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What is a "Good" Bike Fitting


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A brief discussion of the history of modern bike fitting as well as the experience, process, tools and skills that are required in a quality bike fit.

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What is a "Good" Bike Fitting

  1. 1. What is a “Real” Bike Fitting Have you really had a quality bike fitting? Not all bike fittings are the same. Find out where fitting skill, methodology and technology meet.
  2. 2. A Brief History of Modern Bike Fitting Early 1980’s: Serotta Size Cycle. The first tool to bring dynamic adjustability to bike set-up and show the potential of bike fitting is invented. Mid 1980’s to mid 1990’s: The “Analog Years”. Notable human performance studies completed at universities. Serotta fitting classes start to be offered to teach bike fit to the industry. Late ‘90’s to early 2000’s: Start of “Digital Years”. The internet makes clinical study results more readily available. Knowledge of cycling biomechanics progresses and the first “Fit Studios” dedicated to a “Rider First” approach to bike fit and cycling analysis appear. Early to mid 2000’s: Bridging & Development. “Rider First Bike Fitting” starts to bridge with “Rider Matched Bike Selection”. Fit Studios start to try to sell bikes and bike shops start to try to offer more advanced fit services. 2005-2010: The Technology Revolution. From motion capture to wind tunnel use, bike fit equipment and technology develop at a rapid pace. Having a bike “fit” becomes more of an expectation when purchasing a new mid-level or higher-end bike. 2011-Current: Commoditization. Most bike shops claim to offer expert bike fitting. Tool manufacturers (like Retul) and equipment brands (like Specialized BG Fit) are often perceived as consistent fit processes that are independent of the quality and knowledge of the bike fitter.
  3. 3. What Makes a Bike Fit “Good” Proven Process. The fitting being independent of any particular bike is very important – your riding position should be about you, not your bike. The steps to a quality fitting should be clear, based in science whenever possible, and make logical sense. Knowledge. Your fitter should have a firm knowledge of cycling biomechanics and the kinetic variables that can influence comfort and performance limitations on a bicycle. There is research on many of these subject and three day certification classes only scratch the surface. Experience. If you are having surgery, do you want someone fresh out of school or the surgeon who has completed a few thousand of the procedure with a proven record of positive outcomes? Individualized. Every rider faces different challenges. The focus of a good bike fitting should be based on the unique aspects of each rider’s situation. Communication. Working with a fitter that knows how to ask the right questions and listens to the answers is crucial. Technique & Postural Analysis. Even though they are key to any rider’s comfort and performance, technique and postural analysis are often the most neglected elements of most bike fittings. A good fitting helps the rider understand their interaction with a bike better. Application. Documentation is the first step of application. The information from a good bike fit can not only be used to set-up an existing bike better, but this information is also by far the best way to start finding the right new bike - a bike that is as compromise free as possible.
  4. 4. “But What About the Tools?” In the right hands, the right tools can make a bike fitting quicker, easier and more accurate.
  5. 5. The quality of a bike fitting is dependent on the fitter more than the tools. At Fit Werx, we make sure our fitters have quality tools because it helps them complete a proven process more efficiently while communicating with you, the rider, more effectively. However, tools never make the fit. Retul, Dartfish, Guru DFU, etc. are all fitting tools – not processes.
  6. 6. Have a Great Ride and Visit for More Information. Peabody, MA Lexington, MA Ridgefield Park, NJ/NYC Waitsfield, VT