Bike fitters across Australia are being encouraged to sign up to an international accreditation scheme which aims to globally recognise their skills and qualifications.
The International Bike Fitting Institute (IBFI) is working to raise standards in bike fitting, highlighting fitters who have undertaken extensive training and have a proven track record in providing quality service.
It hopes by certifying members of the industry on the basis of existing qualifications and experiences, it will encourage bike fitters and cycling analysts to continue their professional development.
The scheme will also enable customers to identify the best-trained fitters in their area, reducing the risk of a poor service being carried out by an unqualified fitter and improving the reputation of the bike fitting industry.
Other organisations endorsing the scheme include Bike Science and CycleFit in the UK, Spanish cycling biomechanics organisation AEBC and US fit-educators BikeFit.
International medical body, Medicine of Cycling, which aims to improve standards in the medical care of cyclists, has also given its backing.
Under the IBFI’s points-based accreditation system, fitters will accrue credits based on their existing skills, qualifications and experiences.
Depending on how many points they have, fitters will be allocated to one of four certification levels to reflect their education and experience.
Those that meet the standard will be added to the IBFI find-a-fitter database, which customers will be able to search to find a bike fitter which best suits their needs.
The certification scheme was developed by an independent panel, made up of some of the world’s leading fitters and cycling industry experts.
IBFI President and UK bike fitter Andy Brooke says the number of unskilled bike fitters moving into the industry made it vital that fitters’ skills were properly recognised so that cyclists could more easily identify a good bike fitter and feel confident in the service they receive.
“Cycling and Triathlon are growing sports with more and more cyclists looking to get the most from their riding by having a bike fit,” he says. “As a result, more people are beginning to offer bike fitting services”.
“We are encouraging fitters to sign up to become accredited so that we can professionalise the industry and allow cyclists to identify which of those fitters will be able to offer the standard of service they expect.”
Mr Brooke says the scheme will be officially launched to the public later in the month, but fitters who sign up now will be able to enjoy half-price membership for the first year, taking the cost down to around $250 Aud per accredited fitter.
“We are a not-for-profit organisation, so membership fees will be used to cover administrative costs and fund advertising to promote IBFI and its members as the world’s leading bike fitters,” he adds.
Steve Hogg says: “IBFI aims to raise the standard of bike fitting world-wide by encouraging bike fitters to further their professional development.
“A quality fitting allows the rider the greatest reward for their cycling time and effort.
“Cyclists looking to achieve that can use the IBFI website to check the experience and training of bike fitters in their area as assessed impartially and objectively.”