All Triathlon, All the Time

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Retul and USA Triathlon help our Beijing Olympic Triathletes

Ok well here is one for the Retul bike fitting system. Locally here in Minneapolis Gear West got the system going early this year and I was one of the first customers to get on it. I posted about it on Martin Luther King Day – and yes I credit it to being way more comfortable at Ironman Arizona. Kevin Gear West already knows how to fit people on triathlon bikes but this made it easier for us to compare different adjustments, specially since I’ve been racing for a while so I needed more than a beginner on their first tri bike.

Anyways, it’s great to see companies partnering with triathletes since we are such a smaller sport compared to all the R&D dollars that get spent on track and field or swimming, let along the team sports (NFL, MLB, NBA).   Craig Alexander got sponsored by them last year and he did undergo the Retul fitting system when he started up with CTS (don’t get me started on CTS).

Simply, if you cannot hold the aero position for longer than a tv show, you need help and Retul helps an experienced bike shop employee fit you (and keep a historical video of your fit, yes video! I love video!).

USA Triathletes Use Motion Capture to Improve Their Rides in Beijing
2008-04-16 12:03 (New York)

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 16, 2008
Our nation’s triathletes will look to motion-capture analysis to
give them an edge on their bikes at the Beijing Olympics, as USA
Triathlon has announced Retul as a technology supplier to the national
team program.

“The motion-capture analysis gives our coaches crucial data on how
to avoid injury as our athletes are training,” said Scott
Schnitzspahn, the performance director for USAT, “and also how we can
modify their bikes to cut crucial minutes when racing without
sacrificing stamina in their runs.”

Motion-capture analysis has come a long way since first employed
in film and software animation and is now employed in a variety of
industrial uses, including injury prevention in assembly lines, noted
Retul’s Co-Founder Franko Vatterott. For cyclists, it allows for
dynamic 3-D analysis of a fitting — which can affect everything from
saddle and handlebar positions, the amount of travel in their strokes,
the position of their feet on the pedals and especially their wind
resistance — while ramping up the RPMs on a stationary trainer.

“We’re all huge triathlon fans around here, and we’re honored USAT
will use our 3-D technology to optimize the U.S. athletes in Beijing
for superior performance,” Vatterott said. “But we also believe the
Retul system provides a common dynamic fit language that will
ultimately be used to further the science of fitting a bicycle to the
human body and therefore help manufacturers make better bikes.”

In February, Retul’s expert fitter Todd Carver visited USAT
offices at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to provide
the first few bike fits for a few of the Olympic hopefuls, including
Andy Potts, Hunter Kemper and Sarah Haskins. The coaches and staff of
USAT quickly decided the portable technology was needed by the program
for both training and races, a technology that is also considered
mission critical by another Retul client, Slipstream Chipotle, the
U.S. Team competing in this year’s Tour de France.

Both Potts and Haskins have since turned in winning performances
at the March 29 Ford Ironman 70.3 California (Oceanside) and the March
16 Miami International Triathlon in Miami, Fla., respectively.

The triathletes were both able to increase their time advantages
during the bike legs of the race, though Potts expressed dismay he had
not been “reeled in” during the ride.

Retul’s new portable bike fit system — the 45-inch by 16-inch
case could go into an airline’s checked baggage — is also commonly
used by elite cyclists to test positions while riding their bikes in
wind tunnels.

“It is our goal to continue to take advanced technology, make it
easy to use and apply it to endurance sports where it can quickly and
effectively increase athlete performance,” said Retul Founder and
Inventor Cliff Simms. “There is so much we can do, and we are excited
at what we have been able to do so far.”

The system is similar to that used for motion capture for motion
pictures or video games, but employs a harness of eight LEDs (Light
Emitting Diodes) instead of reflective markers. The LEDs are placed in
key body movement locations for bike riders and tracked by three
infra-red cameras resulting in three-dimensional measurements accurate
to fractions of a millimeter.

“It’s really an incredible evolution, of sorts, in terms of
technology,” said Allen Lim, Ph.D., the sports physiologist for the
Slipstream Pro Cycling team, about the Retul technology and software.
“This is like a stock broker going from a ticker tape to the

About Retul.

Retul technology offers 3-D Cycling Gait Analysis using
state-of-the-art motion capture technology originally designed for the
surgical navigation industry. The same accuracy standards used by
medical professionals who are performing brain and other noninvasive
surgical procedures are now available for precision bicycle fitting.
The Boulder company has provided systems to fitters around the globe.
To learn more, please visit www.retul.com.

About USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for
triathlon — the fastest growing sport in the U.S. — as well as
duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT
sanctions 2,300 races and connects with more than 100,000 members each
year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In
addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the
grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite
athletes competing at international events, including World
Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games. Website:

Note to Editors: Photos available by request.

Franko Vatterott, 720-406-1171 ext. 1

-0- Apr/16/2008 16:03 GMT

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April 21, 2008 at 9:38 pm
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