colby Pearce 46:43
And how much did a pair of Assos bibs cost then?
Jerry Gerlich 46:46
Oh, I think there were like 110 bucks or something.
Colby Pearce 46:49
Which back then was?
Jerry Gerlich 46:51
Colby Pearce 46:51
I mean, what are they now? Five? six-hundred depending on the model.
Jerry Gerlich 46:54
Yeah. With a with a real shammy.
Colby Pearce 46:56
Yeah, that actually. I would say max 120.
Colby Pearce 46:59
I mean, a normal pair of shorts were probably 35 bucks back then or something?
Jerry Gerlich 47:05
Pearl Azumi was kind of just coming out.
Colby Pearce 47:07
Right. Okay. I just wanted to know quite how much that $110 you got back in not like tires.
Jerry Gerlich 47:13
Oh my gosh. Yeah. I think they were like, yeah, Timbuktu’s, remember those things? Toyota Timbuktu’s?
Colby Pearce 47:20
Yep. Okay. Okay anyways so.
Jerry Gerlich 47:23
Anyway, so I start working there, and I’m following these guys around for the first day and like, “Look, just follow these guys. And listen how they explain the bike.” So these little Diamondbacks, Trek, and Univega, which actually had some kind of nice bikes, Centurion before they were bought by Diamondback, and then they had some premium brands, they had Cruso, Cinelli, Petechiae.
Jerry Gerlich 47:51
Jerry Gerlich 47:52
Vitus. Yeah, that was my first one. My first seller was like, “holy cow.” They put me on a 63 center to center, Somac, with a 90 stem, you know? I’m all stretched out.
Colby Pearce 48:14
Just so people know, how tall are you?
Jerry Gerlich 48:17
About 6’2 and a half, and you know.
Colby Pearce 48:21
Oh man. So how big was the head to on that bike? Must have been like, 22 centimeters or 25 centimeters or something?
Jerry Gerlich 48:27
Right. Closer to I would say 25.
Colby Pearce 48:30
Jerry Gerlich 48:30
Really long head tube.
Colby Pearce 48:32
Jerry Gerlich 48:32
You can put two fists on the head tube and still have gap.
Colby Pearce 48:35
Jerry Gerlich 48:35
Now there’s a big ol head tube, long top tube, even with a 90 mil stem on it, It was long and wiggly, and had saturate parts on it. It was kind of a mishmash of things, and that was my first road bike. But yeah, they said Somac, Vitus. Wherever you want to call it.
Colby Pearce 48:53
Jerry Gerlich 48:56
But the killer bike in the store, they had Ritchie’s and they had Mountain Goat, but the killer bike was a Fat Chance. And there’s a bunch of mountain bike riders there, like Rod Gilchrist, who I hope you’re listening to this at some point, thank you for all of your wisdom back then, I know I seemed like a bit of a cretin. Rod is like the Scottish version of Hogg, you know, he’s just very cut and dry, this is the way you do it. And you know, it’s important fit, is important, technique is important, and he had a he was the first person I knew it had a Merlin Mountain bike, all of us were getting, I was on my specialized, and then all these other guys there was like six or seven of them riding Fats, and Rod had a Merlin, like “wow, this is the bike fit god” Titanium and Ubreak, you know, he had an 88 model bike with Ubrake on it. So then I upgraded from my specialized, started mountain biking on that big old yellow specializing, “Oh my gosh.” Rod’s like, “lower that seat, you got to lower the handlebar, that head tube so long, you need to get low on the bike.” Rigid front end, and we’re riding we’re riding single-track, really rocky baby head stuff out in San Gabriels, does suspension, and rod was the one that told me, “you have to learn how to flow, you have to learn how to relax your elbows, let the bike dance over the bumps, just enough pressure with your fingers to hang on to the bar, but if you hit something suddenly, you want to be able to activate your hand so you don’t go over the front end. So keep your eyes moving, you know, two meters in front of the bike.” And, you know, the bike is gonna go where you look, so, you know, if you don’t hit the rock, don’t focus on what you do want, focus on where you want to go. And there was this one, one thing while I was riding just with Rod one day, he made this nice swoopy curve drifter on this corner, and I tried to do the same thing, I just watched the front wheel and went damn, He went around the switchback, and he came back, and I’m ahead of him, I’ve now gone down the switchback, and I’m ahead of them on the trail. He stops and goes, “Where did you come from?” I flew off the ledge. He was like, “you gotta be careful. There’s no phones out here. There’s no medical. You’re gonna die out here.” Uh, you can you can really get in trouble out, you know, shortcut on the trail. Yeah, yeah. So yeah, Fat chance, I finally got a Fat, and then, you know, that was a that was a 21 inch bike, still a little big, but bearer the Ritchie stamp on it, and seven-speed XT top mounts, Still, this was an unsuspended bike, so there was a bunch of us riding Fat Chances, and then I learned how to ride, and within six months of learning how to ride I started doing a little bit of racing, and I was just a middle of the pack sport class guy that, Brad and I used to joke, you know, it’s a musician thing, as long as we finish the ride or finish the race, we don’t end up in the hospital, Great, Let’s go drink some beer. But yeah, had a lot of fun there, and I wound up moving just to other shops from I. Martin, and ended up at a place called Safety Cycle, or excuse me Pump Cycle. But I learned how to do fitting with Rod, and I thought the fit kit was like this scientific, “Wow, check it out.” You know, you have to RAD things, and you got the different color charts for the different sizes of bikes, are you touring? Are you more recreational? Or do you want to be more of a racer? And better plumb line? And so by putting a bike on a trainer, and measuring things, and “oh, wow, this is in centimeters. This is great.” Real accurate. Yeah. Everybody wrote a level turbo, because level is the way you go.
Colby Pearce 52:31
Jerry Gerlich 52:31
And so yeah, Rod is just like, “level this thing out, but still dial on here. Get it to zero.” And you put it to the number that’s in the book, and then once you’re pedaling, just ask them, “Do they like it? Do they feel like they need to go up or goes down?” If they feel like it needs to go up, then you go up, but then you see their shoulders hunching up.
Colby Pearce 52:52
Jerry Gerlich 52:53
You need to play with it a little bit. I mean, granted, this is a 30 minute bike fit for 40 bucks.
Colby Pearce 52:58
Jerry Gerlich 52:59
So you take all the numbers, Yeah, this is a you took their numbers way ahead of time, and you look at the chart, so you had some little notes, some very basic notes, the ball of the foot went over the pedal. Period.
Jerry Gerlich 53:12
How do you find the ball the foot? Well, you look at the shoe, and you look at the apex of the curve of the shoe, and where that Apex is, that’s where the ball of the foot is going to land.
Colby Pearce 53:20
Jerry Gerlich 53:21
All right. Yeah. Sorry, Rod. Yeah, he did teach me that, but he says, “you know, when in doubt, just set it where the curve of the shoe is, and that’s where most people’s ball of feet are going to be, and then just watch out a peddle.” And if you raise the seat a little bit, and they start changing how they’re pedaling, and they, they look loose, just go back down, and go up and down a few times, I mean, I was letting on pedal for like 30 seconds, and ask them, “is A better or is D better?” But you know, so those first few sessions was, you know, some people were like, “Oh, I want to go higher, or I want to go lower or whatever, this is hurting my taint.” And Rod, “what do I do?” He goes, “try lowering the seat a little bit, and then have them ride real light on the bars, and if he starts to straighten his arms out, he’s putting weight on the bars, and you need to bring the nose up.” So just go a little bit, he wasn’t telling me degrees, you just say just go a little bit. So and he wound up leaving, and I wound up leaving and going to other shops, and I learned more and more and started working with mountain bikes and suspension and sag.
Athletes Can’t Drive Their own Bike Fit
Colby Pearce 54:24
To that point, though, that brings up a really basic methodology question about fitting, you know, reminds me of a conversation I’ve had with Chris Bowser, where he talks about how he had that Guru Fit Bike, and it was a real, you know, for those who aren’t familiar, it’s a real whiz bang system that’s got a lot of hydraulics, and the cool thing about it is you can make changes while the rider is pedaling. So you put them on the on the guru, and they you can, it’s all computer modulated hydraulics so you can raise the saddle height as the pedaling, you can move the saddle forward as you’re pedaling, you can move the bars up and down or in and out as they are pedaling. So it’s, it’s kind of neat and the way that system is set up, you make all these subtle changes, and you have discussion with the client, and at the end of the fit, then you push a button and it reverts back to their original position, and then it’s a big exclamation point in the fit like, wow, look how much change we made, and look how much better you feel. But what Chris’s point was, and Chris is a fitter in Minnesota is a friend of Jerry and mine as well, in case people don’t know, Chris’s takeaway from that whole system was if you let the athlete drive their own bike fit, they have no idea what’s best for them. And he said, almost without fail, and I’m paraphrasing Chris here, that when that methodology was used during fitting, he would then send people out to do their thing, and two or three weeks later, they come back and inevitably they had “Oh, man, now My butt hurts now my hamstrings are on fire. Now my back hurts, nothing feels right.” And the simple takeaway is, there’s a reason why we have jobs, we have jobs to interpret what the athlete gives us feedback, but also to know what is best for the athlete and to coach them in that respect, or at least at a minimum, I would say, put them in the in an optimal position or a better position, right? We’re trying to optimize, but I would argue you’ve got to you have a responsibility as a fitter to educate and I don’t think a lot of fitters have their say, understand this, I don’t pretend to know what goes on in every other fitters mind, but this is just for me seeing how other people work and the outcomes of their fits. Like if I go and change, like, okay, you went to see Steve, when you train with him, and he lowered your saddle, you said, What, 25 mils or something?
Jerry Gerlich 56:26
No he lowered it, he lowered it 20 mil, but moved it forward 15, and did me a left 5 millimeter shin, so over 30 mil reduction.
Colby Pearce 56:37
The point being is, if Steve just made those changes, if you were a normal client, you weren’t training with him as a fitter, and he just sent you out the door with no explanation, and no prep work, like, “Hey, man, this is really going to feel different. Here’s why.” Here’s how proprioception works, here’s how motor engrams work, here’s how you are habituated to your old position, this takes this many revolutions and this many hours to change, if he didn’t tell you all that, and if he additionally didn’t give you some idea on why he was doing it, you would have made it about eight minutes and your first ride and gone, this sucks, I’m changing it. Or maybe you would have gone two weeks and still said, this sucks, because a change that big can take weeks, and weeks and weeks to get used to. So the point I’m getting at is methodologically, I think you would agree with me, and I’d love to hear your comment on this, Like, if we let an athlete drive too much of the fitting process, we’re bound for failure. I’m not saying you never asked for feedback from someone, that can be valuable, but if you let them drive the ship the whole way, how does that feel, did it go up or down? That’s why we’re bike fitters because athletes are terrible at knowing what their own butts are doing, Right? I refer to this as a #Ifilmbuttsforaliving, because no one knows what’s happening. You can’t feel hip drop, usually, you can see you have symptoms like “Oh, I got a blister on the left side, Or, man, my left knee hurts like crazy, It always hurts when I ride long.” Well, oh, that’s cuz you’re dropping the right hip and your left IT man is so tight, It’s like a piano wire and it’s pulling, you’re starting to have tracking issues, Because you’re, you’re so whacked. Right? So what do you think about that?
