Monday, December 28, 2020

Thank You.

It has been over 2 years since my last blog post.  A lot has been happening in that time - much of it good - but there certainly have been some challenges.  As some may know, I've struggled with health issues for years, and after a lot of thought and with some recent circumstances in the bike industry, have decided it is best to move on and will be shutting down Vector Cycle Works.  I'll try to explain the reasoning here.

Health Issues

The biggest problem has been my health, which has been a problem for a long time, as some might know.  I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2011, although it was over 10 years of unknowns that finally led to that.  The pain I've been dealing with has been massive for a long time, and was exacerbated by my bike accident in 2016.  At the beginning of this year, I was taking 8 Tylenol and 16 Ibuprofen a day, as well as 30mg of CBD oil, trying to overcome the pain.  I could barely make it through a bike fit.  It wasn't working.  It got to the point where suicide was getting to be the only way to end the pain, so I pursued treatment.  I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and started a new medicine.  This was good and bad - the medicine is great, and my pain is now almost all gone.  The side effects are a problem, though - I rarely go a day without at least one nap, and I'm often nauseous and dizzy.  It's hard to make it through a bike fit without being completely worn out.  But, I will take that - the pain being gone is truly remarkable.  We're still fine-tuning the medicine and overall treatment plan, but I'm hopeful.

My health issues are not just physical.  I've been very introspective, reflective, and depressed lately, and have struggled with who I am as a person and how I fit into this world.  I'm a clinically-diagnosed perfectionist and a shell-shocked ex-Marine, and have never had a bike fit (or much of anything else I've ever done) that I've been happy with.  That's my nature - I'm never happy with anything I do and, for lack of a better way to put it, it sucks.  While this is something that I can deal with and even use to my advantage, it's not exactly the best headspace to be in when it can affect other people.  Even when a rider is completely happy with their fit, I am still wondering what I could do better.  I've always been a little nervous about every bike fit - meeting a new person, helping them to be happy with their cycling experience, and ensuring they have a good experience in the studio.  1,000 riders later, that's a lot of emotional baggage that I've chosen to carry.  Success is never achievable for me.


When I first started doing bike fits, I thought I might do 10 or 20 a year, with the intent that I just wanted to do nice things for people - helping people feel good about themselves by being able to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a bike.  I didn't think it would be a 300+ fit per year project, along with teaching bike fitting and writing for  Bike fitting became a second full-time job, but could never supplant my day job.  Due to my health and life balance, I just can't work 80-90 hours per week anymore.  I also can't do without health insurance.  I've tried to cut back over the last 3 years or so, but it just hasn't been possible.  I've had to turn a lot of people away because I simply can't keep up, and I've had a hard time keeping up with e-mails, text messages, and all of the people who have come into my life.  I feel like I've become a disappointment to many of you and I'm sorry.  I've had a lot of sleepless nights, trying to figure out a way to do it (it's a good problem to have, right?), but haven't been able to come up with a solution.  Unfortunately, I've probably waited too long to make adequate changes.  My life is completely out of balance, and the health issues continue to get worse.

To top it off, I have recently had a very interesting opportunity with my day job.  I have been put on a project involving the State's management of the COVID-19 vaccination.  It's fascinating to be a part of this, but the next 6 months will be a lot of overtime.

Changes in the Cycling Industry

Since the beginning, I've fought an uphill battle in the cycling and fit industry.  It's not easy to be an independent bike fitter.  There are certain companies and organizations that don't want people like me getting involved.  They claim it is to protect the traditional bike shop, but it's not that, at all - it's all about about getting their piece of the pie an protecting their bottom line.  I've railed against the high costs of cycling for many years - I firmly believe there is no reason for bikes to be as expensive as they are, other than fear of doing things differently.  I've wanted to find ways to help lower the cost of entry, although it conflicts with the cost of doing what I do, as a bike fitter.  That's a very strange place for me, from a moral and ethical perspective.  If I could, I would do all my bike fits for free, but that just can't work.

One of the cornerstones of my fit process - BikeFit - was recently sold to Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).  BikeFit was my first fit certification, I use their products in just about every single bike fit I do, and I have taught their level 1 and 2 certification courses to a bunch of fitters over the years.  It has been amazing to be a part of the BikeFit family, and my fit process wouldn't be what it is without BikeFit, along with what I've learned from Dan Empfield and others.  It has been an honor to work with and for some of these innovators in the industry, and my process is simply a distillation of what they've taught me.

Unfortunately, I had a horrible experience with QBP several years ago, and now I won't be able to get the BikeFit products I need without going through a bunch of hoops or starting my own bike shop.  I'm not playing their games.  I think the nicest thing I can say about them is that I don't see bike fitting as a "bike thing" - it's a "body thing."  A bicycle and bike parts are simply tools for riders and I'm here to focus on the rider as the center of the cycling experience, not the other way around.

Thank you, and goodbye.

It has been quite a ride, and I am very thankful for so much of what has happened over the 8 years that I've been bike fitting.  I've fit well over 1,000 people and had the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most amazing people, and every one of you have brought something to my life that means a lot to me.  I've heard a lot of inspiring stories.  It hurts to say goodbye, but at the same time, I can look back on this period of my life and smile.  I think if I tried to drag it out another few years, that might ruin it for me, and I don't want that.  Now is the best time to move on.

What's next?  Well, I have a lot of things I want to do.  I will be keeping my equipment for a little while longer in order to finish up what I've started with some of you.  So, please call me if you need anything.  

I do have another business plan I'm working on, that is very, very different, but meant to be very, very flexible around my health needs.  If 2020 has taught me anything, there are a lot of people out there that need more basic things than a bike fit.  I need to contribute to society and am going to do more volunteering.  At the same time, 2020 has revealed some really ugly aspects of society that make me want to withdraw completely.  As I always say, I avoid talking about politics, religion, or Ford versus Chevy, and this year has made it difficult to not discuss those topics.  I loathe it all.  I've already deleted my social media accounts (except for YouTube), but there will be more.  I have zero time for racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ sentiments, or any of the other truly stupid conspiracy theories that have been going around lately.  I'm going to fight for what's right.

You may know that I play drums, guitar, bass, and have recorded some music in the past (although never made it very far with any music labels) and intend to get back into that, with a couple of different music projects I've been putting together but haven't had time to work on.  

I also enjoy woodworking, painting, 3D printing, and have recently picked up a CNC mill and some welding equipment.  I love to create art, and express myself through it, so that's where I plan to look for some happiness.

