New Steamboat business blends physical therapy, bike fitting
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Ray Degli said his new business, Alchemy Body + Bike, will utilize his background in physical therapy and a Retül 3D motion capture system to provide a custom fit for any cyclist. The business opened this month at 424 Lincoln Ave. in downtown Steamboat Springs.
“I really want to emphasize that bike fitting can be utilized for a variety of riders, from recreational to professional cyclists,” Degli said. “Bike fitting is a unique art of integrating the bike and body to improve comfort, prevent injury and improve performance.”
Degli uses Retül and his own experience to collect information about how well a cyclist and their bike are working together. He then can make adjustments to the seat, handle bars, pedals and shoes to improve performance.
“The thing that will separate me from a lot of bike fitters is that I’ve got this physical therapy background as well, “Degli said. “So a lot of times, you’ll go through a bike fit … and work with a specialist, but they may not be a physical therapist. They can give you all the data, they can watch you, and they can make adjustments on the bike, but sometimes, they run into issues, because it’s not the bike that necessarily needs to change more, it’s the body.”
Degli holds a bachelor’s of science degree in exercise science from the University at Buffalo and earned his doctorate of physical therapy from D’Youville College. He also attended the Institute of Physical Art orthopedic manual therapy residency program at Chicago’s BodyGears Physical Therapy Clinic, and it was there he refined his skills while also training under renowned physical therapist Curtis Cramblett, who was a Team Garmin bike fitter. Degli also worked as a physical therapist and bike fitter for Robbie Venture’s Vision Quest Chicago, where he developed a passion for working with cyclists and triathletes.
After working for a few years in Steamboat as a physical therapist, Degli decided to open his own business.
“We hook up electrodes to all different parts of your body and then watch you pedal, and this system just captures all this data,” Degli said. “While you’re pedaling, I can see angles, angles of your knee and your ankle, and where your position is and using all that data, along with my vision and my background, we can get you into the most optimal position on the bike.”
Cyclist Ron Contarino, who is riding about 100 miles a week right now and plans to increase his mileage as temperatures warm up, has enjoyed the benefits of getting the proper fit for his road bike.
“You can have a computer that tells you what the numbers are, but having someone like Ray, who understands the kinetics of the body and how everything actually works and operates, they can identify things and say, ’Well, that’s good, but I can make it better,’” Contarino said.
That’s been key for Contarino who has had three hip surgeries and shoulder surgeries.
“He literally had to teach me how to walk last time,” Contarino said. “It’s been great for me personally. He worked with my surgeons, so he has all my records and everything, and he knows exactly where everything works and what doesn’t work. Working with him has been huge for me.”
In addition to bike fitting, Alchemy also offers physical therapy services, including chronic pain treatment, performance optimization and injury recovery.
Appointments for a bike fitting or physical evaluation can be made at AlchemyBodyandBike.com.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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