Trust me when I say, every bike fit really is unique to each person. Each rider requires a different focus with some combination of elements that will allow them to leave with a fit best suited for their riding style, goals, and body type.
The benefit of using a high tech tool like Retül's 3D motion analysis system, is it gives us an accurate assessment while in motion (pedaling) of where you sit on the bike relative to the geometry and components. Secondly, it allows us to accurately track changes. For example, when you tilt a saddle, how does that affect your position relative to the bottom bracket?
Let's look at it another way: When you visit your doctor, wouldn't you rather have him or her use the best technology to assess a potential problem you may have? Think of Retul as the MRI or echo cardiogram of bike fitting. Like those medical devices, they don't tell the doctor what to do, but give him or her accurate data and information to assess your situation and take the proper course of action. Over the years, after doing over 1500+ fits using this great tool, we have developed three pillars of bike fitting that help us guide each fit:
- Comfort - The goal is to eliminate discomfort or pain. Comfort may come in the form of part changes, like a saddle or new Footbalance inserts or adjustments to help eliminate numbness (most popular) and/or back pain. More often than not, eliminating pain has to be approached off the bike too, first, by identifying exactly what the issue is. For example, you can't fix a sound in your engine of your car without knowing what is causing it. This is specifically why we spend a significant amount of time prior to each fit discussing each rider's situation and what they are trying to accomplish with their fitting. We have you also fill out a history questionnaire prior to your appointment so we can be prepared for your visit, ready to tackle any problems.
- Performance - Getting the most of the bike's geometry and how the athlete sits or stands on their bike. Are you getting the most power per pedal stroke? Many riders are setup incorrectly for their given frame geometry. The trick is finding the balance between you and the geometry to make sure overall comfort is attained.
- Safety - Could be the most important (and overlooked) element of bike fitting. So many riders we see are not weight-distributed on the bike correctly. Too little or too much weight in the wrong area. Once we address that issue, the bike can do what it’s meant to do these days; handle well and thus open the door to better safety.
Remember, all three of these elements are interlaced. We have to approach each one like a chess board square, but make sure we are taking the complete picture into account. And that is why ever bike fit is unique to each person!