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Who wants to get rich?(11 posts)

Who wants to get rich?Matno
Apr 25, 2003 7:32 AM
I was at an Athlete's Foot shoe store the other day, and they have this really cool machine that you stand on, which tells you exactly where the pressure is in your feet. It gives you a printout of exactly how you stand, as well as how you walk. This allows someone who knows shoes well to help fit you with the right kind of shoes. (I was with my brother in law who owns a running-shoe store at the time, and he thought it was great - very accurate).

Anyhoo, I was thinking that if someone could adapt this technology to bike saddles, there might actually be a way to determine (to some degree) what saddles fit your butt without resorting to trial & error, voodoo, or any other method I've ever heard of...

So, since I'm not much of an entrepreneur, if anyone else wants to give it a go, have at it! You never know... (Although people might be a lot less excited about getting a color copy of their "buttprint" than they are about their footprint!)
Apr 25, 2003 8:00 AM
Selle Italia has such a machine,TJeanloz
Apr 25, 2003 8:17 AM
Selle Italia has a unit like you describe, and they use it do design saddles. They show it off at Interbike every so often.
Cool. Now we just need to get them into LBSs... (nm)Matno
Apr 25, 2003 8:44 AM
I can see it now next to the size cycle!$$$$$$ (nm)the bull
Apr 25, 2003 8:48 AM
Yeah, the one at Athlete's Foot was free...Matno
Apr 25, 2003 8:51 AM
I imagine LBSs would charge an arm and a leg like they do for a fitting.
Standing on a machine...teoteoteo
Apr 25, 2003 9:08 AM
At the mall and getting a professional fit are two very different things. The machine just has to be bought. An employee must be educated, paid, insured, nurtured...

I fit people everyday that I don't charge on the other hand I do charge others as they may take me hours of work to complete.
Honestly, I don't see how you can...Matno
Apr 25, 2003 10:22 AM
fit someone to a bike WITHOUT spending a lot of time with them. In fact, I have a hard time believing that it's really possible to get a perfect fit without actually riding a bike, but you can get close. I myself, am guilty of spending a VERY long time with, for example, a shoe salesperson while trying on various shoes. The machine just helps you narrow down the choices from the start. Of course, you're right about training the employees. You would have to have one person who knew the machine working all the time (or just have certain hours for people to get "bum tested").

Fitting a whole bicycle is a lot more complicated than recommending a shoe. But the saddle thing ought to be about as simple as the shoe thing. Just have someone sit on a machine and pedal for a minute or two. Look at the printout, and compare it to a list of saddles that have a similar shape. Of course, it always helps to have a good working knowledge of what works and what doesn't. (I don't know many people who will openly admit to being an expert on the shapes of other people's rear ends, but I'm sure someone would do it!)
There's fit, and there's fit,TJeanloz
Apr 25, 2003 11:58 AM
From the bike shop perspective, there are varying degrees of how good a fitting you do. It is usually directly proportional to the cost of the bike. An experienced salesperson can eyeball the fit to within 3 cm - which is usually two bikes. Watch the customer ride both bikes, see which fits better, bada-bing, they're fit. This is what happens when somebody buys a $300 mountain bike or a low end road bike.

The Rolls-Royce of fits, with the goniometer treatment and everything, comes with the highest end bikes, and takes several hours. This is what you get when you splurge on the $10,000 Colnago. Everbody else gets something in-between.

As for the saddle machine, it's more complicated than just figuring what saddle would best support your sit-bones. Different people have different demands (and problems), which makes selling saddles and even more painful experience than riding on some of them.
All right. Back to voodoo then I guess...Matno
Apr 25, 2003 12:00 PM
You're right. But I bet people would still want to try it! (and believe it most of the time).
How about custom saddles? nmKristin
Apr 25, 2003 12:07 PM