What is it
The Leomo Type R is a motion capture system that records in real time while you ride outside. Why you ask? Well, motion capture done outdoors in real race or training conditions may be the next big step forward for cyclists looking to go faster or simply wanting to ride more comfortably.
Leomo’s Type R is a GPS-enabled device that uses five sensors to record in three dimensions your pelvic tilt, and the angular range of your legs and feet. It produces a dead spot score as well as helping identify weak areas of your pedal stroke.
It can also link via Bluetooth and ANT+ to heart rate straps, speed sensors, and power meters. This means that you’ll have more recorded data than ever before. And that data is overlaid in Leomo’s analysis tool, showing a cyclist where work needs to be done or fit issues need to be addressed. Think dead spots in certain power zones and you get the idea.
- Next level analysis of your fit and technique
- Great for coaches and deep-dive athletes
- Modular battery packs can be carried as spares
- Ability to continually upgrade software without need for new hardware
- Clunky looking display and trackpad
- While pioneering, the first of any new technology will have its bugs, though the system was reliable during our test period
Using the Leomo Type R is pretty easy once you take the time to understand how it works. Two of the sensors are placed on top of your thighs under your shorts. Two more are attached to the top of your shoes. The last sensor is stuck to your sacrum, right at the base of your spine, under your shorts, using included adhesive strips that remove easily.
In addition to the sensors on your body and the display mounted on your handlebar or wrist (an accessory wrist mount is included), Leomo has a smartphone app (Android and iOS) that allows you to customize the display and update preferences. In addition, there’s a web-based analysis tool to which you upload rides, and workouts recorded on the Type R can easily be uploaded to Training Peaks, Strava, and other platforms.
At this point, the Type R is simply a tool — and a fairly complex one in terms of the data it produces. Leomo, as a company, isn’t prescriptive in any way. They don’t offer ways to improve inefficiencies identified by the device. Because of this they are working to get the system into the hands of professional bike fitters and coaches. Representatives did hint that a protocol may come later, but for now they are in the business of data acquisition, not diagnostics.
Much like a heart rate monitor with all the bells and whistles, I feel that many Leomo Type R consumers are likely to focus on some of the simpler, more readily understandable aspects of the motion capture. While riding I found myself trying to concentrate on my pedal stroke in an effort to create a smoother line on the display.
I think that the Type R could be especially helpful when dialing in or refining a new on-bike position. A good example would be in time trials or triathlon. In the past, with the help of power meters, you could continue to move forward and down with your position until you saw a drop in power. Now, fitters have another tool in their arsenal when for instance they are looking for biomechanical changes that could lead to injury or signal the cause of that power decrease. By identifying the hitch in your giddyup, it may be possible to address it through technique or changes to saddle, cleat, crank length, and so on, while still maintaining the lower position.
While Retül and other motion capture systems have been able to do this in a fit studio or bike shop, Leomo takes it outside into the real world. Perhaps a position is perfectly reasonable while pedaling even at threshold while on a trainer. But what about with a strong crosswind and a slight uphill? The Type R can help identify why you struggle to hold a position outdoors.
Where does the Leomo fall short? Well, the display, while svelte, mounts in an ungainly way to the handlebar. Part of this is because there are larger accessory batteries that can be mounted in tandem to extend its run time. I don’t mind the extra batteries. In fact the modularity is well executed. It means that you can carry spares on long rides. And those batteries are powering a device that is receiving and translating information from five different motion sensors as well as heart rate and power. That’s a big ask.
The other reason the Type R looks a bit clunky is due to the trackpad. The device has a touch screen as well, making the trackpad redundant. Navigating the system is fairly straightforward and the trackpad seems like a cool idea. But in practice I usually set the display to my desired information panels and left it there or simply swiped the screen to change pages.
Next Level Data Acquisition
The Leomo Type R has the potential to be the next big thing in cycling analysis. It sits in good company, too. Real time aerodynamic quantifiers will be available in the coming months. So too are blood oxygen sensors and more. All of this data is a lot to manage, but athletes and coaches looking to increase efficiencies, maximize training, and develop highly personalized bicycle fits will embrace it all. Amazingly, these devices are delivering incredible data and at very reasonable prices. As an example, prices of the first generation power meters were astronomical. Now you can pick one up for under $600.
The Leomo Type R is not a tool for everyone. But for those looking to dive deep on their fit and technique, it stands alone as a real-time motion capture device. With it, Leomo has established itself as a pioneer in this space.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
More Info: www.leomo.io