Let's not forget interacting with nature, too - we have two new energetic pups who love to take walks, and I realized how much I miss the simple pleasures of moving outside.  There are more mountains in the future, along with some camping, environmental advocacy, and travel, when the world allows for it to happen again.

Oh, and of course, I still like to ride a bike and a ride in the Rassat home country of Giez, France is definitely going to happen in the next couple of years.  Otherwise, you might see me on a group ride or other mass rider event around the world, but you'll most likely find me on Zwift on a (hopefully) several-times-a-week basis.

Thank you all, and good luck to all of you.  You have all meant so much to me, and I can't thank you enough for what you have brought to my life.  My only regret is that I worry that I was not able to return the favor.  

Goodbye, and love to all,


Saturday, November 24, 2018

2018/2019 Trainer Updates

It's time for an update on the indoor training market.  I've written a few blog posts over the years about trainers, along with a series of articles on Zwift for Slowtwitch.  It's an area I really enjoy following, as I feel there is a lot of development going on.  In the cycling industry, some of the biggest developments and innovations are in indoor training.  These advancements are helping you (or your competition!) build a bigger engine more intelligently and more efficiently.

The last time I wrote about the trainers themselves was in late 2016.  At that time, there was a big influx of new smart trainers with a lot of promise, particularly in the lower end of the smart trainer cost spectrum ($500-$600).  That batch of trainers had some challenges getting out the door.  We saw products launched that didn't ship for several months, other products that needed to be sent back for hardware updates, and most products had one or more other annoyances that had to be corrected via firmware updates.  After about 6 or 8 months, it seems like we finally had a solid group of products.

I had the opportunity to spend some time on several products, although probably not long enough to warrant a decent review.  Overall, my experiences were good.  Some of that credit goes to the hardware, while much of it goes to the software.  Look for some software reviews coming soon, but for today, we're focusing on the hardware.

Here is a quick look at the smart trainer options available from Vector Cycle Works this year (click on any of the images for a bigger view).  In this case, when I say "smart trainer", I mean the types of trainers where the resistance can be controlled by your software of choice - Zwift, TrainerRoad, Sufferfest, Rouvy, Road Grand Tours, FulGaz, etc.  These are the types of trainers that increase the resistance when going up a hill on a course or enforce a target wattage during a hard interval in a structured workout.  There are some trainers labeled "smart" that have built-in speed and/or cadence sensors to provide information to your software, but the resistance cannot be controlled by the software.  We'll try to cover those in a subsequent post.


CycleOps has tidied up their smart trainer lineup since we last looked.  They dropped a couple of first generation smart trainers and now have two products - the M2 and H2, which are the successors to the Magnus and Hammer, respectively.

I have set up several Magnuses (Magni?  Magnata?  What is the plural of Magnus?) and M2s now and feel like they have been a great product.  Of the trainers I can sell, the Magnus became a top recommendation because it has a solid frame, dependable mounting system, great compatibility with the various software options on the market, and a smooth power profile while coming in at the $600 price range.  The M2 is a nice refinement.  The only reason I don't use the Magnus or M2 in the studio is because the Kinetic Road Machine I use is a bit more flexible when it comes to the variety of bikes I get in the studio.  The CycleOps products are pretty much "set it and forget it", which is great for most people - just not for a bike fitter!

H2 - $1,199.99

The H2 is CycleOps' direct-drive trainer.  This direct drive trainer will simulate up to a 20% grade and provide up to 2000 watts of resistance with +/- 2% accuracy.  It has a 20 pound flywheel to provide a road-like feel, and weighs 47 pounds total.

The H2 incorporates ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity to all your devices.  It can also work in "headless" mode, so if you are not plugged in, it can still be ridden with a feel similar to a At 20 mph, the noise level is 64 decibels.

M2 - $599.99

The new M2 is a nice refinement of the very solid Magnus and has become my "go to" product of choice.  

The M2 provides up to 1500 watts of resistance and can simulate up to a 15% grade.  The M2 is both ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0-compatible, operates at 69 decibels at 20 mph, and will fit a wide variety of bikes (although you'll need a <2" rear tire on your 29er).


Kinetic rolled out their software-controllable Smart Control products in late 2016.  The Smart Control products have one major shortcoming - they have Bluetooth and even a USB connection but don't have native ANT+ communications.  That is now changing with their new Control series of trainers, which add ANT+.

You may find Kinetic's product naming conventions a bit confusing.  It basically works like this:

  • Smart - these are traditional trainers with the built-in InRide speed sensors to provide information to your software, but do not allow the software to control the resistance.  We will cover these in another post.
  • Smart Control - the first generation of resistance-controllable units, which are Bluetooth-only.
  • Control - the second generation of resistance-controllable units, which are now ANT+ and Bluetooth.  Yes, they are still Smart, and even a bit smarter than the Smart Control.
The cool thing about the Kinetic products is that you can buy the Smart Control or Control resistance unit by itself and update your existing Road Machine or Rock 'n Roll trainer.

There is one more Kinetic product on the horizon that isn't listed here - the R1.  This is their brand new wheel-off trainer that incorporates the Rock 'n Roll technology.  Once we get a bit more detail from Kinetic, we'll get that updated here.  If the supposed $1050 price tag is true, this could be pretty sweet.  In the meantime, there is a somewhat hidden intro website available, and you can also read DC Rainmaker's review here.

Road Machine | Smart Control - $512.00

Kinetic has taken their tried and true Road Machine frame (which is what I use in the studio) and replaced the resistance unit with the Smart Control unit.  It has a 14.4 pound flywheel, maximum resistance of 1800 watts at 30 mph, and can simulate the resistance of a 10% grade.  The price has dropped from $649 to $512 with the introduction of the Road Machine | Control.

Read more on the Road Machine | Smart Control here.

Rock 'n Roll | Smart Control - $675.00

The Rock 'n Roll challenges you a bit more than most stationary trainers, and this uses the same Smart Control unit as the Road Machine | Smart Control.  The price has dropped from $849 to $675 with the introduction of the new Control products.  I imagine this and the Road Machine | Smart Control will be phased out in favor of the new Control versions.

Read more on the Rock 'n Roll | Smart Control here.

Road Machine | Control - $569.00

The Road Machine | Control doesn't look much different than the Smart Control version, and the specifications are also similar - it has the same maximum of 1800 watts of resistance at 30 mph and ability to simulate up to a 10% slope.  The only differences are the addition of ANT+ wireless communications and a slightly smaller 12 pound flywheel.  It is competitively priced at $569.00.

