I was fit to my bike when I first bought it, but that wasn’t a real fitting. Stu is exacting, everything was measured and tested. His fitting allowed me to enjoy my rides. I have many more triathlons in my future now!
So, at the end of October, I scheduled a fitting with Stu Waring at Parvilla Cycle & Multisport. This turned out to be the best investment in my amateur racing career thus far.
The process was thorough and enlightening. A brief health and injury questionnaire, range of movement and flexibility examination, sit bone measurement and arch support verification. Then on to the Guru DFU with the Retul 3D motion capture system components attached. The Guru DFU was set to my then current bike's measurements. From there, Stu was able to adjust the DFU to attain the optimum reach and leg extension. The feeling was amazing, almost overwhelming. It was as if I had been trying to ride/race a bike in a fetal position. My bike was too small.
Now, with a properly fitted frame adjusted to fit my body frame, with arch supports to provide a solid foundation upon which to drive the pedals, and a seat to fit my wider than average sit bones, I am a faster and stronger rider. My FTP increased by 40 watts, longer rides are not painfully uncomfortable, and training efforts in strength and form are yielding quantifiable results, without chronic pain and feelings of exhaustion.
If you are plateauing, or are experiencing chronic discomfort and/or exhaustion similar to my experience, consider calling Stu to schedule a fitting. It could be the performance solution you've been looking for.
Todd Geiger, Upper Marlboro, MD
This is too long, so for those with a short attention span, the conclusion first:
1. Go to Parvilla for a fitting! If you want to enjoy triathlon at any level, your most efficient use of time and money is to book a fitting with Stu without delay. Period. I cannot stress this enough. You will be delighted in many ways by the value of this wise decision.
2. If you haven't already done so, pick up the phone and call Stu to book a fitting!
3. If you are contemplating buying a bike for this sport... Pick up the phone and call Stu FIRST for a fitting. I wish I was smart enough, or lucky enough to have had this advice 2 years ago.
4. I live in Michigan. I traveled to Maryland for my fitting. It was absolutely worth it. You have no excuse not to have the best. Go to Parvilla.
For those who have to research everything and satisfy all of their curiosity (like me), here is the full history of how I arrived at this conclusion. I am a time constrained, 50 year old, super analytical, frugal, ex-athlete engineer who fell in love with all day endurance stuff 5 years ago as I was getting myself back off the couch. 3 years ago, I decided to get over my fear of the swim and do triathlon instead of running all day. I'm very happy now.
As any inquisitive, cheapskate engineer would do, I decided to learn everything I could about Tri science, do what I could myself and certainly bike fitting stands out. I worked on my old road bike and experimented with the perfect fit for my first season as I came to the conclusion I was terminally infected by triathlon. Wanting to buy an aero bike, I was smart enough to pay for the best tri bike fitting here in Michigan. Top shelf accreditation, references and all that. Boy did this help, and I bought a bike based on this fitting. The comfort change on my bike was excellent. Job done (or so I thought).
Kind friends kept telling me about Stu. Having met Iain and Sarah at a race, and hearing more about Stu, I decided to see if this magic really lived up to the hype. Mid season, this summer, I go to meet Stu with my trusty race bike. Could this fitting be so much better than the professional, high end fitting that the top athletes near me have sworn by? Let me tell you, there is no comparison. Both were professional, not a knock on my 1st fitting really, but please go to Parvilla, regardless of how far you will travel.
My fitting started with an in depth analysis of me as an athlete (or wannabe athlete), and my preferences, limitations and structural inconsistencies. It was not just about geometry and placing my body architecture correctly on the bike. It was about placing ME on a bike to perform the way I prefer to. This comprehensive approach came to a fitting result that was so far different from what I had previously been happy with. (As it happens, I don't fit on the bike I bought based on my old fitting...... but Stu pulled every trick to get me as close as possible.... Did I happen to mention GO SEE STU BEFORE SPENDING ANY MONEY AT ALL ON ANY BIKE RELATED HARDWARE?)
I've had a tough start in my triathlon career due to unrelated health issues, but I have never felt better running off of the bike than I have since Stu's fitting. Even the next day, prior to the few weeks Stu told me it would take to acclimate to the new position – the difference was remarkable. I ride with power data, and my power efficiency is up significantly due to the fitting as well. How could you ask for more? Better power efficiency combined with better, more comfortable running off the bike.
