Mountain Cog

065 - "Hips Don't Lie" is not just a song by Shakira. Mountain bike fits with Tyler. (Tyler Vandruff, GURU Bikes)

February 06, 2024 Mountain Cog - Joshua Anderson & Dane "Guru" Higgins Episode 65
Mountain Cog
065 - "Hips Don't Lie" is not just a song by Shakira. Mountain bike fits with Tyler. (Tyler Vandruff, GURU Bikes)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

If you listen to this podcast at all... you probably know that we are presently obsessed with bike fits.  It all started when Wolfman (aka Andrew Wolf, a prior exercise physiologist) berated Josh for never having a bike fit in Episode #57.  That catalyzed an awesome bike fit experience with Frank Kaiser (Ben's Bikes) who we interviewed in Episode #62.  Frank told us that while the basic foundation of bike fitting is generally accepted, there are slight differences in technique and approach between fitters.

To get a better feel for what Frank was talking about... Josh reached out to Tyler over at Guru, recorded an episode with him, and got another awesome fit.  This time on his "down country" mountain bike (Specialized Epic Evo). 

Yes, you should get fit to each bike you own.

Tyler Vandruff is co-owner of Guru Bikes and owner of Vandruff Fit Solutions.  Tyler's been involved, in one way or the other, with bike fits since he was a kid.  In this episode he lays out his approach to bike fitting.  Which I can tell you, is equally awesome, but slightly different from Frank's approach.  Tyler uses the RETUL system, a previously independent bike fit focused company, recently acquired by Specialized.

Here are a few of RETUL's mantra's on bike fits... 
1. A bike is symmetrical, humans are not
2. Feet are your foundation, invest in them
3. The hips don't lie  <-- (see what we did there)
4. Hand position is the product of a good bike fit

https://guru-bikes.com/
https://www.retul.com/

Tyler Vandruff
Guru Bikes - Vandruff Fit Solutions
Email: cyclefitter@gmail.com
Call: 520.622.2453

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Dane:

The one is going to know what that is no, or they're going to think it's something else.

Josh:

It's the other thing that gets something else. It's Founders All Day IPA session, which is pretty good. Hey, do you guys know why cows don't have feet? They have hooves. Any idea? We like to do dad jokes too, by the way.

Dane:

That's what this is, yeah. I don't have a clue. I mean, maybe you know practically it's not a joke answer, but so that when they step in their own poop it comes off easy, I liked it. That might be better than the actual punchline here, it's because they lack toes.

Travis:

Oh, that's rough, that's rough.

Josh:

Hey, so it's Friday night. We are back at Guru Bikes With our new co-host, dane. Yep, that's me, dane, and we have a. We're not allowed to say special anymore. I guess we said special too much. That's the shop dog in the back, by the way, you might hear, we got two shop dogs running around so you might hear them barking, and that's totally cool. But we have a esteemed guest with us. Oh, esteemed, we got a stop saying special, so we're looking for new synonyms.

Dane:

Oh, I got you. I was trying to figure out how special was being used. We keep saying special guest, special guest, special guest.

Josh:

So I want to give everyone a new esteemed.

Dane:

Yes.

Josh:

New guest.

Dane:

We have a new guest Recurring.

Josh:

Would you like to introduce?

Travis:

yourself, sir Sure. My name is Tyler Vandruff and I'm Dane's partner here at the bike shop.

Josh:

Right on.

Travis:

While he specializes in the shocks and forks, I specialize in bike fitting.

Josh:

Right on.

Travis:

Triathlon Road and Mountain.

Josh:

Triathlon, road and Mountain. So what we're going to get into today is bike fits. We had Frank on Frank the fitter on A few episodes back and one of the things Frank talked about is how every fitter has a different philosophy Not only because you're Dane's partner, but we want to hear more about different philosophies for bike fitting because we're, in this podcast, addicted to bike fits at the moment. You guys have known each other for a long time. Yeah, how'd you guys meet?

Dane:

At the bike shop. Yeah, full cycle.

Josh:

Back in the day. Local legend shop in Tucson. That was like what in the 80s or what years?

Travis:

Thanks man. It's not like I feel like I'm in a long time.

Dane:

God, I don't even know 90s, late 90s I'm trying to think 2000s. It was the 2000s because I, ah man, I don't know.

Josh:

You know you're getting old when you're messing up decades. Yeah.

Dane:

You're getting old when you see your classmate and he's a grandfather, oh sure.

Travis:

What bikes were we selling there? Yeah?

Dane:

So the first one popped is Serata and they're custom so I wouldn't know.

Josh:

Yeah, Mavericks, remember their Mavericks.

Dane:

I remember we sold two.

Josh:

Mavericks and we did Maverick had that inverted fork on some of their bikes. Yeah, and they had that weird, or maybe the Maverick was the fork on the track and they had their own bike and they made a rear suspension that looked like a fork it was in the middle of the frame and later climbed a patent or didn't patent it, but they licensed it and used it on some of the client bikes Did that suspension work.

Dane:

It was pretty decent. It was goofy and weird and didn't really get adopted. And so you know that's. I would love to have one actually to hang it on the wall.

Josh:

You guys have like a bike museum with all the different bikes. He showed me one of the other pro flexes you got. Oh yeah, with the red fork.

Dane:

Yeah, super cool. I mean it's fun to look at. Now. One of my favorite bikes was the old one of the first full suspension treks and they had these elastomers that look like donuts, and so the rear shock looked like a stack of donuts and it was single beam Worst riding bike I've ever ridden in my life.

Josh:

It was awful.

Dane:

But it just looked cool and it's one of those things that you just connect with when you were a kid and it was all into the Nishiki that we have the alien and yeah, he was telling me about it actually. We talked about that one. By the way, if anyone has a mountain bike action with a Nishiki, alien on the front?

Josh:

let me know, because we want one. Oh, I might actually. Let me go back through the archives.

Travis:

That's what convinced me on that bike.

Dane:

I was a kid and I saw it and I was like, oh my God, that's the most beautiful thing.

Josh:

I've ever seen and of course I had no money at the time, either in the 90s or in 2000s, at Full Cycle yeah. I was really, and you guys have been friends ever since.

Dane:

Yeah, he was the best man in my wedding.

Josh:

I introduced him to his wife.

Dane:

Yeah, actually yeah, I wouldn't have met my wife without Tyler.

Josh:

We kind of fought about it Did you guys fight over her.

Dane:

So the story goes, and I'll just make it really quick. But the story is I saw this girl at this party it was Tyler's party. He threw the best parties and I was like, oh, she's cute. So I told Tyler I go, hey, what's up with her? And he's like I already got her number.

Josh:

So you did fight over her. Yeah, yeah.

Dane:

And then later I got to actually, you know, meet her.

Travis:

You won.

Dane:

I ended up won.

Travis:

He says he can see. I took him with me on my second date. Who does it? You took Dane with you on your second date, Because on the first date I was like, I think these two guys would be a little better match, oh really. And so then I had them sit next to each other and I was like I'm gonna get you down so that's like the ultimate cupid move right there.

Josh:

Oh yeah.

Travis:

To like take someone on a date with you and say I think you're a better match with this guy than me.

Dane:

I didn't tell either of them.

Josh:

No, no, we didn't know, but we just hit it off, does she?

Dane:

know now.

Josh:

Oh yeah.

Dane:

She has a slightly different version, which I feel like always happens, and so if she listens to this.

Josh:

she'll give me a earful, you know, but truthfully, that is pretty much it so at Bison Witches. Bison, can I?

Dane:

Is it?

Josh:

still around, I hadn't been there last time. I know it's great. I'm not a sandwich guy. We used to get a soup in there In the bread bowls.

Dane:

Yeah, it's been years. That was a good hangover cure?

Travis:

Yeah, definitely.

Dane:

Bison Witches, so you see these tangents.

Josh:

We were talking At some point we'll get back to the fitting and then we got a little while ago like I think we're coming to Las Vegas for a long time and we were actually kind of producer was going to a birthday party and then we were going to be on uh, it was for my cousin in Detroit and uh, we were running this little promotion Like what's it like to be on the mountain cock podcast, and then people make fun of us In response. And so we would ask our guests, and so you can go out to YouTube and there's probably 30 or 40 videos of people making like our guests making fun of us and my cousin was like yeah it's a good podcast, All right. So you guys met a long time ago, known each other forever, best man in the wedding, and you ended up starting a company together.

Dane:

Yep, yeah. So how did that come to fruition? We've been working together in bike shops for a while, right?

Josh:

And you like, screw this. We can do it better than these guys.

Dane:

Well, I think a little bit. I think you know there's a little bit of that. There's also sometimes, when you're in business, you want to go a certain direction and you can't in one form and you can in another, and we had similar views and visions and we wanted to go that direction and it just fit.

Travis:

It was also that we had very complimentary skills as far as being able to help folks in the bike community. From a mechanic standpoint. What he does, rebuilding forks and shocks. My fitting.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah, so we're not duplicates we're complimentary, so we get a fuller picture.

