GebioMized & Daniel Shade: The appliance of science

GebioMized & Daniel Shade: The appliance of science

How pressure mapping data is revolutionising bikefitting

Daniel Schade is a cyclist and scientist, but more of a scientist. He loves collecting and analysing data, and he loves problem solving. And, whilst he hasn’t broken any records on a bike himself, he and his colleagues at world leading company, GebioMized have helped numerous cyclists at all levels, to maximise their riding and their performance. Their unique pressure mapping system is used and trusted by many of the top riders in the world and allows the best bikefitters to analyse the contact points between a cyclist and their bike, before correlating it with other information and producing a unique report on the specific needs of each and every rider.

So far, their database has collected results from over 50K riders' data files on pressure mapping and their detailed analysis. It’s a treasure-trove of data for the information hungry cycling scene, where marginal gains can mean the difference between winning and losing at the highest level, and comfort and improvements in biometric health for anyone riding a bike.

The company's history, however, isn’t as recent as you’d think. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Society of Biomechanics, at Muenster carried out pressure mapping research, inventing a metric to measure and collect data on a flexible surface. This progressed into the 1990s and into the 2000s, where a lot of their early work was around the issue of the diabetic foot and how it reacts to the shoe. They looked at neuropathic measures, hotspots measurements etc, in a bid to understand more about the human body and its relationship to contact points. It was obvious, even at this early stage, that the system in its infancy would at some point be useful not just in medical applications, but also within the field of sports science – Daniel's own specialist area. Within their own Muenster workshops, a newly formed and dynamic company resolved issues and any arising problems, simply by creating their own solutions. As Daniel tells me, “If we needed a sensor, we’d say ‘I need a sensor, let’s make one!’” They looked always for solutions, not problems.

Muenster University and work within the field of sports medicine

At the beginning of 2001, German sports medicine specialists approached the team and asked for a pressure map system. They needed data relating to the interaction between the cyclist and the saddle. Using their growing expertise, they built a system which was the first in the world. As Daniel highlights to me:

“It’s important to get the data and then to correlate the numbers against the feelings of the cyclist and their movements. Not only the saddle, but it’s also the same with shoe insoles concept. We need to be able to measure the loading panel when the foot is being used, not just a static foot. Likewise, with the saddle data, the rider needs to be in motion, so that the GeBioMized system can collect and analyse dynamic information and data before producing a solution – the right saddle, the right insole, and of course, the right shoe for the way in which the cyclist rides.”

GeBioMized works to build a picture of riders cycling action, their interaction points with the bike, and then to peel away the layers that are causing the issues that the rider is experiencing.

Analysing our uniqueness to create performance improvements

Fundamentally, what GeBioMize does is to analyse our uniqueness and how the human body moves and works. Not just at the obvious visual level, but also at a deeper level, using the sensor mapping that they've created and refined in over 50k tests. For example, a GeBioMized bikefitting takes around 2 to 3 hours. It’s a long and detailed process that needs to understand what happens between pelvis and foot when riding. Daniel is keen to tell me that their world leading system is only as good as the education system that they’ve developed alongside it. He’s passionate about the education of bikefitters, and has led the way in creating an educational package that is seen within the cycling industry globally as being without equal.

When you visit a bikefitter using the GeBioMized system, you’ll see a whole array of systems, all connecting to the rider and the bike, fixed onto a special trainer, allowing the cyclist to ride as normal while the science takes place. The skilled GeBioMized technician utilises this array of technology to guide and direct the whole process. At the end of each bikefitting session, you and they have the most detailed analysis possible of every aspect of your cycling, your contact points with the bike and how these can be improved. Ultimately, following a GeBioMized analytical and bikefitting session, your knowledge of what your bike and its various components should look like, will be known, and your comfort and performance will have improved beyond recognition – along with your biomechanical health. All thanks to the problem-solving scientists from Muenster who saw sensor and pressure mapping as holding the key to a better understanding of how the human body interacts with its surroundings and everything that it comes into contact with - saddles, shoes and handlebars included!

The world’s leading bikefitting system

Looking back now, to the time when they created their first prototype, and the 4 years of research with Muenster University, Daniel is excited at the possibilities that the constantly evolving GeBioMized system still has. Along the journey travelled by the team, they’ve won awards at Euro Bike, broken into the USA market, with their system that takes on the previous kinematic basis of bikefitting and merges that visual information with their deep dive data, to provide what is probably the most accurate bikefitting process in the world.

Daniel is keen to point out:

“Every fit, we try to find individual solutions. What are your own issues or individual niggles. Do initial movement tests, see if you are inflexible in certain key areas. Then we analyse current position first, to correlate all of this together and what we are seeing. Only then do we create a list of ideas about what we want to do to alleviate these issues. For instance, lower saddle 500mm down, analyse data again. Explain what happens with these changes, and the effect on your body.”

Step by step, GeBioMized slowly dissects your cycling, and at end of this super-individual process they create a position based on feedback and data and makes your life better. The challenges are of course, different for all cyclists. Bike settings and components are equally important. The shoe is as important as the saddle, which is why GeBioMized works in partnership with us here at Lake Cycling Shoes. Far too often, Daniel tells me, people are using shoes that are too narrow, choosing style over form and function, leading to significant problems and often pain. The GeBioMized fit session includes a detailed component solution, and in Daniel’s eyes, “Lake was the best component solution for us in the fitting process. The Lake cycling shoe range is the most comprehensive in the world and covers the widest variety of foot shapes and sizes, with a high-quality and high-performance solution that works with our data results.”

Ride into the future with GeBioMized & Lake

Over the next few months, we’ll be looking in more detail at each individual aspect of the GeBioMized bikefitting system: the pressure mapping for the saddle, the foot and insole data, and the position of the rider and how it correlates to the overall riding experience. For now, let’s applaud Daniel and team of scientists at GeBioMized in Germany, and let them take a detailed look at your own cycling mechanics, through one of our world-leading bikefitting partners. Hopefully, together we can get you all riding the right bike, with the right components, and pushing those pedals forward with your feet wrapped in Lake cycling shoes, the world’s best cycling shoes, trusted by the world’s best bikefitting solution – GeBioMized.

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