Meet the Lake Cycling Team – Joep at Pedaalkracht

Meet the Lake Cycling Team – Joep at Pedaalkracht

With a background in human movement sciences, Joep van Kesteren, is perfectly placed to look at how cyclists move and how they use their body when on the bike. He uses his academic background to perform bike fits for cyclists from all walks of life, and everyone is welcome at the studio. It doesn’t matter if you are a grand tour winner, a weekend warrior, an ambitious amateur or a recreational cyclist; at Pedaalkracht Bikefitlab, they welcome every type of cyclist, and they ensure that everyone leaves the bit fit experience in a more comfortable position, and with their performance enhanced.

Let’s look at how Joep got started as a bike-fitter, why he started his own bikefitlab, his perspective on bike--fitting, the importance of a good shoe-fitting service, and his ambitions for the future. When you look it things initially, there’s an obvious synergy between bike-fitting and Lake shoes.

The pedal strokes that started it all

Joep’s introduction to the joy of a road-bike, came when he was studying human movement sciences at the VU in Amsterdam. He looks back fondly at that time:

‘’Cycling gave me the opportunity to step away from my packed university schedule. On the bike, it is just you and the world, it is a really liberating feeling and it is difficult to find something that compares to that feeling of freedom.’’

Those early experiences as a student, laid the groundwork for his first job. Directly after finishing his studies, Joep accepted a job at a sports medical center in Eindhoven, with a specific emphasis on maximizing cycling performance for professional riders. Always looking to find the extra edge for the riders he was working with, Joep started looking at bike-fitting as an aid to help athletes to perform at a higher level.

Together with a colleague, he started a bike-fitting department, which gave him the opportunity to learn on the job, and to look at a variety of cyclists of all standards, developing knowledge and experience that would prove invaluable in the future.

About Pedaalkracht

After eight years of leading the bike-fitting department of the sports medical center in Eindhoven, Joep felt like it was time for a change of pace. In early 2017, he took the plunge into business, and Pedaalkracht Bikefitlab was born, and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Putting theory into practice

A factor that makes Joep stand out from the crowd of bike-fitters is his academic background. Sure, having a Master’s degree doesn’t make you automatically more capable than someone else; however, Joep shares how he feels about his background and how that translates into his everyday work at the Bikefitlab:

‘’Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but I really do feel like my scientific background allows me to put certain needs of an individual into a broader perspective. (praktijkvoorbeeld). At the end of the day, the balance between the bike and the rider is what matters most.’’

A bikefit as a long-term investment

For the majority of riders, a deep-dish wheelset or an aggressive aero frame is their version of Pandora’s box. However, for most riders out there, a bike-fit should be at the top of their wish list for performance development. Not convinced? Let’s look at it by using Amazon shares as a metaphor. If you bought 10.000 dollars’ worth of Amazon shares in 1997, today that would be worth well over 16 million. Now, compare that to your riding experience. Would you rather have an ill-fitting aero bike with deep wheels, or a bike that fits you correctly, based on the demands of your body? The latter would probably be worth at least a few million of the proverbial Amazon dollars. This goes for shoes too, as they’re a vital part of the equation.

Through his experiences at his bikefitlab studio, Joep understands why a perfectly fitting two-wheeler is worth its weight in gold. Joep adds:

‘’People tell me on a daily basis that a bike-fit was in hindsight the best upgrade. They often would have bought the correct bike from the outset, what would have enhanced their cycling experience significantly. I would argue that, for the average cyclist, a bikefit is a no-brainer. But I do see that it is also hard to estimate the real-world value of a bikefit. You only notice the difference when you actually experienced it yourself.’’

Think about it yourself. How many riders do you know that simply buy an off-the-peg bike, not even knowing the stem length or handlebar width – far too many of them, and they all suffer because of it, either consciously or unconsciously.

Why foot pain isn’t ‘part of the game’

Many a cyclist regard foot pain too, as a normal factor during their rides. However, that’s a statement that should be consigned to history. At his bikefitlab, Joep sells Lake cycling shoes, and has done so for a number of years, and with huge success, getting excellent feedback from customers about the comfort and performance.

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A good shoe-fitting is, according to Joep, part of the overall package of optimizing comfort and performance on the bike – they should go hand in hand. Joep adds:

‘’Measuring shoes that fit the rider is something that gets too little attention at many bikeshops. There are still a lot of gains to be made. The interaction of your feet with the bike is relatively speaking the most important of all three-contact points. It is where all the power goes, or most of the time, doesn’t go. The gains are not that hard to make. Make sure you have an insole that gives the appropriate amount of support and have your cleats set up properly. At Pedaalkracht, we look at all of these factors during a shoe fit.’’

How many cyclists out there and reading this, won’t have had a bike-fit or had their feet measured for cycling shoes? Lots of you, we guess; and yet, doing one or both of these things will bring far more comfort and smiles to your cycling miles than a new set of wheels. Our Lake Cycling retail partners are highly trained and experienced professionals within the cycling industry. People like Joep and the team at Pedaalkracht simply want to enhance your cycling experience, and to increase the smiles on those cycling miles, long into future.

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