A third space: Velofix, Rozelle
The ‘third space’ has been referenced before on RIDE Media. It’s “that space that isn’t work and isn’t home but where you go when you don’t want to be in either”. James Stout wrote about it in RIDE #58 and it comes up in discussion every once in a while when you walk into a great bike shop, training centre, workshop, fitting studio… or, as is the case with Velofix in the Sydney suburb of Rozelle, all of those combined.
As we get closer to a few granfondo ride adventures this spring, Specialized and Velofix suggested that one of the RIDE team try out the Body Geometry fit.
He’s going to use a Specialized Tarmac with disc brakes and, given that he’ll be riding over 450km during those two days alone, he wanted to know that he’ll do so on a bike that’s been properly fitted.
Below are some photos from the session with Anthony Challinor, the owner of Velofix.
We’ll explain the intricacies of this fit session – and those developed by other bike manufacturers – in RIDE #70 (on sale in mid-December).
For a quick overview of the Velofix Body Geometry session, see our interview with Challinor at the bottom of this page.
* * * * *
RIDE: I’m talking with Anthony Challinor from Velofix in Rozelle, a suburb of Sydney. He spent the morning fitting up Jack Lynch according to the BG – the Body Geometry fit – from Specialized. We saw a whole lot of different measurements being taken and a lot of different tests being done. I wonder if you could give us a quick overview of your experience with Jack and how he differs from your normal client, or if he’s fairly average, and what kind of treatment you give your regular clients when it comes to a fitting session.
Anthony Challinor, Velofix (Rozelle, NSW): “Basically what we go through is, we want to get a really good indicator of what we’re going to expect of Jack.
“The way I start is to find out a little bit about him in terms of injury history, sporting history and other bits and pieces…
“From there I’ve got a little bit of an idea: [for example] Jack had a little bit of a hassle with his left knee, that was one thing that we came across. And then we get into a structural assessment.
“We look at flexibility and hip, knee, foot alignment. We look for any leg length discrepancies or rotations in the pelvis and so on.
“From all of that we did get a few things: a very mild leg length discrepancy, his left femur was a shade long – and we’re talking a discrepancy of only a handful of millimetres. But the big thing was quite a large rotation in the pelvis so we need to try and account for that on the bike. That was one glaringly obvious thing that we had to do.
“He had a fairly high arches in his feet so we needed to account for that with good structural support.
“One of the big things with Body Geometry is supporting the structure – at the feet, the saddle… so, biomechanically, [the rider] is nice and stable.
“That’s really the crux of what we were getting to.
“The front of the bike, in terms of reach, stem length, bar width and so on is all down to [the rider’s] limitations in flexibility and, literally, limb length.
“I think we came up with quite a nice little result for Jack.”
We’ll get into the specifics of your session with Jack later, in the magazine, but I’m curious about the average fit session per customer. How long would it take? And what would it cost?
“Usually it’s about two-and-a-half hours, as a rough guide, depending on how involved we need to get.
“Costs range: $350 is for the fit but it’s hard to say what the total outcome will be – we might be changing numerous amounts of things so it starts going up from there. If we need to change a bar or a stem, a seat… even, at worst case scenario, a whole bike.”
You got your certificate in 2011. How many fits do you reckon you’ve done in that time?
“That was based on a course in 2010 when I went through the training so it was on a 2011 course.
“Ah, good question… it’s a few hundred, but I couldn’t even nominate a figure to be honest.”
Let’s consider “a few hundred”. Do you find that most customers have a huge variation of what they walk in with and what they walk out with?
“No. Well, after the fit with Jack I had another one straight away. I made some massive changes to a lady’s set-up.
“Some people we do big changes, other people we do not.
“Everybody is treated totally uniquely.”
– Interview by Rob Arnold