Josh:

How do you guys?

Dane:

manage the conflict, we fist fight in the back.

Josh:

Usually they both have black eyes right now. It depends on the time.

Travis:

Look at this thumb. Yeah, oh yeah, it's a strong thumb for thumb wars. Oh yeah, thumb wars. Yeah, pretty good. Sometimes it's naked fighting, I'm just gonna say Greco Roman Mazzullino, it's gotta be the right weather Sure, yeah, yeah.

Dane:

You ever seen any gladiator movies?

Josh:

I have. Yeah, that's great. These guys are cut too. You should see it. This is exactly what I thought it was going to be.

Travis:

One of the cool things just going back to conflict, what's so important in a partnership is just like a relationship as well. Yeah, in the respect, yeah, knowing that, even that you're going to get frustrated, but that communication is always there.

Dane:

Yeah.

Josh:

That we're always going to talk about things and there's no like, nope, nope, it's just my way. Yeah, it's like a marriage. Right, it's a con. You're constantly compromising this time so, the next time they compromise and you just kind of keep like a mental chip, and as long as it's pretty balanced, then it works out.

Travis:

I think that's what we'll do, yeah.

Josh:

That's awesome, so, okay, so we're going to talk to Tyler today. Okay, and Tyler, I'm interested, how did you get into bike fitting Well?

Travis:

no-transcript going all the way back. So I was very fortunate that our neighbor growing up when I was in grade school, sixth grade he was a cyclist and he was always kind of encouraging me. He'd always be working on things in his garage and I'd come over and see what it was about and I took an interest in his bike and I think it was like the next year he was like he talked to my mom and they bought it from him. He gave him a smoking deal so that I could have the bike. That's awesome. But then he also said how important a bike fit was. So wait.

Josh:

So you're like first introduction to cycling, first bike. You got. The guy that told you about it or the guy you bought it from effectively, your family bought it from said you need to get a bike fit Wow. And it took me 25 years before someone told me that.

Travis:

I mean, my first bike was a BMX bike. I had that forever. That was where I started mountain biking learned to do drops to flat and all that stuff wall riding. But as far as bike fit, we went to this place in Santa Ana, southern California. It was a well-known, established bike shop that had a good fitter and I remember just really focusing on what he was saying and what he was doing and talking about the angle of my feet and how the shoes should fit where the feet should be in the proper position and yada, yada, and I rode that bike forever. It's an old Cannondale. I've seen similar bikes there is Dane said about the old mountain bikes. This is a pretty terrible bike.

Dane:

By modern standards.

Travis:

They all were terrible, but it was an awesome bike for the time it wasn't steel. It was one of the early oversized aluminum bikes.

Josh:

And Cannondale. Maybe they still make good bikes, but they made good bikes back in the day. Yeah, they've always been.

Dane:

You know what I like about Cannondales? They're really separate themselves.

Josh:

They just don't do what everybody does. They do their own thing.

Dane:

Yeah, the lefty. They were one of the first with the Overset Aluminum Pepperoni forks. Did you have that? Was it a mountain bike? Yeah, yeah, so Pepperoni forks.

Josh:

What is that? What's a Pepperoni?

Dane:

It was like this oversized aluminum bladed fork you know rigid, they just had some compliance to it. It just, it was how it looked honestly, I think they just wanted to use aluminum as kind of their trade Right. And they yeah, they're just gone their own way on everything.

Travis:

They always thought outside the box, yeah they made motorcycles, they make quads.

Josh:

I heard that I knew that story Kind of killed them. Yeah, they got a little out of their depth.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that was kind of a dumb.

Josh:

But they're still around right. Yeah, yeah, they're still out there.

Dane:

They're a new entity, like there's new ownerships and things like that, and that happens to a lot of bikes in the bike industry, though. Yeah, it's going to happen a lot more this year. Yeah, but while some just go away, but some get bought and some get resold.

Josh:

But the name's got value, right, yeah, exactly, except the Cannondale name's got value.

Dane:

So yeah, we kind of joke around with Cannondale. They're still in bike shops, so they're one of the ones that this particular company at first bought. Right, and that company was despised for buying a bunch of brands and then putting them in Walmart's. So that company is why there are Mongoose bikes and Schwinn bikes in Walmart.

Travis:

They're not about the quality, they're about the development. Yeah now.

Dane:

Cannondale. That company owned and GT, and they kept those bikes in the bike shops, and so they, you know that was respectable you know, and so to this day, Cannondale and GT2 and Extender still pretty high and nice Stuff. But you don't you're not going to get a Mongoose in a bike shop.

Josh:

It's going to be interesting to see. You know Walmart and then the family, right, that's Ben Bell, arkansas, I mean it's their money. That's really catalyzed that, and I keep expecting to see high end bike show up in Walmart at some point.

Dane:

So they're trying and they do it from time to time. I think they had like a thousand or $1,500 carbon Heart tale. Oh, really, yeah, I don't know how many years ago. That is Okay, as you can tell from earlier. My memory on what year stuff happened is in that great. But and then the Walmart brothers I think they're the younger guys are I think they bought Rafa.

Josh:

Okay.

Dane:

And they I think they do Allied. I have to double check that, but and so they're into it. They've spent a ton of money in Bentonville building those trails and kind of integrating, you know, cycling into that whole community yeah. It's really cool what they've done. At the same time, they produce some of the most crappy bikes Penis bikes, yeah.

Travis:

Earliest Carriam. Oh my God.

Josh:

Well, I mean, at some point it's about dollars and cents, right? And then who your demographic is.

Dane:

And that's probably the price point that most of their customers are comfortable spending, and I shouldn't be such a small snob, you know, because there's a point where most of us did yeah, exactly Well, I, for my kids.

Josh:

They did not. Oh, yeah, mine, I'm sure yours don't either. No, mine didn't either. Yeah, no, sorry.

Dane:

But you know, I used to tell people like it doesn't. Honestly, you can take a Walmart bike, take it to a shop and have it assembled correctly no joke, I mean, that's a legit thing and have it maintained and it actually will last you a while. But what happens is that doesn't happen. They get assembled poorly and quickly deteriorate and then the parts are so much more expensive to buy to replace on that In some cases you just buy a new bike, you just buy a new bike, exactly. You can't buy a derailleur for I mean, you know, like I think it's a wheel. So the biggest thing we'd see at the U of A when we were fixing bikes is the rear wheel. The axle would break Right. A new rear wheel for that bike is $45. It's not a big deal, but the bike sold for 89, you know. And by the time I add labor attire and whatever else.

Josh:

You're asking for more than 80-odd bucks. Exactly, yeah, and he's like I'll just go buy another one.

Dane:

You couldn't, yeah, you couldn't do it.

Josh:

So they have their place so we got an awesome rabbit hole that we've found our way down. We'll come back to the question that asks you how you got into bike fits and you were telling us about your first bike, your first real bike, and the guy you got it from you know said, hey, you need to get a bike fit, yep, yep, and it made a big difference.

Travis:

And then I had other friends that were cycling and they kind of see that I was maybe a little more powerful or a little more comfortable and they kind of ask about it.

Josh:

Right.

Travis:

And you've been spreading the gospel since the beginning. Well, a bit when I saw it being done well was actually back at full cycle when the guys our fitter at that shop was Maxim.

Josh:

OK, and.

Dane:

I don't know Legend.

Travis:

Yeah, I don't know if he's still around town, but I always watched him.

Josh:

I don't think he noticed that I was kind of watching it, but you were just studying everything he was doing, taking notes on the sides.

Travis:

But I always thought it was so cool that he got to spend so much time with any one person and really kind of help him out, make them feel comfortable on the bike. At the end of the day, it's not about selling a fit. It's not about anything except for making that person feel as good as they can on either the bike that they already have or the one that we're selling them.

Josh:

Right.

Travis:

So that they're getting the best experience they can possibly have, whether it's power, comfort, dealing with injuries, you know. Whatever else it might be, and it was so. That's that those were my influences. Then I had a couple other careers. I was a geologist Right. Then I was a junior high and high school science teacher.

Josh:

Oh, you do. You're all over the place now.

Travis:

Yeah, I did that out in Hawaii for a few years. Then I moved to Southern Oregon and did some environmental engineering work and then I was caregiver for my pop and after my dad passed sadly, I was pre-PT. At that time. I'd gone back to school to become a physical therapist because I'd had good friends that were doing it and they were always so happy and it's kind of like bike fitting You're really helping people become better and happier and stronger.

Josh:

Yeah.

Travis:

And anyhow. So you're like a Renaissance man.

Josh:

And he was telling me about his hobbies earlier and, like I don't ride as much because I got so many more hobbies, I've got the same problem. And now I hear your career background. Yeah, yeah, sailing, scuba, all these things.

