I had a bike fit done with Arland last year, and recently when he was in Manila, he contacted me to show some new toys that he brought along with him. I was in need of a few adjustments to my tri bike due to a new aerobar, so it was perfect timing for me to pay him a visit.
First up is this seatpost that is used to quickly switch saddles. I really like it because it allows him to quickly change saddles for the rider to see what he likes best. It’s similar to the one they use on the Slowtwitch Saddle Tour, and I was excited about this one because I had read about it before. Arland had it attached to a standard Thomson seatpost, but you can attach it to the top of your usual seatpost, lower it, and the commence with switching saddles by releasing and fastening the clamp.
I tried a few saddles from Selle SMP, ISM, and Selle Italia. I’ve always been curious how the Selle SMP feels like, and it’s actually pretty comfy. I now understand why a lot of pros like Bree Wee and Cameron Brown use it. I tried all the different widths, and I liked the second widest one the best. I also saw how the two ISMs were a bit wider than my Adamo Attack, and the Selle Italia one was pretty plush. It’s interesting to find out that it’ll take a while to find out what saddle works for you, but you won’t need long to find out if you don’t like a bad saddle.
The main advantage of this device is that you can quickly switch saddles and try them on your bike. It would normally take a fitter a few minutes on a normal seatpost, but this does it in a matter of seconds. Pretty useful if you wanna find the ideal saddle for you and your behind. You can also adjust it fore and aft, and tilt it to quickly account for usage differences in saddles.
In the end, I stayed with my fi’zi:k Arione Versus on my road bike because I’m pretty happy with the shape and length of the saddle, and the channel in the middle works to relieve saddle discomfort.
Next up is this Salsa adjustable stem. It’s used to simulate different stem lengths to see which one would work best with your bike.
Here Arland sets me up with the maximum length of 150mm. I don’t even think there’s a stem size that long in the market, but it’s possible with this device.
The only downside to this stem is that you can’t use it on the road–it’s just for bike fitting. It’s also a bit heavy to lug around, but Arland brings it along on his trips here because it’s proven useful.
Arland also has a tool that measures stack and reach, which are the two most important bike fit measurements, especially for a tri bike. This allows him to transfer fits from one bike to another as well as record a customer’s measurements.
These are what my X and Y measurements look like for my road bike with the coordinates that Arland is recommending for me.
Lastly, Arland brought out one of the things I found most interesting from this session. He’s had it for a while but since I don’t use Speedplay pedals, he never used them on me. It’s called the Determinator, and it allows for stance adjustment for Speedplay pedals during fitting. Speedplay is a fitter’s dream as it comes in different spindle lengths. Instead of using spacers like on my pedals, you can use the Determinator to figure out the right spindle length for you and order it from Speedplay.
The red one is a normal Speedplay pedal that Arland is using on his bike, and the green one is the Determinator Speedplay pedal, extended to the max stance width. You’ll see how much longer it is than the red one. You can set the width for the left and right pedal independently. In my case, my left pedal is farther out than the right one, which is of normal length, so if I were using Speedplay we’d figure that out with this tool.
It comes in this snazzy metal case for travel and storage. Of course you won’t need a set if you’re not doing bike fits for other people, but it’s good that Arland has them. Like the Salsa stem, it’s not for use on the road, but just for fitting purposes.
Another thing that Arland likes about Speedplay pedals is the fact that you can adjust float precisely. In fact this is what he did for Kuya Kim when he fitted him.
The last time Arland was here, he also brought a fit bike with him and he used it to perform bike fits at The Brick. I wasn’t able to see it in person, but that would be the best way for him to fit someone, in combination with these toys. But for traveling, this would be the set that he brings. He’s currently not in the Philippines but he’s here regularly, so if you’re interested in getting a fit from him, you can contact him.