Read more on the Road Machine | Control here.

Rock 'n Roll | Control - $749.00

The price of the Rock 'n Roll | Control makes me hesitate a bit, but the rocking mechanism is something that sets the Rock 'n Roll apart from the others and adds another layer of realism to the indoor cycling experience.  Is it worth $180?  I'm not sure.  If I had a Rock 'n Roll frame and wanted to upgrade to a smart trainer, I would definitely take a closer look at the Control resistance unit.

Read more on the Rock 'n Roll | Control here.


Tacx has tidied up their lineup a little bit, with 6 true smart trainers currently on offer.  They got rid of a couple of seemingly redundant products.  The NEO 2 and FLUX 2 wheel-off trainers are new generation products, the Genius Smart receives some nice upgrades at a lower price, and the rest of the lineup remains unchanged, but gets some price drops.

Bushido Smart - $619.00

I've been riding the Bushido Smart for quite a few years now.  This trainer is unique because it doesn't have to be plugged in to provide resistance - it is completely wireless, yet can provide up to 1400 watts of resistance and simulate up to a 15% incline.  I don't think it has changed much since I got it, but the price has dropped considerably to put it in line with its plugged-in competition.  The nice part about this trainer is the portability.  Not only do you not need an outlet, but it's a light trainer.  My gripe?  I'm not so sure the accuracy is all that great with some of the software packages I've used.

Read more on the Bushido Smart here.

FLUX S Smart - $749.00

This is the first generation FLUX, and I'm not quite sure if it is on the way out in favor of the FLUX 2 Smart or what.  It has an accuracy of +/- 3%, 10% maximum incline, a 15.4 pound flywheel, and a maximum of 1500 watts of resistance.  At $749.00, this is the most affordable wheel-off trainer out there.  There is one major caveat: It only works with bikes with skewers.  If you have a bike with a thru-axle, you'll need to look at the FLUX 2 Smart.

Read more on the FLUX S Smart here.

FLUX 2 Smart - $899.00

The new second-generation FLUX 2 Smart offers some nice refinements over the original.  You'll have a hard time telling the pictures apart, but accuracy improves to +/- 2.5%, maximum incline increases to 16%, the flywheel is heavier at 15.4 pound flywheel, maximum resistance jumps up to 2000 watts.  It also offers support for thru-axle-equipped bikes.  On paper, it seems like a nice upgrade.

Read more on the FLUX 2 Smart here.

Genius Smart - $799.00

The Genius Smart has received some nice recent upgrades.  It now offers up to 2000 watts of resistance and can simulate a 20% incline.  What is interesting is that it will simulate a decline, so it will actually accelerate your rear wheel to simulate descents for a more realistic experience.  As far as I know, this is the only wheel-on trainer that does this.  It is a bit on the expensive side, compared to other wheel-on trainers.  At this price, is it worth spending a bit more for a FLUX 2 Smart?

Read more on the Genius Smart here.

NEO 2 Smart - $1,399.00

The NEO was introduced in 2015 as Tacx's first foray into direct-drive trainers.  The NEO 2 offers some nice refinements, and the price drops $200.  It's an impressive unit on paper, able to simulate uphill grades to 25% (2200 watts) and downhills to -5%.  It is extremely quiet, and will also simulate different road surfaces for enhanced realism.  Accuracy is rated at better than +/- 1%.  It also includes built-in Left/Right power measurement, performs pedal stroke analysis, has a built-in cadence sensor, and incorporates thru-axle support.  Overall, this is one very advanced unit.

Read more about the NEO 2 Smart here.

Vortex Smart - $429.00

Last but not least, the lowest-cost Tacx smart trainer is the Vortex.  I like to think of this as the "not wireless Bushido" as the features are similar.  It doesn't provide quite as much resistance (950 watts maximum resistance and 7% incline simulation), but it's still plenty for most riders.  With a $130 price drop, this remains the most affordable smart trainer here by a long shot.

Read more about the Vortex Smart here.

Wahoo Fitness

For 2018, Wahoo has refined their two existing smart trainers - the KICKR and KICKR SNAP - and have added the new KICKR CORE.  There is no doubt the Wahoo products are solid and the CORE comes in at a relatively nice price for a wheel-off smart trainer, right in there with the Tacx Flux, and right in between the SNAP and KICKR.

The most compelling piece of the Wahoo product line, in my opinion, is their accessories: The KICKR CLIMB and the KICKR HEADWIND.  These are compelling because they add to the realism of the indoor experience.  I love the idea of the front end of the bike raising and lowering with the slope of the ride with the KICKR CLIMB.  At $600, it's a bit spendy.  I'm not quite as convinced the HEADWIND is worth the price tag.  $249.99 is a bit much for a fan.  A very cool fan (no pun intended), but still a fan.

The most important thing to note on these accessories is that you will need to ensure your Wahoo trainer is compatible, as these are only compatible with the 2017 and newer versions.  You can find that information here.

KICKR - $1,199.99

The KICKR has been recently refreshed for 2018, and this is now the 4th generation of this product.  The KICKR boasts +/- 2% accuracy, 2200 watts of maximum resistance, a 16 pound flywheel, and 20% maximum grade.  The MSRP is unchanged at $1199.99.

Read more on the KICKR at this link.

KICKR CORE - $899.99

The CORE is new for 2018.  I would describe it as a no-frills KICKR - it doesn't include the 11-speed cassette or a cadence sensor, has a lighter 12 pound flywheel, 1800 watt maximum resistance, and 16% maximum grade.  It maintains the rated +/- 2% accuracy and compatibility with the CLIMB and HEADWIND.  For $300 less than the KICKR, I think this is a intriguing option.

Read more about the KICKR CORE here.

KICKR SNAP - $599.99

The SNAP had a nice update for 2017.  I've set up quite a few of these, and they are a good, solid trainer.  They are not quite as accurate as the KICKR (+/- 5%), but for the price, that can be forgiven.  The competition in this price range is tough, and the SNAP is a solid choice.  The price has dropped to $599.99, keeping it in line with the competition.

Read more about the KICKR SNAP here.

Decisions, decisions...

Overall, 2018 has brought a few new products, but mostly a lot of nice refinements.  The technology in the indoor cycling arena continues to improve and give us great options as consumers.

You can further divide the controllable smart trainers into two segments - the wheel-on and direct drive trainers.