Travis:

But Dane reached out to me and he said dude, you always were so happy at the bike shop, why don't you come? At the time he was at Trek and said you should come and work with me again. And this is when you were pre-PT, pre-pt, I was still working in the physical therapy clinics, right, and doing all the pre-PT coursework and I loved it, but then the thought of going back to school again, getting another degree as a PT tech boy. You PT techs out there. I feel for you, these people, it's necessary that they complete this work to become PT.

Josh:

That's where you get the experience right.

Travis:

They don't pay them at all.

Josh:

It's like slave labor.

Dane:

I was making more in the bike shop, and that's not saying much? No, it's not. We talked about that last time, right yeah?

Josh:

Nobody makes money in the bike industry. It's a passion, it is. It's a passion and a love but anyhow.

Travis:

so I got that background and experience, started working with Dane in the shops and then started working over at the last shop that we were at.

Josh:

Right.

Travis:

And then moved into a fitting role right away, because I said, hey, you know, I can kind of do this. I've had other friends in places and then got some good instruction. Went online, read a lot of articles. I've got a couple books here. Andy Pruitt, who's like one of the just anchors of the Godfathers. Yeah, godfathers of fitting Phil Burt second edition bike fit. I have here in front of me Really good bits of literature and then I use my physical therapy understanding and then you know, talk to and you know I've been watching Cyclists my whole life. On top of that, being empathetic and, like you and we talked about this a little bit being sort of a tweaker, always thinking how can I make it better, how can I do this? You know adjusting here and there. I've always done that on my road bikes, my mountain bikes, my triathlon bikes, and that's sort of how I got into it. I just started doing it more and more. I fit pros, I fit people that ride daily, just to get to work old people that are just trying to stay on their bikes and can barely keep their balance anymore, you know, like, and there's a solution for everybody that kind of optimizes their happiness on the bike, which is really cool.

Josh:

So when you and I've got a whole list of questions. But when you guys sell someone a bike, do you fit them first to figure out what size. I mean you can kinda, how do you do that?

Travis:

If we have to order the bike, then, yes, we'll find something else. That's really close. There are these fit bikes that some of the shops have which look really fancy. I've never cared for them too much because I've always thought there's a little bit lost. People that are really good with them awesome. It's a great tool. In many cases there's a bit lost in translation, I think, and so I prefer to use an actual bike. Their old bike is great and then we can measure top tube and saddle height and all these things and really figure out exactly what's gonna work best for them, and they've changed a lot in recent years. We have a couple of brands here where they're coming with stems that are 20 millimeters 30 millimeters longer than they used to just a few years ago.

Josh:

Really. So you're getting like 50, 60 millimeter stems on mountain bikes. Are you talking road bikes, Road bikes, road bikes. This is more road bikes, yeah.

Travis:

I've always ridden to 58. Now on this.

Dane:

Mountain bikes are the opposite.

Josh:

They're getting smaller and smaller as well as I thought, so the road ones are getting longer In some cases, yeah, like on the Scots.

Travis:

I haven't ridden a 56 comfortably in years, but now I'm on one, yeah, and it's what fits, what's the stem length on that 120.

Josh:

120, that's a what's causing that.

Dane:

What's the trend there? Geometry shifts. So.

Travis:

And it's a race. They're trying to put their race fit to it. It's a race bike.

Josh:

So does that get you stretched out more basically?

Travis:

Longer and lower, yeah interesting.

Josh:

Okay, so walk me through like what a normal fit is. Well, first of all, you run a fit business out of guru bikes. Here is kind of my understanding. Go ahead that right. What's your fit business called?

Travis:

Vandruff solutions, but it's, I mean, it's basically guru bikes Okay. It's a separate LLC, but it's. Yeah, it doesn't matter, so it's all the same.

Josh:

Yeah come into guru and you get the fit. Yeah, what? What are the different levels of fits that you offer?

Travis:

Three different levels of fit. So, with the purchase of a regular bike, you're going to get a free fit, just like any other shop.

Josh:

Now, is that true? I don't think that's true, just like any other shop.

Travis:

It should be.

Dane:

Well, it should be. I agree with you, but it's not it doesn't always happen and it's not always the same level of fit, right? So imagine you get a free fit from me. You know I fit bikes but it's been a long time and I can fit you on a bike. But I'm going to adjust your seat height, I'm going to adjust your seat for a naft and I'm going to probably give you suggestions on the stem and get you seated on the bike. That's separate, you know, that's that's pretty much what our free fit is and what most shops do, and that's a good fit. You know, getting you comfortable on the bike, and it's a starting point, okay. But then you know a lot of shops, that's their only option and and they don't actually, because they don't have the expertise, they may kind of just wing it. Well, they either they'll wing it sometimes, yeah, or they'll downplay the need which is probably why it took you so long.

Josh:

25 years, yeah, exactly, I probably bought 50 bikes, right? Exactly. No one's ever said get a bike that's tiny.

Dane:

Yeah, exactly, and that happens whenever you're not really super knowledgeable on something, you tend to downplay what it's important.

Josh:

Yeah.

Dane:

Once you know about it, then you're like oh my God, I had no idea this was so good, you know, this is why we've had two fitters on in three weeks.

Josh:

Exactly Three episodes, right? Yeah, because I'm like everybody needs to know about this.

Dane:

So, yeah, that's, that's the basic, and then I'll let Tyler finish it.

Josh:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, keep going Sorry.

Travis:

Oh sorry, so our mid level fit. What I do, that a lot of other fitters don't do, but I think it's important, especially with mountain bike fits, is I guarantee the fit for two months. So for two months you can come back to me and say hey Ty, my hand's still hurt, or can we try a different seat, or you know, whatever it is, there's no extra charge. I'll put them up there. And on top of that a lot of people come in here and make fun of me and say, oh, do you get massages?

Dane:

Do I get a hand at anything, and that's because there's a massage table in your figure?

Josh:

Yeah, I was wondering. I thought maybe that's where you guys did your wrestling, or something Exactly that.

Dane:

Yeah, so yeah.

Travis:

You know, some nights when I work late, I can sleep there.

Dane:

Yeah.

Travis:

But no, it's because there are some fundamental exercises and stretches that I can put somebody through to gauge, you know, hip flexibility and hamstring tightness that's bringing the PT stuff in. So your skills, your knowledge of PT's and leg length, which is a big one, right.

Josh:

Yep.

Travis:

We'll do a walking gait analysis, forward flexing, you know, sort of touching the toes Right, working with the arms. There's a full physical assessment that I do before the fit. Once again, this isn't part of our basic fit. This is our mid-level fit Mid-level fit and then, once we go through all the physical stuff, it includes a cleat fit. So I'm going to figure out where their first and fifth metatarsal is, figure out the center spot of that and then talk about how they like to ride, what their goals are. Take that into account. And then, after having watched them walk, only then figure out exactly where the cleats should be to start, before I've even seen them on the bike. And then I might change things from there. Then I'll put them up on the bike and we'll start with the feet. Oh, and then you know insoles Big, big deal for a lot of people. It's amazing If you buy a bike shoe, pull that little thing that you're standing on out of the center of the shoe. It's terrible. It's like a little piece of foam and it doesn't give you any support whatsoever. So having the bike fit is all about all of your contact points with the bike.

Josh:

So your feet and seat and feet.

Travis:

And seat and feet and making sure that they're one in the right place, but then they also ergonomically fit you and supports you correctly. Number of people I see on too narrow a saddle and I'll tell you this, this is something that I changed my opinion on a few years back. I didn't think it used to matter that much the width of the saddle, and that's because we can always change the tip of the tilt of our hips. You know there's different flares, different saddles. And then, after doing a bunch more reading and, you know, talking to a bunch of people, I thought, you know, I should really give this a try. Since then, I've seen remarkable things as far as being able to fix knees or knee issues Right, lower back issues, power issues, the number of people that I put on the stand after just seeing their seats and going. You know, I think you might want to try this. People that are pros now Right, one of which is like no, no, no, this is good, I know what.

Dane:

I need, I know what I need.

Travis:

This is great. So well, you know what I've got, this digital, we call it the digital asometer, Okay, and it does pressure mapping and just very, very accurately measures the sit bones, and I found her a more comfortable seat and I said her right, and you know, and right away she. I love fitting pros because they and or people that are really serious. I love fitting every level of cyclist, but it's fun fitting pros and serious cyclists because they often have power meters so I can go out right away and go yeah, I'm putting out more watts, more watts and I'm more comfortable.

Josh:

What pressure map tool to use. What pressure sensor tool to use?

Travis:

So it's a company called Retool and they were their own fitting company for years and years. They were recently bought out by specialized Okay. But they do a really good job of what's called a dynamic fit, and so and this brings us back to so that was the mid-level fit we were just talking about. Yep, yep, yep, I do use the pressure mapping tool for the mid-level fit, right, but with the Retool fit, I've got a 3D motion capture camera and LEDs that I place on your body, kind of like how they do the new motion, the new movies.

Dane:

Right, right, like CGI movies or whatever CGI movies yeah, you see the green screen and the people with the stuff.

