Specialized BG Technical Bicycle Fitting Rocks

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Lotoja 2009

Move along. Nothing to see here. Literally. I'm short and wide and just here to make the text a bit more readable.

I ride my bicycle a bit — this isn't news for anyone who knows me. I'm working to make it my primary means of transportation. When I bought my TCR a few years ago, I sampled a number of saddles looking for something that wouldn't aggravate or numb my primary bicycle interface. My search ended when a buddy recommended the Specialized Toupe. The Toupe addressed all of my comfort issues save one — longer rides and/or consecutive commute days yielded chafing on my left inner thigh and saddle sores. I addressed the irritation with Chamois Butt'r, cortisone shots, and gritted teeth.

A short while back, I stopped in at my shop and asked Brady whether a narrower version of the Toupe might correct my issue. Brady strongly recommended a technical fit rather than a saddle that would "cut me in half." The pricing for the fitting was on par with the price of a new saddle. After considering my options overnight, I made an appointment.

A technical fitting is an intensive, one-on-one process with Taylor that can run as long as three hours. The fitting covers a range of data points from riding position and style to body flexibility and irregularities (different leg lengths, for instance) to the particulars of pedal stroke, all of which play into the specifics of adjusting the bicycle for something very close to optimal rider fit and alignment.

After my first session with Taylor, I took the TCR out for a longer weekend ride. My hope was to correct the irritation at the primary interface. Forty miles later, the primary interface was ready for more. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that pedaling was different — easier, more efficient, more like I was skimming along water like Dash from "The Incredibles." And, my tendency to shrug my shoulders while riding, which led to cramping and discomfort even on shorter rides, all but disappeared. Specialized advertises that one will "Ride faster, longer, and in greater comfort." I agree. Completely.

Taylor sent me home with a copy of the measurements of various relationships on the TCR. That sheet allows me to adjust a bicycle's components in very close to where they need to be. Of course, frame geometry is a factor, but a visit to the shop for fine tuning becomes short work and much less expensive. After all, I'm paying for much less of Taylor's time. The heavy lifting of the initial fit is done. So far, I've been in to have my commuter and travel bikes adjusted. When I get the drops installed on my Xtracycle, I'll have that fitted as well.

If you cannot tell from this drivel, I am incredibly pleased with the results of my fittings. They have made a massive difference in my ride quality. My chafing, saddle sores, and shoulder shrugging are in my past. I liked riding before. These days, I love riding so much that I'd consider marrying it — if I were still in third grade and weren't already married.

If you're one of my three (ir)regular readers, or if you've stumbled onto this post via the magic of the intertubes and are interested in having Bountiful Bicycle fit your bicycle(s), mention that you read about my fitting on nomuse.com and they'll knock $50 off the price of the technical fitting. It really will be the best $150 you spend on your bicycle. If you go in for a fitting, be prepared for a fair amount of saddle time — cycling shoes and clothing are definitely needed. A significant portion of the fitting is spent pedaling on the trainer.

For what it's worth, in addition to Taylor being a great guy, he's completed both the BG F.I.T. and Masters BG F.I.T. courses at Specialized's training facility in Morgan Hill, California. You can reach Taylor for a fitting appointment at 801-295-6711. More information about the BG Fit program is available via Specialized's BG Fit segment of the intertubes.

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This page contains a single entry by jack published on April 8, 2010 10:17 PM.

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