Whilst in Seattle, I had the pleasure of catching up with Emmet Ward (in my eyes still and always part of the LPC).
He let me into a few set up / playing secrets…
He’s been riding a 14 Bike Co V2 Polo Bike for nearly 2 years. In that time it’s seen a few changes (including a replacement down tube and raked forks). But despite the usual ghetto appearance of Emmet’s bikes, I liked the look of his current set up of; flat pedals, long stem and wide bars.
He tells me the wide bars give him incredible stability when riding at speed and the long stem helps him get over and round the front whee with ease.
As for the flat pedals, this is his way of training / conditioning himself to improve his bike handling and learn to keep moving on the court in a more fluid manner.
His point is that when clipped in, it becomes too easier to play with a stop, start style. This is aided by hopping to stay up rather than using pedalling momentum. The issue with this is that every time a player stops, he makes it harder to support his team. A player who is constantly moving becomes better positioned.
I found this an interesting theory.
Emmet said he’d return to being clipped in before the next tournament and that flats was just for training during pick up.