BikeFit to Distribute G8 Performance 2620 Orthotic Insoles

Bulk pricing available to retailers/bike shops and other qualified professional partner/dealers

Kirkland, WA—February 19, 2019—BikeFit, which offers an array of products and tools that enhance the cycling experience and optimize performance, has signed an exclusive a deal to distribute the G8 Performance 2620 Pro Series Orthotic Insoles in North America. The G8 is available now for direct purchase at bikefit.com, with bulk pricing options for retailers, bike shops and other qualified professional partner/dealers.

The G8 Performance 2620 Orthotic Insole contains advanced, highly flexible material, delivering comprehensive toe and arch support that passively strengthens the arch and enables the foot to better flex and pronate for increased comfort. Its highly customizable arch piece(5 heights included for each foot) augments comfort and accommodates changes in foot strength and flexibility.

“BikeFit and G8 share a common vision to reduce injury and increase athletic performance. They are a fantastic partner, highly respected by the cycling and bike fitting community worldwide,” said G8 Performance founder David Lee.

“We sell the best bike fitting products in Cleat Wedges, Leg Length Shims, and Pedal Extenders but we needed to provide cyclists with arch support as well,” commented BikeFit operations manager Damon Wyatt.  “G8 Insoles deliver exceptional comfort and adjustability which aligns perfectly with our goals.”

Learn more about the G8 2620 Orthotic Insole.

 

Bicycle Stance Width: Origins, Examples, and Solutions

Stance Width Origins

In his early days of track racing, Paul Swift (founder of BikeFit and CEO of CyclePoint) constantly heard the incessant yelling of his coaches, “bring your knees in!”  This assumed that there was something inherently wrong with Paul’s form and he needed to force his knees into the “correct” position.  Paul is unlikely to admit that his form was anything less than perfection, but the “knees in” adage was fundamentally flawed.  At the top of the pedal stroke, the knee was not under the same amount of pressure, and it moved outward naturally to get closer to his ideal position for comfort.  The knee then followed the foot faithfully down to discomfort town forcing it inward at the 6 o’clock position.

Paul was not the only person who suffered from this potentially debilitating issue which not only affects alignment but also places significant torque on the knee when it’s forced into an unnatural position.  The result: pain and potential injury (not to mention the power loss). Even though 150 years have passed since his racing days and bike fitting is much more popular in cycling culture, the concept of stance width is largely ignored.  Our blog article today aims to explain the factors involved, when to make changes, solutions, and our recommendations from years of bike fitting experience.  Before we go any further, grab your favorite beverage and let’s go over the terminology we’ll use in this article:

Stance Width – The distance between the center of one pedal to the center of the other pedal.  This article will also reference individual leg stance width, which is defined by the distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the pedal.Q Factor – The distance between the outside portion of each crank arm where the pedal attaches.  The term was originally coined by Grant Petersen while he worked for Bridgestone Bicycles.  The “Q” stands for “quack” which referenced the wide stance of a duck.  This is seemingly contradictory because the argument can be made that q-factor (unchangeable and determined by multiple factors such as bicycle and component manufacturers and the width of the chainstay) is, in many cases, too narrow on a road bike.Pedal Spindle Width – The distance from the outside of the crank arm to the center of the pedal.

Snowboarding Stance Width Similarities

Now that you’ve thoroughly digested the major terms of the article and you’ve realized you need a signifcantly stronger beverage, let’s completely change gears and talk about snowboarding.  When you Google “Stance Width,” a plethora of articles about snowboarding flood the screen.  Significant time and energy focus on the adjustment of snowboarding stance width.  Their starting point is based on a measurement from the center of the kneecap to the floor, applying that measurement as an initial width starting point, and then specifically adjusting both width and foot angle until the individual achieves maximum comfort.  In most of the articles we discovered, a trial and error method was utilized.

Clearly, we are unable to apply the same measuring standards from snowboarding to cycling but there is a striking similarity: the feet need to be set up correctly because once set, the individual is unable to self-select their stance width.  Author, bike-fitter, and physical therapist Dr. Katrina Vogel reminds us that “you self-select your stance (width) when you walk, run stand or jump.”  Therefore, in sports when you are “locked-in,” achieving the correct stance width is paramount to power delivery, efficiency, and injury prevention.