Jerry Gerlich 58:15
So that the, the explanation of why you’re doing what you’re doing, they can kind of calm their nerves a little bit, but when you’re trying to explain why, you know what you’re saying and why you’re doing what you’re doing and how this is going to help them, and that expect us to feel not great out of the gate. My when I went to see Hogg in 2009, I hated my position, I was depressed, I’d gone to Australia, Nala would come on, let’s go see the sky, and he had his fit on a Tuesday and was just in heaven, and I was all excited and I had my fit the next day. And after all these changes, and all this wedging and a shim, you know, nobody looked at me in 20 years, I take in my own kid numbers from 1991 and figured that because I’m now a trainer and I’m a functional I’d raise my seat like another five mils. So according to fit kit, I should have 80.5 seat height. But at 81 centimeter seat height, they’ve been riding for 20 years with a blown PCL, all this drumming stuff, so I had this right rotation thing from playing the drums, which just exacerbates the hip drop, and nobody had looked at me in years, and when Hogg saw me, he’s like, you’re not going to like this, probably, but we’re going to get you as stable as possible, and luckily, Palo was standing next to Steve watching his whole thing go on. And you know, when the dust settled six hours later, and I was dejected and he’s like, Come on, let’s go get some dinner, “Dude, you look much better on your bike.” It feels like a toy, I cannot, I can’t get over the top, I don’t have any leverage all the stuff in my shoes making my foot sit sideways, because that’s where you tested strong neurologically. And, you know, Hogg
Jerry Gerlich 59:49
piped in several times, He was like, “Jerry, how long since somebody really looked at you on a bike?”
Colby Pearce 59:53
Jerry Gerlich 59:54
“Like not since, I don’t know 91,” Yeah, so I’ve been looking at a lot of people, I hadn’t been looking at myself, and there’s, you know, somebody said something recently about people kind of puffing things up like guys tend to, you know, if they’re 5’7 they say they are 5’8, if you’re riding at a certain level, you’re run it two millimeter higher because you read something on the internet, if the tire says the max tire pressures 120, well run it 125. Remember people run it 700×18, 700×20 tires?
Colby Pearce 1:00:25
I was that guy. Most the time I stayed upright.
Jerry Gerlich 1:00:40
At the time, you’re thinking to yourself, okay, I’m gonna pump the tires up, and I’ve got a rationale for doing it, and it’s the same thing with the seat height and cleat position, and just whatever, the handlebars down. So Steve said, “Look, you’re not local.” He goes, “if you were local, we would go in steps.” And I would lower it a little bit, you ride a couple of weeks, and we’d go a little bit because you’re out of the country ripping the band aid off, we’re gonna do every single thing today, you just got to trust me, I came back in the first week I hate it. I sent him three, two or three emails that first week back, and after the third one, he goes, “Jerry, you agree to a month of easy spending. Now, stand by what you said. Stop emailing me.” Yeah. “And if it’s not working in a month, I’ll refund everything, give you all your numbers back and send you the best case of beer you’ve ever had, until then, don’t move anything a millimeter.” Well a month and a few days later, is when we rode from Austin to the coast, Palo was coming up with the longer than hell ride from Austin to the coast, which is over twice the distance of hotter than hell.
Colby Pearce 1:01:40
Jerry Gerlich 1:01:40
Hello again, He’d done Hotter Than Hell several times, because it’s a century and it’s hot, but it’s a tailwind, and it’s 13,000 people, and it ain’t hard. We’re going twice the distance into the wind through the hills on the same day, longer than hell, Totally supported, and so he had a he had this almost like a food truck. But you can use an RV, you could get in and lay down and air conditioning and you also have junk food? You know some water? You want some sushi? You want some oatmeal? You want a candy bar? You want a beer? I mean, he was fully stocked in Tiguan. You got to go do this ride, you gotta at least started with this, even if you get an RV, so I said, “okay, I’ll commit to 30 or 40 miles.” Well at 40 miles, you know, I still felt great, at 60 miles I still felt great.
Colby Pearce 1:02:25
Jerry Gerlich 1:02:25
At 80 miles, It was the first time I’d gotten over 70 miles, and I didn’t have left knee pain and at 100 miles I didn’t have century neck. And so it was at about 110 miles and I realized, “oh, wow, okay, it’s been low, man. I think this guy Hogg was right.” And then I got 160 miles, and that was the longest I’d ever been on a bike, and I started having some nutritional problems and sunscreen, I mean it was hot, It was a hot ride. So long story short, I made the ride, and I was falling apart nutritionally by the end, But the position worked. It did take a minute, it took a month and a few days of riding, and a small range super easy, and I had a few days later eat crow with Hogg. Yeah, man. It finally worked and he wasn’t hurting, so it takes time, so everybody has a different deal. And so who’s influenced me my thoughts and my philosophies? Well, the drum guys.
Colby Pearce 1:03:19
I wanted to ask about that. Do you think there’s a real connection between the rhythmic attraction and sort of, there’s a certain I think personality or maybe a certain type of human who is gravity, I mean, okay, rock band, like, got the lead singer, you got backup, you got the you got the dancers, and the backup singers, right? And then you have second guitar?
Jerry Gerlich 1:03:41
Colby Pearce 1:03:41
I don’t know I’m talking out of my ass.
Jerry Gerlich 1:03:43
The Perfect Metronomic Rhythm of Cycling
Colby Pearce 1:03:44
And then you have the drummer, and there are some people who could drum and there are many people who never could, and, and there’s something about that rhythmic nature of drumming that repetitive. Like the whole point of being good drummer is I mean, yeah, when you get to the the high end you have to do many complex tasks with perfect timing, but the essence of it is that that perfect metronomic rhythm, right?
Jerry Gerlich 1:04:10
You’re laying down a groove.
Colby Pearce 1:04:12
Jerry Gerlich 1:04:12
You’re the tempo of what’s going to happen. The drummer lays down the rhythm or the feel of the song, and then the guitar players get the melody part, with the bass guitar kind of ties the drummer in with the guitar player.
Colby Pearce 1:04:27
Jerry Gerlich 1:04:27
And then the rhythm guitar player plays it off the bass player and the drummer, and then the singer is you know, he’s the guy that shows up latest rehearsal, he’s got his microphone, he’s ready to go, and anyway you, if all of that coalescing comes together, and you can groove and you can find people that you can push and they can push and it’s almost like a dance that you’re doing, when you lock in, and you see people in the audience starting to do this are starting to tap their feet or they get down on the floor to dance, well, now you’re doing your job. Now you’re grooving. So learning how to groove, is for a drummer, that the most important part. A lot of guys want to solo, they want to play double bass stuff really fast, and, you know, it’s like a new mountain biker that wants to jump everything, but he can’t carve, you know, he doesn’t know how to apply his front brakes, like yeah, you know, the jumping stuff is great, let’s figure out that front brake.
Colby Pearce 1:05:15
Jerry Gerlich 1:05:15
So you’re constantly getting back to the basics of the groove of what’s going on. So as a drummer, you know, when it’s a groove, when you’re not having to force it, it’s almost like being on a pump track, or, or a single track something that you’ve ridden 100 times, it’s like, you’re not thinking about what your, your brake light, or what you’re doing, Or is this hip going over 10 millimeters this way? Or am I doing something different with my shoulder to counter steer? It’s like, your just flowing with the trail, a little bit of break a little bit of bunny hop, a little bit of skid correction, and you’re riding along, you don’t see anything, but you hear something, and you know exactly what just happened, I just dropped my water bottle. Without even looking down, you already know you’ve dropped your water bottle, you heard it rolling on the trail. So there’s a lot of that that goes on as a drummer, so learning how to be totally in the moment and groove with what you’re doing, that’s, that’s when you make music, and as a as a personal trainer or a fitter, you may have a plan for what somebody is going to do when they come to the door, but if they’ve had a weird weekend, or they didn’t get good sleep, or they’ve had some new medication, and they’re just feeling a little bit off, like well, we, we had the plan, we had the 10 exercises we were going to do with all the sets and the reps and the Oh, but yeah, but you didn’t sleep on it, you get the hiccups. Okay, so let’s, let’s groove let’s figure out what’s the best use of our time, right now, and let’s, let’s focus on the thing that’s going to help you the most.
Colby Pearce 1:06:38
Jerry Gerlich 1:06:38
And that’s, that’s, that’s kind of my methodology as a personal trainer, strong people, “Okay, you’re strong dude let’s work on some flexibility.” Really, you know, somebody like you, I’d be doing stuff with eyes closed, stability, you know, forcing you to handle some more high load stuff without letting your pelvis move around without your feet collapsing. So, train your train your weakness and raise your strength kind of thing, so that’s how I work as a as bike fit as a personal trainer.
Colby Pearce 1:07:07
Jerry Gerlich 1:07:07
When it comes to bike fitting, when you look at some burly guy that’s got you know, externally rotated elbows, and the knees are out and they’re just manhandle handling the front end, It’s like, okay, we’re going to do a little bit of position work, and then we’re going to do some technique work, we’re going to try to bridge the gap between the sides and you show people tension in your jaw, you know, elbows that are up shoulders that are coming up under load, and you say, “hey man, but this drift down a little bit,” suddenly his drifts down and they start to relax, It’s like, you know, relax, all that stuff going on in your forehead in your face, and just, you know, a good drummer just kind of groove is just kind of a dumb look on their face, like they’re not really paying attention, to the following football player look, just kind of grooving. And you’ve seen it in riders, you’ve seen people that they have a lot of contortions called facial fixation, whether it’s a secondary, what’s her name? Alphason. Joanne Alphason, it’s a secondary compensation for usually a weak core, they can’t handle what it’s trying to do.
Colby Pearce 1:08:06
You’re talking about pain face.
Jerry Gerlich 1:08:08
Yeah, yeah. Sticking your tongue out, yeah, gritting your teeth, furrowing the brow. I mean, how many guys have you seen coming across a line of a sprint and their tongues are literally as far out of their mouth as they can go. They’re trying to create tension in their neck, because of what they’re doing with their shoulders, because they don’t have the requisite stability to tell us. So if you can point a few of these little things out to people, and record some of it, and say, “Hey, you can get that to relax, and we can get this to track a little more straight, and get you smoother on the bike not forced the gear so much, it’s like flow with the gear free wheel,” you know, it’s like, get enough momentum in the pedals to keep them going, but you’re not stabbing at the pedals, and so trying to change technique, somebody has got a really heavy duty toe pointer. Just tell him look, “we’re not going to change this in a day, and you’re going to have your tendencies but if you know where your tendencies are, then when you’re riding by yourself and you’re riding under low loads, you can practice some different types of techniques, just like drummers.” If you’re really good at heavy metal, you’re probably not going to be really good at chess. So we go practice jazz, go practice some Latin, go practice a little bit of country, “Oh, yeah, you’re a heavy metal guy. Yeah, place a country beat.” But so learning how to do different things, It’s kind of like, you know, learning on the mountain bike in the cyclocross bike, makes your road bike handling skills better.
Colby Pearce 1:09:35
Jerry Gerlich 1:09:36
And learning how to maintain a constant tempo on the road bike helps you with your traction on the mountain bike, because then you learn, okay, I can only give us so much torque for that before your wheel is gonna spin out, so kind of cross training things but you know, bike fit, I just point out their strengths and their challenges. So here’s your strength, don’t need to work on that, the challenges I’m seeing here, today is all about position, so it’s ergonomics. So we’re going to see if we can move your cleats around, move your, your pelvis position around through your post and your seat, move front end around. It took me about three years to learn three to four years to learn how to say seat, instead of saddle, I use the term seat now.
