74 delegates are attending Cyclefit’s first symposium, which started today at the Design Council offices in Covent Garden. Delegates at the International Cyclefit Symposium include physiotherapists, osteopaths, sports scientists, doctors and bike fitters.
There’s a large delegation from Pearson’s Cycles, the second oldest bike shop in the country. Other bike shops present include Larkfield Cycles and Bridgetown Bikes. There are also delegates from Specialized and Trek.
Serotta and its SICI bike fitting service used to run an annual science symposium in the US but this ceased in 2007. The Cyclefit symposium is the only global bike fitting conference this year. Next year it might be staged in America, said Cyclefit’s Phil Cavell.
"We’ve been surprised by the number of delegates," said Cavell. "We weren’t expecting this many. It’s an expensive event to organise – we have to fly in the speakers, put them up in hotels and pay for a venue – so it’s good that it covers costs."
Speakers include Dr Jeff Broker of the University of Colorado Springs, talking on pedalling kinesiology, and Dr Katrina ‘Kit’ Vogel, talking on pelvic asymmetry and effects on lower extremity biomechanics of cycling (as well as being a cat 1 racer in the US, Kit is married to Paul Swift of BikeFit.com and wedge fame).
The first speaker – after Phil Cavell’s introduction – was physiotherapist Graham Anderson, pictured above. He’s the lead physio for Wimbledon’s tennis championships. He started by asking if bike fitting was "bullshit." (Answer: no).
The two day event costs £500 per delegate. "That’s good value when you consider the quality of the speakers. These are the most influential and informative individuals in the niche world of bike fitting," said Cavell.
Product designer Keith Bontrager is one of the speakers. Cavell called him a "hand grenade."
"We know what he’s supposed to be talking about but he’ll go off on tangents, and really shake up the room. Much of what I think he will say is probably at odds with bike fitting – is it an art, is it a science? – but he’s guaranteed to be explosive and stimulating."
Those interested in sending in questions or observations to the speakers at the symposium can do so by sending an @ message to @CyclefitUK, using the hashtag #ICS2012.
Cavell said some of the tweets would be read out at the Q&A sessions, with answers posted to Twitter. Reports from the symposium will also be placed on the Cyclefit website. The symposium is also being filmed and highlights will be placed on YouTube.
Magazines and websites will also be covering the event, including Cycling Weekly, Road Cycling UK, and 220 Triathlon Magazine.