Determining Factors of Bicycle Stance Width

While snowboarding uses multiple pre-drilled holes in the board to customize the stance width of the bindings, in cycling, we have two determining agents (as well as some customizations that we’ll discuss later): q factor and pedal spindle length.

Q Factor

Q factor is roughly the same within specific categories of bike types i.e. road bikes, mountain bikes, fat bikes…etc.. The cranks need to be wide enough to clear the chainstay and a wider tire will, in turn, affect the chainstay width.  We will not spend much time on q factor because it’s largely predetermined (based on bottom bracket width, crank offset, bicycle type, and manufacturer specifications) and since the ultimate goal is to find the most comfortable stance width for the individual, this article will focus on pedal spindle length and stance width customization.  With that said, it’s important to notice the q factor the road bike vs. mountain and fat bike:Road Bike: Approximately 150mm.  Currently, many Shimano cranks boast a 146mm q factor and the masterminds at Campagnolo prefer 145.5mm, just to mention a few.Mountain Bikes: Approximately 170mm.  Sram XO1 and Shimano XTR both width-in at 168mm.Fat Bikes: 200-230mm. 

Pedal Spindle Width

Largely uniform in the industry (like q factor), this is the best area for stance width customization.  Let’s take a look at some of the common road pedal spindle widths:

Shimano:

  • Ultegra 8000 – 53mm (+4mm option–57mm)
  • Dura Ace 9100 – 51mm (+4mm option–55mm)

Look:

  • Blade, Max, Sprint, and Classic (all versions) – 53mm
  • *Note – Look Keo pedals have a threaded area that is 2mm longer than other pedals, allowing for the safe installation of up to (2) 1.5mm spacers.

Speedplay:

  • Zero Titanium – 50mm
  • Zero Chrome-Moly – 53mm
  • Zero Stainless – 53mm
  • Zero Stainless custom lengths: 50mm, 56mm, 59mm and 65mm

Xpedo:

  • Thrust 8 (all types) – 53mm
  • Thrust 8 custom spindle lengths – 50mm, 56mm, 59mm and 62mm
  • *Xpedo, like Look, provides a 2mm longer threaded area.

Issi:

  • Road – 50mm
  • Road + 5 – 55mm

Keywin:

  • CRM Chrome-Moly 55mm (custom sizes below):
    • 49mm
    • 52mm
    • 58mm
    • 61mm
    • 65mm
The last 2 examples may not be as well known on the market, specifically, Keywin is difficult to acquire in the United States, but we mention them to accentuate pedal manufacturers focusing attention on stance width.  In our opinion, this is a largely ignored, pivotal factor in achieving optimal comfort, power and efficiency on the bike.  Although some companies like Speedplay take this into account, for most riders some customization is required to optimize peformance and reduce injury.

When to Modify Stance Width

Although research for this blog post discovered zero articles on common trends in cycling stance width, the consensus of the experienced minds at BikeFit, our trained BikeFit Pros and the popularity of Pedal Extenders, support the need for stance width modification.  It’s difficult to believe that the majority of every asymmetrical human male and female size 4’8″ to 7’2″ would be accommodated by a 252mm (about 10 inches) stance width (252mm was obtained by using an average 53mm pedal spindle width on each side and a 146mm q factor). Considering the pedal spindle width and q factor example, cycling is like the “one size fits most” of clothing.  We are not sure of who fits the “most” category but in our experience, “most” is more like some.  Granted, we already mentioned the possible extended pedal spindle width but think about the amount of emphasis on bike size rather than stance width–every company offers multiple bike sizes but not every company offers an array of stance width options.With the argument made for customizing stance width, let’s take a gander at a rider who requires modification:
Video Courtesy of Quest Therapy Consultants
Take a moment to evaluate each knee.  The left and right (more significant) distinctly move outward at the 12 o’clock position and then back in at the 6 o’clock position.  Even without the aid of the laser guide, it’s obvious the knee craves a wider stance width but is forced to follow the position of the foot inward during the downstroke.  This is incredibly common. We challenge you next time you’re on a lovely weekend ride with others, observe the pedaling of your compatriots.  Do you notice knees kicking out at the top of their pedal stroke?Without delving deeply into the world of bike fitting, the “knees out” rider may also have a saddle height issue or a need for Cleat Wedges.  If the saddle is extremely low, a similar pedal stroke will develop.  In the case of the video above, saddle height is not the culprit.  The client did require wedges, but in order to not confuse the issue, stance width is the main problem.

