Sunday, September 10, 2006

Chip Whitworth & Team Mighty Dog win The Bear

Chip Whitworth of the adventure racing team Team Mighty Dog was fitted on Wednesday then turned around and helped his team take the win over the weekend at the The Bear in Jacksonville, FL. Congrats to Chip and the rest of the team on the great effort.

Later Chip had this to say about his bike fitting experience at 55nine Performance:
I visited Eddie O'Dea at 55nine performance last week for a precision bike fit. Most here will know who Eddie is. If you don’t know him, he just finished an outstanding fourth at NORBA 24 hour Nationals. So, he spends mega hours on a mountain bike and is extremely dialed into the importance to be powerful yet comfortable for the long haul races. Eddie uses the Wobble Naught fit system, . Honestly, I felt like I had myself pretty well dialed into my bike before going to Eddie and this was going to be more a confirmation that I had indeed fitted myself right. I was surprised when we made some pretty drastic changes to both my hardtail and my full suspension bike.

You can read the wobble naught website to get the specifics of how the fitting is done but basically, Eddie takes a bunch of measurements from your body. I mean a bunch, from head to foot. Then he takes measurements from your bikes geometry. He plugs all this into the computer and it spits out measurements on how to set up the bike. Then you get on a trainer and he watches you ride and makes some small adjustments from there. You take the bike out and ride around outside for a while to make sure it feels right. It sounds simple but be prepared to spend 2+ hours on each bike. Its pretty in depth and a minor tweak here will change something elsewhere. Suffice it to say you get your monies worth and Eddie doesn’t send you away until you are satisfied that you are totally dialed into the bike.

The biggest changes I made to my previous fit was actually lowering my bars in relation to seat height. This sounds counter intuitive for being comfortable but when everything else is properly aligned it worked for me. I had actually been going the other direction, more upright, in an effort to get comfortable. By getting all the angles right, my bones are now supporting my weight rather than my muscles doing that job. I’ve had one race since the fit and I felt more comfortable and more powerful on the bike than before.

The fit cost 165.00 for the first bike, if you do 2 or more it gets a little bit less for the second bike. That may sound expensive for a bike fit but I feel it is well worth it. I look at it this way. I have spent more than that to shave a few grams from my bike. A good fit that will allow me to deliver more watts and ride comfortable for longer is a way better investment in speed, dollar for dollar, than any component I could buy. Another bonus to this is that both my bikes feel the same when I get on them now. By changing stem length, seat height, bar drop ect. both bikes now have the same geometry where as before they were vastly different.

If you do get the fit, you will want to take any extra stems, seat posts, saddles, bars ect. that you have laying around. Chances are you are going to be changing your existing ones out. Eddie has a lot of stuff in stock but he can’t stock everything. And if you already have a part might as well use it. You’re going to be changing your cleat placement as well so it’s a good time to change the cleats out so bring a new pair with you if your old ones are shot.

The number one thing you can do to ride better is train more, After that I would say the number two thing is to get a proper bike fit. I feel its helped me out a lot.


Sounds like Chip is getting dialed in already!