Ivan O’Gorman loves coffee and espresso. He loves it so much that he has a scale sensitive enough to weigh your breath. He uses it measure just the right amount of perfectly ground coffee to make the perfect cup. It’s this attention to detail that permeates his life and in part makes him one of the most coveted bike fitters in the industry.
But it’s his sense of humor and his attitude of understanding that life is short and that it’s critical to balance work, play and family that stood out for me in this interview for 303Radio from his studio in Niwot. It’s his good nature and inviting personality that no doubt keeps people coming back, or stopping by.
We sat in this incredibly inviting and charming space in the quaint downtown of Niwot and just chatted. In this podcast we talked about his rugby days growing up in Ireland, his days with Retul and his bike fitting philosophies and just fun stories in between. The walls and shelves are decorated with shoes and memorabilia from countless athletes Ivan has fitted. Says 303 ambassador Kim Welk, a friend of Ivan’s, “he is extremely detailed and explains his process every step of the way.”
Part way through pro triathlete Tyler Butterfield happened to stop by as he was heading out for a ride but wanted some of Ivan’s amazing espresso to warm up for a bit. Later we all went riding on a cold January day.
Ivan’s studio is a hub, athletes stop by all the time apparently. Check it out sometime and I can assure you Ivan is happy to help with a bike fit or whatever he can do to make riding a bike more fun and comfortable. Check it out here: http://www.ivanogorman.com
I got my current TT bike in April 2013 and decided, after 3.5 years that I was overdue for a bike fit. The main reasons were because I recently got some PowerTap P1 pedals, but I’m also recovering from a bike-crash-induced rotator cuff injury that makes my former aggressive aero position very uncomfortable.
As much as I didn’t want to go less aggressive, I figured that changing it now, so I could actually ride and stay aero all winter, was better than keeping it and being in pain. That’s the cool thing about bike parts, they’re pretty easy to adjust and I know I can always go back to being more aggressive when I’m ready. Even if I didn’t have these reason for a fit, I was still overdue. I had put thousands of miles on my bike since I got it. My flexibility and riding abilities have definitely changed since 2013 and I owed it to myself to maximize my current self, not my 2013 self. I have big plans for 2017 (Ironman Boulder!) and to build a strong base this winter, I need a good foundation.
I went to Denver Fit Loft for my bike and opted for the Retul Fit. With Retul, you have sensors affixed to your body at key spots (feet, knees, hips, shoulder, elbow, wrist) and a computer models your movement in real time. It gives the fitter real time feedback on efficiency and motion as you ride along (on a trainer) and offers a more precise bike fit.
Here’s what you need for your bike fit:
• Your bike
• Your bike shoes
• Wear some comfy cycling gear
• A water bottle – you’ll be doing some pedaling
The first step in the fit process was an evaluation of my flexibility and body position. We also went over any issues I was having that needed resolution. We then went to doing major bike adjustments – my cleats and pedals took about 20 minutes alone. Next came my bars (making them less aggressive but also more comfortable for my angry shoulder) and saddle position. Since my bike was already fairly optimized, we left things like changing the saddle or crank lengths alone. Once we have a good rough fit, it was time to have the Retul dots velcro’d to me and to do some spinning. A tweak here, a shift there and I was pedaling as smooth as fresh pavement. The whole process took about 2 hours and I’m now a happy pain-free rider.
When is a good time to get a bike fit?
• When you purchase the bike
• When you make a major change in components (pedals, saddle, bars)
• If you have an injury or other limitation that you didn’t have when you originally got your bike fit
• Every several years to optimize your bike for your CURRENT riding self
The off season is a fantastic time to get a bike fit. For starters, you have all winter to get used to your new set-up and make adjustments as needed. Secondly, if you’re looking to build a bike base in the winter, it helps to build it on a strong foundation. Comfort, movement, and maximizing power are all things that should be set at the beginning of your base build. Your body will need time to adapt to the changes and by getting fit on the off season, you’re giving yourself the best chance for that to happen. And a word of advice from all the bike fitters out there – don’t get fit the week before your A-race. Get it done early and you’ll be a happier and more efficient rider.