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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:02 pm 
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As I am currently bit involved in this industry and surrounded by the start-up world, I'd like to get your (constructive) opinions on and idea.

I have personally always been struggling with proper fit/geometry and everything around that. I've never seen a professional fitter, although I've been riding for 15 years both road and mtb, with more than 100 races. There are mainly two reasons for that. First, the place where I used to live did not really have any and I did not feel comfortable on spending an amount equivalent to new Sram RED crankset (but lets not go into the discussion about that). So although I haven't had a professional fitting done, I totally understand the value and benefit of the process. I think everybody here agrees that once you get past the "2 times a week" commuting exercise the whole issue becomes extremely important. You need fitting help everywhere, when buying a new bike/frame or tuning your current setup with stems, seatpost, saddles etc.

So as everything today is going mobile, I've been wondering would there be a need for a proper app? Yes I know it's been done before and I'm not the first one to think of it, but none of then have really become popular. Is it because they are not good enough or is it because there is no need for that, I let you decide. But don't say it can't be done... everything can be done.

So here is what I've been thinking on how it all should work (it's not all figured out, this is something I wrote down in 15min).
1. Iphone, Ipad and android compatible app.
2. You can choose the type: road, tri or mtb
3. You take a picture of yourself standing (from side)
4. You take a picture of yourself while seated (from side)
5. Picture of you on your bike from side (optional)
6. App lets you point out your joints (not with points, but by drawing lines and then the intersections of lines will become the "joints")
7. Of course you could modify all the dimensions manually as well.
8. Based on the images and data an automatic fit is calculated (very similar to competitivecycling one, but you don't have to do the uncomfortable measuring).
9. Now the virtual rider with your dimensions is placed on an bike. The bike geometry is inserted manually or selected from database if it is a well known model/make.
10. Suggestions for the best fit will be shown. All the knee angles, arm angles, body positions... options are endless
11. If you did take the picture of you on the bike, then the two images are compared, so you could actually visualize the data.
---this would be the first version---

Version 2 would also involve an suggestive aero calculation.
1. You take a picture of yourself on a bike from dead front.
2. The image is analyzed and your body together with bike is "cropped" to calculate the cross-area of you and the bike
3. Suggestions are given how to reduce your drag.
4. You can take new photos (with elbows tucked in) and compare the results and for example the power reduction to hold the same speed... there are lot of options here...
---
5. The fitting data of all the cyclists who are using this app is also stored and analyzed. So the more data we have the better suggestions we could give. For example if people with 70cm inseam are raising their saddles to Xcm and it's happening 99 times of 100 then the system takes that into account. So the app is self improving all the time.
6. We should try to get as many "pros" measured as possible and put down their geometry as well. So you could compare yourself against all your favorites.

Version 3 - Video
1. You let someone to film you on a trainer. And you can do basically everything I've written here before + lot of new options (movement analysis etc...).

Business model:
*App could be free without saving data. Paid if you want to keep your data. Or free for 1 try and then paid... lot of options.
*Partner up with bike and part manufacturers - If you calculate your fit, their frames, parts will be shown as the best fitting ones (based on price, weight, etc)
*Adds

Feel free to "steal" my idea if you have the skills and time to do this. This is something I just want to use. And just maybe there is a business behind this...
This is my 15 minutes. I am not a app developer myself, so unfortunately I can't do it myself over the weekend. But there are options like Kickstarter to get things done. But first of all, I'd like your constructive validation on the whole idea!

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Last edited by indrek on Thu May 03, 2012 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:06 pm 
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And if anyone can estimate the market size for this kind of app, that would be nice to hear (assuming it works really well).

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 4:19 am 
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I would buy it :beerchug:


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:55 am 
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The problem with a program like that is that the point if reference are vague if you are not a trained fitter. I have tried kinovea with mild success because I only have a vague knowledge of where to really measure on certain parts of the body like the hips.

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:34 pm 
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roca rule wrote:
The problem with a program like that is that the point if reference are vague if you are not a trained fitter. I have tried kinovea with mild success because I only have a vague knowledge of where to really measure on certain parts of the body like the hips...


Yes I agree, getting the crucial measurements right is the bases of it all. I think the competitive cyclist fit calculator gets used a ton, although it's not that convenient. I think if the video fit gets implemented, then it would be already really good as getting the points correct in motion would be much more precise...