I can say without a doubt that the best value of any money I have spent on gear, training or coaching and learning has been this fitting at Parvilla. Someday, I will say the same about the Guru bike I will eventually buy.....
Tad Machrowicz, Ortonville, MI
After receiving a gift certificate for Christmas for a Parvilla Custom fit, I decided to get it done early in the triathlon season to get the best possible fit for my tri bike. I found the whole process extremely informative. Stu spent a great deal of time with me, answering all my questions and explaining in detail every aspect of the fit. It was well worth it, and I had a PR in my next race! Definitely recommend!
Allison LaRochelle, Annapolis, MD
This past spring I visited Stu at Parvilla Cycles for a Parvilla Custom fit, I have to say that this was one of the most extensive and thorough fit sessions that I've ever experienced and the result(s) have been very positive as Stu really took into consideration, my cycling/fit past vs what I current need/want from my time on the bike and came up with a great combination of comfort, efficiency, and practicality. Thanks again Stu!!
Scott Moninger, Boulder, CO
As a newcomer to cycling, I had a great experience getting a Parvilla Custom f i t. It is great to know that I am getting comfortable on the road with a fit that works well for my body. Stu was awesome and made adjustments that helped old injuries and asymmetries be more comfortable. I'm not experienced enough to speak as an expert, but I would definitely recommend the Legacy+Vantage fit to anyone looking to be more efficient and comfortable on the bike!
Thanks again for working with me! I've been getting out a few times each week. My shoulder's still bothering me, but it's not just a cycling thing, and my legs are so much more comfortable.
Esther Lofgren, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Rowing
Even though I am only an amateur cyclist, my Parvilla Custom f i t has been the critical component to my increased speed, power and comfort while riding. I immediately noticed a tremendous difference post fitting. As with most things, the devil is in the details, the Parvilla fitting finds and fixes the details.
Ron Cochran, Chesapeake Beach, MD
Much has been written about the science and technology behind the Parvilla Custom f i t system, but a tool is only good as the folks using it. Parvilla adds an expert fitting eye to the equation and communicates well with the rider to ensure your position will work best for your individual situation rather than just blindly following an equation. In addition, they go the extra mile to work with you as a rider to ensure you understand the logic behind any adjustments, using examples, analogies and simple explanations to make sense of the data and recommended changes. I haven’t worked through the full adjustment period yet, but within just a few rides I already feel more comfortable and powerful and look forward to working with the new position during winter training and next season.
George Ganoung, West Virginia
I met Stu last year and could instantly tell he knew his stuff when it came to bike fitting and bikes in general. I was in the market for a new time trial bike and was having a hard time deciding which bike looked the coolest, went the fastest, and most importantly, would fit me best. I was finding that the top tubes on most high end bikes I was looking at were entirely too long for me – and Stu confirmed this. After an all-day discussion / measurement / education session, Stu and I decided that a custom frame would be my best option given my dimensions. Unfortunately, I live in North Carolina and Stu and his shop are in Maryland! However, I didn’t want the distance between our two locations to hinder me from getting the best bike fit possible so I decided to make the trip to MD to get a Parvilla Custom f i t by the expert himself.
The process was extremely detailed, specific and lengthy but worth every second! My custom Guru frame was built based on the exact Parvilla Custom f i t measurements and arrived about 2 months later. Since the day I picked my bike up from the shop, I haven’t made a single fit adjustment – not one! My bike fit could not be a more perfect fit; there isn’t a ride that goes by that someone doesn’t mention how aerodynamic and dialed in my positioning is. If you ride long distances, you know how important this is! Thank you to Parvilla Custom f i t, Guru, Dura-Ace, Zipp and Quarq and most importantly, Stu, for decking me out with the most badass bike around!
Kim Eagens, Charlotte, NC
I checked out Parvilla Cycles in Edgewater and it was the best money spent since I have started cycling. Simply, I had the wrong bike!! It was too big (stretched out like superman) with the wrong seat adjustment. Stu taught me proper pedaling techniques (who knew there was a right way to pedal?) and my pedal stroke has improved. I enjoy riding, Hell I even look forward to it. Small adjustments make a big difference like simple cleat adjustments.