CycleOps M2 - $599.99
Kinetic Road Machine | Control - $569.00
Kinetic Road Machine | Smart Control - $512.00
Kinetic Rock 'n Roll | Control - $749.00
Kinetic Rock 'n Roll | Smart Control - $679.00
Tacx Bushido Smart - $619.00
Tacx Genius Smart - $799.00
Tacx Vortex Smart - $429.00
Wahoo KICKR SNAP - $599.99

Direct Drive

CycleOps H2 - $1199.99
Kinetic R1 - $1050.00 (estimated)
Tacx NEO 2 Smart - $1399.00
Tacx FLUX S Smart - $749.00
Tacx FLUX 2 Smart - $899.00
Wahoo KICKR - $1199.99
Wahoo KICKR CORE - $899.99

If you look at the average prices of these, the delta between the average wheel-on trainer ($617.22) versus the average direct drive trainer ($1056.71) is $439.49.  That number is a bit skewed, as there are some products here that will probably go away fairly soon and are priced accordingly.  It has also changed in that we have some newer wheel-off models that are targeting that $900 price point, compared to the $1200 range where they first came in.  Nonetheless, even with some more affordable models coming in around the cost of the higher-priced direct drive trainers, there still is a significant cost difference.

Is a direct drive trainer better?  Is it $439.49 better?  I'm not sure I can answer that - it really depends on what features bring you the value you want.  Some considerations:

  • Direct drive trainers tend to be quieter.
  • Direct drive trainers require a compatible cassette.  Not all trainers include the cassette, and some of them are junk.  I would replace the cassette right away with the same cassette brand and gear range (i.e., Shimano Ultegra 11-speed 11-25) as the cassette installed on your rear wheel.  That way, shifting will be more accurate and you don't have to mess with your rear derailleur.
  • Direct drive trainers tend to be lower to the ground - you don't need a wheel riser.  This is nice for getting on and off and for perceived stability.
  • Direct drive trainers don't wear out your rear tire.  But, they do wear out your chain and chainrings while not wearing out your cassette on your rear wheel.
  • You don't have to worry about tire pressure with a direct drive trainer.
  • You will probably get your hand greasy getting your bike mounted on your direct drive trainer.
  • Wheel-on trainers tend to be a bit more handy when it comes to swapping your bike in and out.

Hopefully, this is somewhat helpful.  If you are interested in getting a new trainer, these are all available from Vector Cycle Works.  With any trainer purchase, I will deliver it to your house (within 50 miles of Noblesville) and help you get it set up, including setup with any training software (TrainerRoad, PerfPRO Studio, The Sufferfest, Zwift, etc.) that you may be using.

Call Travis at 317-833-0702 or e-mail at if you are interested!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Perfecting the Craft

There is a lot going on in my life right now.  Last weekend was an intense and wonderful weekend of bike fitting with a handful of some of the many interesting people I've met over the years in the industry, during a time of year when things slow down a bit in the studio.  Wednesday was also significant, as it was the last day of my involvement on a IT project that I have been on for almost 2 1/2 years.  It was the absolute worst project I've ever been on, extremely stressful, and I was happy to start a new project on Thursday.  I am feeling a bit philosophical and introspective, so bear with me here - there is a point to this.  I don't like to make this about me, so I hope this doesn't come off that way.

For you, as a consumer potentially considering getting a bike fit, I feel it is essential to be transparent and as open as I can.  By trying to share as much as possible about bike fitting at Vector Cycle Works, I hope to earn your trust and help you feel confident that you made the right choice when you come in for your initial bike fit session.

I'm not sure how others might describe me, but I tend to think of myself as a pretty intense individual and an absolute perfectionist (and that's not necessarily a positive or healthy thing).  I'm pretty driven and dedicated to whatever I pursue, with a tendency to go "all in" when it comes to anything.  I have to be careful about that, because it can be detrimental.  I need to step back at times, like I am doing here, to revisit where I am and how I got here, and determine if the course needs to change at all.  I hope that when my time is up, others can look at what I've done and see some semblance of production, in a positive way.

When I first got into the computer industry, I wanted to use technology to help others.  Frankly, over 20 years into a computer career, that hasn't worked out as well as I'd like.  While I have learned a lot of useful skills by being in various roles as a Software Developer, Business Analyst, Team Lead, Development Supervisor, Quality Assurance Analyst, Consultant, and other less formal roles such as mentor or trainer, it seems that I've wandered from project to project over the years, never really being able to produce something that really makes everyone happy.  In the IT world, it seems there are low expectations - expectations that software is full of bugs, that it costs more than originally quoted, and it's never delivered on time.  The norm is pretty awful.  Nobody is ever satisfied, and rightfully so.  This is extremely frustrating to me.  Yet I still persist, thinking I can still change things for the good of someone.  Nonetheless, I have learned a lot over the years.

Bike fitting has a very different norm.  From a consumer perspective, it isn't especially well-defined.  It's a niche industry within a niche industry.  How many people ride bikes?  How many of them actually get a bike fit?  How many of them are happy with their bike fit?  Relative to the general population, the bike fit consumer community is tiny.  Yet, somehow, I threw my hat into the ring, and would say that ring is a pretty tough one - there are some very good bike fitters in the area.  What makes a person a good bike fitter?  What makes me a good bike fitter?

Bike fitting is something that I started in order to help myself - riding a bike was fun, but painful.  That is where bike fitting fills a void for me - people want to enjoy riding a bike, and I can be the person who can help.  For me, that can be very satisfying.  Bike fitting stimulates the analog side of me versus the digital side of information technology.

At the same time, it's not satisfying at all!  I lay up at night a lot, always thinking how I could have done better, even if the customer is satisfied.  I am, and probably never will be, satisfied with any of my work.  That's the unhealthy perfectionist coming out.  When someone comes in, I have a singular purpose: to help that person find happiness in cycling.  That's it.  The fun, and the challenge of it, is understanding that person's definition of happiness on their bike and applying my knowledge and skill set to help them get there.

There are many influences and limiters on how close we can get a rider to their happy place - my knowledge and skills, the amount of time we have together, how we prioritize the fit, how well we communicate, the environment in which we work, the options that present themselves when solving a particular problem, etc.  The software industry is all about problem-solving via good communication, so in a strange way, my experience in IT, particularly in the analytical roles that I've been in, has helped me be a better bike fitter.  Communication is key, and the ability to sit back and revisit the work with the intent to make it better ("refactoring the code" in the software world) is also a subtle skill I can apply.

