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Cobb fit - Why is it special?
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Some of you might remember my post back in September; I had gone to Shreveport and got fit on my bike by John Cobb. I concluded that that was the most bang I have gotten per buck since I entered this crazy wonderful sport of triathlon. One of our local triathletes read my post and called to talk about going down to Shreveport. I suggested that maybe John Cobb would come to Upstate NY and do a fitting clinic. In early January, he did. John and his associate, Brian Cowan, fit 36 athletes over a 2 and a half-day period. He worked with all shapes and sizes, a wide range of abilities and experience. It was a sight to behold. Part of the program was a dinner for 60 followed by a talk and Q&A session by John. Rauni (my co-organizer) and I got huge thank-yous from everyone that attended.

What I learned.
John Cobb has a gift, part learned but the bigger part innate. An analogy I like to use is learning to play chess. Anyone can learn but very few people can play 36 people at once and beat them all, the way Bobby Fisher could. I watched Cobb fit 36 people, working in groups of 6 and spending an average of 2-3 hours per group. It was like Bobby Fisher playing Chess. He has an eye that integrates information from how the person stands, walks, and peddles. He knows without a detailed analysis if something is wrong and how to fix it. What he learns about you, just watching you walk, is amazing.

Can he teach his skill?
Partly. Brian was quite good. Personnel from our LBS were delighted with the tricks they were learning. The athletes learned about fitting, peddling, aerodynamics, equipment choices, training, etc.

How does he compare to other experienced fitters?
I donít have enough first hand knowledge to say. I believe he is head and shoulders above others in upstate NY. Among those being fit at our clinic were a number of bike shop owners.

What makes a Cobb fit special?
He has the eye.

Bill
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Re: Cobb fit - Why is it special? [Oldaveguy] [ In reply to ]
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I think in a very minor way we are a "competitor" of John Cobb's, so this amounts to a significant compliment: John is extremely talented and very experienced. I agree 100% with what you are saying. He is a smart man, practical thinker and can apply good common sense and observational skills to the fit problem. He is also a nice guy and has shared information with us freely, which means a lot. There is a lot to be learned from John. I've always been impressed with him and his work.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Cobb fit - Why is it special? [Oldaveguy] [ In reply to ]
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There is a lot of info about bike fit to be found on the internet. It's a matter of sorting thru it and applying this info in a logical manner. This takes a lot of time so for most people its just easier to pay for a bike fit, but I believe that anyone so inclined can research and set up their own bike fit to come up with the same approximate fit as any pro bike fitter.

What would make some of the pro fitters such as John, Tom etc. so outstanding is experience. Also there are probably a few little tricks here and there that aren't to be found on the net.

I've set up my own bike fit and I'm positive that it's in the ball park. However, I still consider it worthwhile to sometime take my bike to a pro fitter just for the peace of mind. As I'm in eastern Ontario I certainly wish I had heard of your fitting session in upstate NY. It definately would have been worth the drive. Please post in advance if it happens again.
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Re: Cobb fit - Why is it special? [Oldaveguy] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not trying to be a wise guy but I know a guy who has a special power and can talk to you over the phone and tell if your position is correct! It's wild how much he can tell about your bike position and all you have to do is call his 1-900 #
Darn I wonder if he's one of the 10 guys who really how?????
In a double blind test he has out fit everyone
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Re: Cobb fit - Why is it special? [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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Cerveloguy

I agree with you 100% about dialing in your own fit, if you are good at research and have an eye for detail.

I too have fit myself and I also feel that I am close to a very good fit. However, I would like to spend some time with a good fitter to check my work.

And like yourself, I live in far eastern Ontario( OK - western Quebec) and can not find a fitter that I would be willing to spend my time or money with.

Being a good researcher - I have found 2 resources that are close by(relative) and might be of interested.

http://www.athletesfirst.ca/ - they are associated with EnduroSports in Toronto. I plan on going to them in early march for a fit.

http://www.fitwerx.com/ - they will be holding some fit seminars in Burlington VT. in Feb-March.


put the mettle to the pedal
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Re: Cobb fit - Why is it special? [brettc] [ In reply to ]
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Brett,

Thanks for the urls. I am familiar with Endurosport and have heard lots of good things about them. Also in Toronto is La Bicycletta. A fella named Heath works there, who used to be with Cervelo. They do professional fitting also and are also recommended.

Closer to western Quebec in Kingston, Ont. is Tri-Science. They're considered quite good from what I hear. http://www.triscience.ca/
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Re: Cobb fit - Why is it special? [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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Cerveloguy and brettc

Sorry about this happening without you hearing about it. John was really adiment about not doing anymore than 36 fits. We hit that number pretty quicky just from people in this region.

I don't disagree that people that do their homework can fit themselves. We had a couple riders that John just ended up tweeking a bit. They were happy to have spent the $150 just for the validation of what they had done.

Tom's remark about John being a really nice guy is so true. Someone that works routinely with some of best athletes in the world might let it go to their head. Not Cobb. He would not quit working with any individual in the clinic until he was satisfied that they were fit as well as possible or that he had helped solved their problem. Some of these people had MAJOR problems. They weren't concerned about trimming minutes off their race times; they just wanted to ride longer without their back killing them. etc. He really cares about the people. I have a lot of respect for that kind of person.

I am sure other fit professionals care alot about their customers. I doubt that many of them have the same ability to visually integrate body, position, aerodynamics, and power delivery - at what appears to be a glance.
Bill
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