Monday, November 25, 2013

Certified, Level 2 and other Titles You Should Know when getting Fit

Thijs and Neal showing off their expertise
We are proud to announce that Thijs Schutte has passed his Body Geometry Certification Exam!
We are so proud and excited for his hard work and the continuation of our quality bike fit service. For as much as we are excited, many of you are indifferent and confused. Bicycle fit as an educated service is very new, starting around 2005. When people hear somebody is a doctor or surgeon, they understand the level of expertise that comes with said title. A "Master" or Certified fitter does not carry the same understanding. Because of this, many shops say offer a fit service, not only without any training but often times incorrect results. Many cyclists end up paying significant amounts of money and receive debilitating results. So I'm here to clear it up!

Tools of the trade
Body Geometry is the gold standard of bicycle fit. Focusing on a neutral body position based on the rider's flexibility, strength and style of riding. It was not only the first uniform fit system but also the only process focused on a rider's anatomy.

Educating the fit staff in what the rider's body is doing while on the bike is the focus of Body Geometry fit and the only way to know what directions to adjust the bicycle.

Here is a brief history and explanation of the Body Geometry Fit program from the creator, Dr. Andy Pruitt.

Within Body Geometry there are three levels. After completing the first Body Geometry Fit course, one is qualified as a fit technician. Once a substantial amount of fittings have been submitted back to SBCU (Specialized Bicycle Components University), to ensure the quality of service, the fit technician may then go for their Level II education, or his "Masters." This is a more in depth look at the anatomy, common medical complications and solutions.
Now a level II fit technician, after a similar amount of quality monitoring, they can take their certification test. There is no more education to gain at certification, only a rigorous practicum and written exam. The process is so challenging, only 100 fit technicians in the entire world have achieved this title. Only two fit techs in Florida are certified, John B. Hollingsworth and Thijs Schutte and they both work at our shop.

If you are having pains while riding your bike, want to prevent pain from rearing its head, or want to make sure every part of your body is working to go faster, schedule a fit with our knowledgeable and extremely well educated staff!
More  info on our Body Geometry Fit

Monday, November 4, 2013

A is for Aero

Despite the results, I feel the cape makes me faster.
Many cyclists look at the weight of their bike meticulously. Most are in denial of their 'weight weenie' status
but will pay hundreds more for grams of difference. Likewise, there is a large group of riders that could ace many medical tests due to their research and focus on their nutrition. However, when looking at the aerodynamics of a rider, there is a stigma of being a last resort, or "too expensive" to be worth the aid.
Everybody put on your helmets because you're mind is about to be blown:

Aerodynamics is the most effective advancement a rider can make.

Now for the nay-sayers who are yelling things like "Well it only helps above 20 mph!" or "The added weight makes the aero shapes ineffective!" Stop shouting at your computer, I can't hear you.
Myself and Neal were fortunate enough to do some work in Specialized's brand new wind tunnel in Morgan Hill, California. Approximately 4 hours of work, which worked out to roughly $9,000 of time and expertise in the facility.
We were there focusing on change of body position. To see if a more "aero" position was more important to the area of resistance than the loss of power from losing a neutral fit. Working with a caliber of engineers that routinely get called by NASA for help is humbling, to say the least. To say we learned a lot would be an understatement.

Here are a couple of things we learned: Aerodynamic drag is not relative to the rider's speed. While I'm sure many people feel the difference around 20 mph, wind resistance is impeding your performance the same at every speed. In fact, many of the engineers argued that because you are spending more time from A to B in the air-based resistance at lower speeds, it is actually effecting you more.
While aero equipment does end up being slightly heavier than non-winged products, weight resistance is constantly reduced by momentum, where air resistance is actually heightened by acceleration.  
The biggest take home was a staggering number of how much resistance was wind-based.
On average, 70% of a cyclist's resistance is from the air.
As much as 50% (35% of the whole) of that resistance could be from the rider themselves.

What does this tell us?
Aerodynamics is a huge part of what can make you go faster and keep you going faster.  Especially in a state where our hills come as gusts from either coast.

Best Bang for your Buck
With many companies realizing the importance of being "wind-minded," there is very good new on the horizon: equipment upgrades can be more effective for less money. When you hear aero a lot of people think of a full aero frame such as a Specialized Shiv, or carbon wheels like Zipp 404's and their hopes of cutting through wind are dashed by the price tags of these items. But if you're just looking for improvement in performace, you don't have to get the high ticket items.
The Evade, scientifically proven to be effective. 

Specialized Evade
The first upgrade recommended is an aero helmet.  The Specialized Evade has had more wind tunnel tested results than most bikes. Switching your helmet to a less turbulent model, like the Evade, actually helps a rider as much as a set of Zipp 404's. When compared to Zipp 404's price tag of $2700, the Evade's $250 price seems like a steal!

Pearl used the BMC pro team as
tests for their fabrics

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Fabric
The cut of a rider's apparel, along with the fabric it is composed of is another big factor .Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Aero fabric is dimpled, much like a golf ball, to reduce drag by 8%. A huge advantage for a small
step up in price.

Neal's entire upper body became more aerodynamic after
his Body Geometry Fit
The Most Help You can get
Pertaining more to why we were there, the other major aero difference was made by having the bike correctly fit to the rider. When you are forcing your body to hold a position it isn't happy with, it is visible in the shape of the rider. It shows itself by bulging, contorting and compromising your naturally smooth position. It is of the utmost importance to be fit by somebody who is listening to your body and finding where it is the most aero, not by angles of the bike, but by anatomical construction and flexibility. This is the only way to find your personal level of aerodynamics and, subsequently, comfort.
To learn more about our fit program here at the shop, click here.

If you have any questions about these products, or want to know more about our Body Geometry Fit program please contact us or call the shop!