One thing is certain: Every person is unique! So it is only logical that everyone has very individual needs when it comes to position on the bike. Specialized has developed, in a long collaboration with Dr. Pruitt from the ‘Boulder Center for Sports Medicine’, the Body Geometry FIT Technology. It is a comprehensive method of bike adjustment which takes into account the rider’s personal needs, so the bike adapts to the rider and not the rider to the bike. We took a look closely to the Specialized Body Geometry FIT concept and did a personal fitting.

On a Tuesday morning I drove, together with the ENDURO test rider Vinzenz, to the German Specialized headquarters in Holzkirchen close to Munich. Vinzenz is about to receive a personal Body Geometry FIT adjustment. Shortly after 9:00 we met Sebastian who will perform the fitting, we accompanied him to one of the studios and got started straight away.

Part 1: The Interview

The fitting starts with an Interview, giving Sebastian an overview of the person who now stands before him. What type of cycling he is doing, what are his goals for the season, has he already been through a Bike Fitting, does he have any current physical problems and is there a history of injuries of which he needs to know? All these factors influence the final position on the bike

Sebastian im Interview mit Vinzenz. Der Enduro Testfahrer spielt im Winter viel Eishockey und hat sich dabei bereits eine Schulterverletzung zugezogen. All diese Informationen spielen eine wichtige Rolle beim Bike Fitting.
Sebastian in an interview with Vinzenz. The Enduro test rider plays a lot of hockey in winter and has thereby already suffered a shoulder injury. All this information plays an important role in the bike fitting.
Es ist selbstverständlich das sämtliche persönlichen Informationen streng vertraulich behandelt werden. Nicht einmal der Hund darf hier zuhören.
It is understood that all personal information will be kept strictly confidential. Not even the dog can listen here.

Part 2: The Check-Up

After the interview follows a preliminary investigation. Care is taken to examine the flexibility and the customers anatomical peculiarities. All these factors are ultimately decisive for the position on the bike, and the choice of different components such as saddle and inserts in the shoes. Through various physiological tests Sebastian ultimately distinguishes a template of the people standing in front of him.

Mit verschiedenen Test wird die Beweglichkeit des Fahrers ermittelt.
With various test the rider’s mobility is determined.

Often it is the little things that make the difference. So the distance between the sit bones is crucial for choosing the right saddle width. This in turn affects not only ride comfort, it can also affect the entire seating position. For example, if the pelvis is tilted due to too small a saddle, back and forth stability is lost, which has to be compensated by the upper body.

Screenshot 2014-07-08 11.47.15
Sebastian verdeutlich die Wichtigkeit des passendes Sattels.
Sebastian clarified the importance of a good fitting saddle.
Bei der einbeinigen Kniebeuge geht es nicht um die Kraft des Probanden. Was zählt ist der Bewegungsablauf.
In the one-legged squat is not about the power of volunteers. What matters is the movement.
Wie sieht der persönliche Fußabdruck aus? Sind eventuell Einlagen nötig? All das wird bei der Vorabuntersuchung ermittelt.
What is the personal footprint? Are any enhancements necessary? All this is determined during the check-up.

Part 3: The Bike-Fitting

Once all the data from Vinzenz had been collected it was time for the final step, the adaptation of the bike. In this case it was not only done through the expert eye of Sebastian, he got additionall help from two cameras which are connected directly to the BG Fit Data System.

Zur korrekten Abstimmung müssen der SAG angepasst, die Achsen des Rades auf gleicher Höhe und der Sattel in der Uphill Position sein.
For a correct fitting the SAG must be adapted, the axes of the bike have to be at the same height and the seat post has to be in the uphill position.
Verschiedene Messpunkte werden werden angebracht um am Computer die exakten Winkel bestimmen zu können.
Various measurement points got fitted to determine the exact angle on the computer.
Auch die korrekte Cleat-Position gehört zum Gesamtkonzept Body Geometry FIT.
Even the correct cleat position is part of the overall concept of Body Geometry FIT.
In der Videoanalyse lassen sich die in der Vorabuntersuchung ermittelten Werte mit denen auf dem Rad abgleichen.
In the video analysis the values of the check up can get matched on the bike.
Dem geschulten Auge von Sebastian entgeht nichts!
The trained eye of Sebastian did not miss a thing!

Our Opinion:

Admittedly, we were skeptical about how the Body Geometry FIT method, which we previously knew only from road cycling, would be possible to apply to a mountain bike. For us the comfortable riding position always stands in conflict with the best possible downhill performance. However, after almost three hours of fitting, we were fascinated by the complexity of the subject of sitting position. It is far more than the correct saddle height.

In the end, the method must be judged on results, and only an improved performance could convince us. Vincent felt improved comfort from the first few meters on his Enduro 29, and also after a long testing phase he was very pleased with the seating position.

Everybody who would like to get this personal fitting, can find a list with qualified dealers which offer the Body Geometry FIT method For a price of around 150 € you can not only increase your efficiency and reduce back pain, you will also have more fun riding your bike.

Immer mehr Specialized Shops bieten Body Geometry FIT an. Klicke auf das Bild und finde den nächsten Händler in deiner Nähe.
More and more Specialized shops offer Body Geometry FIT. Click on the image and find the next dealer near you.

Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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