Expect BIG changes in the bike fitting industry this year.
The headlines at Interbike, 2012, announced Dorel’s acquisition of Guru and Specialized’s investment in Retul.
The Guru Fit-Bike is designed to adjust a cyclist’s position in a simulated riding experience — “dynamically.” Similar designs include Biobike, Serotta Size Cycle, and Retul Muve. Dorel puchased Guru in 2012, launching the “Guru Experience Bike Fit, including proprietary video analysis, brand-specific accessories, and super-cool aesthetics;). A Computrainer measures watts, spin-scan/pedaling efficiency, etc.
The Guru Experience Software automatically translates fit dimensions to current or new bike specifications, which is a very, very cool feature, but don’t expect the system to provide a “magic/ideal” outcome. It is a great tool for fine-tuning adjustments when fitting, quickly, but the results are still only as good as the technician.
And in my experience, there is always something lost in translation from ‘fit-bike’ to ‘bike-bike’, so insist that the final adjustments are tested on the bike you plan to ride.
Specialized’s BG-Fit system is the industry leader, by volume. Studios are generously sized (for sophisticated video analysis) and dedicated exclusively to fittings, the majority of which occur on a client’s existing or new bike. Computrainer units measure power, balance, and efficiency. A sophisticated, proprietary, video capture/motion analysis system guides the technical process. BG-Fit Software provides detailed intake, fit, and outcome data. Specialized also integrates foot beds, wedges and shims, specific to cycling, to correct pedaling imbalances. The “BG” (Body Geometry) product line includes saddles, stems shoes and bars to improve bike/rider interface.
The BG-Fit System is available ONLY to Specialized dealers.
Specialzied provides exceptional training, based on the cooperative input from people like Ben Serotta and Andy Pruitt. Technicians are also required to attend SBCU for certification.
Retul’s 3D fitting system was Specialized’s only real competition, which makes Specialzed’s investment, smart. 3D is more accurate than video: video examines/measures one moment in time, or a sequence of successive moments, and 3D averages the accumulation of moments over specific time. This fact (and nonexclusive sales) is the crowbar that gets Retul into bike shops. Optional components include the “Zinn” tool, which blueprints the exact dimensions of ANY bike (not fit bike dependent) in 3D; the “Muve”, dynamic fit bike (mechanical); and “Frame Finder”, which uses “Zinn” data to determine new bike sizing, from a large database of manufacturers.
Retul is available to any person interested in bike fitting, which makes it great for “start-up” companies.
Trainings are available through Retul University, with Todd Carver (formerly with Pruitt) as head fit-guru.
Unfortunately, “refitting” now constitutes approximately 25% of my business each year. And my “Free Advice” is almost exclusively dedicated to helping cyclists (world-wide), with post-fitting complaints/questions.
Do yourself a favor:
Check credentials and referrals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a money-back, satisfaction guarantee.
Be weary of people claiming to be “the best.” Humility is a wonderful characteristic.