Josh:

Yeah, so do I have to wear a green when I come in here?

Travis:

No, no, you can wear just don't wear a lotion, okay interesting yeah, cause I have to put little stickers on your body to keep them in place. And oh man, they can be a bear to stay on.

Josh:

I'm not a big lotion user, so we should be okay, Okay all right.

Travis:

In fact, when you come in, we'll do that. Okay, but what it does is it's called a dynamic fit, because I can see all of your exact body angles while you're in motion- Right. So the downside to the static fit, which is the mid-level fit, is at some point I'm gonna say, okay, stop pedaling. I wanna measure you with the Goniometer or with the Plumbob and the Plumbob's another thing We'll talk about that in a bit, but We'll come back to Goniometer too, so we can talk about it.

Josh:

I know what it is.

Travis:

Goniometer's you have one.

Josh:

I bought one, yeah, yeah, it's kind of fun, just to say Goniometer it took me like five minutes to figure out how to pronounce it. I'm like G go, go, go away yeah anyways.

Travis:

But so with the 3D motion capture fit, I can see all those angles while you're in motion. Whenever you stop moving, I guarantee you're gonna drop the level of your heels. I guarantee your hips are gonna rock a little bit. Your body just changes. So it's not nearly as accurate as seeing somebody and capturing their body angles in motion, right. So, and then just real quick back to the Plumbob, because I'll forget to talk about it. We were at L Tour this year and I was sitting there at the table and had some of my fitting things out kind of showing off. Hey, this is kind of what we do when we take pride in this. And this guy walks by and he's like, do you use that? He's looking at the Plumbob.

Josh:

Yeah.

Travis:

And I said I certainly do. And he laughed a little, he chuckled and he said I'm a fitter, and you know it wasn't a harsh sort of thing.

Dane:

But he's like you know, you don't need to use that, and I?

Travis:

said. I've read the current literature. I know that some people poo poo it, like a lot of the new guys say no, it's an old term called cops knee over pedal spindle and it's the measurement of where your knee sits in relation to the pedal spindle and the old thinking was that it should stay above or behind it and the new thinking is oh, it's okay, just to let it go as far forward as possible. Well, in many cases that's true, especially if you've got a lot of forward hip rotation, but it's the only way to accurately you know if I can look at somebody and the way that they're sitting on the seat. It's the only way to accurately say okay, well, this is the relationship to the pedal spindle and know when you can get away with it when you can't. So it's still an accurate tool. And we had this long talk about it. He said you know what?

Josh:

I'm gonna start using this and I think I know what this is. This is like you attach it to somewhere on the knee. There's a string and something heavy at the bottom and you basically just you know.

Travis:

And just hang it down, just hang it down, so you got a vertical line, really looking at the 45 degree pedal.

Josh:

Is that right? 45 degree pedal front Pedal forward that's where you're really are you looking at the whole 90 degree?

Travis:

So you're cranking straight forward. Sorry, I'm losing my mind. That's okay, pedal forward.

Dane:

Yeah pedal forward horizontal, yeah, pedal forward.

Josh:

I had the right concept, just to run, all right cool.

Dane:

I was thinking what I tell people. It's always pedal forward, horizontal flat, and then I always have to lift it up a little bit because they always go a little low.

Travis:

Well, and that's the thing when you start to stop pedaling, your heel always drops. For most people, Yep yeah.

Dane:

When you stop pedaling, your heel always drops, because you relax so you're not pushing on the balls of your foot anymore, and so your foot just kind of yeah, I just feel it.

Travis:

Yeah.

Josh:

I'm just kind of doing it in my head and putting it on the ground here.

Travis:

Well, not only that, but if you start fitting somebody who has had a seat that's way too low for way too long and they've gotten used to it, they'll naturally pedal with a low heel.

Josh:

Yeah, just pedaling, and they won't even realize it because they're trying to get proper leg extension. Oh, so they're. Yeah, so they were too low, and so they're using their heel to make up for the fact that their seat's too low To compensate for it.

Travis:

Interesting.

Josh:

Okay, so what are your price points for the fits?

Travis:

One, two and 300. So the basic fits one mid-levels two and high ends three.

Josh:

And how long do they take?

Travis:

One, two and three hours.

Dane:

Just about Keep it simple stupid.

Travis:

Yeah, yeah, the basic fit often takes a little less and it also depends on how much we need to do. I mean a mid-level fit, which is what we do the most of right, can take an hour and 15, if I really don't need to adjust much to five hours, just given the fact that I give them the opportunity to come back as much as I need to. Sometimes even six, because I've had some people that are really seat sensitive and we have to go through six seats. And one of the things that I've done here and I've worked really hard at because it's one of the primary things that bug a lot of people is your seat and so you can look over here I did. You've got a lot of saddles up there Arguably, I think, more than any other shop in Tucson. I mean, I've spent.

Josh:

A lot of time. And you've picked those saddles specifically.

Travis:

Very specifically. Yeah Right, Interesting Very. It's something I've paid a lot of attention to, after having fit thousands of people.

Josh:

Right.

Travis:

You know what works best for what sort of person, how much forward lean, you know does their pelvis have. The other thing that comes into the fit a lot is coaching, coaching proper form. So you'll have these people sitting in the seat like they're riding a Harley and bending over with their backs to try and reach the bar and they're wondering why their lower back hurts and why their butt hurts and everything else. And so to be able to coach that, say hey, if you just rotate your hips a little bit and kind of get into that football or basketball, remember the ready position when you engage your core. Yep.

Josh:

Makes a big difference. Yeah, the last fitter. So when Frank fit me he had me. I was like down in the on the hoods or whatever. And then he had me take my hands away, but keep my body position.

Dane:

Yeah, and he's like, oh, he's amazed.

Travis:

He's like oh, you actually have core strength. In fact, I can't have core strength.

Dane:

I may not look like it, but right.

Josh:

So true, all right, and we're going all over the place. But, like one of the things I really want to talk to you about I kind of understand how it works on a road bike or a gravel bike. I want to talk about mountain bike fits, sure, and what's different about a mountain bike fit, and what are the things that you look for, or what are the things that you do differently in a mountain bike fit versus a road or a gravel or a tri bike?

Travis:

Sure, that's the fun thing about fitting. I mean, it's fun making people smile and happy, but the other fun thing is that it's dynamic. It's really every person is completely different and you'll find that, you know, just talking around to people there, some Folks that just feel like one position is good for everybody right. That's the last sort of person you want to talk to. Right, we're all different. We all have different Amounts of muscle dominance. We all have different amounts of endurance, right, flexibility, sensitivities to seats, whatever. Then on top of that you've got the performance aspect. So when we're on a triathlon bike or a road bike, you're really going after Performance. I mean, you want to make the person as comfortable as possible, but we're really not moving around much on that bike. Next step is gravel. Gravel bikes are awesome fits. They're so fun because everybody wants something different out of gravel.

Josh:

Yeah, they supposed to be a bike.

Travis:

They can ride anywhere Some people just want to ride them on the road. Some people want to ride them down Patagonia and do all the dirt roads. I take mine out at honeybee and I'll ride single track right. All those fits are completely different. Well, they're not completely different, but they are different fits right. You know, the more aggressive you're gonna get, the slightly lower a seat you know you might have because you need to move over the bike a little bit, and the wider your handlebar should be because you need to have more leverage right control that front end. Yep, if you're just gonna ride your bike on the road, road bars fine.

Josh:

Just set it up like a road bike, basically.

Travis:

Yeah, so they're very different. At the same time, you're gonna want the handlebars to be a little higher. Right gravel bike, because you still need to be able to move over the bike a little more, yep. So there's that. And then we get into mountain biking, and the reason there aren't a lot of mountain fitters is one I think fitters ignored mountain bikers. I did, yeah, I was right, fitting mostly road and triathlon forever. Then I got on a buddy's bike. Just on a fluke, he was riding the exact same bike I was in size, setup differently, and it blew my mind.

Josh:

I was like oh my god, this thing come.

Travis:

This feels amazing.

Josh:

Oh, wait, wait. Mountain bike fit, does matter.

Travis:

Oh, yeah, and and I should know better. But yeah, I just didn't, I was just yeah yeah, so this is years ago and and since then you know, I've really thought a lot about the different positions I've had. So I grew up Racing cross-country Yep Long, long time ago. Steep steer tubes yeah. Narrow handlebars.

Dane:

V brakes, or can't you see he? Breaks what 1.25 tire 1.2, 2.1, 2.5, 2.1, 2.2, jesus yeah, they're still very narrow, yeah, still very narrow smoking dart sort of stuff.

Travis:

Then gosh Raced more cross-country through there when I was first going to University of Arizona as part of their mountain club and we'd go down to Hermosio and race cross-country.

Josh:

I heard I've heard about those races. Actually they've had a couple guys on the podcast. They're pretty fun about those.

