RadioShack team works with Retul Bike Fit System
Crucial Innovation, Inc., makers of Retul 3D bike fit technology, has announced a strategic partnership with the RadioShack professional cycling team to supply bike fit technology and bike fitting services. The Retul Bike Fit System uses infrared light emitting diodes (LEDs) borrowed from the surgical navigation industry to track very accurate movements of a rider on a bike. A qualified fitting expert can then see data about the way a rider pedals the bike and thus optimize the rider’s position. Newly formed in 2010, Team RadioShack plans to compete in 50 races this year. For these pro cyclists, proper bike fit is essential for performance, as well as avoiding injury throughout the cycling season.
For Team RadioShack, key benefits of the Retul system are rider repeatability, accuracy, and portability. Most importantly, the technology gathers rider data in three dimensions (3D), making it the most advanced bike fit technology on the market. The Retul system offers immediate report capabilities, and biomechanical fit data of the rider is archived for future reference. Part of the Retul fit process includes a “digitization” of the bicycle itself, which gives the rider the exact setup of the bicycle (for example, the position of the seat, handlebars, and pedals) by a handheld, wand-like attachment called the Zin.
Bike fitting has long been an industry standard for competitive cyclists, but historically much of bike fitting has been subjective. Many methodologies exist among bike fit experts, but it is generally agreed that dynamic analysis (viewing the rider while pedaling) of a rider’s movements provides the most accurate picture of the rider’s biomechanical motion on the bike. “Retul looks at the way a cyclist rides the bike, versus the old way of bike fitting which could only view the way a cyclist sits on the bike. Better data helps bike fitters make better positional decisions – it’s that simple,” said Retul co-founder Franko Vatterott.
In December 2009, Retul bike fitters Todd Carver and Mat Steinmetz went to Team RadioShack’s first training camp in Tucson, Ariz., to dial in the positions for the team’s riders and start the integration of Retul 3D technology into the new team culture. “It’s an honor for Retul to be working with Team RadioShack. Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Johan Bruyneel – these guys are cycling legends,” said Carver, co-founder of Retul.
This is not the first interaction Armstrong has had with Retul. Mellow Johnny’s, Armstrong’s cycling shop in Austin, Texas, purchased a Retul system in 2008. “We have had great success with the Retul system at Mellow Johnny’s and are we are confident this technology will benefit our cycling program at Team RadioShack,” said Bart Knaggs of Capital Sports and Entertainment, and Armstrong’s partner at Mellow Johnny’s.
Team RadioShack will utilize one Retul system on the road with the team, and one system in the Belgian team headquarters. Retul will also assist the team with establishing its bike fit protocols and work closely with the team’s bicycle partner and other equipment suppliers to optimize each rider’s performance throughout the season.
Based in Boulder, Colo., Retul is the world’s leader in 3D Motion Capture Bicycle Fitting technology. Retul was named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s issue of “100 Brilliant Companies.” The Retul bike fit system is now being used at over 175 locations around the world. The company launched its dynamic bike fit school in November 2009 and is the official bike fit technology for many reputable organizations. For more information about Retul, visit http://www.retul.com.