BalancePoint™ Positioning - Finding Perfection
Bicycle Fitting is a hot topic in the bike business these days. At KGS Bikes, we do not advertise ourselves as "fitters", as we believe there is a fundamental difference between a bike fitter and a positioner, as Kevin Saunders puts it. So the question is, what does $375 of your hard earned money get you if you choose us for a BalancePoint™ positioning?
A fitter does the best job possible to minimize the compromises needed to ride an existing or future bicycle. In fact, many people call us to ask if we can fit them to their new bike and we sadly have to try and talk them out of it. In this scenario, the bike is more important than the owner, as we see it. The owner is expected to adapt to the bike and if things have to miss the mark, the owner bears the brunt of the discomfort. The bike doesn't care.
As positioners and bicycle designers, we use a clean slate when we approach a new bike project. We make no assumptions on the validity of the current position on existing bikes, and in fact have successfully designed bikes for "newbies" who didn't know what a good postion was in the first place.
What do we do?
We have named our system BalancePoint™ and it is a result of over 25 years of study in bicycle positioning. What we do is the following:
1) Develop proper crank lengths.
2) Locate the cleats in the most efficient position.
3) Discover the perfect saddle height.
4) Find the best saddle setback (fore and aft) position so balance is achieved on the bike.
5) Discover the best saddle angle.
6) In the case of road bikes, finding handlebar positions that will be comfortable on the tops, on the hoods and in the drops.
7) For time trial bikes, the position on the aerobars is discovered that is the most efficient and comfortable.
How does it help you?
What we achieve is much more important. Here is a list of the tangible effects of riding a bike that is properly designed based on the above, using BalancePoint™.
1) We stabilize the low back. The lumbar spine and core muscles are what resists the upward forces created by leg extension. In fact, this equals the amount of downforce on the pedals until it resists the load and then the power is transmitted to the ankle.
2) We stabilize the ankle so power losses are minimized.
3) We find the perfect balance point where all the muscle groups including glutes and secondary movers, are engaging cooperatively. This means that any one muscle group is working less, and is being helped by others. Endurance is increased and the ability to increase intensity is a nice benefit.
4) Once this is established, we can find the best saddle angle. We neutralize the pressure points and further improve the low back angles. This means that for many men, a split saddle is not necessary. We find that women do better with split saddles even with optimized saddle angles.
5) After the saddle is located, we can focus on the front. We can discover comfortable and efficient hand positions that will be easy to use and as such, you will have more positions to use with comfort. We also show you why one hand position is better going fast than others, and one position is best for going slowly.
6) The bike will be more stable with a better balanced rider. This increases safety and confidence.
7) Triathletes get added benefits of being comfortable in the aero position without squirming. This position can be held for long periods.
8) As simple as this sounds, with the right position, you can see! No more craning your neck to try and see down the road and then the rest of the time you are looking down.
9) Aero helmets need to be worn and used correctly. If you look down a lot, you are losing all benefits of the aero helmet. We make this easy by defining a comfortable position so you can hold that pose.
Our accuracy in the end result is very good indeed. We know to the millimeter where the saddle is, the handlebars, the brake levers, aerobars, and everything that is important to your position impacts a bike. This is then able to be used to determine if an existing bike can be made to fit, or 95% of the time, it is proof that an existing position can be improved enough to justify a new frame or bicycle.
The deliverable for a BalancePoint™ positioning is a data sheet and annotated drawing of your position on a custom bicycle. This is not the bike design, but the bike design revolves around your position. Read more about how we actually design your perfect bike.
BalancePoint™ positioning is priced at $375.00. Note that road, triathlon or mountain positions are fundamentally different and as such are considered separate sessions and are priced individually. Follow-on "tuneups", bike labor and bicycle design time are priced at $150 per hour.
Kevin Saunders explains the details of our fitting process and how we are truly unique in the world of bicycle fitting. Read more about KGS Bikes Fitting Process - How and Why