FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY – Set to debut globally in 2014, bikefitting.com expands its range of fitting solutions with new advanced tools and technologies engineered by Shimano Dynamics Lab that empower independent bicycle dealers to increase consumer connection and profitability while improving the consumer’s cycling experience. This solution combines over 25 years of expertise, comprehensive data and devices from bikefitting.com with technologies from a team of fitters and engineers in the newly-formed Shimano Dynamics Lab. This team aided Shimano in its product development to deliver world-class hardware and software and comprehensive bike fitting solution to its retailers as it concurrently expands its Lifestyle Gear Division and PRO products that feature various fit technologies and options.
Bikefitting.com creates an advanced fitting environment and service offering using powerful tools and devices that simplify and demystify the fit process to deliver unparalleled rider analysis. Bikefitting.com is a neutral vendor solution that can be in used any retail environment, enabling retailers and fitters of various experience levels to implement a bikefitting.com specific or a variety of existing fit philosophies and protocols and offer a wide range of cycling products.
Authorized Shimano retailers participating in the bikefitting.com program can offer complete Shimano product solutions that offer a variety of personalization for rider fit and riding type—cycling footwear, apparel, eyewear, bags, components, pedals and PRO saddles, handlebars, stems and accessories.
The bikefitting.com solution creates an industry leading fit in several ways. The bikefitting.com solution utilizes a Wizard Mode that drastically simplifies the process for fitters and also cuts the standard dynamic fit time in half, for a roughly 1.5 hour fit. The system utilizes a state-of-the-art 3D motion capture camera and integrated software for ultimate precision, and an industry-leading 3D pedaling analyzer with its unique, original graphical user interface (GUI) for realtime visualization.
The first step in the fit process utilizes the bikefitting.com static measurement tool and software algorithms that helps riders select combinations of bicycles or frames from an established database. The device can be used as a standalone solution but is also as a foundation for the total bikefitting.com engineered by Shimano Dynamics Lab solution.
Shimano Dynamics Lab engineers have pushed the envelope with the adjustable position simulator fit bike that integrates leading edge technology, exceptional stability and legendary Shimano quality and durability. The position simulator’s features set the new industry benchmark in fit bike technology: Integrated 3D pedaling analyzer and XY copy tool, precision adjustability, and quick change seat post and handlebar clamp that are situated on an elevated platform.
Shimano Dynamics Lab technology allows fitters to take the static fit to the next level and further optimize it by incorporating body specific issues, range of motion, flexibility and riding style in a unique dynamics fitting process. The 3D motion analyzer and easy-to-use software simplifies and streamlines the fit process by use of its Wizard Mode that brings built-in expertise and logic to improve the consistency of the analysis. In Wizard Mode, fitters use a harness worn by riders for motion capture first for a flexibility assessment, then for fitters to fine tune a dynamic fit once riders pedal on the position simulator. An advanced mode provides fitters access to datasets to further fine tune the fit.
The bikefitting.com system software and datasets are based on decades of fit impression data from bikefitting.com, combined with various existing industry fit philosophies, guidelines and best practices. The system software is intended to function and accommodate with the bikefitting.com system’s fit tools and devices.
The bikefitting.com 3D pedaling analyzer is an industry first that provides new and unique three dimensional analysis for fitters to further improve the pedal stroke. Engineered by the Shimano Dynamics Lab, the 3D pedaling analyzer visualizes, in real time through its custom GUI, left and right pedaling forces to deliver effective force ratio and braking loss data. This data allows fitters to micro analyze in new ways the movement and power transferred through the foot along the pedal axis for improvements in the shoe-pedal interface.
The bikefitting.com GUI visualizes in real time the true force vectors at the pedal hundreds of times per revolution showing what really happens at the pedal. Through its four real time display windows, the GUI allows fitters to visualize, record and analyze the effective force ratio of the rider by taking into account the radial and tangential forces at the pedal. The GUI also captures power output in wattage, rider cadence, and heart rate (ANT+ compatible).
The effective force ratio is the sum of tangential forces on the crank on the left and right side. With this objective tool, fitters can confidently analyze and identify potential problems or imbalances and improve pedaling effectiveness by modifying the foot-pedal interface including cleat setup, insole function, and even bike fit. The force distribution on the pedal axis is an average of the load distance distributed over the pedal axle through a 360-degree pedal revolution from the pedal center. This information objectively helps improve the foot-pedal interface and substantially increases foot stability and balance on the bike.
As commonplace in bike fitting, fitters will have the opportunity to amend the bike fit through modified components, saddles, footwear, pedals and accessories to improve the riders’ experience. Throughout the fit, riders can see the 3D pedaling analyzer and as a takeaway, riders will receive the fitters findings through a printout with three separate reports that show: overall data, average 3D force vector, effective force ratio and effective force curve, effective force and braking force ratio, and a pedal load point histogram and average load point distance.
The bikefitting.com solution occupies a common retail footprint seen in fitting environments and includes several devices and services for a new level of rider analysis:
- Static body fitting: bikefitting.com static measurement tool and software
- Dynamic fitting: Position simulator (fit bike), motion capture camera, 3D pedaling
- Foot fitting: Custom-Fit thermoforming tools, cleat setting tool, Dura-Ace pedal
- Saddle fitting: PRO saddle selector bench, quick-change saddle system
- Aerobar fitting: PRO Missile EVO fit kit
Shimano dealers will have the opportunity to purchase these tools where some can be used independently, or used as the total bikefitting.com solution. Dealers will own the devices and some annual fees are required depending on the products purchased. Dealer and fitter education is part of the bikefitting.com program. bikefitting.com software integrates with components and products in the Shimano and PRO lines, but the solution is neutral, enabling dealers to do fittings and provide riders with other products.
Bikefitting.com is a global initiative, available to global bicycle dealers. The program will be supported by regional in-house fitting specialists and technical support staff who will train and support dealers. bikefitting.com is a solution backed by Shimano’s stringent quality standards.