Travis:

Yeah, good times. You know, at the same time as that, that's when it was oh Gosh, it was prior to that that I was racing downhill. So so I got into downhill while I was still living in Southern California, right raised Fontana and big bear and some of the other courses. Then by the time I got out here, that's when I met Dane, he was like, well, I down hell. I was like, all right, well, I down him, and so we'd go up to sunrise and go hit it and just have a blast. And it was great because we generally pretty, I think, keep up with each other pretty well. Yeah, which was a lot of fun. And so my point to bringing all that stuff up is just that I've got a really good understanding and the whole time, by the way, that I was doing the downhill stuff, I'm raising my bars, I'm lowering my bars, I'm widening my bars, I'm changing my seat height, doing all that stuff doing a fit. I'm doing a fit, I'm trying to figure out what works best right Now. Granted, that's just what works best for me, but I'm talking to other people about it. So my point to all this is that I've got a good understanding of the different positions. You could potentially be in for everything from old school 80s cross country XC racing to to downhill, and that's a huge swath, a huge, huge Bunch of different positions. You could you can't be in just one position. No, you know and you're yeah, you're moving constantly while you're on the bike.

Josh:

So this makes it. So let me just, can I interrupt?

Travis:

you for a?

Josh:

second Okay so You're a fitter that's ridden. Try bikes, road bikes, gravel bikes, cross country all the way up to downhill. It's rare for someone to ride that many different styles. Yeah so any, and I don't think you can effectively fit unless you yourself have experienced that type of riding. Yeah and so that I think it. These to me seems like that makes you uniquely qualified.

Dane:

So thank you. Can I throw in a little story? Sure break up yeah. Yeah, yeah we just so I was telling. I think I've told you this, and maybe Tyler this I I love stories, but I was working at a local shop, fairwheel, and I had a good customer bill. I even know these guys names and this while ago, nice and that's a twist off top.

Josh:

I don't have that cool.

Travis:

Notice, we all pop pop stuff when Dean gets into a story.

Dane:

Oh yeah, I'll make it short, no it's okay, oh just go, so. So anyway, this guy I rode with we rode in Duro and upper 50, which is a trail in town which is really demanding and techie and and and so I know him and he comes into the shop one day and his bike has got like 120 millimeter stem on it and If you guys know mountain bikes, that's not normal. Even even 10 or 15 years ago that's still like 20 or was 160 millimeter. Fork on this. Yeah so it's wrong size bike and it while not. I'm just like what? What is going on? You need to change this. He's like oh no, I just got a fitting by norm Kimball, who is a famous, you know Tucson Cyclist and he worked at fairwheel for a while and and he was doing stuff on the side. I have tremendous respect for him. He's a great guy and really knows what he's doing, but not a mountain biker, just not a mountain biker. And sure enough, bill goes out first time on his new fit and I'm telling him like this is wrong, let's you, you're gonna die. You know, it's gonna be way too far over the front is he flips over the bars and and comes back and we swap his stem out to Didn't work yeah and and and it's. You know I have huge respect for the fitter that fit him. He knows what he's doing when it come to to road fitting right. But when he tackled a mountain fit, he took it to this. He used his road fitting and just Duplicated on a mountain bike, and that's not correct. It doesn't, it doesn't, it doesn't work at all. There's and and that's one of the beauty things about Tyler and that story kind of rings true, because you can take some of the best fitters in the world, but if they don't know what they're fitting for, if they're, if they're not into it and they don't understand it, they're not gonna be the best you know they'll be the best at maybe road, but then maybe not at mountain, and so it's a really important that somebody has that wide depth of knowledge.

Travis:

So and or age. Yeah, not that I'm old, I mean I did just, you're pretty, I'm getting old. But I've seen, I've heard about other fitters that that will only go so far to accommodate somebody's Either elements or age.

Dane:

Oh yeah, yeah, like the only one to fit racers or something.

Travis:

Yeah and and anybody that that wants to cookie cutter that sort of thing. It's just, it's so important that the person takes the time I don't care if it's me or somebody else, but make sure they're taking the time to talk to you and ask what your goals are, what hurts, what are your past injuries? Yeah, where do you like to ride? What do you? What do you want to ride that you can't? You know those sorts of things. And maybe the person's really old and just says you know, I just want to ride the bike loop, but you know, my neck and back hurt. Well, I've seen some People come that have had fits and and they're like well, this is you know where they put me. And I said did you tell them, yeah, there's some.

Josh:

So I don't want the right fit. I want the right fit for me. Yes, exactly and me is different at every single person and actually when we talked about this earlier. Yeah, my different bikes. I probably need a fit for each one of those bikes.

Travis:

Exactly right. Yeah, and sometimes you have to do some wonky things, stemming some steer tube extenders and you know hi high stems for somebody that just doesn't have that mobility anymore, right.

Josh:

So make that bike as comfortable as it can be for that person and how they're gonna use it. Exactly right, yeah, all right. So we got into some big, big rabbit holes. We're talking about the differences and what you focus on on mountain bikes.

Travis:

Oh, yes, yes, this brings back to that. So, on mountain bikes, it sort of comes back to what we're just talking about having that initial conversation. So I'm doing all those other things that we talked about as far as you know body assessment, flexibility, past injuries, all that. But then the bigger part is what trails do you like to ride? What are you having a hard time with? Are you washing the front tire or are you trying to do the waterfall on Milagrosa Right? What are your goals? And then you know, we'll take a look at the bikes, see how the current bike fits. We can. I mean, I have a couple times said this bike doesn't fit you, but we're gonna do our best here right. Sometimes that's what the budget allows. Other times are like well man, I had no idea fit, let's talk about you know what might work a little better?

Josh:

right, because not only does, and they can always sell it on consignment if they buy a new bike yes, if it's a good bike, sure in our shop here. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Travis:

But you know, it's not only so. Sometimes we'll talk about oh, these are your goals, but you ride.

Josh:

You know 110 travel you know cross-country bike and you want to start doing. Yeah, milagrosa, and it's not a word more aggressive upper 50 Underbiking.

Travis:

I used to ride Milagrosa on my cross country.

Josh:

I'm talking about right and gravel breaks and honeybee, so I think you guys are guilty of it.

Travis:

Oh, sure, but that's what. That's the challenge. Yes, yes, nonetheless, it's a longer conversation and the most important part of the fit is the conversation really understanding what they need right and trying to address that and and and. That's also. But there's some, there's some ambiguity there where you know we can have this long conversation, they say, well, this is what I want to do and they've got maybe a farther distance to go, which is, you know, in skills or whatever else yes. We have friends of the shop and no people that you know I've sent to for lessons right. In some cases, if we have time, at the end of the fit We've got a loading dock in the back and we'll practice doing you know. I'm manuals and drops off it and it just to talk about that reach and, and what's cool about that is we can try a couple different stems of Different lengths right right here at the at the shop and see what that difference is right, which is pretty cool. So you know, at the end of the day, the difference in a mountain fit it's, it's very, it's profound, because you're not only just trying to find that ideal position for somebody that maximizes their power, mm-hmm, and their comfort, but also their performance and the handling performance, because you're not really worried too much about handling performance. You're not going through cones on a road bike right, or a tri bike, but you certainly are.

Dane:

Heela monsters, bunny hop snakes once in a while. Oh yeah, night hawks. Oh my god, bunny hop in my hawk. Yeah, we've taken out a couple night hawks. It's sad. Yeah, they, they sit in the trail. Yeah, we should probably tell people if you ride at night in, at least in southern Arizona.

Josh:

Yeah, they sit in the trail and then when you come up you surprise them and then they go to take off and hopefully they take off the right way and if they take off the wrong way. Yep, they can run right into you. Yeah yeah, accidentally. What about? One of the things I've been noticing or been paying attention to or I'm interested in is the is the brake? Brake lever angle.

Travis:

We're both laughing because there's no answer to that.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah, there's some some questions that get asked that are just a pin.

Josh:

Yeah, okay, so is it not supposed to be like? That's the general. The general rule is you want the least amount of.

Dane:

Tendon, tendon deflection, wrist yeah, then tendon think about your tendons. Yeah, so that's really just an injury avoidance and give you power.

Travis:

Okay and so that you know if it's curved and you're pulling, your tendons are rubbing more, you're gonna have more injury and sometimes it also depends on, like when I was riding downhill Mm-hmm, and I really for a while was into the super loose, super steep to where your angle on the bike? Yeah, so, exactly so if my, if my Levers were too far over, I had to kind of curl my hands over the bars to get to my one of them higher up. So like, yeah, back behind the seat.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah and so, and like ergon grips, like people love ergon grips, they're great grips, they're spread the pressure so your hands don't fall asleep and you don't get pressure boys.

Josh:

I used to run them on my cross-country bike. Can't ride them.

Dane:

I can't ride them because when we do their technical rides, you know, and we're going up and then straight back down again. You're moving you're positioning so much. The paddle wants to dictate where your hands are, and so if I'm pointed straight down, like Tyler Was talking about, my palms are in a different spot on the grip than they were when I was climbing.

