Shop’s bike fitter hits top gear
A Bermuda company has one of the highest certified bicycle fitters in the world on hand to give expertise, advice and guidance to customers.
Whether you are an everyday cyclist looking for a more comfortable ride, or an athlete seeking to get the optimum performance out of your bike, Grant Goudge believes he has the knowledge and skill to help you achieve that goal.
The manager of Bicycle Works, in Pembroke, has just gained the Body Geometry FIT certification from the Specialized Bicycle Components University (SBCU), making him one of only around 70 worldwide to receive such recognition.
As such it is likely he will be called on to assist pro cycling teams in the US during the winter season as they seek to maximise the performance of their riders and fine-tune their bikes.
Customers at Bicycle Works, on Tumkins Lane, can benefit from the same standards of professionalism by having a bike-fitting session.
During a two-and-a-half hour fitting, Mr Goudge assesses a customer’s needs and abilities, looking at their body-type, strength and flexibility of motion before setting to work adjusting their bike to enable them to get the optimal level of performance and comfort from it.
He has taken three courses with California-based Specialized Bicycle Components University to reach the highest level of bike-fitter competence. The university is an offshoot of major US bicycle company Specialized. To achieve his top certification Mr Goudge took practical tests and written examinations, overseen by Dr Andy Pruitt, founder of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine.
“The whole point behind the fit process is to make people comfortable on their bike, whether it is a $500 bike or a $5,000 bike,” he explained.
“Biomechanics in cycling was ignored for a long time until it was shown what savings [in terms of efficiency and performance] could be made.”
Specialized’s bike-fitting system was set up as a service for the general public. However, in recent years the high standards achieved and the results obtained have drawn the interest of professional cycling teams. Two years ago, when Mr Goudge was undertaking the second of his three SBCU courses, there were 27 pro-teams on Specialized’s books.
As local triathlete Sharon Hammond underwent a bike fit at the shop, Mr Goudge explained the process, which includes assessing biomechanics and riding posture. He took measurements and assessed angles, adjusted the saddle and handlebars and provided in-shoe footpads to correct imbalances.
The bike fit was a ‘dynamic’ process, with the bike’s rear wheel attached to a stand allowing Ms Hammond to cycle stationary as Mr Goudge assessed the bike’s settings.
“The bike is adjustable and the person is adaptable. We assess the bike and make it fit the person,” he explained. That process involves such considerations as a client’s cycling history and any previous sport injuries or muscle weaknesses.
The shop manager comes from a motorcycle racing background, but took up cycling for fitness, initially mountain biking but progressing to road biking. Mr Goudge and well-known local rider Neil de ste Croix opened Bicycle Works in 2007. Mr Goudge said there has been a notable increase in the number of people on-Island who have taken up road race cycling, reflecting a trend seen elsewhere in the world.
After a full bike fit, customers are encouraged to return for a follow up fine-tuning reassessment session. In terms of performance, a properly done bike fit can result in a cyclist taking reducing their time trial performances by minutes, according to Mr Goudge. He added: “It is money well spent.”
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