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:40 pm 
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great idea. just some additional thoughts:

1. Expand app for Triathletes, this could expand reach dramatically
2. App could also provide basic sizing data (for people who plan to buy a bike) which again, expands your reach.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 8:21 pm 
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here is couple of sketches... the red lines are something you could modify with your fingers and the dots are automatically generated in the intersections... There is no side photo at the moment as I'm starting to think there is no need for one... more to come...


Attachments:
fit_1.jpg
fit_1.jpg [ 73.76 KiB | Viewed 791 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 4:44 pm 
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The issue is that fit is a dynamic process and isn't the same for everyone. If you make it clear that the app is a starting point and not a replacement for a pro fit I think it would better benefit cyclists


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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 8:50 pm 
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I really like the idea, especially the video thing could make a difference.
The Competitive cycling fit calculator works fine most of the time btw...


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:31 am 
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Not to hijack the thread but, assuming one is comfortable on the bike, is there any reason to be professionally fit?

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Last edited by kevinkalis on Mon May 07, 2012 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:55 am 
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Location: Near Horgen, Switzerland
How about keeping it very simple?

Type in your measurements and see what commuters / amateurs / pros of similar measurements are riding. Here I think the important bit is presenting the range as well as the mean or mode, since it's silly to expect there is a 'right' answer. That will at least stop people from making horrible mistakes.

Then regarding the business model, you could explore linking bike fitting studios with people using the app. You would get paid either per lead or per fitting completed. The nearest fit studio would get an email / pic / video of the client and could provide email hints and invite people for a proper fitting.


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:35 pm 
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kevinkalis wrote:
Not to hijack the thread but, assuming one is comfortable on the bike, is there any reason to be professionally fit?


I'm comfortable slouched in my chair or lounging on my sofa doesn't mean it's right though.

I think it would be popular with the masses if it was cheap enough


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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:57 pm 
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mrfish wrote:
How about keeping it very simple?

Type in your measurements and see what commuters / amateurs / pros of similar measurements are riding. Here I think the important bit is presenting the range as well as the mean or mode, since it's silly to expect there is a 'right' answer. That will at least stop people from making horrible mistakes...


I actually thought about that as well... Just to have a database of thousands of cyclists with their measurements and bike models and set-ups. That would be highly beneficial as a starting point. Plus with lot of data you can start to see lot of interesting patterns... I think the only concern here is that there is so many different frames with different geometries in multiple sizes, plus all the different component you could have... so it could take a lot of time until the database is big enough to start getting valuable suggestions to a new individual...

... but then again this forum alone has more than 21 000 users:)

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 2:45 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
I think a tool of this nature may be helpful for beginners only as it would provide good access to some (hopefully) well researched and valid info re fit guidelines, and perhaps allow them to start thinking about fit in general and start them on pathway to educate themselves in a more detailed and specific manner.

I however feel it could be detrimental to some riders who may think the results of their use are "law" and use them blindly whilst exeriencing issues as a result of their data input accuracy and their ability to interpretae the result provided and apply t to the bike......

An additional limitation exists in relation to the accuracy of the input data as there no way a set of external referance dimensions provided by a user (presumeably alone and without the aid of scan or X-ray), can be accurate enough to be worth while in determining their dynamic range / capabilities or where challenges lie in relation to their fit. As a result riders aiming for higher workload volumes and intensities may be lead to genuine injury.

Please note I have not mentioned the accuracy / validity / worth of the statistical fit geometry calculations in the software relative to physical geomtry in achieving a valid fit..... Personally i feel they are useful only as a guideline for the relative beginner... and those who are staistically "normal"..... and little more......

So in summary, perhaps a good idea in terms of access and education to beginners... but not worthwhile to experienced / well informed riders, or those with specific 'challenges" relating to their bike fit...
:thumbup:


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Hi

A good idea but not easy to implement. Actually I was thinking about the similar thing a few months ago. I'm a software developer and a competitve cyclist. I also have more than 10 years of pro road racing behind me and I have never done the proper fitting..

Are you sure the cameras on ipad and iphones are good enough for such purpose?
The photos/videos should be taken at accurate 90 degrees to the rider otherwise the deviation on the measured distances would become to large to get the accurate calculations.
Also the video recognition of joints and automatic tracking is quite difficult task to develop.


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Posted: Sat May 12, 2012 11:18 pm 


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