90 Revolutions, Fast Track Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, and Revolution Cycles has recently teamed up to provide the ultimate medical-based bicycle fit. So what makes this the ultimate bicycle fit?
For years, I have been fitting clients using video analysis and biomechanical measurements. I would first take the client through a physical therapy assessment specific to cycling. Before making adjustments to the bicycle, I had to know the client’s anatomy and if there were any underlying orthopedic issues that would change the fit.
I would next make adjustments to the bicycle after the rider warmed up and loosen tight muscles. Several videos were then recorded using Dartfish software, and these video clips were then broken down into frames to ensure the proper measurements. While this process was good, its accuracy depended a lot upon the effectiveness and accuracy of the fitter…. me. It is my nature to constantly evaluate and try to improve upon systems. In doing so, I was introduced to the Retul system.
After significant research, collaboration with Fast Track Physical Therapy and Revolution Cycles, and a flight to Colorado for an intensive, three-day certification course, we are now ready to launch the ULTIMATE MEDICAL BIKE FIT!
1) Advanced Technology (for the nerd in all of us)
I have to say that I’m very impressed with the technology. The LEDs within the sensors placed on your body are used as measuring points on the rider’s body emit a light 476 times per second and making the measurements accurate to within less than one millimeter. That beats measuring with a goniometer and video software! The LED technology is similar to the systems used in research but are engineered to work in a clinical or bike shop-like setting. Finally, the bicycle fit is recorded using a handheld digitizer called a Zin. The Zin is sort of like a three-dimensional scanner. This device’s technology is based off of the same technology that brain surgeons use to locate a probe.
2) Frame Finder Capability
Have you ever wanted to purchase a bike, but you are unsure about what frame and components would be best? The team at Retul has designed a program for the fitters called Frame Finder. Frame Finder takes the measurements from the Zin and compares them to bicycles and component on the market. So, if you are unsure of what bicycle is the best for your body, the ultimate solution is to be fitted on an adjustable bicycle and compare that data to the information on Frame Finder. Learn more by watching the video below.
3) I Love Being a Pioneer (not the horse and buggy, going to stake my claim to the wild, wild West kind of pioneer, but the innovator, only one doing it kind of pioneer!)
I’ve looked for other places who are doing the same medical, bike fits. During my “thinking about it/research phase”, I did a lot of searching with the hope of collaborating and learning more. I came up empty handed. Of course, there are a lot of bike shops that use Retul, but I didn’t find any that employed fitters who hold a doctorate degree in physical therapy. I’ll keep looking because it would be cool to network, but something tells me that we’re breaking the rules here with this clinical meets bike shop partnership. The credit for this innovative idea goes to Jakob Wolf-Barnett, Chief Operating Officer and Mike Hamannwright, Owner/President for Revolution Cycles.
By combining this technology with the expertise of a medical professional and the resources of a bicycle shop, the ultimate medical bicycle fit can be achieved. Starting in April, I’ll be using the Retul system to fit clients on tri bikes and road bikes at Revolution Cycles in Arlington, VA (Clarendon Store). To schedule, you can call Fast Track Physical Therapy at 703-237-3930.
If you want to learn more about the Retul fitting process, click here to hear the podcast with Tom Carver, one of the co-founders of Retul.