Jerry Gerlich 1:10:12
Hogg was ragging on me.
Colby Pearce 1:10:14
Hogg doesn’t like saddle because he thinks it only goes on horses?
Jerry Gerlich 1:10:18
He railed me. Yeah, he railed on me. In front of a client, that he didn’t even know when I was training with him. I said, saddle for the third or fourth time, He says, “whoa, hang on a second, Jerry. What’s this part of a bicycle called?” Top tube. “Now, what’s this part called?” That’s c tube. “And what’s the thing that goes on here” It’s the C post. “Now what do you put on a C post? A saddle. Like you would ride on your horse as his curve and a curve and he’s flat, and that’s the saddle point. This doesn’t have that. So you’re gonna use the term seat. And man, it was it was rough, learning how to say seat.
Colby Pearce 1:10:56
Now that you bring that up, I remember that he has a few strong quirks about the other one, the other one doesn’t like is Q factor. It’s got a separation, Q factor is one he’s not fond of.
Jerry Gerlich 1:11:07
Colby Pearce 1:11:10
For me, I mean, look, man, if you were on it, you would have just called it a saddle post before he got to that part.
Jerry Gerlich 1:11:16
Exactly, or just a post, just post a post. So yeah, it’s, well, I’m just gonna say I just said what I after getting fit by Steven and three years later training with him.
Colby Pearce 1:11:32
Jerry Gerlich 1:11:32
Um, you know, I already had a pretty good amount of information with my Fit Kit, my Velotron, and, you know, I would start with the Fit Kit numbers, and then experiment. It was all about improving the spin scan, and the right left pedal balance on the Velotron. So before I trained with Steve, I had a Fit Kit here, and then I, you know, we’d bumped our fit up to a full $200 or something. But before Retool, and all that we had cameras and lasers, and you could see yourself from different directions, I mean, it was kind of grainy, but you could see distances and you could see tendencies, and it was all about the Velotron. The Velotron is just big heavy spin bike, and so you move the seat back and forth, or up and down, and play with plates a little bit, and as long as we got the bike to get the same speed with maybe two watts less, or maybe you went from a from an 81 to an 83 spin scan, or maybe you went from 55-45 to a 53-47 or something like, “Hey, we’re going in the right direction,” and in two hours, you do everything he could and up two hours is up, so fit must be over. That’s as good as it gets.
Colby Pearce 1:12:38
Biggest Influences in the World of Bike Fitting
Jerry Gerlich 1:12:39
And that does it up until 2003 or 2008, I was doing that and then I found Hogg in 2008, and for a year I was just talking about him, every three days he’d put something new on Cycling News, and I was like, “dude, quit saying this guy’s name driving me nuts. Go visit him.” That’s how I wound up in 2009 and meet him. Okay, yeah, the two big two biggest influences, well I say three on bike fit, are Hogg, Rod Gilchrist, and Paolo.
Colby Pearce 1:13:07
Colby Pearce 1:13:08
Yeah, and Paolo? I don’t think you told us who Paolo was, he was the former owner of The Castle, which is the gym where you work.
Jerry Gerlich 1:13:14
Right. Right. Right. Yeah, and he was a, he was coming in when it was Timberland Fitness Studio, beforeit was Castle Hill Fitness, It was a it was another gym called Timberline Fitness Studio, and he was he was coming in for PT and massage, Paolo had four other businesses when he was retired, and he was just coming in, and so you’d go by the massage area, and there’s his custom Serata, you know, with Ksyrium wheels, and I mean, it was just like everything to the nines, like man, look at this bike, who’s is this, you know, this guy was here for massage. So I didn’t see him, but saw his bike floating around, but I’d never met him. And then Timberline faded and went out of business, and he saw an experiment to open a gym. He was a born perfectionist, hard worker, very successful business-person, and you take somebody like that and give him retirement and in two years they are climbing the walls. He had gotten really good on a bike and decided to start a gym. So very strong rider, he’s one of those riders that you know, you can be out in the middle of the rain, in the middle of nowhere and somebody hits a manhole cover some paint, they drift into you, and we kind of knew what would happen. We didn’t crash. I mean, he was my riding buddy.
Jerry Gerlich 1:13:14
Rideable, adjustable four and a half pound monstrosity. Yeah, And Sally Edwards came through and, you know, that’s when I learned about this, you know, it’s not called anaerobic threshold anymore, now we’re just gonna call it threshold, right? And so I was just sitting there, you know, bated breath the whole time listening to her, and she came into the Velotron rooms, looking at our gear, and I was showing her some files and showing her some of the stuff that Shannon had been doing, and she was impressed. You know, we were actually threshold testing and looking at the heart rate numbers and trying to improve efficiency, and she actually offered me a job. And I was new Dad, I was just new champ power just gave me all this new gear, It’s like, Yeah, I don’t really want to travel around the country and read heart rate, right? Paolo was one of those guys that would just show up and say, “Hey, get ready. I’m going to pay you for Wednesday’s off. And we’re going to ride Wednesdays, from eight to four. And we’re going to get used to being on the bikes all day. And then in about four months, we’re going out to California, we’re going to do a big ass bike ride.” Right? Yeah, I’m paying, I’m going to take you out there, I’ll fly out there, we’re going to stay with so and so, and I’ll pay for all this stuff. And, you know, as you I just need a training partner, because you’re the closest thing so you will now be off on Wednesdays for the next six weeks. Nice. Okay, doesn’t sound too bad. He kind of did. He kind of did the same thing with Hogg. It’s like, let’s just go down and see what happens. Okay. He was, you know, really good-natured guy, but when he went dark, you know, he’s bipolar, you wound up taking his own life, and that was that was what spawned me to contact you, because you were just starting to go train with Hogg, but you just got back from training with him. I just lost Paolo and the drift. And it’s like, we had this guy Hogg is like a year older than Paolo, and here’s Paolo gone, What happens if something happens to the Hogg? And like, I contacted Steve about training, “Oh, by the way, there’s this guy named Colby Pearce, sit down. You know, he’s the new guy, but he’s actually picking things up. I’m like, Damn, I wanted to be the first U.S. guy.
Colby Pearce 1:13:28
Jerry Gerlich 1:13:30
And one really, really good friend, and he just showed up with the power planner just showed up the Velotron, like let’s see if you’re really helping these people.
Colby Pearce 1:14:35
Jerry Gerlich 1:14:36
Yeah, new toy. We’re going to give you this room, and we’re going to have extra AC and then we’re going to be threshold test. We had Jana and Jim McCray, hanging around helping us out, learning how to do threshold tests. And, you know, Paolo wanted, he said, “I want this corner to be a place where we make cyclists.” So we’re going to do spin classes, and it’s not just dancing and doing upper bodywork, but it’s like learning how to spin, like you would pedal a fixed gear bike. So it’s not a bunch of, you know, that you wouldn’t actually do on the road, right? So you do some efforts in intervals that you would do, you know, on a road bike, and just show these, these everyday folks how to use a heart rate monitor. And so he paid for Sally Edwards to come here herself, and she gave a, that was my first thing into foray into zone heartrate training. Yeah, she was impressed with the fact that we had bikes with power meters on them, and we had a bike 101 class tied in with university that people can come in and pay for five sessions. First session was a fit, and the next four sessions were outdoor rides. We had three sizes of bikes with the fit kit, adjustable stem if you ever seen one of those things?
Colby Pearce 1:15:46
Jerry Gerlich 1:17:44
So, yeah, so you’ve got Paolo checked out, and that’s what motivated me to go, what really motivated me to go see Hog is when the daughter came and gave me Paolo’s Prince, The Prince of Darkness. It was, I think it was the first Carbon Pinarello Prince in the state.
Colby Pearce 1:18:02
Jerry Gerlich 1:18:02
And that was when we went to see the record, what was your called? Just super record, the new super record. So now it’s all the carbon fiber stuff, Corima Wheels, and DEDA Alanera front end on it, and just like this $11,000 thing, you know, back in 2008-2007. And his daughter said, “Hey, because I was riding mid-foot in a seat really far forward, and Paolo had these long, long arms and rode a real stretch position, we could trade bicycles, our seat heights are so close, we could trade bikes, without even adjusting the price.” We were both riding like 173 and a half crank speed play pedals. And the daughter said, “my dad, would what if anything happened to him, he wanted you to have his bike.” And I took that thing for one ride, and then I had this epiphany, like I gotta go see Hogg, and that was a real adventure.
Colby Pearce 1:18:56
Basic Methods and Philosophies of Fitting
Jerry Gerlich 1:18:57
Yeah. So basic methods or philosophies on fitting?
Colby Pearce 1:19:01
Jerry Gerlich 1:19:02
Take a look at what they tend to do, you know, make notes of those, and then after I’ve made my notes, I ask them about it. And I like to see if their perceptions match up with what my notes are, so that I’m not influencing. So as opposed to standing behind him and said, “Oh, you’re dropping your right hip?” I’d say do you feel like one hip is dropping, or one hip is less stable than the other? So it’s kind of a it’s kind of let’s compare notes type of thing, instead of me, you know, telling. Yeah, okay.
Colby Pearce 1:19:35
Jerry Gerlich 1:19:36
And then make notes of their current position, and then there’s the muscle response testing stuff and test their current foot correction, and if they don’t test strong, it’s like, Okay, well, there’s a good starting point. Once I’ve looked at them on the bike, and see what their tendencies are, I adjust the jack. The Jackal actually gives the bike a 60 degree decline, and up to about a 12 degree incline, or level, you know, anywhere you want. So I even have people, you know, driving the pace in the drops, just watch the back, the back end or the sliding forward, or they have the tendency to push with their elbows.
Colby Pearce 1:20:12
Jerry Gerlich 1:20:13
So test them under load and look at, look for a hip drop, make some notes, ask them what their, what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling.
Colby Pearce 1:20:21
Jerry Gerlich 1:20:22
Second, let’s try that, again, let’s try a little bit of video, and so I’ll take their phone. That way, I don’t have to record it somewhere else here, here’s your phone, we’re gonna take 90 seconds of video, and then we watch the video together, and say, see how this goes up, and this goes down, this gets forward when this goes back. And you’re doing this weird thing, you’re, you’re doing this like left internal rotation on your shoulder to kind of reset yourself between every pedal stroke, I tell people to kind of further out of focus a little bit, watch the shoulders, and do you notice that the right shoulder goes more to the left? But then when the left shoulder goes to the right, it doesn’t go as far but it’s more of a jerk, or vice versa, so you just, you know, kind of show them the tendencies that you’re seeing, and then you go through the muscle response testing. Once you’ve done that, look at them on the bike again.
Colby Pearce 1:21:12
So you’re looking for patterns and use those to illustrate riders?
Jerry Gerlich 1:21:16
Right. So I like to start with the foot correction to see if that makes a difference, and sometimes it makes a pretty good difference. That’s we haven’t shimmed anything yet, all we’ve got is you know what, I’m going to move your plates a little bit, and we’re going to do this stuff with muscle response testing, and I’m going to see if I can get you pedaling a little better with a strong muscle response test. We haven’t even done an assessment yet.
