The Marc Pro Cycling team has had a blast collaborating with the folks at Endurance PTC over the last couple of years. In case you haven’t been following, Endurance Performance Training Center is an awesome space for endurance athletes. They’re a part gym, part performance lab, part bike fitting studio, part nutrition consulting, part high-end spin studio space in downtown Mill Valley, California. It’s THE place in the Bay Area to train if you’re into endurance sports.
The guys on the team have spent a lot of time there. We’ve been in for physiological testing, we’ve been in for sports performance talks, we’ve been in for nutrition consultations, and we’ve been in just to hang out and drink coffee with the team that works there. What was new to me was their bike fitting services, so when my new Cervelo team bike arrived I scheduled a time to come in and get a bike fit myself.
I’ve been riding bikes for a while now and have had plenty of bike fits throughout the years. I’m pretty particular (read: opinionated) about my bike fit and setup. This fit was different, and the reason it was different was the expertise of bike-fitter extraordinaire, Paul Kundrat. If you don’t know of Paul, you can catch up with this background reading from the New York Times. This is the man that got a front page, above-the-fold article written about his bike fitting services in the New York Times. True story, and no fake news about it!
I get asked for advice about bike fitters all the time, and since Endurance PTC is now where I’ll send everyone I thought I’d write an article to point people towards and explain a bit about the fitting process.
When you pull up in front of the space in Mill Valley, search for the free street parking right up the hill from Endurance (optional: stop for a coffee at Equator, one block away). You’ll roll yourself and your gear up the ramp and into the entrance on the right side of the building. You’ll likely be greeted immediately by Paul and/or a furry friend.
Inside the door you’ll see a pretty high-tech setup consisting of a platform, a trainer, and sensors/levels/measuring tools all over the place. Paul’s expertise in fitting gets pairs with a built-in Retul System to provide incredibly accurate and detailed measurements of your body’s position on the bike, the fit of your bike, and your movements while pedaling.
Paul will get your gear all set up as you change into your gear, and he’ll start by having you do a series of functional movements and stretches to demonstrate range of motion/flexibility/mobility issues while you guys chat about potential issues or concerns that you’re having. Once that is complete (~5mins) he’ll start by getting your platform set by setting your cleats. This is done with a level, laser, hip measurements, and some trial and error to get the cleats perfectly dialed.
Then up you go onto your bike on the platform. You’ll spin easily to warm up, loosen up, and settle into your position. As you do this, Paul sets up the Retul sensors on the hinges of your body (feet, ankles, knee, hip, arm, elbow, etc). This enables him to capture the motion of your pedal stroke. At the same time, he’ll capture the initial fit you came in with.
Paul is very thorough, and asks questions throughout the process. How does each move feel? What’s tight? Tell me about this. Tell me about that. Each move is watched by his careful and practiced eye. As your bike fit settles in to its final position, he’ll set up the Retul again to accurately capture the exact setup of your bike so it can be replicated in the future.
In my case, the seat went up a bit and it went forward a bit. This straightened me out on the saddle and relieved some tightness I had been having in my hamstring. After 3 weeks of riding in this position I feel fluid and comfortable on my new bike. I am very pleased!
Paul’s time is in high demand, so it’s a must that you schedule your bike fit in advance. A fit takes around 2 hours or so. You can call in or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your bike fit. The cost is $275.