Mr Bionic getting hooked up at Swift
This is a series of bike fit reviews from members of the club. We hope it will give sound and independent insight so you can enjoy more time on the bike. Fourth in this series we ask Kostas of his experience of the Retul fitting at Swift Cycles, London.
Who did you choose to go with and why did you choose them?
Swift Cycles offers a Retul Motion Capture Fit for bikes purchased at the shop. Unlike another club member, Xavier, I didn’t buy my bike at Swift Cycles but I used their winter promotion to get fitting for £150. I decided to invest in fitting because I used to get lower back pain when pushing hard for extended periods on my bike and I also wanted to get ready for 2017 racing season.
How did the process begin?
A few friends recommended Swift Cycles to me, and finally Xavier gave me a final push after his experience there. I came in to Swift Cycles a few months prior to fitting just to ask a few questions about the process. Jorrit van der Plaats, the Head Fitter, took a few minutes to show how fitting works by turning on his computer and a TV screen. Once I decided to schedule in my fitting, I was told what to expect on the day.
Jorrit doing his thing
What questions did they ask you?
The whole process lasted for about two hours. Jorrit asked me to fill in a questionnaire that included sections on my goals. I wanted to improve my racing position and power as well as reduce my lower back pain and some pain in my feet. Then Jorrit performed various tests to assess my flexibility and riding position that gave him some indication on what sort of position I can be fitted to.
What technology was used?
After the interview and physical evaluation, Jorrit used Retul Motion Capture Fit (he put sensors on me at key points and I was recorded riding for a few minutes). I also had saddle pressure mapping taken to see how much power both of my legs are transferring to pedals. I also had a shoe fit and custom shoe inserts moulded to support my feet.
Who said #insideisfree?
What kind of an impact did this have on the your bike fit?
The video analysis allowed Jorrit to understand that I was transferring more power on one of my legs rather than equally spreading power across both legs. He also made adjustments to my stem by flipping it upside down so that I could lean closer to my bike. Jorrit also changed the height of my seat and this is where we probably spent most of the time. After we were done I received a full report with all adjustments made and a video of how fitting improved my riding position.
What was the most helpful information you took away from it?
I understood that I also had to make some changes to my riding position, which is not easy because I have got used to ride with overextended arms. I am always trying to remind myself that I need to sit correctly and I am making adjustments slowly. I am still learning but I think I am much better than I used to be.
We’re getting there. Oh yeah!
How has your fitting affected your current setup and riding experience?
Realistically the only thing I purchased were custom moulded soles for my shoes, which, I think, is a great investment. Although small adjustments made to sizing of my handlebars and a seat, they are having a massive impact on my riding experience. I definitely feel like I am transferring more power to the pedals. I may still get some pain in my back from time to time but it’s not as bad as it used to be.
If I were going for a fit again, what advice would you give me?
I originally had a bike fit performed with Evans Cycles where they used an iPad and a fitting app when I purchased my bike. I think it wasn’t a very comprehensive fit but if you buy a new bike and perform fitting soon after that, you may have to do another fitting 6 months later due to changing riding preferences and capabilities. I think a combination of a simpler and then a more complex fitting is helping me to maximise everything out of my bike. Before you book your appointment, try to understand what exactly you would like to achieve with your fitting. At the same time although I tried to do some research about fitting, it was difficult to understand how different techniques differ. In my case Jorrit was very friendly and I had a lot of opportunities to ask him questions during my entire 2 hour process.
Can I please get off now? Thank you.
:: The review is independent and the club does not have any involvement with Swift Cycles. We’re simply looking for the best fit. You can find a range of reviews here ::