Ec has been home to the very exclusive Guru fit system for just over two weeks now, and we've already been blown away with this comprehensive, dynamic set-up to get riders in the perfect position.
After a pretty simple set-up and some fine-tuning, everybody at the shop set aside some time to let Jason Whittaker get us on the Guru and go through the ins and outs of the fit experience, and get us dialed in on a bike of our choice. We've been getting ready to use the system for over a month, doing research on it, checking out reviews and stories from experts on how well it works, and comparing it to other popular fit systems. To finally hop on, start pedaling and see how the system works for us.
Last week, I spandex-ed up and got my own Guro fit with JW after needling him constantly for almost a month. Before the Guru was even in the shop, I was looking to set a time to make it happen. Even when JW was in Connecticut getting certified, I texted him to see when it was going to happen. Finally, on a day off and a slower day at the shop, it happened.
We decided to dial in my road bike, which is the bike I have the most trouble with. I have decent flexibility, but move around on the saddle a lot, and have some knee issues that make seat height a borderline obsession. I also have the back of a very fit seventy year old, but went into the fit looking for more comfort.
The fit started off with an ALine assessment, which checks the A-Line-ment (see, it's clever) of your ankles and knees. It measures the position of the ankle by setting them between two pairs of metal spires, and then checks the knee alignment by using a red laser. My ankles were close, using just a shim in a separate insole to bring the right ankle out a little more. My right knee was the really fun part. When squatting, it swung in almost 3 inches, while my 'bad' knee was almost perfectly aligned. With the insole, the knee came in quite a bit, but not all the way. As JW noted, the goal isn't to make it perfect, because obviously your body is prepared for that. It isn't natural, so minimize the risk of injury from overextension, but avoid injury from over correction as well.
Next, it was onto the fit bike. I swapped over my own pedals while JW made sure we had 172.5 cranks and the right saddle in place. We used 420 bars, just like those on my Focus Variado. From there, I pedaled and JW went through some adjustments to make sure I was in a neutral starting position. For me, the biggest part of the fit was first. We started the seat height low and moved up slowly. This took the longest for me, because my knee is sensitive to even the smallest increments, and it took a while to get it exactly where it felt comfortable but still put out a fixed amount of power efficiently.
The dynamic fit lets you adjust on the fly and try myriad positions within seconds. And you don't do it once and call it good either. I did 4 complete fits, starting from scratch every time. There were some subtle differences in the final positions, especially in regards to bar height. I ride a pretty low front end bike, so getting a decent drop that was both aero and comfortable produced a few different options. Once we had a few finalized fits, it was easy to go through and see which was actually the best. We also used the Guru Recommended Products function to see which bikes and sizes were ideal based on my measurements. I was happy to see that the Guru had found all three of my bikes in the sizes I had, but also offered some ways to ride a more aggressive 52cm frame if I was so inclined, including what stem, spacer and other adjustments I would need to create the exact same X and Y coordinates.
At the end of the day we had some good tweaks to my current fit, and after another two weeks of riding, I've noticed some good sensations, especially under power. I feel much more comfortable in the saddle at an all-out effort, and also when under load on steep climbs. It's the little stuff that makes the big differences, and the Guru could certainly add a little more comfort, power and fun to your current bike, not to mention help you pick out the ideal bike for you.