Instead of investing in a sizing-cycle that has to be operated by trained staff, the wobble-naught system from America is based on tried-and-testing race bike fitting formulae. Information is typed into the sites database and bike fitting advice including where to place cleats is spewed out.
Shops who sign up to be wobble-naught agents are given password access into the guts of the site. Consumers can visit the site themselves, can get a friend to do all necessary precise body measurements, pay $49.95 for a bike-fitting spec and then bring this into your shop but as extra products probably have to be bought anyway its best for bike shops to use the website direct on behalf of the consumer.
Saddle height, fore-aft saddle position, and handlebar placement is given for each measured rider. Wobble-naught derives it name from reducing the wobble wasted motion in the knee rotation of a pedal stroke to zero.
Wobblenaught.com recommends the use of Superfeet footbeds and Big Meats shoe wedge to provide forefoot leverage. Both these products are ideally suited for purchase via IBDs.
The site will be good for accessory sales: Many riders will need to replace seat posts and handlebar stems, says wobble-naught.coms advice to consumers.
The site uses jpg pictures and mpg video shorts to make sure the body measurements and bike alignments are made in the right places and at the right angles.
With the Wobble-naught positioning solution and the Superfeet and Big Meats enhancement, riders are more efficient and comfortable on their bikes. Comfort is enjoyable, says Dr. Ron LeBlanc, co-manager of wobblenaught.com and Professor of Marketing at Idaho State University.
The system was recently launched in the US. There have been no registered IBDs from the UK yet but this is expected to change after the system is demonstrated at InterBike 2000 in Las Vegas in September.
My gut reaction is that Europeans will be cautious in adopting US fitting
technology, but we believe that there is no better fitting system on the
market for positioning riders properly, LeBlanc told BikeBiz.
Below is LeBlancs message to IBDs: bike fitting can be very profitable...
(And below that is the level of accuracy you need to attain in your measuring, something that will confirm in consumers minds that the right place, the most professional place, to buy a bike is in an IBD. And below that is the reason for the shoe wedges and footbeds ever had a customer complain of knee pain?).
Making Money by Selling Fits
Dr. Ron LeBlanc
Precision Fitting is a means for retail bike shops to increase revenue/margins on a per bike basis.
When selling a new bike, selling the fit increases the revenue per bike. Selling the fit to established customers increases revenue and component parts sales. Selling the fit can increase the retailer customer base.
Selling Wobble-naught generates revenue from at least three sources:
1) The Wobble-naught Precision Fit Solution.
2) SuperFeet Sales
3) Big Meat Sales
Addition revenue is made on:
4) Shop time for cleat placement/adjustment.
5) Shop time for bike set-up.
6) Sale of component parts.
The minimum revenue a shop should make with the sale of a Wobble-naught Fitting Solution is $104.85 - and this can be done in 15 minutes.
Charging for cleat placement, and bike set up should be charged at shop rates. Component sales - seat posts, seats, stems, and handle bars will generate additional revenues.
Retail Selling Model
The target market is every bike you sell that has pedals requiring clips. Approximately 80% of this group does some racing; they look for ways to improve their performance.
Wobble-naught recommends using a fitting person to take measurements of the rider and bike and then input the data to the computer. When the fitting solution is printed, the rider should be taken to the SuperFeet and Big Meat display by the fitting person and told they need these two items to complete the fit. The rider should then be handed off by the fitting person to a shop technician who then makes shoe and bike adjustments. Increased revenue per hour is generated if the shop uses a cleat technician and a bike technician.
Shop technicians can then generate additional Revenue from Fitting with the sale of upgrade components - Seat Posts, Seats, Handle Bars, and Stems are common replacement parts needed to get the proper Precision Fit.
Beta testing done in Boise had an average of $250.00 per fit, at retail dollars, without charging for shop time.
If the fit is not for a new bike, then shop time for cleat adjustments and bike set-up can be charged at shop rates( Retailer Discretion ). It is quite common, therefore for a total fit to cost a rider $300.00.
Distance of the ankle to the knee: mm Description
(2). Thickness of the knee: mm Description
(3). Distance of the Knee to the Greater Trochanter: mm Description
(4). Space in between feet in neutral position: mm Description
(5). Thigh girth at 1/3 above knee: mm Description
(6). Distance from greater trochanter to floor:
eg (3) This is a measurement of AP (anterior to posterior) knee thickness on a straight line from the base of the kneecap (patella) to the bend of the knee on the outside (lateral) side. Place the end of the tape measure just into the crease formed by the bend of the knee on the outside (lateral) of the leg. Pull the tape measure straight along the side of the leg level with the bottom of the kneecap (patella). At the point that a straight edge would intersect the tape measure at a 90-degree angle to the knee, squeeze the tape with your thumb and index finger to get a precise measurement.
Big Meat - Power Wedges
Knee pain is the number one injury among cyclists of all levels. Often this knee pain is the result of improper pedaling mechanics carried out over thousands of miles in the saddle.
The primary factor influencing knee movement and possible tissue strain is the "fit between the cyclist and the bicycle."
One of the most important points effecting alignment of the knee during the pedaling cycle, is the connection of the foot with the pedal.
A recent research study published in the journal of orthopedic and sports physical therapy reported that 87% of the population has a misalignment in their foot structure known as "forefoot varus." A forefoot varus is when the foot tilts up to the inside position.
In this same study, it was found that an additional 9% of the population have another misalignment known as "forefoot valgus." Forefoot valgus is when the foot tilts to the outside when the ankle joint is in its neutral position.
Shoe wedges can correct these problems and lead to less knee stress and greater pedalling effeciency.