Shimano Looks to Fit In, Partners with BikeFitting.com On new Fitting Program

Shimano Dynamic Fitting system

Bicycle fitting is big business for a lot of shops, and for good reason. Spending many hours on a bike can be pretty unenjoyable if you are stuck in the wrong position. There are already a number of fit systems on the market, but Shimano thinks they can do better. Partnering with BikeFitting.com out of the Netherlands, Shimano brought their product development skills to the table with the Shimano Dynamics Lab to combine with BikeFitting.com’s 25 years of fit experience to create what they see as the ultimate system.

Get fit after the break.

Shimano Static Measurement Tool Shimano Position Simulator

The fit will usually start with the Bikefitting.com static measurement tool on the left which uses various software algorithms to select the proper bike or frame from a database for the best compatibility of fit. Dealers could use this stool as a stand alone piece or as a starting place before the position simulator. Engineered by the Shimano Dynamics Lab, the adjustable position dynamic fit bike integrates typical Shimano precision with industry leading fit technology. The simulator has an integrated 3D pedaling analyzer along with an XY copy tool, precise adjustments and the ability to quickly swap out saddles, and handlebars during a fit.

In order to simplify the fitting process if need be, the fit system offers a Wizard Mode. Yes, Wizards. Utilizing a motion capture harness, wizard mode uses a base flexibility assessment and motion capture while on the simulator to find an optimal fit on the bike in about half the time of a typical dynamic fit, or about 1.5 hours. For the advanced fitters out there, the advanced mode allows them to access individual datasets to fine tune the fit without the use of wizards.

Shimano Dynamic Fitting system pedals 2 Shimano Dynamic Fitting system pedals Shimano Dynamic Fitting system pedals 3

What is a fit without pedal and crank analysis? Using a 3D pedaling analyzer, the system offers left and right pedaling data with real time displays on the GUI (Graphic User Interface) that shows true force vectors at the pedals. Fitters can measure the effective force ratio of the rider by using radial and tangential forces at the pedal, as well as note changes in wattage, cadence, and ANT+ compatible heart rate.

“The effective force ratio is the sum of tangential forces on the crank on the left and right side. With this objective tool, fitters can confidently analyze and identify potential problems or imbalances and improve pedaling effectiveness by modifying the foot-pedal interface including cleat setup, insole function, and even bike fit. The force distribution on the pedal axis is an average of the load distance distributed over the pedal axle through a 360-degree pedal revolution from the pedal center. This information objectively helps improve the foot-pedal interface and substantially increases foot stability and balance on the bike.”

The BikeFitting.com system is a neutral vendor solution that is backed by Shimano, which will be a global program supported locally with regional fit experts and tech help.

Shimano Fit Options

Comments

Denny Schleck - 08/27/13 - 2:07pm

Wow… I’d hate to get fitted on my real bike…..

herman - 08/27/13 - 2:08pm

Is it really that bad to get fitted on your actual bike???

ccolagio - 08/27/13 - 2:47pm

that fitting system is 100% adjustable with hand cranks for every adjustment – you try doing fittings all day, every day swapping out stems, headset spacers, seatpost heights and so on using wrenches. you wont find something like this in your average bike shop – this will go in bike fit specialty type place with people who are most likely certified to fit you.

Psi Squared - 08/27/13 - 2:54pm

Well, not everyone is getting fitted for their current bike, and some have fit issues that are difficult to resolve. This, like Retul, could help with such issues.

Zach, is there any word if the motion capture can analyze lateral knee movement or given insight to foot orientation (valgus wedge, varus wedge, and etc) or leg length discrepancy issues? Also, any word on what this system will cost? It’d be nice to see deeper market penetration with this than is currently seen with Retul.

Kevin - 08/27/13 - 2:58pm

If you’re being fitted on your own bike and want to see the difference a 110 vs 120 mm stem makes, you need to remove the handlebars from the stem, remove the top cap, remove the stem, put on the new stem, tighten it down, and bolt on the handlebars (hopefully in the exact same inclination as before to avoid confounding variables). With this system (or a Serotta Size Cycle, or Dynafit, etc) it’s a lot faster process so it’s easier to do an A-B-A comparison.

The other advantage is that you’re not trying to shove correct positioning onto a perhaps less than ideal platform. If your current bike is a 54 but you should be on a 56, getting fitted on your own bike is going to take a bit of effort and maybe some weird componentry – long stem, super setback post, etc. Using a sizing cycle allows you to start with a clean slate and make your decision from there, not just on size but possibly even manufacturer depending on whose geometry works best for you.

john - 08/27/13 - 3:46pm

No mention of the process of evaluating the rider’s body off the bike. Without that, its not a fit.

justin - 08/27/13 - 3:59pm

wish somebody would make a fit system for mountain biking

Zach Overholt - 08/27/13 - 4:37pm

@PSI, we will be getting the full run down either with Tyler at Eurobike, or one of us at Interbike. Good questions, we’ll see what we can find out!

bbb - 08/27/13 - 5:03pm

Bike fitting is only as good as the person carrying it out.

satisFACTORYrider - 08/27/13 - 5:04pm

@justin – unless you’re on a really lame sit all day pedal xc course i don’t think one needs a “fit” system for mtnbikes. with it being so dynamic, wheel size along with suspension setup variables that relate with geometry, skill level of the rider and terrain will dictate alot of set up.