I think, for the most part, I've been able to meet most of my customers' needs.  There certainly have been some misses, and I'd be lying if I didn't say there were.  I'd also be lying if I said it didn't bother me.  It does.  This is one of the things that motivates me to continue to improve.  Vector Cycle Works, which at this point, as a single-person service company, is really hard to separate from me as a person.  I plan to change that when the time is right.  For now, everything is up to me, and my desire to improve and evolve the service on all aspects has been a relentless pursuit.  It has gone fast and ramped up quickly.  I know there are some who have questioned how quickly that has happened - in the span of just shy of 6 years, I have gone from nothing to a guy who is trusted to perform bike fits at an advanced level and also teach bike fitting to already advanced and established fitters.  I can understand why there might be some doubt.  I'm OK with that - the perfectionist in me is always doubting and question everything.  That's how I learn.  Learn from what I do right, but more importantly, learn from what I do wrong.

With all that said, my best work is yet to come.  My best bike fit?  The next one.  The evolution continues, and those who were fit by me even a year or two ago would see a very different process today.  I can't forget where I came from.  Accordingly, the studio and the Vector Cycle Works services have changed significantly.  It's not perfect, but it's better.  I've learned new tricks and adopted new methodologies.  Some things have been tried and discontinued because they didn't offer the bang for the buck they promised.  I've done a significant amount of work to improve the deliverables - not only the fit itself, but the intake, reporting, and follow-up to go along with it.

Additionally, new tools are in place.  I've developed some new software tools to help finding a bike faster, as well as ensure we can work within orthodoxy - using software tools to help ensure we work within a reasonable window that reflects the products available on the market.  Another new tool is the Purely Custom fit bike I recently acquired.  The new (to me) fit bike has brought out a lot of potential, and it has been a learning experience thus far.  The most significant aspect of the fit bike is that it is a tool that allows us to explore more - we can try things that we may have hesitated to do before due to time constraints.  It's now really easy to try different points in space to find your ideal.

When it comes down to it, a bike fit session gives us a lot of choice - we often have several options for how we can approach a solution to your fit challenges.  The process is intense, and while I could spend 12 hours on every rider, we have to stay focused on the key elements specific to the rider.  I don't strive to be faster.  I strive to be more thorough.  No stone unturned.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Conquering the Andean

Recently, I posted a couple of teaser pics of a bike on Facebook.  I get the opportunity to work on some fun projects in the studio, and today's project is a brand new Diamondback Andean custom-ordered on behalf of a customer.  Aside from being a really interesting bike, the reason I wanted to write about this is because of the packaging: Diamondback is making some waves in the industry with their approach to direct-to-consumer bike delivery, which involved rethinking and retooling their shipping department to allow a consumer to receive a bike that's basically ready to ride.  Let's take a look at how they are doing things differently and if this is something that the end customer can comfortably assemble and ride safely.

I've had the opportunity to assemble a lot of bikes when I worked part-time at LoKe Bicycles in Fishers for a few months in 2016.  Bikes destined for the bike shop arrive in a similar state of assembly - the box is as compact as it can be, the bike is well-padded and there is quite a bit of assembly to be done.  I am certainly not the fastest mechanic, but most bikes took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to assemble.  LoKe has a really solid process documented for the assembly of every bike, from the tiniest of kids' bikes to the high end racing machines.  The process includes truing the wheels, ensuring the brakes and drivetrain are all working perfectly, cleaning and polishing everything, and ensuring everything is tightened and torqued to spec before it's put on the floor or delivered to a happy owner.

Diamondback wants to change that process (well, not the happy owner part) with a direct-to-consumer model, essentially eliminating the local bike shop.  For the bike shops, this doesn't sound like good news, but this is the way of our world now.  Good or bad, this is an option for consumers.  I'm all about consumer options, so let's look at this one.

This bike was for a customer, who we'll call Roger Shrubber.  Roger came to me for a MATCH bike sizing, where we discussed his goals and ideas for a bike, we sized him up using the F.I.S.T. protocol, and came up with a list of bike solutions that fit him along with his measurements.  In my opinion, this is the only way to buy a bike - find your happy place in space and put the right bike underneath you.  Roger's list included quite a few options, and he had been particularly intrigued by the Andean.  With his fit information in hand, he went to the Diamondback Custom Studio website and built his Andean the way he wanted it, even down to using the same aerobar extensions and saddle that he was sized up on.  There was one small hitch in the plan - we sized him up for 165mm cranks, but they were in short supply.  After a bit of discussion with the folks at Diamondback, we convinced them to allow us to install a crankset from a different source, making a rare exception of not delivering a complete bike.  So, what you see here is a bit of an anomaly, and it was nice that Diamondback trusted us to finish the bike.  With that, the bike was on it's way, shipped directly to me so I can have it ready to go when Roger comes in for his fit.

I picked the bike up at the local FedEx store.  The first thing that the guy behind the counter said to me was, "dude, your package is huge - let me get you a cart."  He wasn't kidding.  The box measures approximately 45" long, 37" tall, and 21" wide.  It's a bit cumbersome, so thank you Mr. FedEx guy for loaning me a cart.

Once the bike was at the studio, it was time to start the unboxing process.  The top has three tabs, and 4 layers of cardboard.  Opening the top exposes the bike, and the first thing you notice is that the handlebars are completely installed, which is part of why the box is so wide.  The aerobar extensions are detached, and packaged vertically right in front of the head tube.  Roger opted for HED wheels, which are packaged on either side of the frame.  An unmarked box sits on top of the back part of the frame and the seatpost sticking out of the bottom of it suggests what is inside.

Opening the box, we find the User Guide and Owner's Manual.  The Owner's Manual is your typical generic bicycle Owner's Manual, with a bunch of generic instructions on how you should probably wear a helmet, have air in your tires, etc.  It does come in a nice little sleeve with a magnetic latch.  The User Guide is a bit more useful - it includes instructions on how to unbox and assemble your Andean.  It probably would make sense to put a label on this box saying "Hey, open me first - the instructions are inside here."

Digging a bit more into the box, we find the saddle is installed on the seatpost, the bottle cage, and a few other parts and accessories, including a full set of spacers and bolts for the aerobars, which are the Profile Design Aeria, in this case.  Also, because of our special order, the Shimano chain was in here in the original packaging.