My friend Barry told me about Parvilla's fitting. I summed my lack of speed up to not having Aero Wheels. Pair of Zipp's 404's would solve the problem RIGHT? Well I still don't have the Zipp's!!! Now I now ride pain free longer and have fun doing it. Thanks Stu! I don't work for or have been compensated, I just like the attention I have been given at Parvilla. Check them out.
Anthony Banks, Bowie, MD
I am a triathlete – I like long distance, I like good equipment and I like to go fast. But l am 6’ 4”, 225+lbs and built like a linebacker! This presents issues when it comes to bikes. Over the past several years I’ve owned a Trek TTX 9.5 and a Felt DA. Obviously these bikes are expensive. My checking account can attest to this. But not knowing any better (and like many other people I suspect) I bought the bikes that looked cool in the magazines and what other people told me were cool.
I have been fit with the wooden stick and T-bar method. This seems more appropriate for building a house than fitting a bike. Not knowing any better, I stood there and nodded while I talked to my fitter. Something in the back of my mind seemed to know that I shouldn’t be standing for a fitting for something I would be sitting on. I was then put on a trainer, and asked how it felt. I guess it felt fine. So I wasted $6000 on a Trek. I did it again 2 years later and wasted another $6000 on the Felt. Not that they aren’t fine bikes, but the fittings seemed to focus more around how I could fit on the bike than how the bike could fit me. Frustrated, I was resigned to suffering. This was triathlon right?
A few months ago I met with Stu Waring at Parvilla Cycle and Multisport at an event at their store in Edgewater, MD. We discussed the custom option, and based on my current stock-Tri-bike batting average, I thought a custom fit bike made more sense. Stu and I then spent 4+ hours doing a Parvilla Custom f i t. He had me connected to cameras, sensors, multiple televisions, power meters and Guru’s Mission Control Center in Montreal seeing what would work for me. Multiple on-the-fly adjustments, position changes, and power comparisons came up with something that felt completely different than it had in the past. From what I could see on the screens in front of me, I had both power AND comfort. What a novel concept.,,, a bike built around me. This was gonna be fun!
A month later my Stealth, black on black CR.901 frame set showed up. It was sweet. It LOOKED like my bike. Monster bottom bracket and chain stays, long deep aero down tube, and a nice sexy head tube. It looked like a race horse. And it weighed 3 lbs less than my Felt da. Go figure?!
The first ride was an easy hour, and my Guru and I got to know each other. The ride felt different, almost like that first date when you know that other person is someone you are going to spend some time with. I could instantly tell the bike was more... confident. There was zero frame flex, and the bike seemed to compliment my body rather than just put up with it. I found some open road and got comfortable in aero. I was a little nervous, as this is the ultimate test of bike fitting. The Guru stayed true. It was nimble and seemed to dance down the road. I tried to find some ways that we could fine tune it, but couldn't. My shoulders were relaxed. My neck was relaxed. My back was relaxed. I had always felt more comfortable on the bullhorns of my previous bikes than aero. This bike is meant to be ridden aero. After about 45 minutes like this, I realized the only thing that hurt on my body was my face because I had been smiling so much.
The second ride was a 2.5 hour ride down around southern Maryland with a friend I ride with on occasion. He's always been a slightly better rider than me so I was curious to see how it would go. At this point I found out why the fit matters. If it were just about comfort, my sofa at home would have been an equal choice. But on my Guru, it meant I could lay down some serious power. I could literally pour it out of my legs and into the bike. The power transfer to the Guru was instantaneous and smooth. My body wasn't shifting all over the bike, and my head stayed still. At that moment, it seemed like my other bikes fit similar to the middle seat in an airplane. Finally, my body and my bike weren’t arguing. Both wanted to go fast. So we did. Up hills. Over rollers. Flats. Into headwinds. The worst part of the ride was waiting for my buddy to catch up at every turn. The second worst part was turning down Route 214 coming back to Parvilla. I wanted to keep going.
Needless to say, I love this bike. MY bike.
I can’t thank Stu at Parvilla Cycle and Multisport enough for my new ride. Stu has put up with more “why are we doing it this way?” questions than I thought he could bear. In addition to his fitting, I’d consider his knowledge of the sport more akin to wisdom, as he happily passes it on. Thanks a million!
Dave LaPaglia, Odenton, MD