1Pro - 08/27/13 - 5:10pm

people dont have fit issues… they have fitness and postural issues. they just like to think “fitting” will help them with what they really lack. fitness, core and posture.

satisFACTORYrider - 08/27/13 - 6:00pm

^so true, 1Pro. i would refuse to sell a carbon wunderbike to a customer who couldn’t touch their toes. i would lose the carbon bike sale but i would always gain a reg customer out of them.

Sly - 08/27/13 - 6:24pm

@1Pro
While I do agree that fitness, core strenght, flexibility, and related posture issues are key elements to be comfortable and powerful on a bike, I also think that it is difficult to select the best bike for any individual given the various geometry offered. Considering the investment involved, this is where such a system will help.

As for core muscle, most of the recommanded exercises don’t target the most important core muscle, the transverse. The transverse, is a deep muscle that makes a sort of a belt.

A. - 08/27/13 - 6:26pm

A fit is only ad good as the fitter. This machine is a tool that can be useful in good hands, but there are a lot of places that will purchase it to give their inexperienced “fitters” credibility.

Your flexibility is different from morning to night, never mind from beginning of the season to the end. You bike positioning has an acceptable range of adjustment that becomes your “ideal” fit once muscle memory kicks in. Systems that use motion capture harnesses and reflectors are selling a level of precision that the human body is not capable of. This is not even mentioning that the set-up points have to be in the exact position from right to left. If the reflector on the hip is off my 1/2cm, which is very realistic, the numbers will mean nothing.

Nice tool in the right hands, but a lot of bull$hit smoke and mirrors that go along with it. Make sure your fitter is experienced and intelligent. The fitter’s “eye” and instinct will mean a lot more than a fancy presentation.

Micho 668 - 08/27/13 - 6:42pm

Looks very interesting and expensive.
Put some aero bars on it and I’m sure the tri geeks will flock to it.
Fit tools are great but still comes down to getting to the end result of a happy comfortable customer.

Paul - 08/28/13 - 1:08am

Hip to shoulder line. So someone with a curved back and a straight back both show a straight line between the hip and shoulder……this looks familiar.

Scott Greenapple - 08/28/13 - 8:45am

The bike is a stationary piece of equipment. Your body will adapt to it, being good, bad or indifferent. Most shops will fit the bike to the body without thinking about things like posture, flexibility or strength. The body FIRST needs to be evaluated, treated, stretched, strengthened ect. then, fit the bike to the body. I have seen and had great success with ReTul as some others. However, this is one tool to add to the entire equation. A good “fitter” who knows what they know and their limitations is the best combination.

Eddie O - 08/28/13 - 9:24am

@justin WN Precision has been offering mtb specific fittings for over 10 years now.

Robo - 08/28/13 - 11:38am

@John Absolutely 100% correct. you’re just shoving a person into some sort of box with this fit. sure you can see pedal data, which is cool, but that’s about it.

@1pro and satisFACTORYrider you’re not completely wrong, but you aren’t totally right either. A big gut and poor posture certainly can interfere with an ideal fit but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done to get them as comfortable as possible on the bike and then once they correct their issues, update the fit.

@all talking about how it’s easier to fit on this than a persons own bike, that’s certainly true but has anyone ever used that salsa stem tool? super adjustable and really really easy to set up and use, then once correct stem length is determined, just install the right one and boom. And YES with this tool, you can set up a persons ideal fit and then adapt it to their bike but there are instances where a person is simply on the wrong size bike and it will NEVER fit right but you’ve got to do your best to make them comfortable because they just can’t afford a new one right now. That’s why I like the idea of fitting a person on their own bike to begin with instead of a size cycle.

Robo - 08/28/13 - 11:40am

and, yes, this is just a tool and only as good as the person using it….like every other tool out there ever made ever.

Larry Falk - 08/28/13 - 12:30pm

I see this product in a wholly positive light as, 1- bike shops need ways to keep people coming into shops instead of solely buying on the internet, 2- most people who buy a fit (regardless of the system or fitter) most likely will be better off than before the fit, 3 -I 100% agree the fitter is the most important ingredient of the fit, but whatever technological help the system can provide might smooth over the reality that some fitters will be more qualified than others. Lastly, I think bike fitting – especially how it is done in a retail sense – still has a way to go until the bike industry gets the formula correct. So, I’m glad all of these different ‘systems’ are available to add to the collective industry knowledge and bike fitting can continue to be refined.

Chris - 08/28/13 - 1:33pm

People are seriously complaining about and criticizing a fit system? These comments are getting to be too much. You all need to re-evaluate your complaint systems. Can’t we go to the news sites and complain about Miley?

A. - 08/28/13 - 1:53pm

@Larry Falk:
The fittings haven’t been “refined”. Some fitters have re-adjusted their idea of a “proper” position based on education, but a bike fit is based on the limitations of the human body. That’s always been the case. An talented, educated bike fitter typically fits a person the same way today (regardless of the tools) as they would’ve fit someone 20 years ago in a pre-Serotta-Fit-School age. The idea that these tools and fit machines are “refining”, redefining or revolutionizing bike fit is laughable. That’s the sales pitch that everyone is buying into and it’s bogus. At best these tools allow an uneducated person to sell someone a bike that isn’t grossly mis-sized.

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