Specialized's body geometry system is concerned with achieving optimum personal ﬁt through precise measurement and calculation. For £120 you buy a 90-minute consultation opening with a generic medical and riding questionnaire to establish your level of experience, types of riding undertaken, any speciﬁc goals and any injuries you may have.
The second stage is a series of measurements and a physical evaluation to determine your levels of ﬂexibility, strength, any curvature or misalignment and any muscular/skeletal weaknesses, which may impact on your positioning or set-up.
From these measurements it’s possible to establish the appropriate sizing of contact points such as bar width and stem length, and within the ﬁt kit is an array of stems giving 90 possible angles and rises between -16 and +28 degrees and in lengths ranging from 75-130mm.
Detailed notes and measurements are taken before moving on to the third and ﬁnal phase – a practical exercise riding on a stationary trainer. While exclusive to approved Specialized retailers, the principles can be applied to any machine.
The ﬁnal assessment incorporates other methods, using plumb-lines to determine correct saddle fore/aft positioning while assessing positioning three dimensionally rather than simply side-on. Coupled with the earlier assessments, this enables ﬁne-tuning and picks up less obvious discrepancies.
Set-up on my working bike was pretty close – demonstrating that it is possible to achieve accuracy without having a ﬁtting, although it’s surprising how the body adapts to less than ideal positioning.
My saddle height, which felt right, was a millimetre out, and slight adjustment of the bars saw my hands fall more naturally when riding atop the brake-hoods. The assessor also noticed a tendency I have to lean to the left; despite legs of identical length, assessment revealed my right femur to be longer, creating a minor imbalance, which was corrected by ﬁtting foot-bed insoles. Now I feel more comfortable and less tired on longer rides.
Although £120 is quite a bit to spend, it’s good value if you consider the cost of physiotherapy resulting from poor set-up.