Colby Pearce 1:21:36
Jerry Gerlich 1:21:37
So let’s just see if if tweaking some tweaking the foot angle a little bit and tweaking your cleats makes a difference on the bike. And you show some videos like Well, okay, this pleat went back four millimeters, and this clip went back seven millimeters and we put this stuff in this seal and we put this stuff in this forefoot or at this plate and looks the same to me. Interesting, made a bunch of changes and no change on the back. Now let’s do a functional movement screen. So then once you’ve done the functional movement screen, I’ve modified it quite a bit from what Steve was teaching me down there. And so basic stuff you know, four point Dr. squat with sick of the head. I like to look at him. Now I’ve got some plexiglass and a plumb line. I like to look at him. I don’t have a grid, but taking some pictures with them from different directions to see if they can see the heads forward and one shoulders higher than the other. Take a look at how they squat
Colby Pearce 1:22:36
In line lunge and hurdle step?
Jerry Gerlich 1:22:39
Colby Pearce 1:22:40
Jerry Gerlich 1:22:40
Yeah, I still use the Hurdle Step, Unterberger Test.
Colby Pearce 1:22:44
Jerry Gerlich 1:22:46
Now that new kneeling thing that Steve’s doing where you start with the feet, hip width apart, one foot forward on the knee, you just slowly wiggle the left foot over in front of a right knee and have them hold it for 30 seconds and do the same thing on the other side, and you’ll find that there’s usually one side it’s more wobbly. Yeah, more wobbly.
Colby Pearce 1:23:04
Jerry Gerlich 1:23:05
And so they can feel that, they can feel that “Oh, if I try to lunge, and you know you’ve got this dal against your back, yeah, with my left foot forward, piece of cake. Right foot forward, whoa.”
Colby Pearce 1:23:14
So when you do the Unterberger, we’ll put a link to an Unterberger test in the show notes, so people can check it out if they want, but it’s a blindfold test that shows hemispheric dominance of the brain.
Colby Pearce 1:23:25
Do you recall the list?
Jerry Gerlich 1:23:26
I’m gonna stop you right there.
Colby Pearce 1:23:27
Jerry Gerlich 1:23:28
I had a triathlete come in that had been practicing the Unterberger.
Colby Pearce 1:23:35
You can’t practice before, that ruins the whole test!
Colby Pearce 1:23:40
Good point. Good point. We’re deleting that part Jana.
Jerry Gerlich 1:23:50
Yeah. We’ve got, you know, I’ve got a fan and an air purifier, and so I can actually control this room a little better. It’s much quieter than across the street, with earplugs and eye stuff. The Unterberger test, squat, in line lunge, the the kneeling thing.
Colby Pearce 1:24:08
And then do you look at a lot of muscle tension relationships, like are you doing Thomas Tests and stuff like that as well?
Jerry Gerlich 1:24:14
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and anything I’m gonna like take a picture of, I just go, “just give me your phone.”
Colby Pearce 1:24:19
Jerry Gerlich 1:24:20
Here lay back on the system, sometimes the Thomas test is modified, and tell them to take a deep breath and relax. Take a picture of the knees and the feet.
Colby Pearce 1:24:27
Jerry Gerlich 1:24:28
Pull this leg up, see what happens to this leg, pull the other leg up, and you can actually video the Thomas test, and then just take a quick look at the feet, and you see that that right foots turned out more than the left, and so yeah, so just as you pull this leg up just like this, it moves around a lot more, so you got one glute that’s more flexible than the other, you got one hip that’s tighter than the other. We got one leg that appears to be rotating out a little bit. It doesn’t tell me exactly what I’m going to do with the cleats but it shows me where the tendencies are.
Fitting the Bike to Accommodate the Rider
Colby Pearce 1:24:59
Right. Right, well, and you know, somebody’s got really, really tight internal hip rotators on one side, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to reflect that in the cleat position, you may or may not, right? Depend on, there’s that balance, I mean, this goes back to fitting philosophy, like, I won’t name the company, but there’s a really big bicycle company out there whose philosophy is, fit the bike to the rider. And fit the bike to accommodate the rider, and what is the problem with that? I mean, you tell me Jerry, and how many years have you been sitting now over?
Jerry Gerlich 1:25:32
Ah, well, I mean, technically, I think I started in about 91′, I would say 1991 to about 2001 was a lot of hit and miss in Fit Kit. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 1:25:43
Still you gotta start somewhere. So all right, but yeah, let’s call it 30 years, but how many riders have you walked through the door, have walked through your door, who are so functionally ideal that you could literally just set the bike up to them 100%, and call that perfect? Has that happened yet?
Jerry Gerlich 1:26:02
I have yet, I’ve yet to see a single one.
Colby Pearce 1:26:06
So the point being, is the other side of that spectrum, instead of as a bike fitter, making your bike fit to a rider that is dysfunctional, has some asymmetries, has some sub-optimal posture, has some compensation patterns, has some not ideal muscle tension relationships, and so setting a bike up to that client, wouldn’t you think it’s preferable to for us to educate the client, help them see how to stand better, sit better on the bike, make better power on the bike, and then work towards setting the bike up towards that ideal rider?
Jerry Gerlich 1:26:37
Colby Pearce 1:26:38
Jerry Gerlich 1:26:38
Excellent. I like to do a Hip Flexor Test, and depending on the person, sometimes I’ll have them lie on their back with their hips on a foam roller and pull one knee up or do a Thomas test, but for somebody like you, it’d be more like a yoga type thing where you get on, you know, one foot on the floor, one knee with the leg going up the wall, how high can you get your torso? And if they see they can go all the way up with their left knee against the wall, and they can only go up to 45 degrees with the right leg against the wall. So now we’re seeing some asymmetry, and it’s like, okay, it’s not just me with the magic wand, saying this is how it has to be, I ask them, “Do you feel this more in the center of the leg, more towards the knee, or way a pie in the hip, show anything coming out of your back? And then I can get some cues if it’s more in the leg, and that’s when the time starts to go. It’s like okay, these glutes are weaker than these glutes, this set of hip flexors significantly tighter, these quads are significantly tighter. So how about this, we’re going to stretch these quads work the opposing hamstrings, with the other side of the hamstring, we’re gonna stretch this hip flexor, work these glutes work, work these other glutes in a different way. As you’re walking, you tend to get this big internal rotation, or external rotation of your right leg compared to your left leg, what’s going on, you know muscles to the side, Colby, I’m trying to keep this super simple. I have muscles in the sides of the hip, so there’s muscles that rotate the legs in and out. So somebody who’s got like a piriformis issue on one side, they’re more than likely going to have an issue with that same glute medius.
Colby Pearce 1:28:09
Jerry Gerlich 1:28:09
So if you do a little bit of a piriformis stretch, with a lacrosse ball on the power play, and then do a standing band exercise to work on that same glute medius, like internally rotate the foot and the knee from the leg, sometimes you can just say, “hey, let’s do a little stretch just, activate this, stretch this, activate that, hop back on the bike.” And I would say 70% of time they look over, they’re like, “Dude, this is so much easier.” So now what we’ve done is we didn’t twist a cleat, we didn’t shim anything, we didn’t, we weren’t bringing the bike to the rider. He’s like, “hey, let’s change how you function a little bit.” And if you can, you can get something to switch on, granted, it’s probably going to poop out on you in 20 minutes, but if they can see that flicker of improvement with some, “Oh wow. Okay, if I just learned how to,” most people can rotate to the left really well. So you know if I can do some right rotations, loosen up those right inner thigh muscles, activate that right glute medius a little bit, you know, get on a foam roller and try to figure out which shoulder tends to have more attention on and on the front side and activate your, your rotator cuff, and your rhomboids, and your pulling muscles on the site that’s tight on the front, try to even the body out a little bit. So nothing’s off limits. I use foam rollers and vibration and breathing exercises. Sometimes it’s diaphragmatic breathing.
Colby Pearce 1:29:32
Jerry Gerlich 1:29:35
Tie a yoga strap around really tight, really crap posture, and then and stand really tall and try to breathe under the yoga strap. And sometimes if you just get the diaphragm working a little bit different, a head rush and you get him back on the bike. So but what is my formula, look at the person, interview the person try to get as much information ahead of time, but see what they’re how they’re functioning in their current position, take detailed notes where they are, play with a little bit of foot correct foot differences. And if I change something, it’s shoes, and I can see a difference, but they don’t notice the difference, then I know I’m in the driver’s seat, and I tell them, Look, I’m in the driver’s seat, and you just have to trust me on this, because this is 200 an hour. And we don’t want to be here for 10 hours, you just have to trust me, it’s all guaranteed. But what I’m seeing and what you’re describing, and that’s the same thing, and I’ve been doing this a long time, so you just gotta let me drive. And with Bowser, it was a whole different, you know, I mean, Chris is so switched on to his body and, and watching things. When you’re working with somebody like that, or like you are like Hogg? Yeah, that’s, that’s a great part of working with Hogg’s that fit me like, Oh, great, you know. So you have to, you have to sometimes just take the reins. And it’s, it’s kind of my way or the highway for the next three or four hours. And then. So sometimes it’s, you know, you do the assessment, and you do some other muscle response testing. So we start looking at proprioceptive stuff to the eyes and the jaws and the spine. And, you know, do I use the magnets on every single bike fit, on every comprehensive fits in some shape or form, the magnets come out.
Jerry Gerlich 1:31:17
But with some of the newer stuff, that Steve’s doing this low velocity stuff, you can get some things to switch on, and it’ll, it’ll cascade through the rest of the body, and I’ve probably done 30 or 40 of those sessions.
Colby Pearce 1:31:29
Jerry Gerlich 1:31:29
I think three of those with Liz.
Colby Pearce 1:31:32
Jerry Gerlich 1:31:32
And I’ve done three of those sessions with Liz, with Steve on zoom, walking me through all the testing and stuff, and gotta tell you, it’s powerful. Yeah, but we’ve every session with Liz has been different. So that’s what we did with Bowser, and that’s, you know, I’ve done a lot of that, that velocity stuff, I’d love to go back down and spend another week immersed in it. But yeah, you get the central nervous system to switch on and start doing some different things, and you know, suddenly they’re sweating, or they’re getting dry mouth or they’re feeling a little dizzy, or you’re not used to getting that, that amount of oxygen in your body. So yeah, so I do the assessment, and then once I’ve done the assessment, try to change the body a little bit to prove for symmetry, and then start going back and forth to position so I make little marks I’ve used a lot of tape, starting point, and you start kind of dropping a look here through the C4, “Oh, now the knees coming out more.” Okay, moving forward, the hips not dropping as bad, now the left knees coming out, unscrew that that pedal, either move the cleat medial, or put a pedal washer in there and make a difference put the pedal back in. And so it’s really like setting up a tuning a drum kit, you know, you you’re angling the drums, you’re angling the cymbals getting them within reach, your muffling, your tuning, and as you know, Colby, sometimes you move one thing, and something else falls apart.
Colby Pearce 1:32:57
Impacts everything. Yep.
Jerry Gerlich 1:33:00
So I start at feet, and if I make a change in the feet, and they can notice, that I know I’m driving, so once I’ve done the feet and I think there really should be, then I’ll look at the pelvis. And if that’s not right yet, then we start doing some things with the seat position, playing with angle, set back, up and down. And I do blindfolded stuff. Here’s the killer, you some people get really loose on the bike when you put a blindfold on when they are pedaling, and some people get a lot more stable. I’d say one out of ten get more stable. When they’re when they’re not looking in the mirror, they’re not overthinking everything, you just get this out of it, just tell them to cruise. Yeah, they’ll just, you know, Its one out of ten, but most people get more unstable. It’s a series of experiments.
