Archive for bicycle terminology

Bike Fit Tools: The Retul Zin Digitizer

Posted in Bike Fitting with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2010 by hypercatracing

Today’s modern bike fit studio is outfitted with an arsenal of tools that would make a university lab jealous.  As bike designs change so must the equipment.  As education becomes more available and the fitter becomes more specialized so must their equipment.  While the simple tried and true tools of the past like tape measures, plumb bobs and angle finders are still in use, the modern fit studio is now equipped with tools like lasers, computers, video and in some cases (such as here at Hypercat) 3D motion capture and handheld digitizers.   

One of my favorite tools in the Hypercat aresenal is the Retul Zin.   The Zin (Retul’s handheld digitizer) provides the ability to measure a rider’s bike at either 13 or 15 points, depending on the bike (road, aero, mountain, etc.).  The Zin can measure fixed points, contours, and curves, providing a complete digital map of the bike that is far more accurate than traditional tape measures.  Even difficult components such as saddles and grips are measured for exact angles and relative positioning. 

How it works:  The fitter connects the Zin Wand Digitizer to the Retul 3D unit.  After digitizing a few reference points, the bike is scanned at 13-15 points around the bicycle.  Wheels, bottom bracket, handlebar, grips, stem, aerobar grips, aerobar pads, saddle.  headset, are all scanned and a rendering of the bicycle is created with references created between several fixed points (bottom bracket center, headtube) of the bike and the alterable points (saddle, handlebars, aerobars, grips).  The final product is a printout of the exact size of your bicycle and the location of everything attached to it. 

Benefits:  A detailed computer scan of your bicycle provides accuracy to less than 1mm of the location of all the major contact areas on your bicycle.  This can come in very handy when traveling and trying to put a bike back together exactly as it was before, or maybe your bike got worked on and something feels “off” afterward.  Maybe you want to change saddles but not positions, or how about needing to rent or borrow a bike, you can take your position with you.  What if you are in the market for a new bike and like the way your old bike fits?  You can use your scanned bike as a template to see what bikes match and/ or set-up the test ride bike so you get a better test experience.   We have had clients who unfortunately had a bike stolen or broken in crashes, having the Zin document as a guide we or the shop mechanic at the store were able to quickly set up the new bike just like the old one.   Team Radioshack, Team Sky and other professional cycling teams, professional Triathletes like Chis Lieto, Team K-Swiss, Craig Alexander and many more all get their bikes Zin’ed and Retul’ed.  Professional cycling team mechanics are now carrying in their equipment van a Retul system so that each bike can be set-up for each rider exactly, everytime.

If you have a position that you like currently, or are getting ready to make some changes, make an appointment to have your bike Zin’ed.  A Zin session takes only 20-30 minutes, is $25- and includes a detailed printout and storage of files.  Make your appointment today at and never lose your position again.  Works with any bicycle.


Bicycle Headsets finally get standardized (S.H.I.S)

Posted in New Products, News with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by hypercatracing

There are two points of major frustration on a bicycle for me.  The headset and the bottom bracket.  Both of these areas involve bearings and also involve the whim of the manufactures who are competing with one another to design the “perfect” size, dimension, and marketable feature set to give you the perfect whatever.  Bottom line this leads to a lot of choices with not a lot of compatibility. Want to upgrade or change then you need to decipher what you have, what will work and buy 100% anew.  There is some interchangeability within the crank/ bottom bracket arena and BB30 at least set a universal standard, however headsets have gotten out of control along side bike design and if you desire to change the headset knowing what will work practically takes an advanced degree in engineering.

Our good friends at Cane Creek along with a number of other manufactures decided to change this madness and create a universal standard language (SHIS – Standardized Headset Identification System) so that headset manufactures, bike makers, frame builders and the rest of us can all agree on what headset will fit our bike. 

I look forward to seeing this roll out across the industry this year and next and seeing more manufactures come on board.

For all the info visit

To view the complete document explaining the new system look here.  Standardized_Headset_Identification_System