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Retul Bike Fitting

Retul Bike Fitting

Ensuring that your bike fits correctly is the most substantial improvement to cycling performance that you can make. You will be able to ride faster, for longer, in greater comfort and with fewer injuries. There is no better way to get your bike fit exactly right than to consult a professional. With Retül bike fitting technology available at our Planet X stores, it's now easier than ever to access pro-level performance

As a sport, cycling involves a limited range of motions that are highly repetitive. Your legs will be making the same movements up to 120 times a minute while your upper body can barely move for hours at a time. This means that even minor imperfections in fit and position are amplified as we make the same motions over and over again in a rigid body position. On a simple level, these imperfections impair performance just because they can reduce power output and impair handling. But they can also have direct negative impact on our bodies themselves as well.

A poorly fitting bike will be uncomfortable to ride, limiting the amount of time you can spend in the saddle. More importantly, however, this discomfort is often a sign that you are actually causing damage to your body. Riding a bike that doesn't fit can lead to serious injury, particularly on long ride or in intense competition.

Bike fit is particularly important for time-trialling, triathlon and other multi-sport events. The extreme rider position is designed to optimise aerodynamics and power output, but it is far from natural and the risk of fatigue and injury is greater if fit is not correct. Triathlon also has the additional complication of balancing bike performance with recovery from the swim and preparation for the run. For example, with the correct set-up on the bike, you can take pressure off the muscle groups that are used most heavily during the run and leave yourself fresher for the final segment of competition.

Most bikes are sold according a sizing guide based on simple measurements, mostly based around height. We try our hardest to make sure that our sizing guides are as accurate as possible but everyone's bodies are different. If you take two riders of the same height, one could have longer legs and a shorter torso and vice versa. A sizing guide will put them on the same bike but once they get it, it will need to be set up differently if it is to fit them both correctly. Riders with flexibility issues, joint problems or recurring injuries will also need to adapt their bike to suit their individual needs.

The Retül fit system is the world standard in bike fitting technology. The list of pro teams that use the system speaks for itself. Sky Pro Cycling, British Cycling, Orica-GreenEdge, Garmin Sharp, Europcar, Team Colombia and MTN Qubeka all use Retül to ensure that their riders are as comfortable as possible and performing at their best.

Our trained bike fitters use digital motion capture technology to assess your body position and pedal strokes while you are on your bike. Sensors are placed on the key joints on your body (wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle) and tracked by laser to an accuracy of fraction of a millimetre. Data is gathered on multiple angles of the rider in three dimensions so a fitter can not only see measurements such as knee and hip angles, but also lateral knee tracking and hip travel.

With this data, our fitters then alter your bike position to balance power output and comfort. This can involve altering saddle height, saddle position, stem length, handlebar width and crank length. On a time trial bike, the length, width and shape of aero bar extensions can be altered. If you have any injuries, the fitter will be able to take this into account and tailor the fit to your specific needs. The data is then printed off so you can ensure your bike is set up correctly if ever it is taken apart and rebuilt and so your next bike can be just right as well.

The Rutül fitting service at Planet X is now being overseen by Paul, who is bringing his 30 years of experience in endurance sports physiology to improve the experience even further. As a duathlete who has competed for England at World Chamionship level, Paul knows how important it is to get the little things right. He has been fitting bikes for 8 years alongside offering performance coaching and testing for top cyclists and duathletes. He's also currently working towards an MSc in Applied Sports Science(?).

"What is good about Retül is the human element," says Paul. "Unlike other fitting systems, Retül involves both cutting-edge technology and humaretuln inference so as a fitter you can connect with customers on a scientific and a personal level. It's a dynamic fit so you can actually see how the rider moves on the bike." Paul will be bringing his extensive biomechanical knowledge to provide extra services on top of the standard Retül fit, including precision cleat set-up. "It's about comfort, efficiency and performance - they're all important."

Retül fitting is currently available at all our stores and can be booked below. One session costs £150 or just £75 if it is on a bike you've bought from us. Click here for more details.

Sheffield Pro Bike Fit Booking System

Barnsley Pro Bike Fit Booking System

26 August 2014

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