Friday, January 20, 2012

I've been Retul'd

I’ve heard a lot of talk about bike fit and people have different opinions regarding what is the best way to go about being fit to your bike….

I’ve had my TT bike since late April/early May and have had 2 “fittings” since then. My initial “fitting” was at the bike shop where they put me on the trainer and said, “you look good, how do you feel?” How do I feel? I don’t know how I feel, I’ve never ridden one of these bikes before, how am I supposed to know how I feel!? I guess I feel fine? And that was that, off I went. It was alright (although after a couple of weeks I did feel cramped all around and couldn’t stay aero for more than 5 minutes without feeling like I needed to get up for fear that my shoulders would fall off! That’s probably a sign that something is wrong) for the first couple of months I was riding it, I didn’t know any better. But then I started chatting with people and almost everyone I talked to told me I wasn’t fit properly on my bike, you think!?

Anyways, November-ish rolled around and I was fed up with being uncomfortable on my bike. I know it’s never going to be as comfortable as curling up in your bed, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable. So, one of my friends, Aaron, who knows lots about bikes offered to fit me on my bike as long as snacks were provided for compensation…deal!  I brought my bike over to his shop, I got up on the trainer, he took some measurements, asked a bunch of questions, and he made lots of changes…they were spectacular! It felt like I was riding a new bike! Didn’t feel cramped anymore (we/he moved the seat up more than 2 inches!) and was a little more comfortable aero.  I rode on this fit for a while, but still something was off. If I rode more than 30 miles I had pain in my right knee and that’s not good; also I still couldn’t stay aero for very long.

Kim has been talkin up this bike fitting system called Retul and I've heard/seen/read about it on blogs and on their website ( and have been intrigued. Only thing is, it's a bit pricey. Taken from their website: "By using Retul 3D Motion Capture Technology we are able to evaluate a rider's lateral, vertical and horizontal movements and make adjustments according to the rider's biomechanics and individual cycling goals. The Retul system allows a fitter to measure the rider while they are in motion and takes averages throughout the pedal stroke, as opposed to taking static and 2D measurements that are absed on a stationary position which may not be a rider's typical position." So this would be a much more technical fit than any of the other "fits" I have received.

I have finally gotten to the point where I am not ok with being uncomfortable riding anymore and the mount of time I am going to be spending with my bike in the next 6 months is not going to decrease that's for sure, so it was time to bite the bullet and get Retul'd.

What a cool process and experience. Andrew Tanaka at BikeFit 808 was amazing, super helpful, friendly and knowledgable. I got there and he had me do a few exercises to test felxibility and some other things. After that he set me up on the trainer and hooked some electrodes to different parts of my body so he could get the initial computer readings. Once he got the initial readings he made some minor adjustments to the bike and then I got back on the trainer to see how and if those adjustments fixed the problem areas. They did!! I rode for a bit longer and decided that there was still unecessary pressure on my shoulders so he turned my aerobars just so and it was like he waved a magic wand and the pressure disapperaed. Genius! He really knows his stuff!

How cool is this?! That's me!

Last night was my first time on the roads after I was Retul'd and let me tell you....worth every penny! I wasn't able to spend a lot of time in my aerobars as we were working a lot on paceline drills, but the time I spent in them was wonderful! I can't wait to go on a longer ride and really test them out!

I don’t claim to know a lot about bikes, but I do know that with this fit, I am now in a better, read more powerful and efficient, position and will be able to maximize the time spent on my bike! I am more extremely satisfied with the job that Andrew at BikeFit808 did and would highly recommend getting Retul’d!

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