Retul Frame Finder
Retul Frame Finder
The benefits - both in terms of potential performance gains and minimising the chance of injury causation - brought by having a correctly fitted bike, are now almost as well documented and generally accepted as eating a healthy diet.
Retul has been at the helm of developing technology to bring the bike fitting concept to the masses, including teaching the necessary skills to bike shop staff globally. Behind the scenes, and aside from the actual fitting process, its also been working on something quite revolutionary, a tool called Frame Finder, that extends the usefulness of the data collected in its bikefit to a whole new level.
Fast forward to the point where you've finished your bike fit and you've arrived at your ideal position. Usually that's the point you hand over your hard earned and leave with a copy of your set-up details, to hopefully reap the rewards.
Digital 'zin' tool offers precise measurement
With Retul, this is where Frame Finder comes in. Using a 3D data acquisition tool (a bit like a magic wand), your position is mapped electronically telling the software the exact position of all the critical points on your bike, effectively creating a digital image. And now for the really clever part.
The Frame Finder software overlays your digital image onto it's extensive database of manufacturers geometry, (currently not all encompassing but getting there), to identify specific bike brands, models and relative sizes that will offer you the closest to ideal geometry and ‘best fit' for your measurements.
It's driving home the point about getting the bike to fit your body, and not the other way round, which is so vital for the most satisfactory outcome. In some cases it might well actually rule out certain brands or specific models, adding real weight to purchasing decisions.
Some of us need to be more aero than others
It's probably worth reiterating here that just because the stated size might be the same on bikes from different manufacturers they could actually be surprisingly different in terms of geometry and that's where a tool like Frame Finder becomes invaluable.
You might have your heart set on a new Cervelo, or Trek, or whatever, but it really might be a case of ‘computer says no' if your chosen steed is not well suited to your body shape and riding preferences. The software can even calculate how many headset spacers will be required under your stem according to the bike you choose.
Frame finder maps vital body points
It's fascinating stuff, in a geeky kind of way, but nonetheless has incredible potential to remove so much guesswork and potential causes of problems further down the road.
This article was first published in the January 26 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.