Following the instructions in the User Guide, we remove the velcro straps securing the base bar and wheels.  I pulled the wheels out first, the rest of the cardboard pieces, and finally the frame.  Tucked away near the front of the bike were the Profile Design accessories Roger ordered.

At this point, I'm ready to put the bike together and would like to put it in the bike stand.  The problem is that I can't find the seatpost binder clamp.  Digging around, I'm starting to panic a bit when I realize the unmarked box has a secret compartment, with a whole pile of more goodies, including the seatpost binder clamp.  Crisis averted.  We hit the jackpot - along with the binder clamp, we've got the Di2 charger and plug tool, a torque wrench, thru-axles, an extra rear derailleur hanger, and a bunch of other stuff.  The good news is we've got lots of stuff!

The bad news?  Umm, we've got lots of stuff!  This is starting to look like a bike that the average consumer might not be able to assemble.  I get the impression this would be pretty intimidating for a new owner thinking they're going to get a bike that's almost ready to ride.

Nonetheless, we continue.  After installing the binder clamp, I put the bike in the stand for assembly.  Removing the last bit of packaging, I realize that when they describe the packaging that protects the rear part of the frame as a foam roller, they actually are including a real foam roller!  A quick look inside the box again, and the piece of foam that was used to protect the bottom of the fork is a pull buoy.  Way too fun - what a neat idea!

Since this bike was a special order without a crankset installed, the installation process was a bit more complex than what most folks will be faced with.  Basically, when you get this bike, you have the following to do:

1.  Install the seat post in the seat tube.
2.  Put the wheels on.
3.  Install the aerobar extensions.
4.  Install optional accessories.

Most of these steps are things a triathlete or cyclist will have to figure out eventually, but may not be comfortable doing themselves.  It seems like a lot at first, but Diamondback does a pretty good job of making it all as easy as it can be - the instructions are good, they provide things like carbon paste for the seat tube, etc., and also include a torque wrench so you can get it right.  It is nice to have a work stand and all the tools, but you could get by without.

For this specific bike, aside from the crankset installation, there were a couple of changes we ended up making.  When the bike arrived, Diamondback had set the pad stack and reach to be pretty close to what we had indicated online.  In this case, because Roger had selected the Profile Design Aeria cockpit, we had the ability to set it up a bit differently than Diamondback did.  Diamondback favored their stock stem spacers, while we chose to take those out and use the Aeria's pad/extension risers to get our desired position.  We felt it made for a bit cleaner front end, and frankly, looks a little cooler, too.

We also chose to swap out the round frame-mounted bottle that came with the Andean for an Elite Chrono bottle, which is a bit smaller, but makes for a tidy setup that is easier to get out of the cage.  As an added bonus, it matches the color scheme quite nicely, too.  If I were to use a traditional bottle on this bike, I would opt for a side-load cage to make it easier to get the bottle out.

Finally, we are looking to make for a smoother front end flow of the hydration system to the stem/storage box.  I am using Autodesk Fusion 360 to design a 3D-printed bracket to mount an FC35 on this bike.

With all this said, what does this bike and its gigantic box mean for the bike shops?  Diamondback is one of several brands working to make direct-to-consumer sales work.  I just got an e-mail the other day from Quintana Roo the other day where they were talking up their new packaging.  Talking with some of the bike shops in my area, many have realized that they need to adapt - maybe they aren't getting a new bike sale, but some are starting to offer an "Internet bike" assembly service, with some even supporting having the bike shipped directly to them for final assembly for the customer.  In my opinion, this has the potential to be a fair trade-off - make a little bit of service money without having the inventory/storage costs - although there might be some questions about how to handle any issues that come up, such as "what happens if the bike is damaged?" or "what if parts are missing?"

As Bob Dylan said, the times, they are a changin'.  As more manufacturers move to direct-to-consumer, will the local bike shop die off?  Only time will tell, but I think your LBS is safe for now, if they are willing to evolve with the marketplace.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Sidetracked Ride Review: Redbud Ride - London, Kentucky - April 21, 2018

After a pretty scary crash warming up for a cyclocross race in October 2016, I lost all desire to compete anymore, and decided to retire from racing - if you can call "no longer competing at the back of the pack in events I pay for" on par with "retiring from racing."  One of the main drivers for my racing was that I wanted to race in all 50 states plus 10 other countries, mostly because this set things up for "racecations" - a way to take the family to fun places that we might not otherwise consider.  It's a pretty simple deal - I get to go out and beat myself up for a day, and then we relax and have some family fun for a few days.  Everybody wins.  We've had a lot of fun in the process, and had hit 11 states before my accident.  Although I might not be racing anymore, I still want to continue creating good memories.

So, being a bit sidetracked, the goal has been tweaked: a metric century or longer in all 50 states and 10 other countries.  The attitude is different - I'm a tourist now.  The goals are simple: To take in the sights and experience.  To explore new places and new cultures, at a speed that allows one to take it all in.  To find peace through mileage.  To enjoy just riding a bike for the rest of my life.

These goals are not unlike the majority of the customers I see in the fit studio.  For many of us, there's something special about riding a bike - maybe it's the sensation of the speed and wind, or maybe it's a way to revert back to childhood, when a bike was our first real vehicle.  Whatever it is, it's a good feeling when you find it.  For some odd reason, I feel a need to share these experiences with you, in the hope that you might be intrigued by the events and participate someday, too.  I'm here to inform.  So, I hope you enjoy the first of what I hope will be many "Sidetracked" ride reviews.

The first event in this quest was the Redbud Ride in London, Kentucky.  I have known quite a few people who have spoken highly of this ride, it's not too far from home, and the timing was good - the Redbud Ride is held on a Saturday towards the end of April every year, and this year it fell on April 21.

The Redbud Ride consists of 4 different length routes in the hills of central Kentucky, all starting in downtown London, with the longer routes taking you into the Daniel Boone National Forest:

Yellow Route - 22 miles, 795 feet of elevation gain
Orange Route - 33.5 miles, 1,481 feet of elevation gain
Green Route - 62 miles, 2,423 feet of elevation gain
Red Route - 101 miles, 4,175 feet of elevation gain

If you have some extra time to make a long weekend out of it, there are two additional events:

1.  A warm-up ride on Friday starting in Barbourville, Kentucky, about 25 miles southeast of London.
2.  A cool-down ride on Sunday morning, starting in Berea, Kentucky, about 40 miles north of London.

