Good question! I spent four hours this week with a Retul specialist, Craig Fulk, in Roanoke, TX. He is a fantastic cyclist with a quirky sense of humor who practically killed me by making me ride the bike trainer for hours getting my fit just right. In the past, I’ve had cervical spine pain, left leg numbness and felt like I was cycling mostly with my right leg. I felt like I was all over the saddle and could never find a comfortable position. Since Ironman is my goal, I had to find the sweet spot on my saddle and try to find some more power, since I ride about as fast as an 80-year old Grandma!
Retul is a dynamic bike fitting computer system that helps adjust your cycling position. Most bike fittings are done in a static position. Most bike fit specialists use a tape measure and plumb bobs and cannot take an accurate measurement when the cyclist is pedaling. The Retul computer system captures the rider’s position relative to his pedaling motion and creates the most realistic replication of the rider’s biomechanics. It measures the actual pedal stroke and body position when the cyclist is riding. Retul uses a 3-dimensional view to see everything from knee extension (from the side view) in relation to knee wobble (from the front view) in order to make the best decisions on adjustments to the cyclist. I felt like I was all wired for sound! Imagine little sensors attached all over your body and then cycling. The computer model showed how pathetic I was to start and how fabulous my biomechanics were when we were finished. I think we spent an hour just adjusting my cleats! It seemed like a lot of minimal adjustments, but together it was fabulous! Who knew I could feel this good on my bike!
After four hours of sheer torture, I had found the sweet spot I the saddle and actually felt so much better on my bike. I even found 15% more torque from my pedaling! An added bonus that will hopefully make me a little more competitive!