The Selle Royal Group announces its newest, co-joint adventure with Boulder-based Retül bike fit technology. Selle Royal, a world leader in saddle and component manufacturing, has long focused on finding new methods to make a global difference on health and well-being through cycling and points to Retül as the its latest ‘discovered’ instrument.
Earlier this year, the Selle Royal brand launched The World Cycling Atlas, an online global initiative that shares and promotes cycling to improve, change and enhance the life experience. The site invites people to share their cycling stories and in so doing hopes to further inspire others to not only to ride but to participate in initiatives like World Bicycle Relief in effort to improve the lives of others through the bicycle. Historically, Selle Royal’s global marketing concepts have consisted of real people whose everyday lives enlist in the bicycle–from Shanghai’s version of jazz great Chet Baker, to the San Francisco Bike Coalition’s Community Planner.
The company’s off-spring brand, fi’zi:k, has always tried to improve the ride experience for all cyclists. “We address that mission through innovation, technology development and by designing and manufacturing quality products,” explained Nicola Rosin, the Selle Royal Group’s European VP of Sales and Marketing & fi’zi:k’s Brand Director. “But without a proper fit, quality products have little bearing. Even when discussing saddle choice through Spine Concept, we say, start with fit. If you’re not fit correctly on the bike, you’re not going to be comfortable, you’re going to have a negative experience and you’re not going to be motivated to ride. Whether we’re talking about riding to the market, to the office, doing a century or racing as a career, it starts with fit.”
Both the Selle Royal Group and Retül feel they share a responsibility as participants of the bicycle industry to help guide people toward products that will work best for them. “While we will all continue to develop and improve product, we should all be accountable for how people interact with their bike,” Rosin stated. “Otherwise, we could all buy product from less expensive mass market channels where customer service doesn’t exist. It’s our job to be educators as well as manufacturers.”
With the introduction of their cycling shoes, fi’zi:k has closed the triangle of contact points on the bike: hands, gluteus and feet. Connectedly, Selle Royal’s adopted off-spring, Crank Brothers, has also completed the triangle of contact points through pedals, grips and now through their own line of off-road saddles. “But none of what we do really matters if you’re uncomfortable on your bike,” Rosin repeated. “When we looked at the Group’s overall various goals – ultimately to ‘enjoy the ride experience’ – and looked at what was missing, supporting Retül, a company whose main goal is proper bike fit was the next logical step.”
The goal of Retül technology is to assist bike fitters in making objective and accurate fit decisions, as a proper bike fit is one of the single most important factors for optimal performance and efficiency, injury prevention, and comfort on the bike. A proper bike fit not only provides a rider with the most economic means of expending energy, but will also prevent common knee, hip and lower back pain.
“Objective, accurate and brand-neutral are key words in our fit process,” Retül co-founder Todd Carver emphasized. “First, we need detailed info about a rider’s fit and pedal stroke to ensure they are optimized. Often times fitting becomes a game of millimeters, not inches. Our 3D technology provides that level of detail and our system is a tool in the education process.”
“Secondly, Carver continued, “We must remain brand-neutral. Brand-neutrality is the foundation of our fit system that sets us apart from most of our competitors. What we’ll provide – objective, brand neutral and the most accurate fit for optimum performance and comfort based on individual needs – doesn’t change. What changes is the opportunity to join forces with like minded people who not only share similar end goals but whose very core is technology, innovation and progress. It’s an opportunity to share data driven technology and product knowledge with great potential to increase development and output.”
What both Selle Royal and Retül recognized throughout their early collaborations was that their roles as educators and their goals of improving the ride experience for cyclists were shared beliefs and values. “The Selle Royal Group is a perfect fit for Retül,” said Franko Vatterott, co-founder of Retül. “Not only do we share the same passion for helping riders feel good on their bikes, but also our small company stands to gain incredible global support from the well-established Selle Royal network, and an enhanced ability to quickly bring our next generation technology to market.”