FinalFit employs the latest and best technology in the world for bike fitting, and we've proudly listed and described it for you below. Our position as one of the leading and most sought after fitters in the industry enables us to see & test most products and technologies long before they come to market. Some meet our expectations, a small few even exceed them sometimes, but we have to admit that most are simply smoke and mirrors, and we discard them as such. There are two important details we'd like to point out to you, our client. 1.) The fit devices we employ are the very best - we have the ability to use any and every tool available, so what we choose is the best there is, and not just flashy marketing gadgets to sell you a more expensive bike. 2.) We could have all the tech in the world, but it would mean nothing for you if we didn't know how to use it, or if we relied on it solely to tell you how you should fit to your bike. In the end, bike fitting is exactly what we've always claimed: a combination of science, technology, and art. With that made clear, here is what we use to assist us with our fittings:
Retul 3D Motion Capture
The “star” of FinalFit is our Retul 3D Motion Capture System – the most advanced fitting tool in the industry. Retul is a combination of advanced motion capture hardware, mated to cycling-specific fitting software, which combine to provide a clinical-level measurement of your position as you ride. The data provided by a Retul analysis is accurate to under a millimeter, and allows us to examine your position dynamically – the exact biomechanics of your pedal stroke can be seen, analyzed, and any need for position change is quickly identified.
Retul utilizes infra-red LED body markers, placed on 8 specific anatomical positions, to detect your exact body movement as you ride. A sensor tracks the markers automatically and samples your position every 2.1 milliseconds, or 476 times per second! The optical, or video, system we used in the past was not nearly as accurate, nor could it sample at anywhere near the rate topping out at 60 frames per second. The advancement Retul provides to our services is honestly too difficult to extole in just a few short paragraphs, but just know this: Retul's technology comes not from sports, but from the world of surgical medicine. It's about precision, not estimating. We know exactly how you fit, how you pedal, and what changes can be made to make you more efficient, comfortable, and faster.
While our video capture cannot match the accuracy of our Retul system, it does continue to provide us a valuable tool used to gain further insight into your fit, and also supplies us with a resource we can utilize for educational purposes (read: we can show you how poorly you fit to your bike before we make changes!). We deployed video capture before anyone on the west coast, and while we've seen many such systems appear in the last year, no one matches the experience we have with such systems - we know the possibilities and the limitations. It's a great tool, but it has no where near the measuring capabilities actual Motion Capture provides.
Computrainer / Spin Scan Analysis
A compliment to our Retul and Video Capture is the Computrainer system we employ to track your power and pedaling efficiency as we make changes to your position. The laboratory-rated model we utilize demonstrates, among other things, the changes in power output for different saddle heights, how your heart rate is effected by even the smallest changes in position, and which leg produces the most power throughout the pedal stroke. This information is crucial to an exacting fit, as we can determine, for instance, which of two otherwise acceptable saddle heights might be more optimized for you – even if they're as little as a few millimeters apart. Why? Well, when you pedal under different loads, your pedal stroke actually changes. It's impossible to track with the naked eye...video can't track it either; however, when you mate Retul with Computrainer, and accurate accounting can be made, and the correct choice becomes clear.
This is one of our favorite tools. A Pulse Oximeter provides us vital information about how much oxygen is in your blood as you pedal or when you're at rest. How is this useful? It's pretty simple. By measuring the oxygen level in your blood while on your bike, we can quickly determine if your breathing is too restricted causing a lack of optimum oxygen supplied to your muscles; oxygen is what makes your muscles go, it's the very energy they need to perform. If the percentage of blood oxygen is too low, you will not be able to achieve your best performance. We monitor the oxygen level of your blood during your fit to absolutely optimize your position and give your the best opportunity to reach your goals.
Now, monitoring the oxygen level of your blood sounds compicated and intrusive, but we promise it's not. Technology allows us to monitor your blood oxygen level in a completely non-invasive manner. No pain, no drawing blood, just a little device on the end of your finger that uses infra-red light to "see" and report the levels.
In order to make all the high tech stuff worth using, we need a way to adjust your position quickly and dynamically – enter our Fit Bike. It's a stationary bicycle which allows for infinite adjustments during the fit process. With the Fit Bike, we can mimic exactly the geometry of any bike in production, and then use it to not only find the proper size bicycle, but also your perfect fit on that particular bike. Since the Fit Bike allows for quick adjustments, we can use it to get instant feedback from our clients on even the smallest of position changes. As anyone who's been fit by us can testify, we listen very closely to our clients during the fit process, as their input is essential to any proper bike fit.
Other tools we use to find you that perfect fit are a Goniometer, which allows us to measure body angles differently from the Video Motion Analysis, and a good old fashioned Plum Bob, though it's used a bit differently than in the "Knee Over Pedal Spindle" days. Of course, there's no way we could get by without our trusty ol' level (electronic, of course) and tape measurer. Some things never change!