Friday, January 08, 2010


Well I finally had the opportunity to have my bike fit evaluated. I had a chance to work with Todd Carver as he was training individuals who were to be implementing the Retul process. I filled out a short questionnaire which asked about my weekly mileage, race plans and any fit issues I was aware of. Then it was flexibility evaluation, balance, joint range of motion, and even core strength evaluation like holding a plank position and doing push-ups. Todd noticed that I was using my orthotics with the Specialized Body Geometry shoes. While this did not impact the bicycle geometry he noted that the double arch correction could have implications down the road.

While this was going on, my current bike geometry was loaded into the computer via the Zin wand. There were also some tape measurements, but those were more for documentation purposes.

Finally I was able to get on the bike and after a warm-up, positioning dots were placed on my foot, ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and wrist. A harness was subsequently attached which evaluated my position as I pedaled along at an intensity of 7 on a 1 to 10 scale. Some points of correction included my arm pit angle and knee tracking.

After evaluating right and left sides the crew got to work on my bike and made all of the adjustments at once. My saddled was shifted up and flattened out. An adjustable stem and new set of handlebars were attached and all of the measurements were repeated. The changes which were all less than a centimeter in any given direction gave the bike a whole new feel. The real test will be on the road.

The process gave me an appreciation for fine tuning a bicycle. The fitters in training all claimed that their current fit systems and experience could dial a person in correctly as well, but the Retul process was more efficient and provided quantifiable data for a client. A 3 hour fit process using standard techniques and adjusting one component at a time could be done in an hour.

I highly recommend getting a bicycle fit if you have any doubts regarding your current fit or intend to purchase a new bicycle. While I cannot provide a relative comparison to other fit systems, I felt the Retul process was accurate and efficient. Todd and his staff are also very knowledgeable and friendly.

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