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Fitting

Kevin Saunders began studying bike fit in 1982, when preparing for an 800 mile bike tour in the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico. He had just graduated from Westminster College in Fulton MO, with a degree in Biology (pre med). The curriculum at Westminster stressed a knowledge of anatomy, and this was the first “real world” project to apply the knowledge that was still fresh on the mind. In preparation for the trip, Kevin studied the state of the art regarding bike shoes, cleats, saddles, bike shorts, and of course, the way one rode a bicycle to be the most comfortable and efficient.

The first observation Kevin discovered was that cyclists used different positions to approach the bike when touring, road racing and track racing. He asked thousands of questions over the years, and experimented with positions very far forward and very far aft, relative to the center of gravity on the bike. Kevin set up bike racers and fast recreational cyclists for years, and experimented with saddle height and placement using novel techniques such as descending a steep hill on a fixed gear (track) bike, to determine proper saddle height using the stretch reflex of the hamstrings to determine the bottom of the pedal stroke. When the perfect saddle height for maximum spinning was attained, the rapidly straightening leg would be pulled back by a phenomenon called the “stretch reflex”, which caused the hamstrings to engage and snap the lower leg back. When the saddle is too low, Kevin observed the hips radically bouncing, and when too high, the stretch reflex came into play before the leg was at the bottom of the pedal stroke causing strain on the back of the knee. The right height produced a knee angle that has proven to be “correct” over time by many fitters.

The fore-aft relationship of a rider to the bike was also studied, and Kevin learned how track sprinters need to be further forward than mountain climbers, and that one needs multiple positions on the saddle. This was being confirmed on a Selle Turbo saddle, which was considered the most comfortable saddle in existence back in the 80’s and 90’s. It was relatively flat, and had a “comfort zone” that allowed a rider to move forward to do a high-speed sprint, close a gap, or just go fast. One was also able to move back to climb, using the muscles in a more efficient manner for the lower cadence and higher power requirement.

Kevin has tried many of the popular fitting systems and concluded that they all worked well enough to get one "in the range" of proper fit, but he wanted to get the exact point for anyone, tall or short, light or heavy, young or old, fit or not.

The KGS Bicycle Fitting System is a result of decades of research and practice combined with a fully defined fitting system which is not easy to use, but is very accurate and effective in the hands of a detailed professional. We have confidence that any rider who wishes to be a performance recreational cyclist up to a world class racer will benefit from a relationship with KGS Bikes.

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