June 21, 2018

Brandon Anderson's avatar

By Brandon Anderson

 

 

WRC FIT DEPT. FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 

Upon ascending the staircase to the fit department at Wheat Ridge Cyclery you can tell you are in for a truly unique experience. Relics from Ron Kiefel’s racing career are featured at the base of the stairs, with one-of-a-kind bicycles and the state of the art Retul fit system greeting you at the top. One thing is certain, you can instantly tell that Wheat Ridge Cyclery isn’t just another bike shop with a couple of tape measures and a few demo saddles crammed in the corner and billed as a “Fit Dept.” The attention to detail and professional atmosphere are reassuring and provide a sense of relief and confidence in the fact that you are truly getting the white glove treatment.

 

MY FIT SPECIALIST

 

My fit was performed by Wheat Ridge Cyclery’s fit lead Pat Minervini, whose own personal history in the cycling business only adds to the mystique and awe that is Wheat Ridge Cyclery. Firsthand accounts of meetings with De Rosa and Merckx and retellings of the classic battles of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France highlighted a fit that was as inspirational as it was informative. Pat’s anatomical knowledge gained through years of work designing and building custom sports orthotics gives him a unique perspective and breadth of knowledge that isn’t commonplace in most bike shop environments, and his shared enthusiasm for real results during the fit process is reaffirming and motivating. Pat gets a continuous flow of return customers and referrals from people who pore over the effect that a professional fit has had on their riding and racing. That being said, speaking to the other fitters during the process it became highly evident that WRC pulls no punches when it comes to ensuring all of their staff has nothing but the best training made available to them and I would trust my fit to any of their highly trained staff of certified pros.

 

RETUL

 

Retul is a high-tech and elaborate system pioneered through collaborated efforts from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and Specialized, which provides a comprehensive real-time analysis of your entire body, not just the pedal stroke. This all is made possible through motion capture technology similar to the process used in the creation of video games and animated movies. Real-time data is captured using a device called the Zin, which is a handheld device that allows the fitter the ability to measure fixed points on the rider, highlighting contours and curves in the pedal stroke and providing a comprehensive digital map of the entire rider/bike interface. This motion capture technology provides an in-depth look at the rider’s position on the bike and helps the fitter determine the best setup for the rider through several touch points: stem length, cleat position, saddle position and handlebar position as well as tracking of your pedal stroke from the hip down. Even more difficult and often overlooked components such as saddles and grips are measured to find exact angles relative to rider position. All of this data along with a physical exam provides the data needed to determine the best components and positioning with regards to the rider’s fitness, flexibility, cycling ability level and riding style.

 

THE FIT PROCESS

 

Once component size and positioning are determined the fitter uses tried and true methods and tools (yes, they still use a plumb bob!) to really fine tune things and get your body and your bike operating as one cohesive unit. Small adjustments to things like saddle fore and aft as well as cleat position are very important points that are commonly overlooked but can provide huge power gains when dialed in properly by a trained fit professional. I experienced this firsthand during my fit as the fitter adjusted the rests on the aero bars, widening the elbows by 1 cm and bringing the bars closer towards me .5 cm. These changes had me feel immediate improvements to my hip angle and breathing resulting in a more even pedal stroke and more relaxed and even breaths -- it blew my mind! I had previously just assumed that TT bikes were uncomfortable, purpose-built machines that were to be left in the corner of the garage like an old set of golf clubs. This fit had me thinking differently afterward.

 

TAKEAWAY

 

I left my fit feeling confident and more comfortable on my bike and my results in races speak for themselves. I set numerous PRs on subsequent rides and my overall time in the AFA Front Range Classic TT (Pro/Am open Cat) improved by a matter of 2 minutes from the previous year, locking in a top ten finish and finding a new appreciation for my TT bike. What I once had deemed as stiff and uncomfortable now rivals the comfort of my road bike and has me taking longer more efficient training rides than I had ever imagined possible. Retul is a great idea for racers trying to maximize power but also is ideal for people with lower back and shoulder blade issues, knee pain, hand numbness, saddle discomfort or any other mystery pain that is keeping you from doing what you enjoy most; getting out and riding!

 

Book your fit today - Call 303-424-3221 to speak to a certified fit professional