Stance Width Solutions and Drawbacks

*In case you’re scoring at home (of course you are), this is a quintuple blog repeat score for using “stance width” in every major heading (spoiler alert, they’ll be 8).  It exemplifies how we feel about the topic.To solve the “knees out” issue and achieve maximum comfort, the foot needs to align with the knee–it’s not the other way around.  Consequently, the foot must be adjusted/moved out.  Here are some solutions:1.) Longer Pedal SpindleFeel free to reference some of the pedals mentioned earlier such as Speedplay, Issi, and Keywin.  While Shimano Dura Ace pedals now offer a 4mm extension, the “regular” spindle width is already tight at 51mm.  As a result, a 55mm spindle width may not be long enough for many riders.  When Road Bike Action reviewed the first model (9000) with the extended spindle option, they made this bold statement, “for those looking for a wider stance without bulky extensions, the Shimano cleat has ample lateral adjustment. The pedals also have a 4mm-longer axle option to widen your stance width even more.”  To say the cleat has “ample lateral adjustment” is like saying that a Ferrari Portofino has ample seating space.  It does, if your only intention is to drive yourself and one other extremely lucky person through the streets in style.  The Shimano cleat does have ample lateral adjustment for some people, but most will require more and even a 4mm longer spindle option will often not solve the problem.
2.) Cleat in, Foot Out (Picture to the Right) Most bicycle cleats and shoes have some room for lateral movement.  While some cleats/shoes offer more flexibility than others, this simple change makes a noteworthy difference and is the most affordable adjustment.
These small spacers provide an extra 1.5mm to stance width.  We do not recommend using more than (1) per pedal.  It’s important that there are enough threads to safely install the pedal into the crank.  As we mentioned earlier, Look Keo pedals are built with a longer threaded area to accommodate an additional 1.5mm spacer.

This is not a gratuitous sales ploy by the marketing team at BikeFit.  These extenders have helped a multitude of riders.  When the lateral movement of the cleat, a longer spindle or the 1.5mm spacers are not enough, the 20mm pedal extender works wonders.  Using the previous equation based on the q factor of a Shimano crank, adding a pedal extender to each side would add 40mm to the overall stance width for a total of 292mm or about 11.5 inches.  Considering an avg. mountain bike q factor is 170mm, adding 40mm to a road bike at 146mm will likely help many cyclists achieve desired comfort and alignment.  BikeFit offers both a Hex+ 20mm Pedal Extender for those pedals that require an 8mm wrench for installation and our regular 20mm Pedal Extender for all other pedal installation types.

We would also like to note that Road Bike Action’s earlier claim that extensions are “bulky” is the equivalent of calling a pro peloton sprinter overweight.  Clearly, they both are the correct size to achieve specific results.  The extenders are imperative for many riders and at 37 grams, it’s worth the extra “bulk.”

5.) The Combo MoveEvery person requires their own specific stance width.  Therefore, combining the different methods together will yield the best results.  If you need more space than the 20mm extenders provide, add a 1.5mm spacer.  If the 20mm extender is just a bit too long, consider laterally moving the cleat out (foot in) after installation.  Many riders even combine the longer spindle of a Speedplay pedal with a pedal extender or a pedal spacer.  

Single Leg Stance Width

This one may seem like a head-scratcher but it’s true for most riders.  We’ve mentioned this in other articles but a bike is a beautifully crafted, symmetrical machine.  The human body is a flawed, somewhat challenged, aging, potentially injured, often uncoordinated, sometimes imbalanced, asymmetrical biped.  Consequently, when we are bent over and clipped into a symmetrical machine, problems arise.  In order to fit an asymmetrical being to a symmetrical bicycle, it’s important that each leg is evaluated independently.  This means that one leg could be perfectly aligned and the other one could have the 12 O’clock kick-out occurring during every stroke.  Each leg will potentially require its own modification independent of the other.  For example, BikeFit sells more single left-only pedal extenders than the right-only.  This doesn’t mean that human nature has a propensity to a wider stance width on the left-hand side (it may, but that’s another blog post), it further supports our assertion (spearheaded by Paul Swift), that “each leg has its own individual stance width.”

