What's the Best Type of Bike Fit?

JH: You are right it's a calculated representation, but it reads directly off the tire edge and the physics are spot on. Actually nothing is better, with load being calculated at 100 times per second.

SW: The Computrainer and SpinScan are great tools and I use both too, and most fit bikes come standard with one. Retul adds the ability of literally drawing the path of the knee during the entire pedal stroke.

JH: It appears we both use similar methods to accomplish the same end result. Certainly Retul offers the data as back up, but essentially it does not change the output of the fit. As for other elements of the positioning, it's important to take notes and use body markers. We're both looking for one position, and that's the right one for the customer.

SW: The downside of any Fit Bike/motion capture combination is that it's expensive to purchase and is permanently installed. The Computrainer is very inexpensive by comparison. It can be stored in a closet and is mobile. The Fit Bike is time consuming to use because the final position has to be transferred from the fit bike back to the owner's bike. However this is only done once and can save time when dealing with multiple bar and stem changes. The Computrainer saves time since all of the changes are made directly to the owner's bike. However, this can backfire when working on the cockpit or when more than one stem and bar change is required.

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JH: Agreed on all points.

SW: With our system, we're able to provide accurate electronic data capture throughout the fitting that can be e-filed for each customer. The final position can be used to help determine the correct size and set up for a new bike purchase. With the Computrainer the position capture is made by hand, is time consuming and might not be as accurate.

JH: I'm mesmerized by the amount of data produced by the Retul system.

SW: If and when there's a problem or imbalance, the data is there to determine the cause. Most of the time we only use a small amount of the data, but when there's a red flag, we have options and plenty of data to fall back on.

JH: I'm not sure if all of that information is necessary. I'm skeptical on its value to the athlete, who really just needs to know a few documented position markers for replication, and whether or not the cyclists has improved power and comfort.

More: Bike Fitting and Setup for Beginning Mountain Bikers

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