The three rides together really make for a nice way to explore central Kentucky.  In retrospect, I wish I would have planned for the additional time.  When you register for the event, you don't select a specific route - you choose whatever route you feel up to.  I had planned on doing the Green Route to get in my metric century.  This was a bit aggressive, considering my longest ride of the year so far had been just over an hour on the trainer with Rouvy.  It's also a bit aggressive in the sense of the terrain - coming from central Indiana, we don't have much for hills.

I chose to do this trip solo, as I had a bit to learn about being a bike tourist.  I also didn't have a lot of extra time - head down after work on Friday evening, spend a night at a hotel, ride on Saturday morning, and return Saturday evening so I can be back in the fit studio on Sunday.  This was a bit of a whirlwind adventure, which was made quite a bit more adventurous by picking up a nail in my car tire somewhere south of Cincinnati.  That's a story for another time involving tire sealants, taxidermy, croissants, and a language barrier.  While I didn't get much sleep and at one point thought I would miss the ride in order to get my tire fixed, it all worked out pretty nicely in the end.

I had only been through London, KY, once before and happened to stay in the same hotel as last time.  I wasn't sure what the locals might think of cyclists coming into town for an event like this, but found that the few locals I interacted with seemed to embrace it.  The locals were friendly and accommodating.  The hotel even started breakfast earlier than normal so Redbud Ride participants could fuel up and get to the start in time.

The ride starts at 8 AM, although it's an open start time - you can really start any time until around 10 or 11, as long as you get to certain points in time.  Since I spent the first part of the morning in the tire shop, I didn't actually get to the start of the ride until after 9 AM.  Fortunately, some friends happened to be at the hotel and planned a bit later start due to the brisk temperatures (it was in the low 40s when we started out) and we rode to the start together.  They had already signed in and were doing the 100 mile red route, while I was doing the green route and still needed to sign in.  We went our separate ways, and I ended up riding most of the ride by myself.

The route was very pleasant, well-marked, and well-supported.  Spring has been a bit slow to arrive this year, so the signature Redbuds weren't in full bloom quite yet.  Matter of fact, the trees were all still pretty bare, with hints of green and a few Redbuds just starting to bud.  Regardless of the season, it is very pretty territory.  The first few miles are in London proper, but it's not long before you start getting into rural areas, and you soon find yourself on some very quiet backwoods roads, following along rivers, with glimpses of waterfalls, rock formations, and some rather interesting local culture.

The roads were very good and the routes were well-marked.  Since I had a late start, I didn't get a feel for what kind of crowd was at the 8 AM start time.  I am not aware of how many riders actually participated.  Printed maps were available at the start, but the roads were well-marked enough that I really didn't need the map, other than maybe for the first few turns in town, which happen in fairly quick succession.

The event provided SAG support, and for much of the ride, the majority of the cars I encountered were the SAG vehicles.  I was amazed at just how many people volunteered and helped out with the event - from the SAG, to the rest stops, to the volunteers at the start and post-race party, and even a few folks helping to guide on course, there were plenty of volunteers.  The locals were friendly, and I found myself waving at a lot of folks along the way.

The Redbud folks also did a really nice job with the rest stops, which were located every 10-15 miles apart.  The food was plentiful with lots of choices from fresh fruit, to various homemade goods like brownies and cookies, to pizza.  There were a couple of flavors of Gatorade and water, too.  The food was served under tents and chairs were available to rest and hang out with friends.

I didn't get any pictures along the ride other than the picture at the top of this article.  Immediately after the second rest stop, there is a bridge that you are required to walk across, due to the gaps between the planks on the bridge being just wide enough to catch a tire.  The ride is also fairly hilly, with most of it gently undulating, with a few flats and a couple of bigger climbs thrown in for good measure.  There were two fairly challenging climbs, with the lesser of the two at around mile 11 and the biggest climb around mile 31 of the green route.

Overall, I found this to be a really enjoyable event, and would certainly recommend it to just about anybody - the 4 different ride routes provide whatever challenge you feel you can handle.  I do have a couple of things I wish I would have done differently: Since my tire adventures threw off my schedule a bit, I didn't get nearly as much time in London as I would have liked, and I'm not sure what London had to offer for the family to do.  Perhaps some others can chime in in the comments below.  I also didn't get to partake in the start when a majority of people started, so still have no idea just how big the event actually was.  I personally like a lack of crowds, and enjoyed just being alone with my thoughts and the wind for a few hours on a beautiful Kentucky Saturday.  The Redbud Ride has certainly set a high bar for my expectations of rides going forward.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

What is FUSION?

At the end of 2017, I felt it was time to review and update the fitting services offered at Vector Cycle Works.  Those who know me know that I am one to constantly scrutinize and reevaluate everything I do in order to provide a better service that is appropriate to the needs of my customers.  My knowledge focus, process evolution, and desire to innovate in the bike fitting space is a reaction to what I see and hear with the people who come in for a bike fit.

There's no doubt in my mind that bike fitting is a very confusing concept from a consumer perspective.  There is a wide range of services generally labeled as a "bike fit" - from something as basic as getting the seat height good enough to the in-depth services that dedicated fitters like myself and others do.  Prices range from free to $$$$.  Within the fitting industry, there are disagreements in philosophies as to what is most effective, with some fitters taking a more geometric approach, while others are more medical (I say "yes" to both, but the emphasis depends on the customer's needs).

Further complicating matters, you have the concept of a pre-purchase bike sizing (i.e. the Vector Cycle Works MATCH service, formally known as RightBike), which some will call a bike fit, versus what I consider a bike fit, such as the Vector Cycle Works CORE and FUSION services.  It's confusing, and hard to understand what to expect when you schedule a bike fit with Fitter X.  I'm probably muddying the waters a bit by offering a sizing service as well as two different fit services.  So, let's see if I can clarify that a bit here.

My philosophies are shaped by a few key tenets:

1.  It's not about the bike.  I sometimes toy with calling what I do "cyclist fitting" or "ride tuning" or something like that, just to reduce the emphasis on the bike, but that would just further confuse matters, so "bike fitting" it is.  The key here is that it's about the human and how they interact with the bike - those few points where you touch the bike.  Everything we do is about mating those surfaces up better.  We fit the bike to you, not you to the bike.  Sure, there may be a need to swap some bicycle components, but the fact is that we are only doing that as a reaction to the needs of the human powering the bicycle.  The CORE of what we do as bike fitting goes (see what I did there?) is about accommodating the human, as is.  I've come to the realization over time that what I do is closer to athletic training or physical therapy than it is to the services offered by a bike shop.

