May 8, 2002, Volume 2, Issue 19 by Jennifer Lacroix
Getting Fit Werx
Do you remember that old lime-green 10 speed Schwinn you used to ride? You may have had the “boy’s” style with the bar or the “girl’s” style without. Perhaps you rode it to baseball practice or to the local pool for swimming lessons. Wherever you went, chances are you rode your bike a lot as a kid and rode it less as an adult until April beckoned you to appear in the Sugarbush Triathlon with your friends and co-workers. Then you were faced with new challenges, such as which bike to ride and how to ride it without getting cramped up. After all, you do have to show face at the post-event party.
Triathlon enthusiast or not, you recently may have noticed a new sign in front of a white building in the center of Waitsfield that reads “Fit Werx” and wondered what new business is housed there. Well, wonder no more. Fit Werx offers service, support, and solutions for all road and triathlon cyclists. Just the thing you may need to keep your cycling challenges on your performance, rather than your equipment or form. The proprietors, Ian and Sarah, know a lot about bikes, bodies, triathlons, and, most importantly, fitting, and have set up shop to assist you in these areas. Fit Werx uses current science and protocols to make sure that cyclists are matched up with products that are appropriate, whether they are recreational or competitive riders. “Depending on how they’re using the product is really going to effect how they are set up and which products they should be on,” says Ian. For the recreational cyclist looking to enter the sport at a new level, Ian and Sarah will help you by discussing your current cycling equipment and will even encourage you to go out and race to ensure that you indeed enjoy the sport. They can even recommend an entry-level race if you don’t already know of one. “Once committed, it’s important for people, in order to meet their goals, that they are on a bike where they feel confident,” claims Ian. This is where Ian and Sarah help you get your legs, feet, and pedals properly aligned in the most powerful and comfortable position possible. “In some ways, buying a bicycle is like buying a new pair of shoes. You have to make sure it’s going to work for you. We really approach each person who walks through the door differently,” he adds. “It does take a little bit more time, but that’s what makes our business unique. It is more involved that just walking in and saying ‘Oh, that looks about right.’”
They carry such brands as Serotta, Cervelo, Softride, Calfee Design and others. Serotta is a brand of bike Ian feels “has done more for the cycling industry as far as promoting fit and getting fit properly that any other company that I’m aware of.” Both Ian and Sarah are certified Serotta fitters. Ian swears that the fit of the bike is the most important element to a proper ride. “A really expensive custom built bicycle that isn’t fit properly is not better that anything else. Otherwise, it’s like having size nine feet and walking around in size eight shoes all of the time. You’re going to have problems…it’s going to limit your enjoyment of walking and living.”
Over the past 30 years, the cycle industry has developed fitting techniques which Fit Werx has used in combination with their individual trainings by Serotta, trainings with John Cobb (Lance Armstrong’s positioning specialist) and 15 years combined of personal experience in the industry to develop their own way of fitting. One of the final steps in the Fit Werx fitting process, includes a biomechanical alignment with a Size Cycle session taped on digital video, so you can make funny faces at the camera or visually learn a new riding tip, such as tipping you pelvis forward, all in the privacy of their little shop. Fit Werx also provides custom made footbeds and want wedges, which can do wonders for the way you ride. “In the long run, people end up saving a lot of money, “ Ian believes “because our process gets rid of a lot of the guess work.” The pleasure principle is their bottom line, though, and Ian and Sarah will be there to help you reach your goals every pedal of the way. They’ll see to it that you’re properly fit and riding to work as a prerequisite for your next triathlon. C’mon Montpelier, you can bike to Waitsfield.
Ian, a native Vermonter, is also a columnist for Triathlete magazine. Sarah,
originally from Washington State, is a former ESL teacher. You can reach them
at 802-496-7570, toll free at 866-833-4FIT or via the Web at www.fitwerx.com