After Stance Width is Adjusted

Considering our earlier video of when a stance with modification is needed, here is a view of what alignment looks like after adding a 20mm pedal extender:
The diagram to the right displays the differences an adjusted stance width offers the rider.  Although it shows a “longer pedal axle” as the optimal intervention, the same methodology can be applied using the solutions mentioned previously.

Conclusions and Final Stance Width Thoughts

If research was conducted on cycling stance width, a bell curve of the most prevalent measurements may exist.  Even if that information for cycling was available, in our experience, bike fitting is somewhat subjective.  Therefore, the perfect formula for cyclist A may be horrific for cyclist B.Stance width is worth examining for every cyclist on any type of bicycle.  As we’ve mentioned in other articles, if a cyclist is out of alignment riding at 85 rpm, that’s 5,100 pedal strokes per leg, per hour.   If we carry this scenario out further, let’s say the average cyclist rides 6 hours per week, which is roughly 122,000 pedal strokes per month and over 1 million per year, per leg.  With that number of pedal strokes, the strain on the body (especially the knee) is significant.In cycling, the industry usually grabs us with the flash of style: aero helmets, new colors, more gears, less friction, larger pulleys, more carbon…etc, but none of these are more important than fit.  Does it matter how your bike looks or functions if you’re in too much pain to ride it?If you’re a bike fitter or a bike shop, we implore you to analyze the stance width of every rider you fit or bike you sell.  If you’re a cyclist, as much as tinkering with fit may improve your comfort, it also may make it worse. It’s worth every penny to get a professional fit.  Before you schedule a bike fit, ask your fitter whether they examine stance width and what modifications or process they use.  Glean as much information as possible before you book it or you’ll be unhappy with the results.  If you have questions about fitting or stance width, feel free to drop us a line.Enjoy your ride.-The BikeFit Team

Cleat Wedges in the Tour de France

Mark Cavendish is well known in the cycling world for being one of the greatest sprinters and arguably one of the best cyclists of all time.  With 48 grand tour victories, 30 in the Tour de France alone, and winning the 2011 Road World Championship, his accolades are undeniable.

BikeFit products are used throughout the cycling world and these pictures of Mark’s new kicks complete with Cleat Wedges clearly show the need to adjust for foot tilt among the pro ranks.

Will Cleat Wedges help you win the Tour de France or at least a few stages?

The BikeFit legal department was crystal clear to us that we can’t imply a direct correlation between using Cleat Wedges and attaining grand tour victories.  At the same time, it’s extremely difficult to achieve your best performance when you experience bike discomfort.  Many cyclists find relief from foot pain, knee pain, and even saddle discomfort by using wedges.

Find your Cleat Wedge #

Measure foot tilt with the Foot Fit Calculator and your Android phone!  All you need is a friend to help, and you can quickly find out if Cleat Wedges will improve your ride and how many you require.

If you don’t have an Android phone, see our blog article for more help on discovering foot tilt and the importance of cleat wedges.

New Plastic and Packaging for BikeFit Products

Fantastic New Colored Plastic

We are excited to announce our new plastics and packaging for 2018!  Many of you may have seen these in your shipments already, but we’ve revamped plastic and packaging throughout the line to provide you with the best functioning (and looking) bike fitting products on the planet.

Unlike some other knock-offs in the industry, we insist on using high-density plastic for our 3mm Leg Length Shims(seen above).  For 2018, we decided to step away from the black on black on black on black and spice up our products with a smattering of color.  Our Universal (all 3-hole applications) and Look Keo models are a beautiful cobalt blue and our Speedplay and SPD/MTB 2-hole models sport a ferocious lavender.  Yes, we described lavender as ferocious.

Leg Length Shim Design and Availability

Our design on the Leg Length Shims remains largely the same.  We continue to “ramp” the front of the shim in order to provide optimal cleat/pedal engagement and safety for those who need them. 

For the most popular three-hole cleat models, our Look Keo Leg Length Shims are designed to use a smaller base plate that matches the cleats.  The Universal Leg 3mm Length Shims have a larger base plate and will fit any 3-hole type of cleat.  Our Speedplay Leg Length Shims are offered with either Walkable Screws or the old style V2 screws.

Beyond the plastic itself, we’ve also changed our packaging across the BikeFit product line to provide not only a strong visual of our shims, wedges, and extenders but also to aesthetically display products in fitting studios, bike shops, pain caves and indoor cycling facilities. Look for our new packaging at your local shop or on our site!

