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A Bike Fit for the Ages

12 May 2015
by Katie Aguilar

by Katie Aguilar

I have gotten an annual bike refit since getting my bike from Podium. For me it is more tweaking since, ever since I have had my bike (which I bought at Podium with a Fit First approach – they measure and size me and then find bikes that will best fit me). My fit has always been great.

When I ride – be it at a race or in an organized century ride, I get compliments on my fit. In fact, when riding Ironman Wisconsin this past September, someone came along side me and asked me if I knew Matt (the owner of Podium Multisport) and if Matt had fit me on my bike as it was a great fit.

I have also said before, I can get off my tri bike to run and feel fresh be it for an Olympic or an Ironman distance race. I just feel good on my bike, and I love the way I feel when I get off to run.  I know, from feedback, that my hips are stable when I ride, and my head does not go back and forth. I have worked to make sure that all of my energy that I can get is going in to moving forward and not wasted in wobbling around. 

This year, it felt like until I was settled in on my bike, I would want to push back to get more from my legs. I can’t explain it more than it was a feeling. I knew I needed to chat with Matt or Andy, see what they thought, and get a refit in the down-season.

So when Podium acquired the GURU Fit System for fitting bikes and refits, I jumped at the opportunity.  

Things start off with a body scan from the system. And then it sets up an initial position for me on the fit bike which Andy immediately changed to meet my current bike set up. And then I hopped on and started pedaling.

The GURU system is dynamic, meaning that as I pedal, Andy was standing away, looking at me on the bike and changing the configuration using remote controls. He would pick one thing at a time (handlebars in or out, moving the seat forward or back, or up and down, etc.) and ask me “Which feels better – position 1 or position 2? It’s a bit like going to an eye exam. I would pedal through the change and most of the time tell him very quickly which felt better. Sometimes it took a little more pedaling, and as we honed in, like with the optometrist, there was little difference and so Andy would go with what was more in line with my goals (aggressive riding) until I didn’t like it.

While pedaling, the system is scanning me. Once we had a position I really liked, Andy switched screens and looked at the metrics. They reported what Andy and I already knew – I was rock steady. And, I didn’t feel like I wanted to push back at all.


Andy pointing out technical readings from the Guru fit system while Katie pedals and gets a feel for her fit

The overall body position after the GURU fit didn’t change much for me, but the position of my seat and handlebars did. So much so that I had to leave my bike at Podium so they could re-cable it (cables, after all, don’t stretch that much too well). The changes were just a few mm, but yeah – they were big.

What’s interesting is that, if we had done a standard bike refit (not the GURU system), Andy could not have moved the handlebars and seat as much as he did. There was nothing wrong with my old fit from more traditional methods, but with the GURU system we were able to find, what I believe to be, a better (but similar) set up for me.

So far I love the new fit. I don’t feel like I want to push back, and feel much more stable when a gust of wind be it natural or from a large truck hit me: I can stay in aero vs taking a hand and reaching for my basebar. I am looking forward to some longer rides to really put the fit through the paces.

And as an aside, my husband went for a refit on his road bike. First, it was found he had a really poor fit from where he bought the bike – he was all scrunched in. They dialed it in and in one ride he is already loving the new fit. 

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