Josh:

My first trip to Angel fire was running the GP ones. Yeah, ever and I did a big drop and it and I didn't land it well, and both those paddles just Straight down and I'm trying to make it through a rock garden.

Dane:

It's good to have didn't slide off the front. Usually you're using your palms to hold you like, specially on steep descent.

Josh:

Yes, no, that actually happened to me as well. So I'm like, right, I'm done. I like took them off at the bottom and went to the shot. They're in your fire so give me some different grips.

Travis:

But here's the thing even though those grips aren't ideal for that situation, some people have really sensitive hands or some neuropathy. It's, it's the best of again best bike fit, best fit for you?

Dane:

Yeah, exactly so you're. When you're talking to people about mountain fits, this, I, I wanted to know this and I, we're here together with each other all the time. But you're, you're pretty much interviewing them, not just Body and how they feel, but where they ride, how they ride, you know, all of that really factors into everything. You know that full-on interview of figuring all that stuff out. So looking at a picture in a book and just trying to be put them in that shape doesn't make any sense.

Travis:

No, absolutely I'm gonna address anything there's. There's no to. Mountain bikers are gonna have the widest range of potential places that they want to be and can be yeah. And that's another reason why I guarantee that fit for two months, because I'm gonna do my very best to put this person in the right position. That I think is good for them.

Josh:

But I'm not tested.

Travis:

I'm not watching them on the trail, yeah, and so there needs to be some communication there. And I always say, hey, come back, let me know that it's awesome or it's not, please, I mean, that's what I'm here for. This is your time, yeah.

Josh:

I have you ever thought about offering like an ultra extreme fit for like $800?

Travis:

We go out and ride with them and watch them and fit them on the trail you know, 800 bucks sounds a bit steep, but I think there might be something to do that actually looking the time to actually fit them in the shop and then take them out. That's actually a great idea.

Dane:

We've done that with suspension. Yeah, I can imagine to go out on the trail with somebody and help them set up their suspension for the way they ride.

Josh:

So do you ever change or recommend a change to someone's dropper post? Recommend that they have maybe a dropper with more Drop than what they have on their current bike?

Travis:

It's pretty rare. Most dropper posts are gonna give you as much as you need, like as much as the bike can handle. Yeah, it's pretty rare that. I mean, there's some of those cross-country droppers that are so the drop is so small that that would frustrate me. But in many cases those guys are on hardcore cross-country race bikes and that's what they want, because it's super light, yeah, yeah sometimes they don't even want a dropper, depending on weight.

Dane:

You know it's their motivation. So how old they are. So here's something interesting about me and it's weird. When droppers came out, I of course got one, but I started seeing all these people like Swapping out a 150 for a 175 just so they could have more dropper showing.

Josh:

Yeah.

Dane:

And it's trippy. And I realized later that I don't use my dropper like a lot of people and I don't know, I don't know how you use it. I Only drop maybe hundred millimeters and then I use my legs to go, just gonna bring that up. Yeah, brace against my saddle for cornering and for stability, and I have talked to other people. Not a lot of people do that and it was weird to me that that they don't and I do because I was. I'm seeing people spend hundreds of dollars to get an extra 25 millimeters on their dropper exposed like it. It was almost like a looks thing, so they had less of the Stanchion or more of the stanchion showing in less of the base. Yeah, exactly, and so I kind of thought was silly. And then I've been talking to friends and other racers and and Some people slam that thing and they just get it totally out of the way. I don't have stability in my knees to do that and so if I do that, I'm actually you're in trouble. I'm all over the place and so and, but. So I always have it almost halfway down, and then it's leaning against my legs.

Josh:

So I was a late adopter, very late adopter, to dropper posts and I would pinch the seat Constantly, and that's how I maneuvered the bike is really like with my hips as much as I did with the rest of myself. Yeah and then I went and got some lessons from tear at home grown. We've got a good relationship with homegrown. Yeah, went to a couple of their clinics and Adopted the dropper post and I no longer use that technique. Yeah now I'm moving the bike. Yeah, you know, I think probably what most people do now. Yeah, and it has Significantly for me anyways, it is significantly increased my skills not that my skills are very good, we talked about that.

Dane:

Yeah, I'm one intermediate rider at best, but everybody learns different things. I I've often wondered, so because interjection? Oh yeah, absolutely.

Travis:

Well, it's something that I was thinking about as you were saying that. I think you guys are talking about different situations. I think you're talking about Regular cornering fast, high speed, yep, through a trail. Yep, I think you're talking about gem trail. Yeah something, something technical, maybe a little slower, where you've got to kind of be bracing against the bike sometimes.

Dane:

Yes, yeah, and, and I do it like honeybee I'll drop my dropper only like a little bit to go, and and I'll stay seated and rail around the corners. It lowers my center of gravity and I get around corners faster. Yeah, but in technical terrain, I think also it has to do with, like your stature, so like I have short legs right and so I don't really go much lower Even if I drop the the saddle. My legs are so short. God, I wish People, but um, so yeah, so I don't know if it has to do with that, it has. It has to do with drops. You know, like I learned. You know all my downhilling and my technical riding was before I learned before Droppers yeah and so you know, I see this new generation of people that have all these tools that I never had, and they're learning so fast.

Travis:

Oh man, back in the old days We'd wear wear holes through our shorts.

Dane:

Oh yeah, because we'd have you know the seat on your chest?

Josh:

Yeah, the steed self-dropping droppers Self like so you don't have to push them down. Uh-huh, you push a button, it drops on its own. Yeah, yeah there's a couple companies that have them out. Yeah, I think we're gonna see more of them this year. What do you?

Dane:

think I don't know if it's necessary, so I always balance. You know, I want to have a podcast that where we talk about things that are Dumb.

Josh:

Let's do it and things that probably have a whole year.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah, like things that are dumb, and so some stuff comes out and like there's a, an add-on now that just tilts your seat. I've seen that and I so I'll tell you that. Actually, getting back to the grips in the downhill and and and that support when you're at a certain angle, I can see the usefulness in that, but it's not very hard for me to just push my saddle down. Like you know, I like the wireless better than the other wireless.

Travis:

Yeah, I mean because it's cuz you're a wrench too and you're working on bikes, oh, well, it's faster, yeah, so the time and effort it takes to push that lever, which doesn't seem like much is huge compared to just tapping it.

Dane:

And you're right, the maintenance is low.

Josh:

It's pain ass yeah but it's like yeah it's like four times as expensive, though.

Dane:

Yeah, I mean reverbs like 800 bucks. Yes, yeah, yeah, it's crazy, there's a couple other ones out.

Josh:

Ks has got one that just came out.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah, ks. And then trans X has one shit yeah, I wouldn't mind check. It's supposed it's budget, but it's still like 600. Yeah, right, you know what, though.

Travis:

If I could choose electronic shifting versus the electronic post, I'll take the post.

Dane:

Oh really. So I take the shifting.

Travis:

I mean, I like to shift and don't get me wrong, but the post, the difference in, and like I use that post twice as often with the electric shifting.

Dane:

Yeah, as I. Electric post the why you know what I like about the wireless droppers from a sales standpoint. When we're selling stuff, that is the perfect dropper for a cross-country racer, because you can take it out and put in a regular super, depending on the course and there's no, or if you have to ship your bike? Yeah, well, but but think about you get to the race course. Maybe you're traveling.

Josh:

You know, never ridden it.

Dane:

Before you get there, you do a pre-ride and you're like, oh, I'm not gonna need a dropper, I can drop a pound off this bike and you just stick in a new post and seed and and we've actually sold it that way and it's just so convenient, easy to change and. I think, I think cross-country racers it's a big advantage. And then they come to. You know a trail in town, you know they race. You know something here, you know, and it's super rocky and all of a sudden the dropper is valuable.

Josh:

Yeah, it's faster.

Dane:

Just the fact that you can just plop it in and out so easy.

Josh:

So you got to get that price point down. I think it's too expensive for most people.

Dane:

I think it'll come down in 10 years.

Travis:

Let's talk about cross-country race courses. Oh yeah, you ever race cross-country back in the day. Oh god, yeah, they were pansy oh yeah.

Josh:

So I was like I was all for it these guys, today get some real trails.

Dane:

Yeah, in the UCIs they're putting huge drops and stuff. I'm like, yes, that's pretty awesome yeah because I do like the crashes just as much as I like the successes.

Travis:

Well, it's great that they're. They not only have the stamina and and the you know, the Cardiovascular yeah ability to do it, but they've got the bike hand the technical skills.

Dane:

Well, yeah, that's great. And that's a good separator, because I remember there was a big time when a bunch of road cycles would move over to Mountain bikes and just go pin it and win it those were the guys beating me back in the day.

Travis:

Yeah, they didn't need the technical skills.

Josh:

They didn't.