Mounting the Saddle Changer

You may already know that BikeFit sells the most amazing saddle fitting and sales tool on the planet.  Yet, many potential customers ask us the same thing, do you mount the Saddle Changer directly to the customer’s bike?

The answer is yes and no.

You can mount the Saddle Changer to a customer’s bike and we do have many successful clients who’ve used this methodology with fabulous results.  The problem: stack height is a considerable factor since the Saddle Changer adds 9cm, and you have to adjust the seat post to the original position after fitting.  This works (although it adds time) if you are doing a bike fitting, but the Saddle Changer provides a perfect opportunity for customers to demo multiple saddles in seconds.  Why utilize it only for fits when you can display and use it daily?

Therefore it works great for fitting, but we’ve found that customers find much more lucrative and less tedious applications.

Super Ingenious Saddle Changer Mounting Methods

Method 1: The Indoor Cycle

 

Indoor cycles are ubiquitous in the industry and if you are looking to save some money, there are used ones floating through cycling message boards.  If you want to go Cadallic, high-level indoor bikes measure power while the customer searches for that elusive perfect saddle. Bonus points for the pro touch–matching your indoor bike knobs to your tool chest (see pic above) satisfies the detail-oriented personality of the fitter.

Method 2: The Fit Bike

You already made an investment in a fancy fit bike, why not capitalize on it as a sales tool?  Although a fit is a perfect time to discover saddle bliss, a fit bike with the Saddle Changer attached and strategically placed in front of a plethora of seats provides customers with a custom saddle-testing experience!

Long of the short, there are many applications for mounting the Saddle Changer and there’s technically not a “wrong answer.”  This article is meant to help you obtain the most out of your investment.

Feel free to send us your Saddle Changer photos (e-mail info@bikefit.com) and we’ll post them on social media!

Look / Shimano 2-Degree Cleat Wedges

At BikeFit, we’re always searching for avenues to increase efficiency.  In this case, we listened to the myriad of Bike Fitters who inquired on whether we could create a 2-Degree Cleat Wedge.  Lining up wedges and installing screws increases in difficulty as you increase wedges.  You asked and we listened. After a year of development and testing, voila!  Look 2-Degree Wedges!

These new wedges decrease installation time and reduce the chance of slippage apparent with multiple wedges.  They are also undeniably cooler than our previous wedges.  Look 2-Degree Cleat Wedges are compatible with Look, Shimano SPD/SL, Time and most 3-hole cleat configurations.

How to tell the Difference Between 1° and 2-Degree Cleat Wedges

Our 1° and 2° Cleat Wedges are incredibly similar, but we’ve added clear labeling to help you discern them from one another.  The new shape is much more durable for cleat installation and the rigors of hard rides.  1 or 2 Degree, Cleat Wedges are necessary for most cyclists.

Look 2-Degree Wedges are available now in 20-packs.  At this time they are only available at your local BikeFit Pro or if you are a bike fitter or a bike shop, you must be logged in and have a wholesale account at www.bikefit.com to view these products.

Why Do I Need Cleat Wedges?

ForeFoot Tilt

One of the most important and overlooked aspects in bike fittings is the tilt and angle of the forefoot.  Studies show that 96% of all cyclists are misaligned in their connection to the bicycle, decreasing comfort and efficiency.  Of these cyclists, most have what is known as a Forefoot Varus (the inside of the foot tilts upward). This causes a misalignment as soon as you clip into a pedal because the pedal is flat.

varus-tilt

 

Foot Pressure

A simple tilt adjustment where the cleat/shoe meet can resolve the most common “hot spots” (your foot feels like there’s a flame underneath it).  Cyclists frequently contact BikeFit complaining of discomfort or pain on the bottom, outermost part of their foot. The left illustration shows the location of the MOST common “hot foot” or foot discomfort. The right illustration shows the ideal even pressure across the entire ball of their foot. Cyclists often describe this as feeling better connected, more stable, even-feeling and so on.  The illustration below portrays the pressure created from the inherent tilt in most feet.

Measuring Foot Tilt 

You can look at your own feet (with help) and see why there is often more pressure toward the outside of the foot. Kneel with on a chair and have someone hold a book or ruler across the balls of your feet.  Are they angled up toward the inside or up at the outer part of the foot?  Forefoot tilt is common so it’s likely that you’ll notice it.  There’s a simple solution to reduce the pressure and increase comfort on your bike rides.

