Fit Friday – Lost in Translation
Bike fit is the process and the result; great tools help but they don’t determine the outcome.
In the early nineties, Serotta Cycles introduced their fully adjustable Size Cycle which allowed dealers to dial in frame geometries to have custom bikes built for their customers. By today’s standards the original Size Cycle was a pretty rudimentary machine, but it was a great tool in the right hands. Since then the Serotta Size Cycle and similar “Fit Bikes” have become extremely popular fitting tools. Recently there has been an influx of high tech “Fit Bikes” in the market, including the latest generation of the Serotta Size Cycle. There are truly some amazing machines out there, with built in Video capture, power meters, and electronics that allow the fitter to change the position while the rider is still pedaling.
I recently had a conversation with Chris Balser from Bicycle Fit Guru, discussing the trends in bike fitting. When we came to the topic of using a “Fit Bike” to fit a client, he said, “unless you are going to ride that fit bike out on the road it’s always better to get a fit on your actual bike.” Chris has several Fit Bikes, including the Serotta Size Cycle, and a Biobike. So when I asked how he uses his Fit Bikes, he said. “they are used for new-bike, pre-fitting, and NOT for final outcome data. Regardless how good someone feels on a fit-bike – automated or manual – something is ALWAYS lost in translation.”
So what does all this Fit Bike technology mean for someone looking to get a fit on their existing bike, frankly not much. It’s a starting point if you are shopping for a new or custom bike otherwise you’re always better off having the fit on the bike you ride.
At Erik’s we work with your actual bike during the fit process to ensure that every adjustment made from: saddle height and angle, handle bar placement, cleat placement, exact brake lever position, and even the thickness of the bar wrap all feel perfect on your bike. It’s amazing the difference a millimeter change or a degree adjustment can make to how you feel and perform on your bike. If you are starting the process with a fit, we start the process with our “Fit Bike” to determine your specific size, but then we always want to make the actual fit adjustments to your bike to ensure that nothing is lost in translation.