Dane:

They didn't when I raised cross-country was just very short amount of time. Not very well. I would get dropped on the the climbs and then I would just smoke mother down smoke them on the downhills but the the actual, you know, net value was, they would always beat me. Yeah, because no matter how fast I could go on the down, you can't make up. I couldn't make up the fact that they just wipe me out on the climbs?

Josh:

Yeah, okay, so back to mountain bike fits. Yeah, do you find yourself Recommending different pedals for folks?

Dane:

Absolutely. Oh wait, wait, sorry to bridge onto that before, or I just want to get it out there, so you add to it how on earth can you do a mountain bike fit with flat pedals? Yep.

Josh:

That was my next question.

Dane:

Okay, all right, so put two, two, two fish, that's a two for so.

Travis:

So One is with a lot of folks. I have to coach them where to put their feet. Okay, it depends on how long they've been riding.

Dane:

We had that conversation where do they put Maybe I'm wrong center center ball of foot right above the pedal spindle.

Travis:

Okay for most folks.

Dane:

Okay, so similar to if you were clipped in. Yes, so it's not like you move your your arch over the spindle or anything like that.

Travis:

No, I find that because I've always been clipped in. I mean I downhilled with clips, mm-hmm. So yeah, for me, you know, my foot's used to going in the same spot and if I try and ride flats my feet will move forward a little bit, because I'm so. I mean, I'm not the BMXer I was when I was a little kid, right, and so when I get in the air and when I get near I like to. You know a little something sometimes yeah if I do that on flats, I am not staying connected to the bike. I've got very poor flat skills. But the point is, everything is the same, except that somebody who rides flats is generally gonna have a lower heel. Okay, then somebody who rides clips?

Josh:

They're gonna have a lower heel because they don't have the the, the actual cleat, raising their foot away from the pedal. Is that what you?

Travis:

mean no, you know, across country shoes gonna be stiffer. I got you're gonna have less Flex in the shoe. It's. It's more predictable as to where it is, sort of subconsciously, mentally, and so you can kind of optimize that pedal stroke. Having slightly higher heel, more similar to a road cyclist, might yep Versus. You know, if you watch people you watch downhiller. You know, on flat pedals there, if they're not pedaling, you know they're, their feet are pretty flat in many cases and then they'll the heel will come up to brace. You know, for jumps and I mean their feet are all over the place but it's generally on the same spot on the pedal. So that was deans mine mine hang off the pedal so.

Dane:

So it's weird, I find, because I ride flats, often I will especially in a race or practice I'll have my foot will end up off of the. It's bumpiness, I think, is causing it to the outside of the pedal, but it'll hang off a little bit and sometimes I have to consciously move it back on and I've actually broken pins off of my bikes because my knees Forced my feet to move they. They pivot as I pedal, so as I rotate, and so, okay, sorry, I just want to get that out because I wanted to talk.

Josh:

I had flats in mind when I asked the question. Do you know different different pedals, pedals for different flat pedals?

Travis:

Absolutely so. It depends on where they are in their, their mountain bike. You know exploration, yep, super new people. I think flats are awesome it's. It depends on what you're getting into. So if it's a kid getting into cross-country racing, I'd say jump on clips as soon as you can. It's just gonna be more efficient. But if your goal is to do more challenging terrain being on flats there's been many times where I wish I was on flats Save you can't eat it. It's harder to get off that bike and I've been doing it for so long. I'm quick to get out of those clips, but not quick enough sometimes. The size of the pedal can sometimes make a big difference for some people. You know just the size of a flat. If you want power, there's different options, whether it's cranks. If you're doing clips, that's a lot easier. Garmin's got a great power pedal For clips. There I have different preferences, so you know Shimano's been one of the most solid pedals out there for ever. Sbd. I'm a crank brothers guy all day long egg beaters because, if I jump and do my little flourish in the air. Those SBDs don't give me enough float. Yeah, I need to float too, but it actually hurts my knees. The SBDs lock my knees in there.

Josh:

Yeah, that's. I have more movement in the crank brothers.

Travis:

That's exactly right, and we do the same thing on the road bikes, so, and sort of the same thing. The Shimano pedals are great. They've been around forever, but they don't allow your feet to move as much as some people do. Yep, and if you have any knee issues, getting on the speed play pedals is just awesome. It feels like ice skates when you're first on them because you've got so much float, but it's so much easier on your knees. So speed plays got more float than the crank brothers do, oh yeah.

Josh:

Well, this is, this is a road, road. Okay, yeah, yeah.

Travis:

So it's kind of the road equivalent right on sort of. So yeah that's, that's about it. So it depends on if a person has knee issues, it depends on if they're trying new things or not, uh-huh. It depends on if they want to be as efficient as possible. If they've got a lot of foot pain and they're having issues with their feet, sometimes I'll counsel them to get into a clip right, because being clipped in, you know, gets you a rigid, rigid sole and suddenly your feet don't have to sort of grab the pedals and you can optimize the pedal stroke, I think, better and more consistently.

Dane:

If you're clipped in, you know exactly where the foot's going to be always yep, yeah, yeah, I can imagine for knee issues that that's really valuable, because they're not. Because, again, I have knee issues and I ride flats and if I get my foot on a cross-country ride out of position, I'll feel it, you know, and it doesn't happen right away and I may not realize it, but then my knee will start hurting and so the the clip in would keep that from happening but but then that's so.

Travis:

You'd be an interesting person to fit, because then I'd be looking at. So I'd probably and as a fitter I'll say this I tend to favor the high side just because you know what. Having been in the PT clinic and looked at, you know where we've got the most leverage, what's the easiest on the knees?

Josh:

um, so you, you favor having the seat high, higher higher.

Travis:

So what's the? What's the angle? What's the?

Josh:

goniometer angle you're looking for, like what's the range? You know I've heard 35 is kind of like the midpoint yeah, kind of it depends on.

Travis:

So it depends on how consistent a person's pedal stroke is, because I'll be watching them and sometimes they'll drop their heel, sometimes they'll have a little higher some. Some people do the whole, you know kind of um, I don't have a word for I call it scooping, okay, yeah, yeah um, I like it. So it it really depends on on a lot of things and how consistent they are. Um, I tend to you know if you're looking at the goniometer and I it's funny because I don't remember the exact number on it, but uh, the bike fitting specific ones have kind of this little little blue range they have a range that's kind of ideal and I tend to end up sort of at the higher end of it, still within the healthy range. But, um, what that does? It tends to take some pressure off your knees, however, which is great like your hips right. Well, if I see rocking hips, that's a sign that you're too high, okay, and and your leg angle could still be correct, because you're lifting your heels but you're rocking your, because when you stop pedaling everything changes a little bit. But then you feel it when you're riding and you may rock your hips compensate. So then that would be a sign that maybe your seat's too high. But in Dane's case the challenge is with mountain bikers, so that that's fine for road cyclists. With a mountain biker you get the seat too high, the bike doesn't handle well, you can't move the bike around below you well. So it's a real fine line, especially with the cross country riders, to get that optimal power and knee health height and balance that with bike maneuver and still be able to maneuver. And what I tell a lot some people, as I'll say. You know, this is how I do it on my bike. I have my bike set at the optimal seat height to give me power and then on regular trails that are even just a little bit bumpy, even 50 year, I'll drop that seat, you know, maybe half a centimeter or something, maybe a full centimeter, just to then I can move and play over the bike. But as soon as I hit that hill, it's a perfect height to give me the most power to get up there.

Dane:

Yeah, yeah, I find that when I'm climbing is when I want my seat the highest so sure for sure so interesting?

Josh:

all right, I get some rapid fire questions for you okay and then I think we'll close out all right, what saddle and focus on mountain bikes. Do you find yourself recommending the most ergon ergon? Is there a specific ergon saddle?

Travis:

sm pro sm pro um it. You know they've got a couple different price points one, one with standard rails, one with carbon rails. Um, oh and or. Their enduro is even lighter and that's a really nice saddle. I've had probably more success with their saddles as far as number of people over the last couple years and almost any other. Am I on it right now? No, um, I'm on a chromag. I've got their sort of heavier, um, uh, having a brain fart, but uh, enduro, we leather oh, leather in enduro we and and so it's slicker, it allows me to and it's fuller through the nose right so I can really kind of move and squirm over the bike and kind of position it as we're kind of talking against different legs. You know, to get what I went out of the saddle is it full leather like a like a brook saddle or? Like I don't know, it's not a it's slick that's, that's it's leathery.

Dane:

Okay, it's leathery. I used to ride, brook saddles and that's what I loved about it.

Josh:

Yeah, you could slide all over. You didn't stick to the saddle, and that's how this is yeah, it's not that soft kind of leather.

Dane:

Uh, like you know, black soft leather it's like slick, like leather seats in your car leather right now like yeah, you know so the texture.

Josh:

But again, bike fit for you. Yeah, bike fit right well. So you recommend you know, ergon to a lot of people, but you don't.