Bike Fitting Trial and Error
Colby Pearce 1:33:43
It’s uh, yeah, it is. It’s there’s a lot of trial and error, right? It’s like, okay, absolutely. Any bike fitter, I think that, it’s one thing to say you’re in the driver’s seat, Like, yeah, you have to take accountability or direct fit for sure, but it’s another for a bike fitter to claim that every change they make is going to be perfect, or that they know exactly what the outcome of any given change is going to be, I think of fitter is telling you that as a client, there might be, I just don’t think that’s, I’m not here to bash anybody else’s work, that’s not my MO at all, you know, there are a lot of good fitters out there a lot, a lot of really bright fitters in the universe, for sure. I’ll say that if a fitters telling you that every change they make is going to have a definite outcome, and that any part every part of bike fitting is not trial and error, I don’t think that’s accurate. I’ll just say it that way. I also think that some of that trial and error like I think you said recently, I really listened to your podcast you did on the Bike Fit Podcast with Damon, which I thought was great, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes if everyone wants to check it out. That’s a pod that’s not going anymore, hopefully, they’ll rekindle that. But I think you said that, you know, bike fitting is not a three-hour process, it can be a three month process. Maybe I got that wrong, but there are some aspects of bike fitting that just require time, I mean, like your own experience with Steve is a perfect example.
Jerry Gerlich 1:35:01
Colby Pearce 1:35:01
You guys made a major change, but there’s a lot of aspects of fitting that just take a lot of time to settle in, and some of that is contingent on what the client experiences. The perfect example is saddles, you know, I’ll put someone on 10 different saddles, while they’re in some times, and maybe nine of them are SNPs, and they pick the one they think is the best, but we still don’t know that it’s going to work for them until they go do a couple five hour rides, and do a couple hard workouts and go down in the mountains and do all the things, and then they come back and go, “Okay, I thought a Dynamic was the right one, but now I want to try Format,” or, “Oh, I thought this thing was great and not so much,” or, “wow, it’s amazing,” whatever the feedback is, but the point being, is, I can’t know definitively when they walk out the door, this is the perfect position for you. But there are aspects I’m pretty firm on like, “yeah, your cell really shouldn’t be any higher than it is right now.” But there are other aspects that are like, “Look, we need to see how this settles in.” And my job as a fitter is to coach them, Like, here’s what you’re looking for, we set your saddle nose angle at 3.9 degrees nose down, when you’re on a long, false flat downhill with a tailwind, you’re pedaling pretty hard, say 2% downhill, If you’re constantly typewriting up to the nose and then having to scoot back, maybe we overcooked the saddle nose angle a little bit. On the other hand, If you’re feeling pain in your, in your nether regions, when you’re climbing all the time, or when you’re going hard in the drops. Okay, we might have gone a little too high. Right? So, yeah.
Jerry Gerlich 1:36:28
And you know, you, you can’t look into a crystal ball and predicted in three or four weeks that you’re going to be pedaling the same position, including the cleat positions. Yeah, we’ve got that method 1-2-3 thing, and, you know, I tend to go a lot with the method two stuff. You know, sometimes it’s like, yeah, “I nailed it to the method two,” you know, according to the formula, this is exactly where you need to be like, its like “No man. I have no control over that yet.” That cleat needs to go forward just a little bit.
Colby Pearce 1:36:56
Jerry Gerlich 1:36:56
So it’s a starting point. Yeah, starting point. But, and you know, this, these assumptions toe down, pedalers need to have their cleats for the forward, always, you know, short distance, right? What about a long distance fixed gear rack? Where do you put those cleats? Well, how do you know? You know, you set it up, and let them go right, and you get some feedback. And I remember Paolo used to, he had Rocket7’s, And he was just like, “Yeah, I just moved, I always move the cleats all the way in, and I always move them all the way back.”
Colby Pearce 1:37:34
No matter what the shoe is, I know a lot of riders who do it that way.
Jerry Gerlich 1:37:38
And they always go all the way back. Well, yeah, maybe that, you know, if you’re giving some follow up, and their body’s changing over time, if you get some muscle activation stuff, or some low velocity stuff, or some magnet work, and you’ve, you’ve kind of played with their central nervous system a little bit, you’ve played with it more by playing with your foot direction, on two to four weeks of riding, some of their issues that they came to the door with maybe subsiding, but something new maybe cropping up. And that, when you were just so darn sure that you needed to angle that handlebar down just a little bit, because those wrists were cranked a little bit, it’s like, you just bring that bar up, or they had been riding for 10 years, “Yeah, that thing in my shoulder that propped up totally went away, within two days of you raising the bar back up.” So I still find myself getting into these paradigms of looking at somebody and thinking “man, their bars turned up a little too high, or their hoods are a little bit too high,” or so I find that doing it eyes closed, forces them to get a tactile feeling of you know, unwrap all the bars, loosen up the hoods, and first we’re going to, we’re going to put the bar where you want it, and get them into drops, get them on the tops, and then blindfold them, pedal, you know, put in the 53.16 or whatever they can pedal, it’s a pretty decent load. And while they’re pedaling, pull that thing into position and the drops, and see what they come up with, and if they’re, if they’re all, their wrist is all crazy, I can’t do it on this side.
Colby Pearce 1:39:05
Jerry Gerlich 1:39:05
Did you see a bunch of bunch of bends here? It’s all stretched out here, It’s like, yeah, it’s kind of cranked up. So let them put it where they think that needs to be, and then you put it where you think it needs to be, and then maybe bridge the gap. Right? And finally come to an agreement, Okay. Yeah, I think that’s what more needs to be, especially these flatter top bars, If you sometimes you do something at the drops, it makes you feel wonderful, like to the tail end of the bar is actually coming up towards you. It’s like oh, I can totally ride into drops like that. Now put your hands on the tops, Oh, crap. So Exactly. So once again, it’s like setting up your drum equipment, now I can get to this drum but now it’s banging into this other cymbal, So I’m gonna have to need to tweak the drum or treat the symbol or tweak both a little bit.
Colby Pearce 1:39:46
Or just put on a wave bar.
Jerry Gerlich 1:39:48
Oh, dude, I was I was like lusting over one of those things the other day, I have to show you at some point my the the wrap that I’ve done on my bar, is it’s just a zip alloy bar, but we used to ride windward bars, remember those things?
Colby Pearce 1:40:04
Jerry Gerlich 1:40:05
Finger grips, those had a sweep to them. That was like 2006.
Colby Pearce 1:40:09
They had a back sweep. Yep.
Jerry Gerlich 1:40:10
And they had this little cup that you could put your hands in.
Colby Pearce 1:40:13
Jerry Gerlich 1:40:14
And, and I actually liked those bars. The thing I didn’t like about it is the bar tape would always mess up because of those finger things.
Colby Pearce 1:40:22
Unless it was the world’s thinnest bar tape, you couldn’t tape on there.
Jerry Gerlich 1:40:25
Colby Pearce 1:40:26
Right. So you rode it without tape, but in Texas, here, that would probably work. But down there?
Jerry Gerlich 1:40:31
Colby Pearce 1:40:32
We live in the driest state in the universe. Like, you could ride with no bar tape, you would probably be fine, but there your hands would be flying off the tops all the time.
Colby Pearce 1:40:39
Jerry Gerlich 1:40:42
So yeah, I was looking at those those wave bars, and man, you know, I actually taped my bars closer to the front and closer to the corners, to actually create, I think I’ve got like, 10 levels of duct tape along the leading edges to actually create a slight sweep.
Colby Pearce 1:41:00
Jerry Gerlich 1:41:01
And then at the at the bend, you know, one of these days, I’ll show you some pictures of it.
Colby Pearce 1:41:08
Jerry Gerlich 1:41:09
I put, I put zip ties, four really large zip ties around the corner of the bend, and then tape that together, and then put two layers of moleskin over that.
Colby Pearce 1:41:19
Jerry Gerlich 1:41:19
And then wrapped it up, and now you have this little shelf for the edge of your hands. Yeah. And you can’t even tell it, like, if I take you over and look at my bike right now you won’t even be able to tell it, but when you set your hands on the hoods, you can feel it, you get it, you get another Di2 bike, that’s just the same bar, none of that, so I love the idea of the wave bar, the little gap for the phone to go in, totally makes sense, If you externally rotate the shoulders a little bit, relaxed shoulders, it’s going to have a cascading effect on the rear of the body.
Jerry Gerlich 1:41:49
Jerry Gerlich 1:41:50
Variable diameter, handlebars, that’s, that’s, that’s great. But, you know, buying stuff right now with the gym, and business is tight you know? Like, I’ll get one of those bars soon enough.
Colby Pearce 1:42:04
Jerry Gerlich 1:42:05
Yeah. constantly, constantly tweaking things, I’ll look at a bike fit, like tuning in drumming or muffling a drum kit, you know, they used to make these torque wrenches for drums, and you’d say, oh, okay, well, I have a, you know, my, that the diameter of my drum is, you know, 14 inches and it’s got 12 lugs around, and the depth is this, and you look at the chart and says, “Oh, well, the torque setting to tune that drum, is 7.5 Newton meters,” and you dive a little thing to 7.5, and you, you go around till it clicks. All right. Okay, oh, now this next drum, this drum, you’re going to do it a little lower, this is only going to go to 5.5 Newton meters. So the idea is you can run around with this torque wrench until it clicks, then you’re drum is going to be in tune.
Jerry Gerlich 1:42:55
Every drive got its own resonant frequency, of course, you tune the pitch of the drum from the bottom head, the top head is just for the bounce. So you get into a reasonable tension so that your stick works right. And then you use you raise and lower the tension on the bottom head to find a resonant frequency of that drum, if you’re a little low, it’s going to have this real low sound. And then if you’re too high, it’s going to have a real high ringing pitch, and it rings too long, and it doesn’t have any fixed sound to it. So somewhere between something that sounds like mud, and something that’s real ringy, its the right resonant frequency. And after playing with that torque wrench out in LA for, I would say six months, like man, forget this thing, just tune the drum, and it’s the same thing with the bike fitting stuff. It’s like okay, well the thing says this, Yeah, but he’s still got that wrist thing.
Colby Pearce 1:43:46
Jerry Gerlich 1:43:46
So, right, yeah, yeah, we are going to move the nose forward a little bit or down a little bit or up.
Colby Pearce 1:43:52
Jerry Gerlich 1:43:52
So always looking for the tricks you know, always looking. I used to have a, I spent six months working on a pedal, that had a weighted with a stud-finder things, that runs a straight level laser up the wall, that’s across the wall.
Colby Pearce 1:44:07
Jerry Gerlich 1:44:08
I had one of those on a bearing on an old BMX just pedal axle, and you’d screw the left crank off, and you’d screw the thing in and you take all the tension off the trainer and it was so heavy, it would weight the pedal down, and you hit the start button and it was self-leveling. And it would run a line up through the bottom bracket, the center of the crank and you could measure set back.
Jerry Gerlich 1:44:32
But it only took you about 20 minutes to set it up.
Colby Pearce 1:44:37
Best measurement in the world.
