Before our introduction of IdMatch to Australia in 2021, the Chainsmith Team fitted hundreds of riders manually. We'd researched and trained with several systems, to find the individual attention given during a manual fit gave more positive results for a rider than relying on a generic computer program. But our small space posed challenges. The popularity of bike fitting was growing and we knew you needed an efficient bike fit system that retained a personalised approach to benefit your performance and riding comfort. The answer was found from a team of Italians at IdMatch Selle Italia, whose system not only improves your current bike fit but reduces the risks commonly made when buying a new bike.
We believe IdMatch is a better choice for your fittings over a number of tools already used in Australia. This wasn't an easy path because it meant the equipment to create a complete IdMatch Lab needed to travel safely from Italy.
It took a 2 month wait to receive what we rated the best future for consistent and accurate bike fitting. Ask the infamous crew at Global Cycling Network (GCN) about IdMatch Bike Fit if the lab experience is worth it. They agree. But also ask the master frame fitters in Italy to hear an echoed respect for IdMatch bike fitting solution.
We also arrived at this conclusion by asking questions of the current method of bike fit and bike purchase. What would provide you a better solution to improve not only the efficiency of the fit for current bike owners, but any pre-purchase fit experience for those looking to invest in the most appropriate bike? Understanding first hand why we were gaining such popularity as fitters would help us create the improvements.
Lets begin with our finding regarding the increase in bike fit enquiries at Chainsmith. Hearing your feedback, the answer is twofold.
1. We understand Custom
Ive written about the need for bike fitting before, which includes our favoured fitters in Sydney. Regardless of the betterment in bike technology, while generic bikes continue to grow in popularity bike fitting will be a necessity for riders serious about cycling.
"Most generic brands are limited to moving or replacing components to position a rider on a bike accurately."
You're highly unlikely to be of generic proportions. Most clients present one foot either longer or wider than the other. The other numerous variables in the human form develop from there! Custom bikes can cater to these details in tubing selection, length and angles in geometry. And these finite adjustments in tailored frames affect your overall comfort, your targeted performance and your bike handling. You may wish to read about how your ride is affected by your balanced position on a frame in the article, "Road bike Geometry Explained".
In essence, your balance over the bike that affects handling is created from frame geometry corresponding to your body. Unfortunately aside from buying a model unfit for purpose, riders of generic brands are limited by how they find balance. The adjustments are made by moving or replacing components. The more inappropriate the bike size or model, the more extreme the components must alter. Hence the combination of stacked spacers, saddles pushed forward, bars and shifters tilted back, changes the balance and the handling. Frame builder Tiziano Zullo discusses how popular generic frames pose dangers when the saddle post commonly extends so far out the frame.
For the reason of wanting a perfect fit for a bike that fulfils your riding goals, Chainsmith specialises in customising road bikes. That means we thoroughly understand your needs as an individual rider. A frames geometry is central to this need and the components are not far behind.
Working alongside frame builders we're privy to how their methodologies work for you when you're looking for a perfect bike. The experience and knowledge we build to contribute towards building your next bike comes from visiting frame builders workshops, analysing their systems, reading their particular reason for geometries, talking materials and discussing what makes a bike feel different from another.
2. We understand the Mechanics
Secondly, our experience of bike fit is produced from analysing your bikes in our own workshop. Dozens of new bikes visit the Chainsmith service point weekly. From the workshop strong patterns in how riders experience bike handling and their comfort or performance emerge.
As mentioned, saddle set back and saddle type, handlebar position and shifter angles as well as stem length combined give us the opportunity to read a riders positive or negative experience on the bike. In fact, seeing a bike set up often allows us to depict a clients proportions even before we meet them.
From the workshop we understand the number of unfortunate riders who purchase bikes incorrectly sized, inappropriate in style or components. Importantly, even a custom bike can be an incorrect fit if a riders initial measurements were wrongly recorded, or flexibility wasn't taken into account.
We notice these issues and are acutely aware that proper bike fit begins before any purchase.
The importance of order : Pre-bike fit to post-bike fit
We believe proper pre-fit, for lack of a better word, should be an integral process in reducing risk when buying a bike. If you want to risk wasting money and time and injury or pain, then the usual path is to buy a bike based on assumptions about your measurements. In most bike shops your height and inner-seam are considered the important features used in this method of bike purchasing. The thought is that corrections can be made later.
If you're thinking of your time in a bike shop where your measurements were placed in a computer program before you put your money down, understand that these measurements are based on generic outcomes. They don't consider your ride history, your future aims, your past injuries, your flexibility or lack of. The program has limitations but it also requires you to place faith on data and staff knowledge because to correctly analyse the program requires training and experience.
When it comes to size chart provided by manufacturers they're only good if you can read it correctly. It also only focuses on the bike, and not the most important ingredient to a successful bike purchase, you.
At the very least, if you don't want to risk buying the wrong model or the wrong size, as well as incorrect components, you can ask reputable staff who've your future riding goals in mind. Better yet, consider receiving a bike fit first so you guarantee a model will suit you in all its size variabilities.
Bike Fit First
From the understanding that a commercial method of buying a bike is biased towards generic production methods, you can understand why changing the purchase procedure by making bike fit first is impossible for near all bike shops. Changing procedures means changing a philosophy, very difficult in an industry reliant on traditions. Also, buying a smart bike in a store is costly because it requires retraining and a large portion of space.
Whether its comfort or performance, or wanting to guarantee that a bike will provide before you put money on it, the IdMatch Bike Fit system supports it all. It's already proved an extraordinary resource for our riders.
We recently fitted a client who's many years of absence from the bike left a few unanswered questions. We wanted to test two proposed Chesini custom geometries in accordance to his overwhelming height and posture. Measuring his flexibility and then replicating the frame on the smart bike allowed us to gauge he'd be positioned comfortably on the frame. This highlights how a bike purchase can be securely made as opposed to wasting thousands of dollars on an ill fitted frame chosen through common methods of program approximation used at bike retail outlets.
Having researched IdMatch Lab and discussed the fine points of the system with the Italian Team, we were rightly convinced you'd benefit immensely from this technology.
The accuracy and consistent bike fitting automation works at an astonishing speed. Not only was this the first scientific auto-scan solution, the smart bike offered a way to auto adjust. A rider can remain pedalling as the machine alters measurements between the tri factor of touch points - bars, pedals and saddle. This is altered automatically or manually at the bike fitters discretion. Hence handlebar height and length, seat set back and position can be altered during the continued pedal stroke.
What's more the initial measurements of a body, including your bone length, joint junctions and flexibility was more precise than any system we'd reviewed in the past. Your biomechanical and postural assessment uses dynamic analysis and 3d scanning for extreme accuracy. Laser's have never been so much fun, nor so necessary to eliminate guess work and inaccuracies.
This isn't to say that manual fitting isn't a good model to follow as we've many favoured fitters in Sydney both dedicated and extremely accomplished. However, with the many custom frame buyers we cater to, we needed a sophisticated system to precisely define a specific geometric fit not only for the client but with every imaginable goal they have for future riding.
Its been months of preparation and the enquiries we've received from riders such as yourselves has been overwhelming. In just two weeks, we've fitted potential buyers, riders wanting to eliminate annoying aches and pains, and others who want cleat adjustment or saddle recommendations as well as saddle hire. We especially look forward to increasingly the use of the smart bike to eliminate the chance you will waste your time and money on inaccuracies caused by conventional bike buying habits. The essential goal is to enhance your ride experience.
We welcome you to be some of the first in Australia to experience IdMatch Bike Fit system.