Travis:

It doesn't work for you well, and when I, when I'm fitting somebody, I'll pull out my six best guesses and I'll have them go through each saddle and tell me what they like about it is it better or worse than the last one? And then we'll go back, you know, to the two most favorite, go back and forth between those, and then decide on that, and I'll say, hey, you know, if, if sometimes the saddle that you ride in the shop doesn't feel the same way out on the trail, yep, so as long as you know they haven't crashed, it's in new, resellable condition, we'll keep swapping them out till you find one that works for them. But, to answer your question, the Ergon's have been probably the best. Having said that, um, you know, we've we've got a guy working at the shop who races cross country and I just put him on Shimano's ultra light road saddle on his cross country bike.

Dane:

Interesting, uh, because it's feather weight and it's still really comfortable yeah, yeah, just because it's a mountain bike saddle or a road bike saddle, yeah, you know, I, I and I don't know if Tyler probably agree with me like some of the myths are, you don't have to spend more money. Uh, like you don't have to spend a ton of money on a saddle, you just got to find the right saddle, right. So the budget isn't always what you should use to dictate, oh no, and if you find one that's comfortable and it costs more. Spend the money, you know. I mean it's your butt, you know, and it's your comfort and not only that, the saddle can last you through multiple bikes yeah, but I've seen people come in and they kind of like what's the most expensive? Like they're they're buying, thinking that expense is going to cause comfort, and that's not the case.

Josh:

No, let's get to know. Okay, how about grips?

Travis:

you know, for mountain, yep, it really depends on the person. I talk to some people who really like small grips. Small grips drive me nuts, yeah, and they're hard on your hands, but that for some reason, some people just like them and if they're not bothered by that, I say just go for it. Me, I like the ESIs, the foamy grips, yeah, and I like the big ones.

Josh:

I've got the mega fat grips right, the super chunky.

Dane:

They're like this, yeah extra chunky, yeah, I don't.

Josh:

I don't think they're made by.

Dane:

I have some of the ESI you have the wolf tooth one, yeah, and it's like, yeah, they have a droopal.

Josh:

It's like aren't those great. I always joke about why that feels comfortable to me. Yeah, yeah, can you pick up on the joke?

Dane:

oh yeah, oh, oh, all right, can you explain?

Travis:

that to me?

Josh:

no, I don't get it hey, um you got any final thoughts for our listeners?

Travis:

you know what, uh, final thoughts would just be. It's so important. If you're gonna go out and spend two, four, eight or fourteen thousand dollars on a bike, yeah, to not go and spend a couple hundred bucks on a bike fit is ridiculous because you're leaving so much comfort and or power or anything else on the table. I mean, I totally understand budgets, but to spend so much on on an awesome bicycle, no matter what it is, you know it's awesome because it's yours and it gets you out there and it gets you out on the trail or the road, but to the number of people that I fit, that have been doing it for years and then finally had some sort of ailment and I fit them and they go, oh they solved my problem.

Josh:

I had no idea.

Travis:

I could be this happy on a bike it's like, dude, you could have been this happy for years you've been, and now my parents were awesome. I just had fantastic parents and I was so lucky to that they took the time to give me that Christmas present of a fit yeah and uh and you know I was, I was lucky to to, you know, then realize the value of it and kind of pay attention to it. But that would be my last. My last thought is just you know, cycling is beautiful, bikes are beautiful, um, you know, our goal here is just 100 to keep people smiling and happy on their bikes, and whether that's optimizing your suspension, making your bike fit for you or just have your chain not rattle, you know, like, all those things matter.

Dane:

So I had one last thing to bring up that um that we didn't really touch on. But one thing that we've noticed uh, tyler and I both is the lack of mountain bikers getting fit. Yeah, uh, the um, you know I'm changing. Yeah, well, it is, but it's because of our podcast, it's true um, we did this, but uh. I see that, um, you know, mountain bikers, I think, and this is just my opinion, I think they get on a bike. They're they're self-supporting. They have to fix their bike in the middle of nowhere. They're very independent you know, road cyclists for years have been getting fit and they want that and they're bougie and they need help all the time.

Josh:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know a bunch of pansies. No, that's not true um, but anyway.

Dane:

Uh, the mountain bikers are so used to adjusting everything and doing everything themselves, and the fit is so dynamic and dependent on their style and their environment, the trails like Tyler was talking about. It's not just a set size, size that I think it's been kind of not really it's not in the forefront of their mind. It not only that but it's not been presented to them as something that they really should think about. It's kind of like I'll just do it myself. I know how to set my set, I know what I want.

Travis:

I'll just take the measurements off my other bike, the length of the stem, the length of the different semis, yeah and and and uh.

Dane:

Well, not only that, but on a mountain bike fit the length of the stem may not be the biggest factor you know it may be something else. You know we talk about reach and stack and all these different numbers on a bike, but really what? What mountain bikers need is somebody to look at them and how they're going to use the bike and how they want to use the bike and help them get the most out of that bike fit. And that's been kind of ignored. And that's one of the things I love about Tyler is he's got all this experience and knowledge and and he brings that to the table and so when he's talking to somebody on a mountain bike fit they are getting so much more uh than if they go in and talk to just kind of a normal road fitter right and that's that's, I think, changing things. We are seeing a difference because the word is getting out and people keep talking about. So Tyler is the mountain bike fit guru he is we got a suspension guru and a mountain bike fit guru. That's awesome.

Josh:

That's the truth, well hey um, I've always heard that if you want to make everyone happy, sell ice cream. Yes, I kind of feel like maybe selling bikes is the same thing. It's a passion because, everyone that comes in here seems like they're smiling.

Travis:

For the most part yeah, I, I don't know what just reminded me of this, but when I was a little kid, like six, I flipped my bike upside down and we'd turn oh and throw rocks, no, we turn the pedals and we call it ice cream.

Dane:

We used to get the wheels spinning and then we would put rocks on the wheel and just see how far I have to do that when I get home tonight.

Josh:

Oh yeah, I think I will too yeah, teach my son at least. Tyler, it's been great talking with you again if uh, if folks want to reach out to you. They can get you through guru bikes and we'll have all the links in the show notes and everything um if you're not in Tucson and we do have an international 30 countries now you have an international audience so, uh, I am sure that there is a bike fitter in your local area, so well, and or I've had people fly in.

Travis:

Yes, so if they want to make arrangements, they can always contact the shop. Well, they can ship their bike here, we'll build it and in some cases we can pick them up from the airport.

Josh:

Uh, people do fly in and while you're here, we've got some badass riding yes for roads exactly right, and for mountain bikes so, and Sedona is not that far away, which is like on a lot of people's.

Dane:

Uh, you know bucket list, so it's yeah, two sons should be on the bucket list.

Travis:

There's so much good right now oh, mount Graham, yeah, did you hear about episode on Mount Graham. I haven't heard you.

Josh:

Should you should go listen to it and we, we've got, we've got an ad from sdmba, sd s sdmb, sdmb, so I've hit. So many sd's in my head, sdmb, and and we have a whole episode about what they do, what they call the.

Dane:

They call the graham cracker right, yeah, lemon drop, and it is uh 63 feet, 6300 feet of is amazing descending out there. Have you ridden it? Oh yeah, yeah, we went out and did it with, um, just a big group of people and I, man, I loved it, like Arcadia. We did uh, helio to Arcadia and then Arcadia down to uh, you have to do a slight climb to go to Ladybug and out Ladybug yeah.

Josh:

And then you come down to Engels Orchard. Yep, yeah, yeah, we have a cabin on Mount Graham, I know oh, we're going, we're exploiting that right there so all right guys. Well, hey, this has been great.

Travis:

Um, I'm sure we'll talk again, yeah thanks a lot for spending some time with us man. Thanks, tyler. Thank you, hey, that was I stress. I still stress, but you know I saw you.

Dane:

I saw your attention at the beginning, but I saw it melt away.

Travis:

Yeah, I still didn't even. In fact, there's, I'll. I'll read this to you, just so you're aware of it. Yeah, this is really good when I meant to read it, but that's fine. But so this is. See, that wasn't a good laugh. So there's. He talks about the different types of fit individualized fit, static uses, plumb bob, basically a piece of string with a weight at the end, used to find vertical positions, and hey, what's up.

Josh:

This is josh the mount and cock podcast. You got questions, comments or feedback. Well, we'd love to hear from you. Shoot us an email. You can send it to mountain cog at gmailcom, digging the show. There's a couple things you could do to help us out. First, you could tell your friends about mountain cog, and also it would be great if you'd give us a good rating and review over at apple podcast or spotify or wherever you listen. We appreciate y'all. Go ride, keep the rubber side down.

Bike Fits and Old Friendships
Bike Fit and Brand Importance
The Importance of Bike Fitting
Mountain Bike Fit and Physical Assessment
The Importance of Proper Bike Fitting
Mountain Bike Fit and Trail Considerations
Dropper Posts in Different Riding Situations
Mountain Bike Fits and Pedal Recommendations
Bike Fit and Grip Preferences
Mountaineering Fit and Feedback Requests