The Tri Town Times: 5/13/24

The Tri Town Times: 5/13/24

It's Boise Bike Week; bike fitting as couples therapy.

Hi all,


Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:



Events I'm looking forward to:

- The weather is beautiful and it's Boise Bike Week.

- 13th Street will be closed to cars this Saturday in the Hyde Park neighborhood for the North End Neighborhood Association's Mobility Summit.



Quote that struck a chord:

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” — Carl Gustav Jung


Coach Michelle Wiens of Performance High Coaching was my first triathlon coach 20 years ago, and meeting her transformed the direction of my life. She helped guide my first steps into the world of endurance sports and set the foundation that helped build me into a complete athlete. I'm happy to say that after 20 years, we're still close friends. I'll be on her podcast today at 5 PM to speak about bikes, bike fitting, and the bike industry. If you would like to watch the discussion on Zoom, please pre-register here, and if you have questions you would like us to answer or discuss, please send them to [email protected].


Speaking of bike fitting, this time of year, our fitting team and I are in bike fits most of the day, every day. After helping a few thousand people with their position on the bike, I began to realize that bike fitting is a lot like couples therapy. When I stopped trying to be a bike fitter and started acting more like a couples therapist, the quality of my fits noticeably improved.


Below are a few key insights from my 15+ years of practice as a bike fit couples therapist:


We tend to stay with what we know: Have you given yourself the opportunity to determine what works for you? Or did you "marry" the first bike you met, never to experience anything else?


Or maybe you've gone for the same type of bike over and over again, even though you know they always end up disappointing you? In our fit studio, we help clients "speed date" various bicycle positions and types of equipment, so that they may rapidly clarify what works for them and what does not.


The worst-case scenario is when you're in an abusive relationship with your bike, and you simply assume that you're supposed to be in pain or discomfort when riding. You're not. Riding a bike should be like being with a great partner - you enjoy being together and look forward to every adventure.


We tend to be bad at picking partners: When you are young and don't know any better, you may ask someone out based on looks alone. You soon realize this is a bad strategy. Picking a bike is no different than picking a significant other. You shouldn't choose your mate based on looks (or price) and other superficial factors.


Many people who buy a bike spend an insane amount of time contemplating things like frame material, wheels, derailleurs, bearings, etc. This is like contemplating the value of marrying a blonde or a brunette. Sure, you may have a preference, but regardless of your preference, there are more important factors at play than the color of someone's hair.


Yes, it helps to be attracted to your partner, but a healthy relationship must be built upon something stronger than just that.


Get to know yourself before jumping into a relationship: When I help someone purchase a bike, I tell them that my job is to play "". I get to know them a bit, their riding goals, and take some body measurements. I use this to create a 'dating profile' - a simple understanding of what type of bikes should be a good match for them. I then review the bikes available and attempt to 'match' them with the bikes that seem compatible with their profile. This is why consulting with a bike fitter before purchasing a bike can be such an eye-opening experience - it helps you better understand yourself.


Get the foundation right: Wise people find a partner who has foundational elements like views on kids, religion, trust, and politics that are compatible with their own. In bicycle fitting, the foundation elements are the "contact points", and there are only three: the feet, the crotch, and the hands. Getting these right is key to a long and healthy relationship with your bike.


I rarely have riders ask me about the contact points when contemplating a bike purchase. It is only after a cyclist realizes they are not happy with their bike that they come into the studio with complaints. And though they may not realize it at the time, the root of their problems can often be traced to poor contact point choices.


As a bike fitter, the contact points are the only pieces of equipment that I care about. Get these right, and you can have a long and happy relationship with your bike.


Don't divorce your spouse just because you bought a new house! Once you've tested and identified the contact point equipment that works for you, keep them and transfer them over to any new bike you purchase. These contact points are the foundation of your happy and healthy relationship with your bike - don't toss them aside just because your new bike came with something different.


All relationships require compromise from both parties: It's common for a rider to believe that the bike should accommodate them. There are definitely times when the bike needs to change (especially if the contact points are not a good match for you), but often the rider simply needs to be made aware of what they are doing, what they are in control of, and what they can do to "play nice" with their bike.


Your posture is the one aspect of the fit that you are most in control of. From my experience, few riders understand what good cycling posture looks and feels like. Learning how to sit with proper posture, and confirming your saddle promotes good posture, is the beginning of a healthy rider-bike relationship.


Keep your options open: Time changes all things, including you. If you are relatively new to cycling, don't purchase equipment that limits your ability to make quick and inexpensive fit adjustments. The reality is that you probably won't get your fit and position right the first time you try, and so the best you can do is keep your options open to ease the pain of making adjustments.


For example: a bike with fully integrated handlebars is like people who refuse to change with the times. If the time is right, they can be really fun. The rest of the time, they're just annoying.


A good deal is not always a good buy: Like a bad relationship, there is a hidden cost to a bad bike fit that goes beyond the initial investment. Get it wrong, get injured. Buy the wrong bike, pay the price to fix it or replace it. The price people pay trying to 'save relationships' can be substantial. It makes more sense to just do it right the first time.


If you and your bike may benefit from a little "couples therapy", our team at Tri Town would be happy to help. Please read more and schedule a fit on our website.



If you have a moment to spare:

- Utah State Bill HB 85 to go into effect May 1st. The bill is the first in the nation to further clarify an "electrical-assisted bicycle" and "out-of-class electric vehicle" (OCEV). The bill will require the manufacturer to clearly disclose the bicycle class or risk being liable for deceptive trade practices. This shows support for land managers who would be open to Class 1 electric bicycles on natural surfaces. Read more about ebikes in our one page overview.

- An underwater bicycle for those who just hate kicking.



Have a great week!


Antonio Gonzalez

Tri Town Bicycles


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