Specialized's '09 intro started at the Morgan Hill, California facility and included a 36-mile ride from there to the coastal town of Santa Cruz by way of a 6-mile dirt road climb. It was a great way to initially shake down some of the new bikes on tap for next year.
Specialized's stunning Tarmac SL was the bike to have for Friday's 105-mile day, which included a 13-mile climb
Upon arrival to Morgan Hill testers were given a full bike fit by members of Specialized's special BG FIT Technician team. Each member, above their current specialization in bike fitting, attended a three-day in-house fit school at Specialized Bicycle Components University (SBCU). The now legendary Dr. Andy Pruitt, director of the Boulder, Colorado Center for Sports Medicine was on tap for the whole trip and he developed the program with these four ideals:
- The fitter is the tool
- You must fit the bike to the ride
- Focus on improving bio-mechanics
- Make the fit as neutral as possible
Specialized wants to be considered a full fit resource focusing on bikes, components, equipment and education with a philosophy of understanding bike fit and making it fit broadly because (as we all know) "increased comfort equals increased performance." Tools used include a four position stem, slim shims, hear tube adjusters and even special ergo-shallow bars if needed.
During my session, a serious leg length discrepancy was found and corrected by way of a new cleat position, Specialized shoes, new sole inserts as well as a pair if shims under the soles. During the three days of riding (and subsequent days at home) my corrected position has eliminated slight foot pain as well as the hip and lower back pain I'd learned to accept as normal for putting in high mileage. Though the saddle and bar position was too "neutral" for my personal riding style, it could easily be adjusted with a longer session. But because the main focus was my funky leg the overall fit was a smashing success. Afterward, a video was shot so I could watch my new position and how it vastly improved pedal stroke and power output and I left with a computer memory stick containing all the information and the video. Specialized BG FIT technicians are available through your local Specialized dealer.