Saturday, September 3, 2011

JP Gets Fit

Here's some juicy details sent in by JP on getting his new QR and getting fit to it. Stay tuned for news on how he fared in his first race.

One of the first things I thought when I heard about the new Evotri/ Quintana Roo deal was fitting. As far as I'm concerned, it is one of the most critical elements of cycling. I have had one proper fitting in the past, but didn't felt it wasn't as thorough as I wanted so I went to my coach, Jill, for advice. She gave me the name of a fitter in the area. He's the same guy who has worked closely with Jordan Rapp in the past. I came to learn he's fitted top PROs and Ironman Champions as well, not to mention some of the nation's top mountain bikers. I figured if he is good enough for them, I'd give him a crack.

His name is Phil Casanta and, along with his wife Rachel, owns and runs a company called Hypercat Racing in Ventura, CA. They do coaching, bike maintenance, sales, and fittings. Phil likes to say, "if you've seen fast and the furious... we do for bikes what that shop does for cars." I need an umbrella cuz it's raining cold hard facts up in here. I walked in an my initial impression was jaw dropping. Phil collects vintage TT bikes and some of the stuff he has is off the charts cool. Talking to Phil, I knew he was the guy. Super thorough, detail oriented, and he had the equipment to do the job to a degree of accuracy that I had never seen before. Digital measurements, levelers, the works.

We took coordinates off my P2 set up and got to work on his fitting bike to get my ideal position. At first Phil just did a basic fit with some ideal angles and once we had the bike, we would do a 3-D Retul fitting.

The first revelation was that my P2 did not fit ideally. I had the suspicion as I had to jam my seat forward and run some spacers and I was still too low. We found the stack and reach values for the frame of an ideal bike and compared to the QR CD0.1 -- bad news. It was short enough but WAY too low. I would have to ride tons of spacers to even get close. The problem with this, outside of looking heinous, is it compromises the handling significantly.

We looked at the other geometries in the QR stable of bikes and found that the Lucero/ Seduza geometry is perfect. I called QR and arranged a swap.

A week later I came in to see the bike built with SRAM red components and Aipp wheels. I have never been so stoked to get on a bike. Phil tricks the bike out with matching cable housing in any color you want. He also pops on a small little contraption that he helped develop which hides the wiring and pivots with turns to keep the cables hidden. What a wizard.

I got on the bike and Phil placed the dots on me for the Retul fitting machine. He places these small Velcro dots at the majority of joints on your profile and then the Retul machine reads off those points in real time as you pedal. It captures these point in three dimensions. Phil used this to get a range of angles throughout my pedal stroke as well as hip angle. After dialing in the basic contact points, he check out my knee tracking and made some adjustments on my cleat which cleaned up the pedal stroke. It has kept me pain free to this point. We did some adjustments to the Zipp Vuka bars to get into a more aggressive position and the set up was complete.

I must say Phil Casanta is a genius at this fitting stuff. The first ride I took on the new rig was in a race and a bike has never felt so natural. There was no pain and no wasted motion. The handling was crisp and the descending was fluid. The feeling was almost mechanical. Now I know what a perfect fit really means and how crucial it is...

Big thanks to Quintana Roo, SRAM, Zipp and to Phil and Rachel at Hypercat racing for making my dream bike a reality.

On to Ironman Hawaii! I can't wait to take this thing on the Queen K.

JP's new Quintana Roo Seduza