Jerry Gerlich 1:44:39
Yeah. Oh, so we’re always looking for this, it’s kind of a curse, you’re always trying to make things as good as you can make them, but we’re on a timeline here. You know, we can’t do a 10 bike fit, they’re gonna fade, there’s a certain point where their eyes glaze over, you’re starting to lose them.
Colby Pearce 1:44:55
Jerry Gerlich 1:44:56
So there’s been some things that I’ve done, the joke is Steve has taught me 300 things, and I’ve taught him three.
Colby Pearce 1:45:03
Jerry Gerlich 1:45:05
You know, I mean, he’s taught me so many things, but the, the idea of he’s at the cable in.
Colby Pearce 1:45:10
I still credit you with that pretty much every time I do a fit.
Jerry Gerlich 1:45:14
He made fun of me when I showed up in 2012. When I showed up in 2012, with the Oh, by the way, that the cable in thing, he let me sit on that for six months, he saw me doing it with Paolo before the Paolo thing, he’s just kind of looking, you know, with the sour look on his face, you bloody Americans, you’re always looking for the lazy way to get it out of things, and call the attorneys, and your football players with your helmets in your pads, It’s not even a bloody touchdown anymore. They just dance around, look at me, I made it across the line. Well, you know, you bloody Americans are so lazy. You know, it well, that’s kind of course.
Colby Pearce 1:45:47
Jerry Gerlich 1:45:47
And six months later, he tells me “Oh, that thing with the cable in, best thing I learned all year.”
Colby Pearce 1:45:52
That’s brilliant. Yeah.
Jerry Gerlich 1:45:52
It’s like, “dude, you let me sit on that for six months?”
Colby Pearce 1:45:56
You put it to the test for him.
Jerry Gerlich 1:45:57
So the three things I’ve taught Steve is that is the cable thing, how to use a laser to check setback, and he balked at that, until he saw one of his employees, one of his clients, was watching him trying to deal with the two tools in his glasses. He’s like, “Steve that’s way too hard.” So you know, they see him struggling, He’s like, here, just put this here, So now he’s using that. And then the third thing is, you know, he taught me how to use a magnet with my arm, and after three years of playing with that, it was right before inner-bike, I came up with that drill wand thing. And Steve looking at it, and he goes, “what about the magnets in the drill?” You know, he gave me a hard time, but yeah, within six months, he had his own thing. So yeah, he taught me three hundred things, I’ve taught him three.
How to use Training as a Personal Trainer in Bike Fit
Jerry Gerlich 1:46:41
How do I use my training as a personal trainer in the bike fit? Look at where their tendencies are, and see if you can do something, to change them even a little bit. I used to do these long workouts, like a 70 minute workout, 60 minute workout with a 10 minute warm up, and, you know, I want you to do this three times a week, It’s 8 or 10 exercises, and here’s your reps and your sets and the exercises, and personal training on the net had these little videos, it would show a model going through these things. And some of these people, you get them back 18 months later, three years later, they can’t do any of that stuff, they did it for two or three weeks, and so it’s like, “dude, If I got 70 minutes, I’m not going to do this in my garage.” So now for the past four or five years, I just no more than three, I give them something they can do and no more than 10 minutes every day of the week. But biggest three things that I think can help you out functionally off the bike, and if they feel good, like if it’s opposed to your pelvic feel, are you showing them how to like grab a hold of their fashion open up their hip flexor level, really squeezing that glute and tilting their head a little bit. They get up and walk around, they can feel a difference? You just tell them you know I get up in the morning, take a shower, and do this four-point thing, do this hip flexor stretch, do some support to your pelvic tilt, you know, and do some right emphasis for your rotations, because of your back. It’s stuff that feels good, it really feels good to move my torso to the right without moving my hips. You got a six-to-eight-minute workout. Do that in any day that ends in y. Super simple. If they can get those things under control, then it’s going to help, It’s going to help them functionally, and it’s also going to expedite the adaptation. But it’s got to feel good and they got to want to do it.
Unusual Bike Fitting Techniques
Jerry Gerlich 1:48:25
What unusual techniques do I use in bike fits? Oh gosh. I mean how many times have you cut up a pair of insoles and use something thinner on the forefoot and thicker in the back end? Stacking G8s?
Colby Pearce 1:48:37
Jerry Gerlich 1:48:38
You got a level five, or level four, it’s not enough. A level five is too much, how about a level four with some tape added to it. Or a level four with a level one, with the flat fin taken off and stuck into level one under the four, duct tape into position, So it’s progressive. Collapses a little bit, then as it gets to the bottom end of the motion, now it has more support to it. As long as a muscle test strong, good to go.
Colby Pearce 1:49:02
It’s fair game.
Jerry Gerlich 1:49:03
Yeah. Yeah dude. Stretching things.
Colby Pearce 1:49:06
Jerry Gerlich 1:49:07
You know, Dremel tool.
Colby Pearce 1:49:08
Jerry Gerlich 1:49:09
The bike fitter, doesn’t know how to use dremel tool. You know, it’s like, yeah, right client come in, there’s gonna be times where you have to use a dremel tool.
Colby Pearce 1:49:18
Gotta get that dynamic angle right on that Pinarello seat post. Right?
Jerry Gerlich 1:49:22
Right. David asked me, “What’s the weirdest tool you’ve ever used in a bike fit?” It’s like a cheese grater.
Colby Pearce 1:49:28
Jerry Gerlich 1:49:28
Cheese grater? What the hell. So if you look at G8s, you’ll see that we’ve got these three little segments that are right in front of the arch, these two little lines, and triathletes that don’t wear socks are people that are really sensitive, Like if I put you in a pair of G8s, right? And I had the ball you, you know, some people are medium some people are large, if those things are too close to the ball, your foot, and you’re real sensitive, you can feel them. Ben Keating, racecar guy, like “Man I’m feeling this area under here. I can feel those little lines.” So I take him out on the back porch and take them on the sidewalk, and do three or four scrapes on the sidewalk, and then come back in and try that, like “Oh, totally better.” And then I just came up with the cheese grater, because it’s faster and going outside and scraping it on the sidewalk.
Colby Pearce 1:50:13
Jerry Gerlich 1:50:14
Yeah. And then the, the arch supports on the G8s, they get a flat section in the arch support. Sometimes the little piece that comes off the front, it’s just a little bit too close to the ball the foot.
Colby Pearce 1:50:27
Jerry Gerlich 1:50:28
They like that little flat support, but they’re feeling a little flat edge. You put them on a level four, they don’t feel the flat edge, but they don’t have the arch support. So you put the level five in there, and you cut off the last three millimeters on it.
Colby Pearce 1:50:38
Jerry Gerlich 1:50:38
They are like, “holy cow.” And when you take it back three mil, and they don’t feel that so much, Not only are you solving a problem, but a client is seeing that, this guy’s really taking this thing to the mat, and you’re down there looking at their foot and they can see that we’re not just trying to get a job done, we’re trying to do the best thing that we can possibly do.
Colby Pearce 1:51:01
Jerry Gerlich 1:51:02
Anyway we can make this better. Yeah, so and a lot of that, um, you know, honestly, I learned with you, Colby, I mean, I still got some beat up, I’ve got some really Cheery Bonds that I’ve never even been worn, And I crashed my 403s, and I remember you talking about putting a upper of one shoe on a sole of another shoe. I’m like, I wonder if I could get those seats on there.
Colby Pearce 1:51:23
I’ve actually thought about the same hybrid.
Colby Pearce 1:51:30
Yeah, well just wait till the LOR shoe comes out. That’ll.
Jerry Gerlich 1:51:34
Yeah, I’m really excited about that. Or you peeling up the edge of your SNP and getting after it with the Dremel tool.
Colby Pearce 1:51:41
Jerry Gerlich 1:51:42
I mean, that takes some guts. That takes some guts.
Colby Pearce 1:51:44
You got to tinker with stuff every once in a while, you know? Yeah, if you’re not, If you’re a bike fitter and you’re not a tinkerer, I would argue that maybe bike fitting isn’t your your highest calling.
Jerry Gerlich 1:51:56
Colby Pearce 1:51:57
It’s kind of what kind of bike fitters are, there tinkers, you know they’re two layers or one layer of duct tape kind of guys.
Jerry Gerlich 1:52:05
You know, and Bowser is starting to do that now. I went up there and visited him a couple of times. I drilled him some mountain bike mid foot cleats. Dude, he has a Cherry Rigid, Fat, wicked, that’s I think an 87 model with the Ubreak on it, you know, all the stuff.
Colby Pearce 1:52:23
Of course he does.
Jerry Gerlich 1:52:24
He had me go ride it. It’s like riding that bike, this 87 model Fat with perfect paint. Of course in the rain, “Come on, it’ll be alright, we’ll wipe it down.” It’s like “Dude, I do not want to ride this Cherry bike.”
Colby Pearce 1:52:35
I don’t want to ruin your nice bike.
Jerry Gerlich 1:52:37
Anyway, I went up there a couple of times and worked with him, and he was watching me work, and I’m looking at a client that’s coming in for a refit. Oh, no, no, no, this is the triathlete, the morning I was supposed to be leaving, he’s taking me to the airport in three hours or something. Some guys on his way to the west coast, and he’s having knee problems, “Is there any way you can see me, my daughter’s got her soccer game running. You know, I’ve got this two hour window, I could come see you.” So Chris said yeah, come on over to the house and put him on, he’s got a really nice little studio, set away from his house. And we looked at him on the trailer, we felt his cleats and he had some speed bike cleats, they might have been light action cleats, Anyway, Chris didn’t have any, and I look over my back and I had a fresh pair of cleats. It’s like “Dude, these cleats are totally clapped out.” Alright, put the new cleats on there. And the guys like, he couldn’t feel a difference, but Chris and I we’re like, “that totally looks better dude.” And I didn’t, I didn’t have the time for the muscle response testing or the jig or any of that stuff out, you know what, I’m seeing something on that left foot. “Chris, let me just I want to try one out, I’m not gonna move his cleats, just let me try something with his insole.” And I tore off about a 10 millimeter width, about a 21 millimeter length of duct tape, and put it on the medial side of the left heel, and or the right, whatever it was, and put him back on the bike, and Bowser’s so quick, in three strokes, It’s like “stop do that again,” So we put a second one on there he goes, “That’s even better.” Try it again. I don’t know Chris, tried it again, and “no. Two is good.” And that’s the first time Chris saw me just uses a tiny bit of duct tape, for just a small amount, it wasn’t even a degree. But you could see it, you know, can’t cut your own hair, you can’t pale your own seat, can’t see what your feet look like when your pedaling.
Colby Pearce 1:54:23
Can’t see your own butt when your on a bike. Yeah.
Jerry Gerlich 1:54:26
And the way he was looking at me looking at this guy’s feet, he’s like, “What made you decide to do that?” Like, “I don’t know, I do that kind of stuff all the time. It’s either gonna make a difference or won’t.” So, yeah, tilting the cleat just a little bit, tilting the heel just a little bit, adding a tiny bit of arch support. With my client’s as long as they still strong was muscle testing, life is good. If we need to trim away a little bit of a tongue, that’s being folded over, because you got to hell drop a person, that tongue off just in a way, and you show him, “Look at all those lines.” If we cut some of this away that’s less of that hitting against your foot. And you know, when you’re about to cut away part of a $450 shoe,
Colby Pearce 1:55:09
Better be right about it. Yeah
Jerry Gerlich 1:55:10
It’s like, dude, I’m gonna guarantee you this, I really think you’re gonna like, and if they’re really sketchy about it, I’ll fold it over and duct tape it down.
