Before you walk into a bike shop and look for your new dream ride for next season, consider this; there is no easier way to be deceived by a bike than to judge it from just a test ride.
A short ride on the bike will not give you the same information as a long training ride for obvious reasons.
Unanimously the most important factor in choosing a new bike is making sure it is the right ‘fit’ for you. One option is to get your stack and reach data from a fit on an adjustable rig or your old bike, and from that you can start to narrow down your selection.
Slowtwitch.com have a comprehensive list of stack and reach data at http://www.slowtwitch.com/stackreach/index.php
Another option is to use Frame Finder in conjunction with your Certified Retül Fitter.
Then you can start test riding different bikes. However you want to standardize the components and wheel sets. The reasons being that differences in these can significantly alter the feel of the ride. Lower tyre pressures and softer more supple tyres will feel smooth and great, whereas higher psi’s and more robust tyres will be harsher but more responsive. Is the stock saddle correct for you anatomy? Do the bars match your anatomy? Is the drive chain well tuned? A well tuned bike will give a better impression than an out of tune bike.
So once you’ve standardized a selection of bikes which suit you from your stack and reach data ask the shop to set those bikes to your fit data with the same wheelset to neutralize the difference between tyres.
This process will ensure you spend your hard earned cash wisely and provide you with a steed which will help you achieve your performance goals in comfort and with reduced injury risk.
Whether you are going for a traditional or Retül bike fit you will be provided with a report of a few key metrics. But which are the most important? While the fitter will adjust you to the most optimum position for your body and performance goals, you must also ensure you are provided with a number of ‘fit coordinates’ so that you can adjust any other bikes you may have and gain further understanding about the whole bike fitting procedure.
Retül fits will automatically provide you with a report with a number of different metrics:
But at a minimum you should be provided with just 4 or 5 numbers:
Simply the distance from the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle (halfway between the tip and the tail). Certain saddles this is adjusted to the rideable flat section, such as ISM Adamo.
– the nose of the saddle relative to the bottom bracket. This is a plumb line measurement. This number will vary between road and TT bikes and whether it has to be UCI legal.
– This depends on whether it is a road or TT set up. For road bikes the two measurements of interest are; saddle nose forward to the centre of the handlebar clamp, and nose forward to the hood trough. This second measurement is an angular measure. On a TT set up the first measurement is saddle nose to the back of the armrest, and nose forward to the shifter pivot.
– For road it’s the elevation of the top of the saddle down to the handlebar, the top of the bar.
These are the key fit coordinates. There are many more, but they are minor in comparison to these key numbers. As shown above, the Retül system automatically generates these numbers and provides you with the stack and reach data to guide your purchase of an appropriate new frame. If you are looking to purchase a new bike/frame then the Retül Müve fit bike is a fully adjustable rig to find your optimum position, and then generate these numbers to guide your purchase decision making process, or adjust your existing bike accordingly if you can’t bring your own bike to the studio.
TriPlus back pain article page1
TriPlus back pain article page 2
links to page 1 and 2 of a previously published article in Triathlon Plus magazine.