Reviewed: MyVeloFit Remote Bike-Fitting App

If you’ve had a bike fit, you know it’s boring, methodical work – vertical pilots dangle, angles are measured, and parts are always moved a small millimeter at a time until it’s in the right position. A good bike ride takes at least an hour of your time; I have had some fitters block for three hours to make adjustments and replace parts. But what if you could skip it all and instead fit your bike right into your home? This is the premise behind MyVeloFit, a virtual bike customization app that uses AI technology to help cyclists make fit adjustments on their own.

Do-it-yourself bike fittings are nothing new – cyclists and triathletes have seen their bike fit in the eye for as long as bikes have existed. Some do it to save money, others because they do not have a professional bike fitter in their city, and still others because they do not see the need for it. At a time when instructions for pretty much anything can be found online, including YouTube videos on how to do your own bike customization, it’s no surprise that more and more people are taking the DIY route when it comes to bike customization. It is also not surprising that there are many people with poor do-it-yourself bike care that hinder their comfort and performance.

Virtual bicycle fittings are nothing new either. At the beginning of the pandemic, almost every bicycle mechanic I know offered video consultations. But MyVeloFit is the first to develop a database app to take the fitter completely out of the equation, instead of using algorithms based on over ten million data points to systematically analyze the user’s bike fit and bring some guidance to do-it-yourselfers .

Does this mean that MyVeloFit is committed to putting professional bicycle fitters out of service? Almost. Instead, it might just be something to save the DIY crowd from themselves.

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MyVeloFit review: What we liked

MyVeloFit currently offers three levels of membership for individual users:

  • A free, basic bicycle care

  • An “enthusiast-level” membership for a one-time detailed fit on a single rider for a single bike ($ 35)

  • A “pro” membership with a one-year fit for a single rider on multiple bikes ($ 75)

These prices are lower than a personal bicycle fitting – much lower: $ 35 is not that much money compared to the $ 100 and more that most bicycle fitters charge for a one-time fitting. For those who live in rural areas or places where good professional fitters are hard to find, there are also time savings as one does not have to drive to the next town to get an appointment for bicycle fitting. All that is needed to make the bike fit at home is a phone, a bike and a stationary trainer. (MyVeloFit also offers monthly membership options for retailers, bike installers, trainers, and physiotherapists for multiple clients.)

The free option for the app only generates an extremely straightforward, extremely basic customization analysis. To get a truly customized bike fit, one has to pay for the enthusiast or pro membership. There, the user can upload video of specific mobility tests that the app uses to assess your upper and lower body mobility.

The app provides very specific instructions on how to record the video and it is important to follow these instructions, otherwise your video will be turned back as unreadable by the algorithm. However, a successful video will generate details about your mobility and flexibility that it uses to create a custom dataset for the prior bike fit.

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From there, the user records more video – this time on the bike. After uploading the video of the rider pedaling away, the algorithm analyzes the data points in your app (I like to imagine thousands of little robot bike installers in my phone, wearing denim aprons and with weights, even though I know the reality is just a lot of computer code). Five minutes later, MyVeloFit generates a detailed analysis of what works, what does not work, and what customization corrections need to be made.

In total, my do-it-yourself bike fitting with MyVeloFit took about 90 minutes, mostly due to re-uploading videos and google for more information (more on that below). Most of the recommendations were simple and specific: “Raise your seat 5 mm” was an instruction I could easily follow. After making adjustments, the user can upload another video for a reanalysis to fine tune.

The app asks if the rider’s priority is performance, comfort or both. The recommendations are based on this preference; a performance fit on a triathlon bike will be more aggressive than a comfort fit. The aforementioned mobility tests also take into account the algorithm; a fit only works if a rider has the flexibility to move effectively in that position. This is where MyVeloFit excels compared to most do-it-yourself approaches: instead of giving rug recommendations that say “your leg length is such and such, so your seat should be at this height”, the app takes more , personal factors into consideration. .

Eventually, I came up with a triathlon bike fit that was more comfortable than what I had originally set up when I built my bike (which basically meant standing over my handlebars and sliding the seat until it appeared to be right, and then I wondered why my knee hurt and I kept sliding forward on the saddle during the maiden voyage). There was also a sense of satisfaction in taking the fit into my own hands (literally). In the process of making adjustments, I got to know my new bike a little better and built up my key skills a bit, which in turn builds my confidence to be able to handle other bike maintenance tasks.

With a $ 35 “enthusiast” membership, I have access to my fit profile in MyVeloFit for two weeks, where I can upload up to five new videos a day while improving my fit on my triathlon bike. Those with a $ 75 “pro” membership can use the app on multiple bikes (road, mountain, hybrid, triathlon and even spin bikes) over the course of a year, allowing them to return to their fit analysis as they gain more fitness and flexibility over the course of the season.

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MyVeloFit review: What could be better

It was the first time I had made my own bike fit. I have always gone to my local bike shop to get a professional fitting when I get a new bike, for honestly, if I spend a lot of money on a bike, I will make sure the fit is tucked in so I can get most out of it. Although I appreciated the guidance I got from the app, I also left my virtual bike customization with more questions than answers.

In addition to simple instructions such as “lift your seat X mm”, the MyVeloFit analysis shows where the rider is within the recommended ranges for factors such as squats or back angle:

This is where things get confusing for a do-it-yourself fitter. If a measurement is outside a recommended range, the user can click on the question mark next to the factor to read more. E.g:

The solutions to get within the recommended range are so open that it leaves a first-time DIY bike fitter like me confused. Is one adjustment better than the others to solve this problem? If I decide to raise my handlebars, how much? The algorithm did not answer these questions for me, so I had two options: pay an additional $ 75 for my question to be escalated to a human (expert bike mechanic and MyVeloFit co-founder Jesse Jarjour) or Google for free. In the spirit of making a real do-it-yourself bike for this review, I chose Google. I still do not know if I made the right adjustment.

And that is perhaps the most striking shortcoming of an AI-powered bike fit: there is no back and forth, no bike fitter asking, “How does it work for you?” and make adjustments based on human feedback. I have ridden a lot on bikes over the years, so I have a general idea of ​​how a bike should feel when it fits my body. I can not say to an app, “Hey, something does not feel right.” I have to play myself and find out. If you are someone who is curious and likes to experiment, adjust and geek out on data points, then the intervals in the MyVeloFit analysis can be a lot of fun. If you are such a person who just wants to get things done so you can ride a ride, it may be best to book an appointment with someone who knows what they are doing. It is also important to note that if you are a brand new cyclist (or on a brand new type of bike, such as going from a road bike to a triathlon bike), a professional bike fit with a human fitter is ideal. However, MyVeloFit would be great for ongoing adjustments.

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MyVeloFitReview: The Bottom Line

MyVeloFit virtual bike customization app addresses a major gap in the bike market. Those who do not want (or are unable to) visit a professional bike fitter now do not have to fly blind when it comes to a do-it-yourself bike fit. The AI-powered app brings data and rigor to the customization process and ensures that the user gets the benefits of comfort and performance with a properly fitting bike. However, those who want more guidance can still find the best answers in human hands.

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