Name: Steve Hogg
Job title: Bike Fitter
Location: Canberra, Australia
Tell us about your job?
2 years ago I closed our biz, moved to a smaller, bike centric city and attempted to retire. I didn’t enjoy not working as much as I had anticipated and so returned to work. I have mutually beneficial relationship with a very large bike shop. They are happy to have someone available to resolve client issues. while working within the biz provides a constant flow of clients for me. They give me a space in the middle of the sales floor and I come and go as I please and book as much or as little work as I choose.
How did you get into bike fitting?
Necessity. In 1986 my wife and I opened a biz dealing in custom steel frames, bike servicing, wheel building etc. Many of the frames we supplied were built in house . A custom frame needs to have a design basis, so bike fitting was a logical step. In those days the term ‘bike fitting’ didn’t exist or if it did, hadn’t gained any currency. I called it ‘rider positioning’ at the time. There was no credible information available in those days, so I commenced a self education process that is still ongoing.
What qualifications do you have?
Zero formal. Informally I have vast experience with just about every permutation of human dysfunction and the associated implications for bike fitting.
What’s the best thing about being a bike fitter?
No.1 is making difficult to fit clients happy. No. 2 is the intellectual stimulation provided by the problem solving nature of bike fitting and the quest for excellence.
What equipment do you use?
Basic tools, a lap top for recording client info, an experienced bike fitting brain, eyes, ears and hands. Nothing more is necessary.
What’s your most useful piece of kit?My laptop. Detailed client records are a bike fitter’s greatest ally.
What course, book or websites do you think ever fitter should check out?
Any course that has an entrance requirement and final exam. Otherwise there is no real incentive to learn. From a personal point of view the most relevant that are readily accessible are those provided on line by Applied Movement Neurology. The best prepared trainee I’ve had had completed the AMN Level 1 course prior to arriving and he picked up my ‘stuff’ with impressive speed.
There are no books specific to bike fitting that I’ve come across that I rate highly. Instead here is a short list of works that have implications for bike fitting. In essence, bike fitting is much more about bodies than it is about bikes.
Awareness Through Movement – Moshe Feldenkrais Amazon Link
The Stress of Life – Hans Selye Amazon Link
Right Hand, Left Hand; The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms, Cells and Cultures – Chris McManus Amazon Link
The Anatomy of Movement – Blandine Calais-Germain Amazon Link
A Multi Disciplinary Approach to Breathing Disorders – Chaitow, Bradley & Gilbert Amazon Link
Stability, Sport and Performance Movement – Joanne Elphinston. Amazon Link
Without being self serving, there is more info with real world application on our website than anywhere else that I’m aware of.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in bike fit?
• Give an unqualified money back guarantee. You’ll be forced to learn or fail. Look upon any dissatisfied client as an opportunity to learn. With the benefit of hindsight, no other single decision has helped my bike fitting education as much as instituting a guarantee like this more than 30 years ago.
• Detailed records are your best friend. What you’ve done, why you’ve done it, starting and finishing position, the clients on bike and off bike issues etc.
• Epitomise what you profess by trying to be an exemplar. That means walk the walk as well as talk the talk. It’s pointless telling someone how dysfunctional they are unless you are reasonably functional yourself. You are allowed to be a work in progress; we all are anyway; as long as the emphasis is on progress.
• Don’t believe your own bullshit. Becoming over confident about what you know or do is usually the prelude to a humbling experience. Over confidence also hinders the learning process.
• Keep learning and have an open mind. Don’t have any more attachment to any idea or received wisdom about bike fitting than the 5 seconds it takes you to realise that some one has shown you a better idea
Steve in a minute:
Can we stay in touch?
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