Colby Pearce 1:55:18
Jerry Gerlich 1:55:19
Stick it under, now pedal that. Tell me, “Do you feel a difference?” No. Take off the tape fold it back up. “Do you feel a difference?” No. We’re not getting anything. Sometimes they’re just too freaked out about cutting something I won’t. But what’s the name? Oh my gosh, track rider, last name, love. Marianne Love? World Champion age group or something 2006-2007. I cut the tongue of her Giros, and she sent me a text like I don’t know, six months later, It’s like “I was I was riding my bike today, I got off and I looked at my shoes, And I saw where you cut that off, and I just thought about how many hundreds of thousands of repetitions had gone around with that thing against my foot, and then you take it out and that things just not touching my foot anymore.” So getting rid of stuff you don’t need, adding support where you need it, giving them breathing exercises, given a visualization techniques, learning how to relax under load. That was another thing that, Dolan Perry taught me, he says when you’re playing, as the as the song tempo starts to increase in the dynamics go up, the tendency when you play louder is to speed up, and the tendency when you play softer is to slow down. So it’s really challenging to play super loud and powerful at a very even beat, without speeding up. Yeah, and he said, “so as things get more challenging, you want to focus on relaxing.” And, and so I take that on the bikes, like Okay, great, now you’re trying to turn 450 watts, and you’re grinding your teeth, and you’re raising a shoulder, and you’re, you’re clenching your hoods, it’s like, dude, just turn it. And, and if they’re one of these where the elbows go up and out, it’s like, you know, focus more on relaxing as you’re as you’re loading things up. So little tips on form and technique can go a long way, a little bit of video, a little off the bike exercises, and in three or four weeks, let’s take a look at you again. I don’t know about you, but I would say that 80% of my fits wind up standing in the same position they went out the door with. I mean, well, what would you say? would you say greater than 50%?
Colby Pearce 1:57:30
Oh, for sure, for me. Maybe really minor tweaks, but like a couple mills, but I would say 85% of my fits stay where they are.
Jerry Gerlich 1:57:40
You took all that time, and dove in. And then as a as they do start to change over time, and their body starts to relax, or they start to relax into that 430 watts or whatever it is the time trial position, whatever they’re doing. As your body starts to ride differently, they start to pedal a little bit different, and you said okay, well this hip is tight, and this hip is twisted, and this foot tends to flex, and this foot tends to drop it to heel, and you get all this information, and as they start to change over time, at four to six weeks, yeah, you might tweak things a little bit or you may just give him an extra exercise or combination both. Good example is when I went to train with Hogg, after three years of riding his position, and he dropped my seat maybe a five-millimeter left shim, when I went down to three years later, he raised the seat five mil, and took out the five mil shim. Dude. My leg length changed. Exactly, exactly. How did it change? And you’re still stuck with this formula of, Yeah, I’ll set my position, so I must be dialed for life. He goes, “no, no, no, you, you’ve been focusing on the hip drop. And you’ve, you’ve gotten a little more functional. And you’ve loosened up your tibialis muscles a little bit and you’ve worked on your posture on the bike. And lo and behold, you’ve been riding more relaxed. So yeah, you need to come up a little bit.” And it’s not like he’s putting a goniometer, and said, this has to be 4.86 millimeters to go up, let’s go up a little bit, and let’s go a little more. Now he’s starting to wobble, go down a little bit. Yeah.
Bike Fitting is About Being Tapped into the Client
Colby Pearce 1:59:08
That’s about being tapped into. I mean, I remember while I was training with Steve at one point, he kind of, he you know, after a week and a half or so he kind of let you take the reins and some of the decisions, you know, start testing you a little bit I’ll start asking you, and at one point a client was in and he was like, “Yeah, I feel like your saddle needs to come back a little bit. What do you think Colby?” And I was like, I’d say 12 mills, he was like, “that’s exactly the number I had in my head.” But who knows if, I mean that honestly could that could just be me and Steve being tapped into each other. I mean, this is gonna sound super woo, to some people but I’m just gonna say it anyway like, when you’re on wave with someone you know, you hear stories all the time about oh, I was just thinking of calling you and then the phone ring, and it’s that person, like you’re tapped into somebody and you’re on their wavelength, when you’re synchronized with what their processes and what their intent is, a lot of times you can come to understand maybe what their line of thought is before they verbalize it.
Colby Pearce 2:00:01
Colby Pearce 2:00:02
It could have been that simple, but I also think bike fitting is about being tapped in to that client and understanding, the more you understand about their context and who they are, and the types of preferences, they have in their athletic history, and their injury history, and their flexibility habits, and the strength conditioning, they now can look at them on the bike and have an instinct, it’s an instinct of, man, this person really needs this, but if we push it on that, I can tell it’s just not going to go, Well, they need time for that. And to go back to your earlier question about how many fits change, I would say in the, you know, the tune up period of less than three months, when I do a full fit someone included in my fit processes a tune up, where they come in, and we talk about how they’re settling, and they tell me about how you know, this got sore and that adapted or this or that or that questions, and if we need to make changes we make changes. Very few of those change in that tune up period window. But year over year, I have clients whose positions have changed quite a bit, because human bodies evolve, and they’re adapting to load, they’re adapting to new stretching routines, or lack of stretching, they’re adapting to, you know, the strength and conditioning program, they started there, the race load changes, their ride volume changes, their stress changes, you know, whatever their job changes. They used to be on the feet all the time, and now they’re in a desk, like, all these things impact a body’s function just like, absolutely, you have that right side bias from years of drumming, right? And everyone has a right side bias in their hips, if they drive a car, because automobile pedals are not centered with the body line, they’re shifted to the left. So that right there tends to give most people right hip drop on its own, if you drive a car, right?
Colby Pearce 2:01:41
So um, yeah, I would say, go ahead Jerry.
Jerry Gerlich 2:01:47
I want to backtrack a little bit, you talk about having a conversation with the client really involving the client and the thing, when do you feed them, and when you teach them how to fish, and one of the things I tell people is, you know, you may not be a bike fitter, but I once we find a position that really works for you, and you get kind of tapped into, “Oh, this is what a bike should feel,” like, you know, it took me over a month to get used to Steve’s position, but once I got there, and then I trusted the position, and I knew it because I didn’t have pain, but some people will know it because they’ll start getting better time splits, or the triathlete people will feel better when they start to run. And it’s like, okay, now, we did something, and we tweaked everything, and we did a bunch of stuff with your shoes and your seat, and we’ll give you some breathing exercises, and we played with your Aero bars, and now once you’ve got to that, as your body starts to change and tweak, before you come see me, maybe you could think about, “Do I need to pull that Aero bar out a little bit, or pull it back a little bit?” Or, you know, maybe I could try, I’m noticing that I’m getting this chafing around perineum, I think I might need to have that nose go down just another half degree, a quarter turn on the bolt, or it’s like, you know, don’t be afraid to play with your own position. You know, back in the day was mountain bike racing is like, “Oh, yeah, you broke a spoke. What are you gonna do?” Well, you either fix it, or your gonna walk. You know, now you get a hand up the wheels, and you get all this handout stuff. But, you know, you we want you to kind of learn how to feed yourself, and then when you get stuck, call me. But what’s, you know, I’ve gotten a couple of clients from out of state, that now we’re actually starting to use zoom stuff.
Colby Pearce 2:03:23
Jerry Gerlich 2:03:24
And they’ll say I’ve got some notes on something, and I’ve got an idea about something, but I want to have you look at me first. And those people only do the rollers.
Colby Pearce 2:03:31
Jerry Gerlich 2:03:32
Like No, you’re not doing the kicker, we’re not doing that. And all three of them have GrowTech and love them. GrowTech rollers are kill, they got five magnetic resistance, they are ultra-smooth, you can stack them up on a couple of wooden yoga blocks and create like about a four degree incline. Yeah, they’re, they’re sweet.
Colby Pearce 2:03:53
Yeah. So I’m, you know, talking about moving into Fit Spaces, I’m definitely going to have a platform cut out for roller so that I can teach, because I’ve had some inside ride rollers in my studio, and I’ve had some riders ride them, but what I want is to make it as actionable as possible for my clients to ride rollers, even if they’ve never ridden them before. And I think a lot of that is raising the platform around the roller so that they have to put a foot down, It’s not Yeah, behind the bike plus the floor.
Jerry Gerlich 2:04:17
Close to a wall or something, So if something goes out, they can put a foot down and put an arm out.
Colby Pearce 2:04:21
Lean on it. Yeah.
Jerry Gerlich 2:04:22
When Bowser was here, you know, we did his fit, I mean, we adjusted things on the stationary trainer, but we tested his position on the rollers.
Colby Pearce 2:04:30
Jerry Gerlich 2:04:31
It’s like, you know, that’s really as far as indoor riding goes, that’s, that’s kind of a gold standard for improving stability.
Colby Pearce 2:04:37
Jerry Gerlich 2:04:38
Ride the rollers a little bit better.
Colby Pearce 2:04:40
Well, as Alan Lim told me years ago, if you can ride the rollers with only one leg clipped in and no hands, which gets a little bit circusy, but you got I don’t know that I agree that’s the epitome of stability, but I’ll say riding rollers with no hands, riding rollers with only one foot clipped in, yeah, you get some pluses and minuses there, but I agree.
Jerry Gerlich 2:05:01
Bowser sat straight up and covered his dominant eye.
Colby Pearce 2:05:03
Jerry Gerlich 2:05:06
That’s like, and I’m like, you know, I’m yelling at him, “dude, you get to break my studio,” he’s right next to mirrors and stuff, And uh, you know, he’s yelling in the room, I’m not gonna say what he was saying, But, you know, he’s like “I can’t believe this, I’m riding with my dominant eye, don’t you want to do anything?” It’s like, “dude, you’re riding with your dominant eye covered on rollers with no hands smoothly. Why would I move anything?”
Colby Pearce 2:05:30
Jerry Gerlich 2:05:31
So yeah, if you can find a way to improve the stability, and they can experience that, then then it’s like all that pressure deflates at the end. It’s like, “I spent all this money on bike fit,” but you know what? There’s no question that I’m better. Oh, exercises, we get a, we get a follow up.
Colby Pearce 2:05:48
Jerry Gerlich 2:05:48
And, you know, Steve, always under promises and over delivers, as you know, you sent him three sentences, he replies with two paragraphs. So it’s that, you know, just go for it. Make the best, best of what you can do.
Jerry Gerlich 2:06:02
Some of the biggest fit disasters. Colby, what’s the biggest fit disaster you ever had? Or one of them?
Colby Pearce 2:06:10
That’s a good question. I mean, I’ve had a few, you know, we all as Hogg fitters, we, we all have money back guarantees on our work, which I’m a big believer in. I mean, if you took your car to a mechanic and the engine didn’t start, and then you know, you drove back to your house next morning and got up and spent $1,000 on your car and the engine start, you’d immediately call that mechanic, be like, what’s the deal? But for some reason, bike fitting doesn’t work like that, you know, you have here a lot of stories about people go to a bike fit, and they’ve got an issue and they go to three bike fits, and they still have this chronic saddle sore, chronic hamstring pain, chronic, you know, whatever back pain. So I feel like Steve’s Mo is to offer that money back guarantee to help offer some solidarity and some reassurance to what is an industry that has expanded rapidly in the last 10-15 years, and, and is undergoing some growing pains. So probably my biggest fit disasters for me would be, I’ve had a couple clients where it just didn’t work, and there are a bunch of reasons for that. And, you know, you always take lessons from those, but you know, I don’t have any, Well, I will tell one fits. Okay, I’ll tell one fit story.
