Bike fitting is an important process for any cyclist, and whether you’re a casual rider or a professional athlete, a proper bike fit is often cited as being the most essential performance variable.
The latest in performance monitoring technology will output enough data to make your head spin, and when combined with a bike fitting expert to put that data to use, measuring up is fast becoming imperative to eke out that extra bit of speed out of your chosen bike.
An experienced bike fitter worth their salt will not only help to optimise the speed of your ride, but will also enhance the comfort of the rider, saving you some aches and pains along the way! Adjusting a few crucial components can make a huge difference to the angles of your joints and help you to get the best performance out of your bike.
There are several bike fitting systems used across the UK, each with their own features and benefits. We spoke to three prominent bike stores about the fitting systems they use in-store to see how some of the most popular systems in the cycling industry help customers looking to improve their cycling performance.
GURU Bike Fit
The bike fit of choice for Stokesley based Westbrook Cycles, the GURU system allows you to change the measurements of the bike while the person is cycling. Minor adjustments can be made to: saddle height & lay-back, handlebar height, and stem length; with the immediate and accurate feedback of the GURU bike fitting system allowing for objective comparisons to form the foundation of decision making.
GURU fitting bikes are able to take real-time analysis thanks to their built-in computer and custom fitting software.
The GURU system instantly measures any adjustments to the different angles of the body using its integrated technology and laser sensors, while their integrated power meter allows you to see the changes to your power output following even the smallest adjustments to positioning.
Once the fitting is over, the GURU system will even list the changes you need to make to your bike in order to reach your peak performance.
Retül – Bike Fitting
The Retül 3D motion capture system has been adopted by pro teams and national cycling organisations including British Cycling, Team Sky, Europcar, Triathlon USA and more.
Using a simple system, Retül motion captures all of the angles and movements of a pedalling body by triangulating the positions of each LED marker, revealing true 3D angles. The Retül system tracks the movement of the sensors many times and calculates rolling averages.
At Cycle Heaven in York, customers can see and feel a tangible improvement in their riding technique thanks to the Retül system. The system applies science to their in-store knowledge and experience, accumulated over 23 years in business, and has taught their fitters a lot about cycling ergonomics, biomechanics and basic physiology.
When we asked the team over at Cycle Heaven about any items they had on their Retül wishlist, they were quick to mention possible improvements to Retül’s patented Framefinder software. The team extolled the virtues of being able to quickly take the output from the ‘Zin’ process and mapping it to a bike of the customer’s choosing, based on database-held geometry data.
If Framefinder became more universal, this would subsequently allow them to reproduce the optimised set-up on any other bike.
Body Scanning CRM
The Bicycle Lounge, based in Ormskirk near Liverpool, find that the Body Scanning CRM system gives their customers the confidence they require to purchase a new bike. Body Scanning CRM is a non-invasive system, which means that it gives the staff and customer all the vital information about their perfect bike fit without staff having to be hands-on with the customer.
Utilising a large scanner, the system is able to quickly assess a rider’s measurements while they stand in the machine. Their software then calculates the optimal seat height, top tube length, handlebar positioning and other necessary adjustments.
Once the body scan is complete, the rider needs only to try the adjusted bike out for comfort. The Body Scanning CRM positions itself as a simple fitting system that accurately identifies your basic size.
While each bike fit system offers unique features and benefits, ultimately they all facilitate cyclists the opportunity to optimise their performance in terms of both speed and comfort. When considering a bike fitting, it’s worth taking the time to find a bike shop with the right fitting system for you.
Hero Image – Courtesy of Retül