I’ll say it again: There is no foolproof formula for bikefitting, no magic wand that will conjure positional perfection.
There are elements of precision in the process, but also plenty of grey areas and skill-based judgments.
Which means a fit reflects the style and personal aesthetics of the person carrying it out.
As surely as a painter signs his canvas, the fitter has their own fingerprint, their style.
Topically, look at the Tour de France.
I’ve seen some fits I particularly like the look of over the last fortnight.
I tweeted my geeky appreciation of Jack Bauer of Garmin after his so-near-and-yet-so-far exploit into Nimes, Tony Martin’s aero tuck on his solo epic was a thing of beauty, and Geraint Thomas’s trackie-esque up-and-forward poise served him well as he dragged Richie Porte’s muddied carcass over the cobbles of northern France.
I’ve also seen some I’m less struck on, mainly involving French teams and BMC’s Tejay van Garderen impossibly lanky limbs, but that’s another story.
When the race resumes in the Pyrenees, take a longer look at the riders.
Having spent some time with Cyclefit, I can spot their pawprints on Trek Factory Racing.
And that same collective uniformity is evident in other teams too; Belkin, Saxo, Garmin, GreenEdge.
Indeed, Sky posted a rest day line up shot of their surviving riders spinning on the rollers in the mechanics truck; seven riders with seven almost identical back angles.
The fits might be individual to each rider, but they all carry the signature of the fitter.
So, what’s my point?
Mainly that bikefit is indeed subjective.
Cage two good fitters in a room with a client and a coffee machine and they might agree on 95 per cent of the fit, before arguing the final five per cent long into the night.
On plenty of occasions, there are multiple solutions, all as valid as each other.
Or, in Franglais, more than one way to skin Le Chat.
Remember that next time someone tells you your saddle height MUST be 76cm….