Cleat Wedges are the Answer

Cleat Wedges are stackable to fine-tune your unique forefoot tilt.  They are specially designed to “fill the gap” between the natural tilt of the foot and the flat pedal.  Consequently, they allow your foot to remain closer to its innate position, not change it.

Deciphering the number of Cleat Wedges can be accomplished with the Foot Fit Calculator or the Forefoot Measuring Device.

How to Measure Foot Tilt and Find the Correct Number of Cleat Wedges

Option #1 BikeFit Pro

BikeFit Pros use a ForeFoot Measuring Device to discover foot tilt and recommend the number of Cleat Wedges needed to provide optimal comfort.  These trained bike fitters not only use manual tools but also employ a video capture BikeFit app to aid in bike fitting.

BikeFit Pros also provide extensive knowledge in fitting to optimize not only your foot/pedal interface but also your complete bike position.  Visit our BikeFit Locator to find a pro near you!
Option #2 Foot Fit Calculator

The Foot Fit Calculator App for Android allows you to easily determine foot tilt and the wedges required to compensate with our free app.  All you need is a friend to help take a quick picture of your feet and a comfortable to chair to kneel on.  The app even helps link you back to the BikeFit website to either find a local dealer or to purchase them via our website.

Do you have more questions about foot tilt?  Feel free to contact us!

 

*Note–This article was updated on 07/18/18

Why are BikeFit Pedal Extenders Stainless Steel?

Pedal extenders (also know as pedal spacers) are used by thousands of cyclists throughout the world to optimize alignment, reduce pain, and increase efficiency.  Yet, not all of these are created equal.  Some companies choose to construct their pedal extenders out of sub-par material. As a result, they may wear significantly, corrode, or force you to buy another pair over the life of your bicycle.

Why Stainless Steel?

BikeFit Pedal Extenders are made of 100% stainless steel due to not only its strength but also its resistance to corrosion.  Over time, pedals, shoes, extenders, and your bike will encounter water, debris, ice, snow, road salt (if you don’t have this then other riders envy you), grass, mud, occasional squirrels, and many other riveting road elements.  These road irritants (with potentially the exception of squirrels) are abrasive to non-stainless steel pedal extenders.  See the black-colored knock-off shown to the right.  Since most pedal extenders are utilized for the life of a bicycle, you need an extender that is corrosion resistant and functions well from the first use to the last.

BikeFit Extender                     Chrome-Moly Knock-Off

In addition to corrosion resistance, a stainless steel extender will structurally and physically survive the massive miles you accumulate. A century ride (100 miles) contains about 20,000 to 24,000 pedal strokes per leg.  If you plan on training for a century this year, think about the number of miles that you’ll likely travel.  If you complete 20,000 pedal strokes per 100 miles and you ride 5,000 miles per year, that’s a total of 1 million strokes per leg, per year!  Therefore, you need an extender that can handle not only the road conditions but also the general wear and tear of daily use.

Good to the Last Revolution

Other companies use aluminum (malleable) or chrome-moly which corrodes and shows wear over time.  While our extenders will likely cost more, if you want your comfort-inducing investment to last physically and aesthetically, choose the extender that looks great from the first pedal stroke to the millionth.

-The BikeFit Team and Paul Swift, CEO CyclePoint

Pedal Extenders

The Stem Sizer: Pinpoint Stem Size Without Tools

KIRKLAND, WASHINGON – November 7th, 2017 – BikeFit, the worldwide leader in bike fitting products, releases the all-new Stem Sizer. It delivers a simple, quick, and precise way to determine ideal bicycle cockpit position and optimize rider comfort and performance.

“Over years of fitting, we noticed that the time to properly adjust stem size, the ability to fit numerous bikes, and working in crowded spaces are issues when using a sizing stem,” said BikeFit Founder Paul Swift.” So, at BikeFit, we attacked these issues. No other adjustable stem adjusts as quickly or fits both 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 steerer tubes. The Stem Sizer is also easy to adjust, with fewer tools, in the tightest of bike/stem/handlebar configurations.”