Jerry Gerlich 2:07:18
You don’t have to use a person’s name.
Colby Pearce 2:07:21
I had a client, this is a long time ago, many years ago, I’d say maybe eight, nine years ago, and I had a client who had I don’t remember what it was it was you know, an F10 Dogma or something, some $12,000 bike, it was a super nice and I got the thing in the trainer and the guy hopped up on there and I made the mistake of not, somehow I didn’t get it quite in the trainer quite right.
Jerry Gerlich 2:07:47
Colby Pearce 2:07:47
And the bike popped out of the trainer when he was on it, and he came down, and he didn’t come down hard, he didn’t break anything on him. And he didn’t somehow managed to not rip a hole through his seat stay, because when a bike falls over in the trainer, the first thing is, the seat stay hits the bar of the trainer, right? Somehow that didn’t happen, so I was came out of it really lucky, and I was I was just going “wow, this was the dumbest mistake in the world.” You know, it’s something that I need to for now, every single fit I do I am cranking on that curt so hard. I’ve got to curt connect, that I use on the Cirrus platform MP1, that’s my current setup. And, man, that thing is not coming in there, like half the time I have to un-welded to get it out of there, I that was a pretty big disaster in the sense that he ended up with a pretty good scratch on his frame. And this was a an immaculate new f10, if I remember correctly it was a f10. I mean, dude, that’s just such a bummer for me to be responsible for that scratch, but it could have been so much worse, the guy could have hit his head on the corner of my platform, he could have broken collarbone falling out of a trainer, like so, I’ll say that You know, a lot of things go wrong in a bike fit. That was one of my bigger ones that I’ve had. Less than one. What about you? You want to share one?
Jerry Gerlich 2:09:00
Oh, I’ve got lots of them. It seems like about every 18 months or so I have something that, no matter what I try, it doesn’t go right. We usually get off to a weird start with you know, I send them a questionnaire and they answer everything with one-word answers, What are your goals for this fit? To get dialed in.
Colby Pearce 2:09:18
Jerry Gerlich 2:09:20
So usually starts with limited information, and people that don’t, you know, they don’t know what I dom And they’re usually just okay, I’m here the thing is three hours, So it’s nine, I’ll be out here by 12, I’ll meet such and such for lunch, and then we’ll go for a ride and everything will be hunky dory.
Colby Pearce 2:09:36
Yeah, and then next Saturday.
Jerry Gerlich 2:09:39
This person had been wearing very high heeled shoes for decades, had been riding for decades, feet, they were just hammered from the high heel shoes and also they were just you know, bunions, and really wide forefoot, and really narrow heel, and it was like everything outside, the person she applied, I said, “look, how about this? How did you come down here, and I’ll take a look at you, I just want to look at your shoes and your feet and see if it’s something I can do.” And when I saw how offset everything and how wide her foot was on the Brannock device and forefoot, I was like, these shoes are too short for you, they’re way too narrow, but she had big gap in the heel. So the shoes are too long, you need a significantly wider shoe than this, and I really think you should get some Riivo Custom shoes, I think you should have custom shoes made, because I’ve never seen a foot this wide at this length.
Colby Pearce 2:10:32
Jerry Gerlich 2:10:32
So it was like really? It’s like, yeah, I mean, you’ve been having problems for 20 years, you’re asking what I suggest, so it started off with, “Okay, go spend, you know, 1200 bucks on some shoes,” and she came back, and then every adjustment I tried, just made it worse. And about two months into it, she’s like, you know what, there’s get it, there’s no change, I’m in just as much pain, and the seat was up and the seat was down and forward and back, and the cleats were forward and back, and a little shim and no shim and, and muscle response testing. And this is one of the things that just about everything I did, either made no difference or made it worse.
Colby Pearce 2:11:07
Jerry Gerlich 2:11:08
And had to give the money back, and that was when I learned, you have to see what’s coming through the door, talk to people before they come in for a bike fit to get an idea of what the expectations are. And if they’re giving you a lot of short answers, and they can’t really describe in detail what they’re experiencing, or you get them in and you just look at their feet, You know, in hindsight, I would now say you know what, two years off high heels, take two years off the bike, go do what Colby’s been doing, learn how to function with your feet. And you know, get some well-fitting shoes and get some message in your lower legs, work on your tibialis muscles, work on your posture.
Colby Pearce 2:11:46
Get your Achilles long, and your calf back normal.
Jerry Gerlich 2:11:48
Let’s give you a couple of years, but I was trying so hard. I was trying so hard to be everything to everyone, I bit off more than I could chew. So I’ll see one of those about every 18 months or so, I had one guy come in, he called me way at a time, Are you going to be available on this Friday, it was a very specific Friday. Like Yeah, actually, I will be available that Friday. Okay, because we’re like three or four months ahead of time. And he was at, what are those things called a Fizik Volta? Do you remember those things?
Colby Pearce 2:11:48
Jerry Gerlich 2:12:23
Just it’s this curve, this gnarly seat, I’m looking at and I’m looking at him, It’s like, “dude, is that cover?” “Oh, I love it.” It’s like you enjoyed that, Yeah, I love my area. Right? Okay, yeah, dude, you gotta ride Marissa, it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. Your gotta love it. Yeah, I think I thought I loved it. Yeah, right. This guy got his fit on this Friday, he didn’t ask any questions, he just went through everything, went to a race on Saturday morning, finished in the back, and Monday, he wanted his money back.
Colby Pearce 2:12:53
Jerry Gerlich 2:12:58
So when somebody calls you for a very specific day, a few months ahead of time, and they’re, they’re kind of dodgy on their answers, You know, fair warning, you know, you got somebody who’s not telling you everything. So, yeah, ask lots of questions. Get a good idea of, of what you’re going into. If you can’t figure it out, just be honest, and so I don’t know if I can help you, I’m not getting enough information back.
Colby Pearce 2:13:24
Jerry Gerlich 2:13:24
And, and that’s, that’s when I always have a phone call, I always send a questionnaire, and tell them, that this is not, it’s three hours, you may not be wonderful. It could be a month later, Are you cool with that? Are you cool with driving all the way up from wherever? and standing in a hotel and doing a fit, and living out of here six hours later in a funk? Are you comfortable with that?
Colby Pearce 2:13:48
Are you comfortable? Peeling away the layers of your onion? That’s what we’re doing, Right?
Jerry Gerlich 2:13:53
Colby Pearce 2:13:55
Jerry Gerlich 2:13:55
Absolutely. So yeah, bike fitting in a nutshell, you know.
Jerry Gerlich 2:14:04
oh, gosh, fits as well, So, I usually have about one disaster a year and one really bad disaster about every 18 months or so.
Colby Pearce 2:14:12
Jerry Gerlich 2:14:13
But one of the things he says, manna from heaven, Oh, great, You get to give somebody $1000 back for a bike fit, or $800 or whatever it is, you’ve charged them, manna from heaven, what did you learn?
Colby Pearce 2:14:25
Jerry Gerlich 2:14:25
So you know that that that sting, he says, “just treat it like tuition.”
Colby Pearce 2:14:31
Jerry Gerlich 2:14:32
This one kid, this one kid within two weeks, wanted all his money back, and he sent me this very long, you know, threatening, and if you’re not willing to stand up to your words and do what you say you can, i’ll contact an attorney and make sure I get my money back. Doing all this ridiculous stuff, marching in place with my eyes closed, and waving magnets, around me and pushing on my heart. Harder, sometimes and less hard sometimes, and telling me that something is strong and something is weak. It’s just a bunch of garbage. I mean it just as long on email, so how would you like to process your refund? I’m not even gonna try to defend anything. You know? So, yeah, COVID I’ve turned down a minimum of 15 to 20 bike fits, with these people that have come off the couch, they went down to the shop, they started riding on a Whaoo, Dropped big cash they dropped two grand on a on a bike and a Wahoo, and they’ve been riding indoors, and then read what, six months? Yeah, I get this knee pain for about five months, “What do you do?” I ride every day for about 45 minutes on the trainer. Yeah, I don’t think I’m your guy. You know?
Colby Pearce 2:15:37
Yeah. Yeah. Good for you for knowing, knowing when you can help people and knowing when they’re better served by someone else, perhaps. Right.
Jerry Gerlich 2:15:47
Same thing in personal training, somebody calls me up and a guy had, you know, he was wanting to lose some COVID weight. He wanted to do three days a week, high Intensity stuff with a lot of cardio, and high intensity, you know, you wanted to in six weeks, you want to lose X amount of weight, working out at 6am in the morning, and already had clients on two of the days that he wanted. I was like, You know what, there’s two other trainers over there that do a lot of cardio stuff, I’m not the guy that’s gonna stand there and watch you on a treadmill, and tell you what your heart rate is. That’s, I don’t think that’s a good use of my time and your money. So I’m good at working with the people that send a list, you know, teaching people how to breathe and how to stabilize better and wake up their proprioception and, you know, just learned how to function more symmetrically, and with less bang, so.
Colby Pearce 2:16:39
Jerry Gerlich 2:16:40
There’s bike fitting in a nutshell.
Colby Pearce 2:16:42
There you go. Well, Jerry, it’s getting late here. We’ve been going for a while, I want to make sure you get home in time to have dinner with your family, but hopefully they didn’t leave you cold turkey out on the on the counter there but,
Jerry Gerlich 2:16:53
Mother in law’s coming over tonight, Hi, Grammy. So yeah, Charles is working at a restaurant now, so it’s we still have Cinnamon around in milo.
Colby Pearce 2:17:02
Jerry Gerlich 2:17:02
Yeah, we still got the cats and the dog, and it’s a little different story every night. I told Kelly I’d be doing this, And so it’s all cool. Colby, I really enjoyed being on. Thank you for having me.
Colby Pearce 2:17:12
Thank you, Jerry for making the time. I really appreciate it was great conversation. I love your stories and thank you for sharing your wisdom with our audience. It’s been great, and I hope that you and I can get down to visit Steve sometime or maybe you and I need to just get together here stateside and compare notes, and dork out on some stuff.
Jerry Gerlich 2:17:30
Colby Pearce 2:17:30
Jerry Gerlich 2:17:31
Colby Pearce 2:17:32
Jerry Gerlich 2:17:33
All right, man.
Colby Pearce 2:17:34
All the best Jerry, thanks.
Colby Pearce 2:17:41
Attention space monkeys, public service announcement, really, technically, it’s a disclaimer. You already know this, but I’m going to remind you that I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not a doctor. So don’t think anything on this podcast to constitute lawyerly or doctorly advice. I don’t play either of those characters on the internet. Also, we talk about lots of things, and that means we have opinions, my guest’s opinions are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of anyone who is employed by or works at Fast Talk Labs. Also, if you want to reach out and talk to me about things, feedback on the podcast, good, bad or otherwise, you may do so at the following email address email@example.com. That’s all spelled just like it sounds, which again, is self-evident.
Colby Pearce 2:18:36