Bike Fit Philosophy, with Dr. Andy Pruitt, Colby Pearce, and Todd Carver

With the help of three of the great minds in bike fit, we discuss bike fit philosophy and how science plays in role in shaping that mindset.

Dr. Andy Pruitt conducts a bike fit.
Dr. Andy Pruitt conducts a bike fit.

Bike fit was once purely a quote-unquote “philosophy.” In the old days, you may have experienced getting a so-called fit by a guy at a bike shop with a plumb line and a theory.

Now, bike fit is a full-fledged science—there are video cameras everywhere, 3D modeling, and so on. Yet bike fit is a science that is still influenced by philosophy—what each fitter brings to the exam and analysis that impacts his or her perspective.

In this episode, we’ve gathered three of the great minds in bike fit to discuss this complex and extremely important aspect of cycling:

  1. Dr. Andy Pruitt is the Director of Sports Medicine here at Fast Talk Laboratories, and one of the pioneers of the study of cycling biomechanics.
  2. Our next guest has appeared on Fast Talk many times before, and he also continues to host his own podcast, “Cycling in Alignment.” Of course, it’s Colby Pearce.
  3. Finally, making his Fast Talk debut is Todd Carver, co-founder of Retül and the head of human performance at Specialized, which now owns the Retül fit technology.

When we sat down to discuss the topic, to no one’s surprise, our expert guests spoke for hours, so we have split this interview into two parts.

In Fast Talk Episode 187, we begin with a discussion about the philosophy of fit, and how science fits into that philosophy.

In Fast Talk Episode 189, we’ll conclude with a discussion the practical implications of bike fit, from the debate over aerodynamics versus power, to our guest’s feelings about technology versus experience and intuition.

What do each of these experts say about their bike fit philosophy? What’s the goal of a fit?

Let’s get you fit… and make you fast!

References

  • Beer, J. (n.d.). Cycling Equipment: The effect of aerodynamic and drag on cycling performance. Retrieved April 22, 2016, from http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/cyclingequipmenttheeffectofaerodynamicsanddragoncyclingperformance40874#
  • García-López, J, Ogueta-Alday, A., Larrazabal, J., & Rodríguez-Marroyo, J. (2013). The Use of Velodrome Tests to Evaluate Aerodynamic Drag in Professional Cyclists. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(05), 451–455. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0033-1355352
  • García-López, Juan, Rodríguez-Marroyo, J. A., Juneau, C.-E., Peleteiro, J., Martínez, A. C., & Villa, J. G. (2008). Reference values and improvement of aerodynamic drag in professional cyclists. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(3), 277–286. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410701501697
  • Heil, D. P. (2005). Body size as a determinant of the 1-h cycling record at sea level and altitude. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(5–6), 547–554. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-004-1256-5
  • Jeukendrup, A. E., & Martin, J. (2001). Improving Cycling Performance. Sports Medicine, 31(7), 559–569. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200131070-00009
  • Martin, J. C., Milliken, D. L., Cobb, J. E., McFadden, K. L., & Coggan, A. R. (1998). Validation of a Mathematical Model for Road Cycling Power. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 14(3), 276–291. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1123/jab.14.3.276
  • Rose, T. (2016, January 16). When U.S. air force discovered the flaw of averages. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/01/16/when-us-air-force-discovered-the-flaw-of-averages.html

Episode Transcript

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