Most good bike shops these days offer some type of advanced fit service. However, one shop in San Francisco, California does nothing but, and the staff has even developed its own software and protocols to help you feel right at home in the saddle. For this week's Three for Thursday, meet the folks at 3DBikefit.
3DBikefit isn't so much a bike shop as it is a dedicated fitting studio. There are no bikes for sale and the hours are strictly by appointment. 3DBikefit stocks contact-point items such as shoes, saddles, insoles, pedals and cockpit components but save for that, the only thing on offer is the expertise of its staff.
Fittings start at $95 for a basic consultation and top out with the exhaustive Sizing Pro-Fit option, which costs $495 and takes up to six hours using a custom two-sided Retül 3-D protocol. Despite what seems like heady prices, 3DBikefit says business is booming.
"We've been in business nearly two years now and have grown rapidly, having to expand from a single fit station space in Sausalito to a three-station space with two more fit experts in San Francisco," said 3DBikefit's Alex Lugosch. "We are 100 percent focused on fitting. We don't sell bikes; we fit bikes with the correct contact points for every customer and can even give non-brand affiliated sizing and geometry determinations. Our client base goes from charity cyclists, to gran fondo riders, to racers, to elite triathletes, to professional road racers."
Not your average bike shop: Fits involve some education with a pelvis for information on sit bones
1. What's the coolest thing in your shop?
"The coolest things in the shop are our precision turntables that are accurate within 1mm end to end," said 3DBikefit founder Kevin Bailey.
3DBikefit uses these rotating platforms to spin the cyclist around during each Retül video capture, thus allowing fitters to get an accurate and complete view of what's happening with each adjustment without requiring two separate video systems.
2. What are you personally lusting after or loving right now?
"Keywin Carbon pedals – I'm waiting for the Ti version," said Bailey, who favors them for their generous fitting options (including six spindle lengths). Not surprisingly, he puts many of his customers on them.
We recently reviewed the Keywin Carbon pedals here on BikeRadar and also found them to be notably secure with tunable float and a genuinely rock-free platform – not to mention relatively inexpensive for their weight.
Keywins are a Kiwi brand of pedal. BikeRadar found them to be great — once clipped in
3. What is your current bestseller?
"Specialized S-Works and Expert shoes," said Lugosch. "We sell so many because Specialized offers a broad shoe line that allows us to get our technology and price points in line with what we expect to be able to provide for our customers. More to the point, though, we see customers with so many expensive shoes and custom orthotics that aren't helping their foot stability at all."
"When we can offer them a Specialized shoe, which provides a contoured sole that interfaces with the orthotics we use very well, we are able to improve their cycling in a meaningful way," he said. "When you look at the cycling shoe market you see lots of flat-soled shoes and unfortunately there is no good way to support a good orthotic in a shoe with no shaping."
Specialized overhauled their S-Works road shoes for 2013