A Review of Popular Bike Fit Systems

A Review of Popular Bike Fit Systems



Major Bike Fitting Schools/Technology

There is no “best” system for bike fitting.   Technology is a tool to expedite and simplify the fitting process, which does not necessairly provide good outcomes.   Nearly 25% of my clients are the product of failed fittings, generated from cutting-edge systems.  

Experience, Training, Reputation, Personality, and Dedication are the best predictors for a positive experience.   This information is usually available at the provider’s website, in local forums, and via Internet search.


                       System:                                                                     School(s):

                Purely Custom                                                   Cyclologic, SICI,  Trek.

                        Retul                                                                    Specialized/Retul

                        Guru                                                                          Guru/FIST

                     Shimano                                                                     Bike Fitting




1. Fit Bike:  Automated or Manually operated device utilized for “Dynamic Fitting”.  Adjustments are made while pedaling, without interrupting the cyclists’ position

2. Motion Analysis:  Typically 3D or Video used to stream, capture, play/analyze the cyclists’ position and movements during fitting.

3.  Power/Torque:  Representation of pedaling power, efficiency, and torque relative to changes in position.

4. Documentation:  Position coordinates and Outcome Data.

 5. Bicycle & Componentry Database:  Software that applies a rider’s documentation to the geometries of current bicycles and componentry.


Purely Custom


            Fit Bike = Mechanical

            Motion Analysis = Dartfish/Trek (4-Camera 3D in Prototype)

            Power/Torque = 3rd Generation PC Transmission (Best)

            Documentation = Pure Position/Trek

Pressure Analysis = GeBiomized

            Bicycle & Componentry Database = Pure Position/Trek

GebioMized pressure technology provides the most objective measure for pressure distribution at the contact points when cycling (incredible tool and worth the cost, in my opinion).

 Bike finder software (Tablet) provides recommendations on bike type in addition to frame size and componentry choices. 




            Fit Bike = Mechanical

            Motion Analysis = Retul’s Vantage 3D System

            Power/Torque = Cyclocops Power Beam Pro

            Documentation = Retul Zinn (3D)

            Bicycle & Componentry Database = Retul Frame Finder (Specialized ONLY)

Retul’s software provides streaming analysis of 3D coordinates, and normative data references while fitting.  This is especially useful for efficient positioning on the Muve size-cycle.  Use caution applying normative data for superior outcomes.  It is a great tool for establishing a foundation for fitting. 

The Frame Finder Software supports only Specialzied models.




            Fit Bike = Motor Actuated (Computer)

            Motion Analysis = Microsoft Kinect

            Power/Torque = Tacx

            Documentation = Computer generated Position & Manual Component Input

            Bicycle & Componentry Database = Guru Bike Discovery

Fit bike provides Incline/Decline features – very cool!

Strong emphasis on Proprioceptive Feedback — not!




            Fit Bike = Mechanical

            Motion Analysis = 3D (Similar to Retul’s first model.)

            Power/Porque = Shimano (X,Y,Z) Cranks.

            Documentation = X,Y

            Bicycle & Componentry Database = Shimano/bicyclefit.com

I was unable to spend much time with the Shimano system, though it seems very nice.  Best feature is the lateral forces measured at the pedal, through the crank arm.  Not sure how accurate this is, compared to piezoelectric pedals, but a nice feature for “whiz-bang” effect.





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