Real Rider Stories: Jared Goes Feet First
Jared Scott is a 17-year old Junior Cyclocross and Road racer who started his current cycling career at the age of twelve by getting into the sport of triathlon. It was when Jared did longer road bike tours like the Courage Classic and Ride The Rockies that he found his true passion. “I decided to try out a season racing on the road. I had a ton of fun and all my teammates on BJC [Boulder Junior Cycling] were doing Cyclocross so I ended up doing that through the Winter and got second [place] at nationals which started my cycling career.”
As a Junior rider who trains hard and spends a ton of time on the bike, it is critical to be in a proper bike position. “Some of these kids are growing rapidly and it could be very easy to end up with strain on the joints if the bike is not adjusted to follow their growth progression. So their fit is likely to be more dynamic and could change multiple times throughout a season. We don't expect to find a perfect long term position but just to optimize for where they are at that moment.” Explains Jason Williams, Retül bike fitter and Sports Scientist for Specialized Human Performance.
“With that said, we think of bike fit for adults similarly. Bike fit is a snapshot of who they are as a cyclist at that time. Every riders position needs could change over time, we just expect a more rapid progression with younger riders.”
Jared got back from Europe after racing the Tabor and Koksijde World Cups when he decided to come to Boulder to get his 2018 GIANT TCX Advanced SX race bikes dialed in. “[..] after Europe I had been riding my B-bike and I felt a huge difference between the two of them. I felt more comfortable on one and a fit was very much needed.” We wanted to make sure that both his A and B bikes were set up to be exactly the same as he prepared to race Cyclocross Nationals with the goal of being invited to the World Championships.
Jared had been experiencing variable knee discomfort on the bike at times during the year which he would try to manage with physical therapy, massage and physio work like using a foam roller. During the Retül fit we noticed that his seat had likely been moved during travel or with a crash at a race. Williams normalized the saddle position to bring the support forward underneath Jared’s sit bones. “The most significant change was to support the arch with a Body Geometry SL Footbed and some Varus correction in the shoes.” Williams also recommended a commitment to cross training for knee and hip stability as well as some targeted stretching work to maintain good flexibility as Jared’s training intensity increased.
The Retül data was used to verify that his overall position was actually pretty good, but, the saddle was “behind” him and there was a lack of support in his shoes which was evident by looking at his 3D knee tracking. “We found an improvement in knee stability with the additional structure inside his shoes. The cleats and shoes were also fairly worn so we sent him with a prescription to install new cleats and base plate reinforcement for the pedals.”
We caught up with Jared to see how the bike fit felt now that he had a chance to try it out, and he happily informed us that the changes feel a lot better, especially on his main bike. “I can also definitely feel a big difference with my shoes having a ton more support.”
Jared ended up placing 4th in the Junior category at the Cyclocross National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky this past December, and we are happy to inform that he is now preparing to race the Junior category in the Cyclocross World Championships that will take place February 2-3 in Bogense, Denmark.
So the question we always ask riders when they have had a Retül fit is, would you recommend a Retül fit to other riders? Jared kindly answered, “Yes, I would, because it is extremely accurate and they were able to help me out a ton. A bike fit makes a huge difference and Retül definitely did it right.” If you are a younger rider, or know any youth riders that put in a ton of miles on the bike, then scheduling that bike fit appointment should be near the top of the list, right up there with going to the dentist.
We wish Jared the best of luck this weekend and can’t wait to hear the results of the race!