Friday, March 27, 2009

Tailored bike, or off-the-rack?

There's an interesting article on the Idaho Statesman website about a service that anatomically matches bike to bike rider.

The $200 service includes "two hours of interviews and flexibility tests, notation of past injuries, videos, sensors attached to pivot points on the body, an analysis of a rider and their bike in motion." It's not stated, but I assume if a replacement part is needed for optimum fitment, they sell you a longer seatpost, or different crank arms, handlebar stem, etc.

It's an interesting concept.

And I'm sure a Lance-Armstrong-type would benefit greatly from being totally "dialed in"... or better said, having his bicycles dialed in to him.

Is it worth the money? Or is it more for the folks who wear the "team" lycra jerseys and spend $150 extra for titanium skewers that are 10 grams lighter than the steel ones?

Maybe I'm "old school." But I've always figured if you find a frame that's pretty close to the optimum size, the rest is just a matter of fine-tuning 'til you feel most comfortable.

Perhaps if I regularly rode century rides, or otherwise spent several hours at a time in the saddle, I'd benefit more from something like this. As it is, the only time I feel really uncomfortable on a bike is when I'm riding somebody else's bike. (Like when I tuned up my daughter's cruiser bike last weekend, and took it on a short test ride. Wow! Fish out of water! But only because I was way too close to the pedals, and my knees were coming up between those cruiser handlebars and bumping my chin.)

(Jason, the guy who does the mechanical duties for this enterprise, is fantastic. So I'll give it that much of an endorsement, for sure!)


Michael Carpenter said...

Is it worth it?

Heck, I cringe when I have to pay more than $200 for the bike! Let alone for someone to tell me which multi-thousand dollar bike to buy...

Bikeboy said...

My buddy who works at George's says his favorite "more money than brains" bike accessory is the $180 titanium bottle cage.