2.  You are an athlete.  Many of my customers come in as a result of being inactive for a period of time (often measured in decades) and deciding that riding a bike looks like a good way to get in shape.  They then learn it hurts a bit more than they remember as a kid.  Sometimes, these folks sell themselves a bit short - "I'm just looking to get in shape."  I don't care what others might say, but I look at every person that comes in here with a sense of pride in them, and as an athlete.  You are a cyclist, and you are an athlete.  Whether you want to ride another mile without pain or are looking for a higher step on the podium, you are an athlete performing at whatever level is your maximum.  As an athlete, you will push your boundaries of human performance, whatever they may be.  When we push those boundaries, that's when we learn how much we can do, or how much it hurts to do it or exceed those boundaries.

3.  You are an energy system.  There are a couple of terms I use a lot in the studio - stability and energy conservation.  A core tenet of every Vector Cycle Works bike fit is energy conservation.  In order to be more efficient, we need to not be wasting energy on things that are not being put into the pedals.  We expend a lot more energy on a bike than what we put into the pedals.  You might be able to sustain 200 watts for an hour, but you will burn more calories than what is needed to produce those 200 sustained watts.  Power to the pedals is just one component of the energy system.  Unstable on the saddle?  That's a waste of energy because the "core" muscles have to work harder to keep you stable.  Less than optimal foot/pedal interface?  Another waste of energy because the oxygen-hungry muscles in the lower extremity are working hard to stabilize every pedal stroke.  Not relaxed?  More wasted energy.  Wasted energy results in increased fatigue rates, which results in more discomfort further into the ride.

From what I've seen in the studio, most folks are not optimized off the bike, let alone on the bike.  We are all asymmetrical piles of meat and bones, yet we try to interact with this crazy pile of carbon fiber, aluminum, and other stuff which is mostly symmetrical.  As with any sports-specific movement, cycling is going to strengthen and develop some muscles (our prime movers) while utilizing, but not necessarily developing other muscles (the muscles that stabilize the movement).  We develop imbalances through repetition, and repetitive use injuries are common among my customers.  I expect everyone who comes in here to have some level of dysfunction, but the number of people who are on the verge of injury or have already experienced it is concerning.  A proper bike fit could prevent some of these, but it's not the complete cure.  How does the old saying go?  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

The Vector Cycle Works CORE bike fit is as good or better than what other fitters will charge $300+ for - we are establishing a stable foundation for your comfort and efficiency.  We will make you more comfortable, which allows you to ride longer or more often, which allows you to build the engine so you can be faster, or increase your performance.  CORE is as comprehensive and thorough as any accommodative bike fit will be.  Every Vector Cycle Works fit is a partnership in comfort and efficiency.

FUSION takes this further yet.  FUSION goes beyond just accommodating who you are right now and accepting that for what it is.  I like to think of FUSION as being the ultimate cycling-focused human performance system.  We are now delving more deeply into our understanding of the engine and learning what aspects of that engine are preventing it from performing at its maximum.  In essence, we are looking to blow the lid off what is holding you back and increase that maximum.  It's a little bit of work off the bike to be better on the bike.  Here's how it works:

1.  Initial Session - The initial FUSION session is similar to the initial CORE session, with 2 additional pieces: 1) We perform a Functional Movement Screen to identify your deficiencies.  2) You receive an online workout from Functional Movement Systems with videos of functional exercises tailored to your needs.  Generally this is about 10-15 minutes a day of simple exercises to help you be a better you.  Most require very little equipment, although I've found that a foam roller is a critical piece of equipment.  If you don't have one, you probably should (you can get them cheap at

2.  Two Week Visit - At your first visit, we will schedule 3 follow-up sessions.  At week 2, you will come back without the bike (unless you are experiencing any pain - then we will accommodate).  We are going to focus on the functional movement correctives during a one hour session.  We're going to work on some basics and build on the online workout you received after your initial session.  What is fun about this session is that we start to really dial in what works for you.  We will measure, try an exercise, and then measure again.  Did your movement improve?  If so, we have identified a useful tool.  If not, we throw that out.  We're not about wasting time - we're looking for the most bang for the buck with your movement plan.  You really only need 10-15 minutes a day.

3.  Four Week Visit - Like the week 2 visit, we are going to continue our focus on the corrective strategies, and if you've shown some progress, we're going to continue to build on your base, continuing to move up the ladder of mobilization, stabilization, and strengthening.

4.  Six Week Visit - Your "final" (and I really hesitate to call it that) FUSION session involves bringing the bike back.  We tidy up any fit issues, perform an additional Functional Movement Screen, and send you home with another online training plan tailored to the new and improved you.

So far, we've seen some really nice results in the studio.  It's obviously a bit of a commitment - we're looking at close to two months of working together (and I'm flexible - we can stretch that out as you need to, although I'm not an advocate of tightening up that timeline).  This works very well leading up to an "A" race or a targeted event, and we just have to start the process out a couple of months before that event.  Locally, a couple of very popular events that my customers target include the Ironman 70.3 Muncie in July, the RAIN Ride in late July, the Rollfast Gran Fondo in September, the Brown County Epic in October, or the Hilly Hundred in October.

The time is getting tight to complete the FUSION process for IM Muncie or RAIN, but there is time.  If you are interested, you can schedule your FUSION initial session at this link.  I look forward to helping you get the most out of your ride!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

From Paris, With Love: Adventures of a Bike Fit Dog Volume 1

Hello Everyone!

Allow me to introduce myself - my name is Paris Paisley Rassat, and I am the new Vector Cycle Works bike fit pup.  Actually, I have determined that I'm in charge of this joint from here on out.  My assistant bike fit human, Travis, goes on and on about how bike fitting is an art with a lot of science behind it, blah, blah, blah, but I got this stuff figured out - I got instincts.  I was born and raised Amish, too - so I know a thing or two about work ethic.  He babbles on about how I need to pay attention to angles and joint alignments and muscle firing and - this is about the time I start to tune him out - whatever.  Wouldn't it be easier just to have someone carry you around?  That's what I do.  I highly recommend it.

My assistant bike fit human is alright, though - maybe a bit dim, but sometimes he smells like peanut butter, and I like that in a human.  For that reason, I suggest you schedule your bike fit at Vector Cycle Works soon by clicking this linky thing.  Vector Cycle Works does have some human snacks and drinks if you're into that kind of thing, too.  I say, come for the food, stay for the bike fit!