BG Fit

BG Fit - Re-Fit

Just as the beauty of a painting isn't based on the quality of brushes or paints used, a fit on a bike is not perfect just because of the fit method used. Without taking the analogy too far, the creativity and skill comes from the painter, or in this case the BG Fit Specialist. The artist fitting me on my bike was Mike's Bikes Jared Franzoia. Jared has been trained and certified in the Specialized BG Fit method and has years of experience in the fitting process but more importantly was recently re-certified. In order to be a current certified fit specialist, Specialized requires you to not only go through the training and certification process, but to submit proof that you are actively fitting and pass an exam performing the fit process.

Even with all the training and certification in the world, Jared has something which I find important to a fitter, race experience. Jared competes on the road, in cyclocross races, and now in single speed mountain bike races. He knows first hand the racer type, our habits, vigors of training, and necessities for a six hour road race or 30mph crit.

Having raced my bike for several years and facing multiple injuries, I have had multiple fits performed by a wide range of people with a variety of fit methods and experience. The BG Fit method is the one method I have found which doesn't take a cookie cut method and apply it to you on your bike. Instead your fit is a calculated formula using your aspirations as a rider, previous current/injury, physiology, flexibility, intentions, and a million other factors to provide you with your ride, make you one with the bike, an extension of your body.

With Jared's training and a series of  tests he performed on me, he was able to detect a rotation in my hip which was previously diagnosed as a leg length discrepancy. Jared accounted for this rotation in the fore-aft of my saddle and cleat placement. Using a series of cameras, Jared is able to capture real time footage of my fit and pedal stroke. He is able to add lines to the footage and change it's speed to trace my knee through the stoke. Jared can then make adjustments and compare footage side by side to see the result.

A proper fitting isn't cheap, but a proper fit is invaluable. Had I had a proper fitting done years ago, I may not be off the bike right now with tendon issues. If you are interested in booking a fit from Mike's, you can pop into any of the shops for more info or schedule a visit with Jared through Mike's website.

What is BG Pro Fit? from Mike's Bikes on Vimeo.



BG Fit is Legit

After preaching to various Mike's Bikes customers about the certain value of a BG Fit, I was pretty excited to get one for myself.  I have a pretty funky body, and I was rather curious to see what Jake could do for me.  I've had a few fits in the past, but nothing that had ever put aches and pains and twinges to rest. The BG Fit process is all about working with each individual's bodily asymmetries, which I think is a pretty cool concept.  My body is certainly asymmetrical, and no amount of stretching or yoga has ever been able to change that.  The first half of the 3 hours I spent in the studio was spent measuring my body.  To me, this was the coolest part.  Having just taken an anatomy class and being generally obsessed with the human body, I had a good time nerding out and trying to remember everything that was going on (I didn't).  Most notable: my weird knees are so weird, I've got pretty high arches that are good at collapsing, and my hip flexors are very flexible.

Next up was the actual tweaking and video shooting.  The best part of this was being able to watch myself and see what I looked like on the bike.  Jake made quite a few changes: saddle back, seat up, stem down, cleats outward, green insoles, two varus wedges per foot.  After dropping the stem and adding the second varus wedge, everything really came together.  He said my position was "amazing," and it felt like it.  Never before have I felt so comfortable on a bicycle!

Hey Hank, how about a pedal stroke-off?


BG Pro 3D Video Fit Session

Last week I had to opportunity to get a Specialized Pro Body Geometry Fit done by Mike's Bikes own BG Fit Specialist, Jake Lopacinski.

I was pretty excited to get his input and adjustments after changing my entire bike and setup including saddle, cleats and pedals, shoes, bars and stem, and even levers. In order to get rolling I pulled the specs from a previous fit I had done several years ago and adjusted for what felt right.


I scheduled the appointment through Mike's Bikes website for the San Rafael Location but also had the option of having the fit done in

Palo Alto. Mike's uses Time Center which allows you to see when Jake is available and book the time. It also confirms and reminds you of your appointment but also allows you to inform Jake of anything he should know prior to your fit.

Pre-fit Interview

I expected to walk into the fit studio, kit up, and hop on the trainer but was greeted with the complete opposite. Prior to getting on my bike, taking any measurements, or even changing into my kit, Jake sat me down and asked me a series of questions regarding previous and current injuries, current fitness, and cycling aspirations. The questions were specifically phrased to jog my memory and give Jake important information when fitting me to my bike. For example, in the past year I had a tear in my quadriceps tendon, a tear in my upper quad, and a tear in my rotator cuff but have been focusing on post ride recovery and stretching.IMG_9181

Flexibility Assessment

Next Jake had me finally change into my kit in order to test my flexibility and take some measurements of my body. He did a series of tests which had my walking, standing, sitting, and on my back raising and dropping my legs. In addition Jake took measurements of my legs and inspected my feet. He informed me that I had excellent flexibility in my lower back which would allow me to achieve a very comfortable yet aerodynamic position on the bike. Jake also discovered that my left leg was 1cm shorter than my right from my hip.IMG_9187

Side and Front View Adjustments

Finally it was time for be to get on the bike, but not before Jake took complete measurements of it so that we had record of what we started with. Prior to changing anything I made it clear to Jake that I had achieved saddle bliss with the angle of my Specialized Toupe and didn't want to change the angle on it.

After measurements were taken, it was time to warm up. Jake had me spin for a while to get comfortable and into a similar position if I was on the road. During this time he took a short clip of video footage to preserve my previous position and fit.

After watching me spin for a while, Jake reviewed the footage and began his adjustments. He first made adjustments to my grey Look cleats in order to compensate for the 1cm difference in leg length. By moving one cleat on my S-Works shoes I would be able to fully extend both legs in my pedals stroke. Next he moved my Toupe saddle slightly back on the on rails. Finally Jake added toe wedges which came with my Moderate (Blue) Specialized BG Footbeds. It's important to note though that after each adjustment was made, Jake had me pedal and give feedback on the changes.

Jake (and a few other people) also made comment on how far out my reach was when on the hoods. I am currently running a 120mm stem but he made suggestion to switch to a 110mm stem and a bar with further reach in order to bring my shoulders back a bit when on the hoods but achieve the same position when in the drops. He said that it wasn't required as I currently have no neck or back strain but I am going to give it a try once we place our Zipp Bar and Stem order.IMG_9191

Video Analysis Finally came the super cool part of the fitting. Jake took more footage now with the adjustments he made. He then spliced the footage together using the specialized software and drew digital lines on my knees to show the difference in my pedal stroke from the adjustments.

It's pretty cool to see the changes and the difference they are making.

Follow Up After tweaking and adjusting my bike to the proper fit and reviewing the footage. Jake informed me that I should go out and put some mileage on the new fit and let him know if I have any problems. After changing out my bars and stem I will definitely be stopping by to have them checked.

Jake will be performing BG Pro Fits on all Team Mike's Bike riders. I encourage you to ask for feedback or any questions on our fits. More information on the BG Pro Fit process, pricing, and scheduling can be found at the following link on Mike's Bikes website.