Sunday, October 7, 2012

1 Week in CA

I'm a Body Geometry certified fit technician now.

So... that's rad. I just got back from a week at Specialized's headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA. And if you thought I was over-analytical about bicycles before (I am and I know) this just gave me the tools to go 10x the previous.

I gained more information pertaining to things that I want to make a career out of in 5 days than I did in 1 semester in college (not all of them mind you, but I can think of a certain few). Yes, this is my crack and yes I want to make a living being your crack dealer for a lonnnng time.

I now have the ability to put you on a massage table and measure every inch of every part of you, if you are so inclined, to make your bicycle work ideally with your skeletal structure and flexibility. I knew going in what a good BGFit was all about, I've had a few. But every time I've had one it has just been mine. I knew how great it was for me, since the minute I was done replicating all of my fits on all of my bikes all I could think of was "this is better than everything I have ever ridden and I wish I would have discovered it years ago." But now to have the tools and knowledge to provide that to clients is mind-blowing. I always respected my fitters but the amount of information they hold in their head I never could have guessed.

But onto the good stuff, I got to ride a few S-Works bikes while I was out there. And I was lucky enough to know my fit numbers off the top of my head...err, off of the top of my droid... to make them ideal for me on our mid-day rides.

I'll start with the Venge, this bike has always done it for me aesthetically and I was almost sold on buying one this month. But after an extended ride all I can say is that I am not fast enough in an all out sprint to handle this beast. It rides fast, it doesn't flex all that much and I don't weigh enough to make it "act right." The descending prowess of this beast is ridiculous, I can objectively say (with my strava to back me up) that I can do on this machine downhill in the drops what I can do on any other bike in a full aero tuck.

Roubaix SL4: Holy balls, how did they make my Tarmac SL2 act the same but with more road feel absorption. This thing climbs exactly like my old Tarmac, handled corners exactly the same and rode uphill (wait for it)... exactly the same. I have never been a proponent of the Roubaix, it was always a sloppy and power sucking beast. This new one is ridiculous. I would buy one... if I wasn't 25 years old and a bike snob.

Tarmac SL4: I feel like I have talked about this bike here before. It's my dream machine, in fact it's just my machine. I will buy one this month. Every time I have ridden this bike I have thought to myself, "self, this if better than everything." And it still is. The thing dances up hills, not that I dance up hills all that well but I do it better than some and this thing wants more than I can give it. So bottom line young energetic friends that weigh less than 175lbs, buy a damn Tarmac SL4. I'm a little upset that I can't afford the 13lb S-Works SRAM red version that I rode in CA, but I figure the 16lb Ultegra version with a set of 303 tubulars should suffice for a year or so.

What have I learned from this experience: everything. I rode every bike I wanted to. But the big part of this post is that I can now agonize over your spinal structure and sit bone width better than most people in my tax bracket should be able to. I've spent sooo much time trying to get certain bikes to act and feel certain ways that I am more than ecstatic to be able to provide a client with a service that they need. Yes $4000 road bikes are great, but a $4000 road bike with a $200 fit feels like a $10,000 road bike.

On the up and up. I may have shaved my legs tonight in preparation for a new bike. Yes I talk like a damn roadie and yes if you are in town and want me to fit you than you should.

Cheers, Slater

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