BG Fit does fit

BG Fit Logo

Karrie heard about the BG Fit System at the recent Specialized Women’s Cycling Rally in Pleasanton.
TJ Jones from Mikes Bikes in Sausalito told Karrie about Kelley Hale.
Karrie did a fit with Kelley on her new bike and strongly suggested that I get fitted as well.

From the Mike’s site :
“A Body Geometry Pro 3D Video Fit Session with a Certified Fit Specialist is the best way to help any rider go faster, go longer, and ride in greater comfort with less risk of injury. Using a proprietary system developed by Specialized and some of the world’s top sports physicians, our factory-certified Body Geometry Fit Specialists will bring a world of comfort and performance to your ride that you never thought possible. In order to increase the accuracy and repeatability of the Body Geometry Fit process, the fit experts at Specialized and Dr. Andy Pruitt Ed.D, PA of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine developed Body Geometry Fit DATA. It’s a proprietary motion-capture software and fit assessment process. DATA allows our Body Geometry Fit specialists to capture any rider’s pedaling motion on video, perform a quantitative assessment and make changes that will optimize the rider’s position.”
For more info here is the link Body Geometry Fit by Mikes Bikes

I did a fit with Kelley Hale December 20 right after I picked up my new Specialized Camber Expert Carbon EVO 29.
It was totally mind boggling.
I picked up the bike up on a Thursday night.
I put the pedals on and set the seat height Friday night and went for a 30 km Headlands ride Saturday morning.
The bike was awesome and everything felt fine.
I have never really experienced any pain on a bike and always figured that I was lucky and just pretty much fit on a bike with everything in middle position. I just sort of set my seat height/position and go. Nothing ever hurts.
Kelley met me at the door and took the bike and I to the fit area.
He did a quick check of my setup asking about why I had some things the way I did. (“It came that way”)
It was pretty clear that Kelly was aghast at how nose down I had my seat angle. I seem to ride a bit nose down anyway but it had slipped on my morning ride and I had just sort of pulled it up and tightened it knowing that I was getting a real fit later.

Then he dug in:
Lots of questions about riding style, preferences, physical & injury history, training and goals.
He did a thorough off the bike physical assessment including:

Flexibility Assessment
This evaluation gains an accurate picture of the individual’s flexibility and other physical attributes, including assessment of foot structure, knee position, spinal curve, shoulder extension, hip flexion and leg length, among others.

My legs & arms are even length, my hips are level, flexion is pretty good and everything is similar left/right. Nothing too out of whack.
He checked out my feet and shoes and showed me how to figure out cleat fore and aft. I had it just about right.

Kelley measured the width of my sit bones and determined the Henge seat that came with the bike fit me well.

Then he swapped my stem with one that he could adjust on the fly and record the angles and measurements.

Side View Adjustments
Assessed using the side view of the rider, the goal is to deliver a correct neutral position that’s both powerful and comfortable through adjustments to seat height, handlebar height, stem length and cleat position.

Front View Adjustments
Assessed using the front view of the rider to optimize hip, knee and foot alignment for greater performance and balanced power delivery. Includes analysis of pedal and shoe placement and squareness on the saddle.

Kelley tweaked everything, mostly small adjustments. Seat nose up (knew that was coming…) Seat back & up a bit.
He experimented with the stem height/reach/angle and handlebar/control rotation sort of like an eye doctor,
“Is 2 better than 1? 3 better than 2? etc.” He explained everything that we did and why we were doing it. He was incredibly patient and thorough.
I have read a lot about ‘fitting’, watched the GCN videos, etc. and talked a lot about bike fit with riding partners and “bike experts” but Kelley really explained it in depth and in explained everything in terms of “me”.

Next he put me on the bike with video running.

Video Analysis
Rider gets to “see what we see” by viewing themselves from the side and front on a flat-screen monitor during the fit. DATA’s dual angle capture system makes adjustments in the side and front planes more accurate, and allows the FIT specialist to make adjustments to a rider’s positioning and compare the difference using side-by-side video comparison. With the use of powerful on-screen drawing tools, DATA also allows the FIT specialist to illustrate and explain the rider’s ideal position.

Then he moved to the Front view, gasped and projected the video.
I couldn’t believe that was me on the bike. Kelley was stunned at how pronounced it was.
The video clearly showed that my left knee flopped in like a windshield wiper at the bottom of every stroke.
I can’t believe that I have never had a knee problem but I’m positive that I was doomed to get one.
It’s a huge loss of power that I had no idea that I did and no one that I have ridden with ever noticed. I vaguely knew that when I wanted more power that I would focus a bit more on the upstroke.
I had no idea that it was because I wasn’t generating much power my left downstroke. I thought that I might be a bit right leg dominate but it is now totally clear why. My left foot rolls in when I apply pressure on the downstroke and the knee flops into the centerline. It was incredibly obvious on video especially with the software drawing parallel vertical lines.
One of my usual riding partners walked in and saw the video. He was shocked too.

Kelley put in the Specialized green high arch insoles to keep the foot from rolling and pushed the cleats to the outside to narrow my stance bringing the foot more under the knee.
Video instantly showed a HUGE improvement.
Both legs now go pretty much straight up and down.
Fixing that issue caused my effective leg length to increase so Kelly repeated the side process. He re-tweaked everything again.
Seat height up another tick, controls rotated, brake lever throw set .
We ended up keeping the stem that came with the bike, but raised it up one ring.

At the completion of a Body Geometry Fit session using DATA, the rider is presented with a flash drive containing a digital report that includes all of their critical measurements along with video clips of their DATA FIT analysis.

I now have a complete report of the analysis and all my critical measurements that I can use to re-set the bike whenever I travel or it gets worked on.
I can also make appointments to discuss the effectiveness of any adjustments that were made and answer any additional questions.
I have video proof positive of before and after and how well the “Body Geometry Fit Pro 3D Video Session with Master Certified Fit Technician” works.

I spent most of the next Sunday out on the hill.
The power difference was immediately striking.
I knew that I was right leg dominate but I was literally like a 2 cylinder Honda Rebel 250 with a bad exhaust valve.
I’m tuned up & firing on both cylinders now.
The bike is pretty sweet too.

Update:
I feel like I am generating WAY more power now (& my riding partners seem to confirm that)
A few hundred KM later, I am still astounded at the difference the fitting made. The bike feels great and my riding friends are all complaining about my leap in speed and power.
I’m going to have to bring in the road bike for the same treatment….