Friday, December 16, 2011

I've Been Retul-ed

Pittsburgh has Retul!  Yes, yes, even little Pittsburgh.  Those of us in the triathlon community here like to joke that Pittsburgh is the new Boulder (a city that probably invented Retul) but in reality we are not.  We do not have what Boulder or San Diego has in terms of triathlon numbers or opportunity.  HOWEVER, we do now at least have Retul and let me say, it's pretty awesome!

When I first heard of Retul (which is a computerized system for bike fitting in case you don't want to click on the link), I really wanted to have a Retul fit done.  I knew I would have to travel for it (likely Philly was my closest option) but knowing how important bike fit is, I figured it would be worth it. 

But...that never happened.  Instead I kept riding in my old position which probably wasn't that bad but did have SOME issues (most notably I ride off centered which makes my right knee wonky and causes a lot of saddle sores on my left side). 

Lucky for me (and all Pittsburgh area cyclists), Jake (Retul guru) came to town and set up shop at Top Gear, a bike store only 40 minutes from my house.  SIGN ME UP!

Jake probably didn't want me to take a picture of him but he had no choice.  Nobody likes a picture-less blog.

So today I was Retul-ed.  I was a little nervous about it because (1) I was afraid that Jake would tell me my bike is too big for me (which it kind of is but he worked around it) and (2) change scares me.  I mean I rode pretty well this past year so maybe my fit was okay and this new fit would not be okay? 

Early on though, I knew this was good stuff.  It was a process of 2.5 hours of checking flexibility and Jake assessing my current issues and figuring out how we might fix them and of course the space robot part where they put the sensors on you and you pedal and the computer figures out all your angles, etc...  I'm no expert (um...I really don't know anything about bike fit at all) but I do know this - I already feel better on my bike (I'm even now and my right knee is much less wonky!) and, given that I'm lower in front with a flatter back, will also be more aerodynamic.  Free speed?  Yes please!

(plus, I also have yet ANOTHER new stem to add to my collection...does anyone need a stem?...perhaps my sister would like one for Christmas...  ;)

Overall, it's a great process and I highly recommend you give it a shot if you have someone close by that does it.  If you are in the Pittsburgh area (or anywhere remotely close), I certainly recommend Jake at Top Gear.  As we all know, bike fit is one of the most important components of cycling so getting it right is paramount!

Anyway, Jake and I still have some work today.  We've made some intermediate changes with tweaking (and yet another new stem) to come in the future.  I'm feeling pretty excited about this.  And also about the possibility of saying goodbye to some of my saddle sores.  That in and of itself would be the best Christmas gift ever!


  1. pictureless blogs are the worst. I suggest never checking any of them out.

  2. word we need photos!

    A solid position makes a huge difference. once I finally got mine, made life that much easier (and faster)

  3. That's awesome! If I ever get a bike I am heading right to the Retul studio!

    But I'm with Matt, we need pictures of you covered in electrodes!

  4. Interesting - I've never even heard of Retul! Might have to look into it, thanks for the info :)

  5. I know!! I was amazed how my guy just went to work and yup I have a stem too if anyone needs one :) I loved all the kinematics, right up my alley!

  6. Awesome! I also ended up with a different stem when I got retuled but my bike shop actually just traded my old one out for me (ok it was not that old only maybe a month or so but still- cool!) Chamois cream is likely still going to be your best bet to avoid saddle sores though if you're riding a ton. ;)

  7. Yay for new bike fit! What's funny is I am NO bike fitter, but I saw your pic of Jake with your bike and my first thought was... "that bike looks HUGE!" Maybe I have a calling in bike fitting? ;) And I have roughly 6 extra stems lying around - if I could figure out the difference between each one I'd put them on eBay. Guess I need to stop being lazy. Merry Christmas Beth!!