The Stem Sizer features a top-access, single bolt clamp for easy handlebar changes. Stem length adjustments are performed by a revolutionary push-button feature that allows the user to easily slide the handlebars to multiple lengths.  It provides a superior stem length range adjustment from 60-145mm in 5mm increments and accommodates 1-1/4” and 1-1/8” threadless fork steerer tubes via the provided attachments.  The Sizing Stem also showcases smooth stem angle adjustments within +/- 30 degrees and is compatible with the majority of handlebar sizes including 31.8mm.  BikeFit also reports that it is fully functional without interference on uncut fork steerer tubes, when used on new bike builds.  

The complete kit includes a custom BikeFit carry case.  It is the perfect tool for fitters, clinicians, bike shops and cyclists with a “have-it-all” shop in their garage. The BikeFit Stem Sizer retails for $249.99.

More information or to purchase visit: http://blog.bikefit.com/stem-sizer/

Cleat Maintenance Tips: Improve the Life of Your Cycling Cleats

  • Amazing bike–check.
  • Ergonomic handlebar–check.
  • Comfortable and elegantly stylish shoes–check.
  • Wheelset that costs more than my monthly food bill–check.
  • Well-maintained cleats–what?

Leave it to us at BikeFit to focus on the small things but sometimes, those are the ones that have the most significant impact.  If you’ve ever managed to unclip at top speed and lived to tell the tale, then you understand the imperative nature of simple cleat maintenance or you’re Robert Forestermann and you literally double strap your clipless cleats to absorb your massive, cleat-disengaging watts.  Now that you’ve returned from watching Quadzilla crush it, here are some simple tips to help you care for your cleats.

So Fresh and So Clean Cleats

Although changing your cleats every 6 months would provide you with a fool-proof method of riding with well-functioning cleats, you can easily extend their life through some simple maintenance.

We recommend periodically checking your cleats for debris, especially if you walk often on your rides.  Dirt and dust quickly build up from road and trail debris.  These impediments can interfere with the ability to click-in and release from your pedals.

The BikeFit Cleat Screw Pick is an ideal solution.  Some people have used a knife or a small screwdriver but the specifically designed screw pick will help you dig out miles of caked on dirt and grime without the risk of lacerating your fingers.

Fasten your Cleats

Cleat screw fasteners and the screws themselves can potentially loosen over time.  There may or may not be a story of a BikeFit employee that did not check his screws often and found himself pulling out of a criterium race due to his epically loose, rattling cleat almost falling off.  Be sure to check that they are tight.  If you are riding Speedplay pedals, check the base screws as well as the cleat screws.

Secondly, screw heads attract some of the worst immovable debris and get worn down to the point where you may be unable to remove them without some serious hacksaw interventions (see described hacksaw interventions to thy right).

If the cleat wear impacts your ability to clip in, release, or you feel wobbles or an unsteady connection with the pedal, it’s time to replace the cleats.  If not, you may only need to replace the screw heads themselves.  While we carry a Screw Kit (contains the aforementioned Screw Pick) and a Walkable Screw Kit (Speedplay), you may not need bulk screws.  Therefore we suggest visiting your local BikeFit Pro or dealer, with your favorite sharable adult beverage, and they’ll be able to sell you some replacements.

It Takes Two

Cleats materials have a limited lifespan depending on the usage.  They will eventually wear out and when you replace them, pick up a spare set as well.  Heck, you could go out tomorrow and pick up a second set even if your cleats are impeccable.  You’ll need to replace them eventually and again, your local shop loves when you visit with liquid hops-o-plenty and a need for new cleats!

Having a second pair of cleats allows you to inspect the excessive wear and tear from riding all those grand tours.  Use these spares as subjects to compare against the used ones.  Do they look like the cleats to the right? Too much wear (1mm or more) and it’s probably time to consider replacing cleats.

For Cleat’s Sake, Cover Up!

Depending on your cleats, some handle the grit and grime better than others.  Regardless, if you want to extend cleat life, consider cleat covers.  Speedplay recognized that numerous riders were shredding their cleats and now they offer some incredibly functional and aero Walkable Cleats.  Kool Kovers provide riders with multiple options of protective cleat covers for Shimano, Look Keo, Look Delta and Speedplay.  Yes, it may take you all of 8 seconds to remove them and reinstall after each of your 4 coffee stops, but extending the life of your cleats not only saves you money but also could prevent a potentially painful and skin-removing crash.

Ride safe and comfortable my friends.

-BikeFit

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