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Its the Fitter not the tools
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Dan and fellow fitters, I believe that more needs to be expressed to the athletes we work with about the fitter doing the fit rather than the fancy tools. I have had several clients come in to me and tell me of experiences where they were fitted by a computer or hooked up to a machine. Really? After 30 years of working with riders and their position I know everyone is different. It would be nice if I could just throw the info into a computer and a set of fit coordinates would come out. But that would take all the fun out of fit. Chime in with input.

Robert Driskell
Certified Master BodyGeometry Fit Technician since 2009
Bayou Bicycles New Orleans,LA
(Retailer of Specialized Bicycles)
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [Robert Driskell] [ In reply to ]
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I haven't been fitting long and I already agree on this.

There needs to be a competent fitter with an experienced protocol behind every fitting tool. Unfortunately, many cyclists don't know that.
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [Robert Driskell] [ In reply to ]
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Dan has always been clear that it's the fitter, not the tool. But that investing in good tools is the sign of a committed professional. This applies in any industry.

In the case of our 3D system - that's a tool that saves a lot of time compared to 2D methods or manual, while providing comprehensive data to inform the process. And our Advanced system makes precisely identifying bikes that match a position the work of a few moments.

Likewise a hand crank or motor driven xy fit bike saves a lot of time compared to swapping stems and seat posts.

You can achieve the same outcome without those tools - it just takes longer and has less wow factor. Of course, the corollary to that is having all the tools to mask having no idea. Which is why most fit companies offer training.


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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [carlwithac] [ In reply to ]
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I like to use the Term Bike fit unplugged
If you can't fit without a computer you can't fit.
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [Happy] [ In reply to ]
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I agree 100%, but if you add the digital measurements and the ability to see things your eye missed, it's a win-win. I dig my Retul system and so do my clients.


Brian Grasky
Grasky Endurance: World Championship Triathlon Coaching; Professional Training Camps
RETUL fitter, Biomechanist, USAT Level 3 Coach, USAC Level 2 Coach
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [seebritri] [ In reply to ]
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I completely agree with the importance of measure and recording. I have an Apex bike in addition when necessary we have a motion lab with 12 cameras and force plates. That that is not the point. Before you can use all this technology. You should understand the basic principles the bike fitting. A good fitter should the technologically capable not dependent on their technology. If one is traveling with team somebody gets injured a good fitter should be able to do a fit on a trainer anywhere including hotel rooms and parking lots. If you are travel with the team being able to work unplugged is a necessary skill
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [Happy] [ In reply to ]
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Very well said 😊 And yea I do love my Vantage also❤️

Robert Driskell
Certified Master BodyGeometry Fit Technician since 2009
Bayou Bicycles New Orleans,LA
(Retailer of Specialized Bicycles)
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [cyclenutnz] [ In reply to ]
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Hit the nail on the head with this comment: "having all the tools to mask having no idea".

I've helped out several ST-ers asking for help on the forums because they had a 'bad fit experience' at Name the Brand fit bike at whatever bike shop. Yes, the Brand training is out there, but once that employee goes home, the shit goes right out the window. Laziness and commodity selling techniques.

This could possibly be worse than someone with only a trainer and a gonieometer, and not using that tool correctly either. If there is one tool we could all use more/better, it is that of education - of ourselves, our peers, and of our customers.

It is weird when a customer doesn't want to pay for a fitting but just wants to "have someone look over my Retul numbers". To him I said, well, habeas corpus, numbers are the end result of a process, not a prescription to fill.

I'm sure everyone has had Tom Demerlys' recent blog post go by, but I also dug this article out of the internet attic.

The Tri Forum thread called "BIke Fit, Science or Preference" had many many great responses from Mr's Driscoll, Nix, and AndyF, talking about competency and customer confusion. Also, the Medicine of Cycling Bike Fit Consensus statement is a good reference (attached)

Anne Barnes
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
Live Grit
anne@livegrit.com
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [Robert Driskell] [ In reply to ]
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You and Anne are quite right. Education and experience are everything. It only just starts with the brands education, but you aren't a fitter after a three day course. I'm in the business for 7 years and have specialized myself in just tri and road bike's / fittings. It is getting popular in my country right now and you don't believe the fit's i get in my shop done by, for example, the new specialized concept stores retul fit's and sold bikes as well. More often than exception just basics like saddle heights are way, way too low and when we raise the saddle the bars are too low. And we have to tell them that there brand new bike is actually a ' size ' too small. But, hey, they are certified brand x fitter because they had a 3 day course.

By the way, anyone know what is going on at retul? No new FB post for close to 2 months and we hear rumours here in the netherlands new software updates will only be available for specialized dealers and not any longer for IBF?

That said, i really like my vantage and muve but would be very dissapointed if the above is true.

Happy fitting to you all,

Jeroen
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Re: Its the Fitter not the tools [Robert Driskell] [ In reply to ]
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Robert Driskell wrote:
Dan and fellow fitters, I believe that more needs to be expressed to the athletes we work with about the fitter doing the fit rather than the fancy tools. I have had several clients come in to me and tell me of experiences where they were fitted by a computer or hooked up to a machine. Really? After 30 years of working with riders and their position I know everyone is different. It would be nice if I could just throw the info into a computer and a set of fit coordinates would come out. But that would take all the fun out of fit. Chime in with input.
A good bike fitter with good tools is better than a good bike fitter without good tools. I tell fit clients that, just because I go out and buy a hammer, nails, screwdrivers, and saws, that doesn't make me a carpenter. But I would be loathe to trust a carpenter who didn't have a hammer, nails, screwdrivers, and saws, no matter how much they insisted they knew.

I'd rather a bad fitter fit by numbers than to make up stories about how muscles are firing and joints are functioning. The problem I see is that bad fitters that use good bike fit tools (fit bikes, Retul, etc.) don't use those tools properly. Retul, when used properly, results in a good fit 90% of the time (even if you are simply painting by numbers). Unfortunately, many bad fitters don't know what a good fit looks even with Retul measurements. They don't set the markers correctly, don't make adjustments that move riders to the "range of right", and don't know how to use the mountain of data Retul provides.

Trent Nix
Tri Shop - Plano, Texas
http://www.trishop.com
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F.I.S.T. Advanced Certified Fitter | Retul Master Certified Fitter
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