President’s Letter – April 2021 (IBFI Magazine)

Next Story from International Bike Fitter Magazine – April 2021 (Issue 3)

I know the pandemic completely distorted our sense of time this last year, but you’re not imagining it — it has been longer than three months since our last issue. Our great editorial team had a lot on at the back end of 2020, so we took the decision to push back issue 3. The extra time has given us the chance to create a fantastic issue of Bike Fit International though, so we hope you’ll forgive us!

When we started this magazine, which is entirely written and produced by volunteers, we imagined it would include a handful of articles that would be read by a couple of hundred fitters. But the reaction from readers has far exceeded our expectations: Our first two issues have been read by over 2000 people, and we’ve published fantastic content written by fitters and experts from across the world.

This issue steps things up further with even more great articles, but to keep our progress going we’re asking for your help. We’re looking for volunteers to help us put together the next issue, so if you’re interested in writing an article, fancy being featured in our ‘meet the fitter’ page, or you want to learn more about putting together a magazine, then get in touch. Regardless of how much time you have to spare, or whether you have any writing experience, there are lots of ways you can help.

GETTING BACK TO NORMAL

Since our last issue, Covid has remained a huge part of our lives, but there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine roll out is picking up speed in many countries, and hopefully infection rates will decline enough that we’ll be able to return to something approaching a normal life by the middle of the year. Many education courses had to be cancelled or postponed in 2020, so please consider attending a course when they open up again. A large number of these businesses have been the backbone of our industry for a long time, and the pandemic hit some of them hard; if you can support them by using their products and services, then please do.

It’s been great to see the innovative responses to the many restrictions imposed around the world by Covid, with fitters offering remote services and a huge number of webinars and workshops popping up online. Whilst a lot of aspects of fitting can be taught remotely, there’s no substitute for a hands-on approach, and hopefully we’ll be able to return to that soon.

READY TO RACE

With any luck, we’ll also be able to see a lot more racing this year, and the grand tours will return to being the spectacles they always were with fans lining the roadside. The lack of racing has definitely impacted demand for Tri bikes in certain markets, and whilst the industry as a whole might still be massively up on previous years, the Tri bike market has certainly stumbled.

A return to racing will mean a return to training for many of those triathletes and fitters should be a key part of that process. In preparation for the rush once our clients are back training to full capacity, we’ve pulled together a special section on measuring bikes. Across a bumper 10 pages, we feature articles looking at the different ways to measure a rider for a bike, and the measurements we need to take so that we can accurately transfer that position between bikes. We also have the second part of a great feature on wind tunnels and aero testing (if you missed part one, you can find it in issue 2), along with all our usual regular features.

On a personal note, I’ve recently started mountain biking and I’ve been able to enjoy Arizona’s fantastic winter and spring riding in the desert. As the temperatures have picked up recently, the local rattlesnakes have started to come out of hibernation — something I never had to face back home in England! Thankfully they don’t tend to be aggressive unless provoked, but as some of the most poisonous snakes in the world, I’m definitely giving my exotic trail buddies a wide berth.

I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together, and that 2021 is a positive shift from 2020. As always, if you have any feedback or ideas for future issues, we’d love to hear from you. Stay healthy!

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