Login Register for free news, tips & videos
 
 
 

Fit before you buy - Retül

Home / Meet the Experts

All Cycling

Article posted: 12/02/2014

Share |

Buying a new bike can be a big investment and, as well as the financial cost, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time training, riding sportives or even racing on it, you want to be 100% sure that it fits you correctly, is optimising your performance and won’t be contributing to potential discomfort or injuries.

Retül founder and bike fitting guru Todd Carver explains how a professional bike fit will ensure you get the right bike for you and how the Retül Müve system achieves this.

The bike and position required by a rider who wants to race would be very different to a sportive setup. It’s essential to let the fitter know exactly the type of riding you intend to do.

Sometimes comfort and performance on your bicycle are compromised due to the fact that your bike is the wrong size. The wrong size bicycle can present problems in positioning due to the limited adjustable range relative to your body’s size, proportions or musculoskeletal status. Having a bike fit before or during the purchase process can prevent mismatches between a bicycle’s geometry and your body’s makeup.

It is very difficult to determine an optimal size bike without getting to know some very important details about a rider. These include:

A rider’s goals: For example, the bike and position required by a rider who wants to race would be very different to a sportive setup. It’s essential to let the fitter know exactly the type of riding you intend to do.

Anatomical makeup: How flexible you are, past injuries and any other anatomical issues, such as leg length discrepancies, can all have serious implications on bike fit.

Pedalling style: Your pedalling style, especially your foot angle throughout the stroke, can impact your fit. This is why a dynamic fit is always preferable to a static one.

Saddle pressure profile: How you sit and distribute your weight on the saddle will also have an effect on your final bike fit.

A dynamic bike fit session with a professional can take all of this in to account during the purchase of your bicycle. This is called a process-driven transaction. The process is the bike fit and this can narrow down your search for bikes and steer you towards the ones that would be suitable for your body, riding style, ability and goals.

This can save you money in long run as, if you have a bike fit after purchase, you may find you have to change components such as the stem or handlebars or, in extreme cases, that achieving a correct fit is impossible and you’ll have to buy a new bike. It ensures that, right from mile one, your bike isn’t exacerbating any biomechanical problems. Having a template to work from and then applying that to frame geometry and components means you can objectively determine matches. Finally, you can apply the data to other existing bikes you own and to every subsequent bike you buy.

The best process driven bike sale starts with the use of the proper equipment. Your fitter should have the following:

  • Dynamic measuring capabilities. 3D motion capture is the best because it gives the fitter a lot of information about how your body works and moves while cycling. The Retul Vantage is the number one motion capture system on the market today.
  • A dynamically adjustable fit bike. This allows the fitter to make quick changes while you pedal and when used with a 3D motion capture system, the fitter can see how different positions work for you. The Retül Müve leads the way, but there are others on the market now that have the same characteristics. Just make sure the saddle and the cockpit is able to be adjusted dynamically or as you pedal. Not only will the fitter see more, but you will be able to feel the effect of those changes because you never have to stop pedalling.
  • A digitising tool to record the final position. The Retül Zin is stand alone in this field. But some other fitting bikes and jigs will offer final position coordinates as well. A web-based application with all of the available bicycles for the fitter to objectively determine a match for your final position. Retül Frame Finder is the best one because the matching engine includes contact point compatability (grip, hood, aero bar, and saddle) where the other engines stop at the frame or handlebar. If the sizing application stops at the frame or handlebar, it really limits the options you may have to choose from.

features

Descending on wet roads

Posted: 20/05/2015
Top tips for descending in the...
Knowledge level: Beginner

Using TrainingPeaks to optimise training with hear...

Posted: 20/05/2015
If you are training with heart rate, using TrainingPeaks is the...
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Tackling long climbs

Posted: 13/05/2015
Top tips for tackling long...
Knowledge level: Intermediate

latest content

Descending on wet roads

Posted: 20/05/2015
Top tips for descending in the...
Knowledge level: Beginner

Using TrainingPeaks to optimise training with hear...

Posted: 20/05/2015
If you are training with heart rate, using TrainingPeaks is the...
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Tackling long climbs

Posted: 13/05/2015
Top tips for tackling long...
Knowledge level: Intermediate

most popular

How to lube your chain

Posted: 17/05/2013
How to lube your chain and keep you bike running...
Knowledge level: Beginner

Getting your ride position right

Posted: 22/03/2013
How to set up your bike for on bike...
Knowledge level: Beginner

10 steps to improve your climbing

Posted: 12/02/2014
10 steps to improve your...
Knowledge level: Beginner

meet the experts

DIY road and mountain bike fit

Posted: 07/01/2015
Expert advice from Rëtul founder Todd Carver on getting the...

Andrew Evans

Posted: 12/05/2014
Andrew...

Ask the Experts: Threshold test pacing and struggl...

Posted: 09/04/2014
Ask the Experts: Threshold test pacing and struggling to hit...