a journal of cycling, adventure, and photography

To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to bikepacking and gravel it is all part of the TBD Journal.

Guru & Bike Fits for Every Type of Rider

We have written about the value of a proper Guru Fit from ACME Bicycle Co on many occasions. In each of those instances we have written from our own perspective - that of racers hunting for that extra bit of speed with a perhaps slightly secondary focus on improved comfort. All the while we have argued that a proper fit is some of the best money any cyclist can spend, be they racers, triathletes, fondo riders or purely recreational cyclists. 

Putting that mantra into action I recently paid another visit to ACME Bicycle Co, this time with my parents in tow. As I wrote about in Riding with Family my parents have recently become full fledged cyclists, at times riding more in a given week than I do. Unfortunately they also have the scars that come with that territory - my dad popped his collarbone in a crash earlier this year and my mom has been fighting knee pain on the bike for the past year. With those injuries fitting a trip to ACME for a Guru fit into their visit to New York City was a no-brainer.

The ACME Guru Fit process is a lengthy one but working with Colin my Dad was able to make significant changes to the front end of his existing fit - shortening the reach while also lowering the bars into a position that should be not just more aerodynamic but also more comfortable. He also decided to make the jump from 170mm cranks to 165mm cranks, a change that measurably improved his cadence on the Guru fit bike. He also experimented with a few of the saddles that ACME recommended before ultimately deciding to stick with the Selle SMP Dynamic that he has been riding (in large part because ACME turned me onto that saddle a few years ago). In total, a series of somewhat minor changes that should add up to some significant comfort enhancements.

For my mom, who was fit by Jonathan, the challenges were somewhat different. She has thus far managed to keep the rubber side down while riding but instead developed a bad knee that was scoped once last year and required significant time off the bike earlier this year. With Jonathan's help and a specific focus on that nagging injury her fit suggested a shift to ultra short 160mm cranks, something we had not considered previously but which, on the Guru Fit Machine, helped quite a bit with her knee pain. Hopefully it is a change that helps her get back to riding some of the longer and hillier routes that have been out of the question recently. Otherwise her fit changes were more minor than my dad, although she did change to a Selle SMP saddle with extra padding.

After a few hours in Gowanus of my parents left ACME Bicycle Co with a detailed list of changes to their fit and a shopping list of new parts that should hopefully resolve some of the fit related challenges they have faced on the bike recently. A proper Guru fit at a shop like ACME is not an inexpensive process, but this most recent visit reinforced my opinion that it remains some of the best money any cyclist can spend, be they racers, recreational cyclists, or anything in between.


TrainingMatthew VandivortAcme