Dean’s Letter: Bike Fitting and a Journey Into the Past

My journey to Colorado started many years ago in 1982. I was riding my first real bike in college at the UW and starting to frequent bike shops and read cycling magazines. I quickly learned that Colorado was the place where racing happened.  The Red Zinger classic was the biggest race in America and I wrote the promoter asking if I could get a job helping him put on the race.  I got letter back saying that if I flew out I could volunteer.  4 years later I loaded up my ‘67 Volvo 142 and drove to Colorado to chase my dream. 28 years after my first visit, the dream called me back to Boulder. I was returning to receive bike fit training from Sean Madsen and Dr. Andy Pruitt, who developed Specialized’s BG fit system.

Although the future of bike fitting brought me back to Boulder, the past beckoned me down familiar streets. I grabbed a bike from the hotel, and even though it was dark, rode down into the Pearl Street mall past all the coffee shops I remembered. Wow, has that place grown up!  Instead of the single floor shops from my first visit, there are now blocks and blocks of 5 story condos with retail on the ground floor. I parked by the Yellow Deli, and grabbed a beer next door. I noticed a couple young guys locking up their S-Works Tarmacs so I went out to chat them up. I told them I would watch their bikes because they were crazy using a cable lock on those in Boulder. They laughed and said they had just rode in from Florida and arrived a few hours earlier!  They were both young guys who raced in college and now were moving to Boulder to train and work in bike shops. For now they were crashing with a friend.

I sat down with them and heard about their adventure getting to Colorado, the multiple close calls with bad drivers and narrow roads and all the cool people they met along the way.  We talked racing, and I shared the story of the cycling dream that had brought me to the same spot 28 years earlier. They were just like my friend Matt and I were back then, but they were much better riders on much nicer bikes.  I went back to the hotel late and was awestruck at the serendipity. That was the only night I went out to find two such travelers on similar paths. I wondered where they would end up and I was reminded how immensely lucky that I have been. Not many people are fortunate enough to make their passion their life’s work!


Colorado is both a journey to the past and a leap into the future. Alongside long standing tradition, there resides cutting edge innovation. The bike fit training I received from Dr. Andy Pruitt and Sean Madsen comes from the best in the world. Their fitting advice is sought by riders like Tom Boonen, Vicenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador. I first heard about Andy Pruitt in 1988 when I had ridden so much in my new look pedals that I was on crutches from overuse. He was the go-to guy then, and still is today. Today’s Body Geometry fit is a product of Andy Pruitt’s work with the intense founder of Specialized Mike Sinyard . They recognized earlier than anyone else that better performance and comfort go hand in hand. Ever since the rest of the industry has been taking notes.  Both Coach Colin and I have been trained by Andy in the BG Fit method. Together we have over 30 years of experience, allowing us to guarantee each fit for an entire year of adjustment.

The best endures.  I might not be the best, but over time in cycling and in life, the persistent and the hard working prevail over the naturally talented or lucky.  Specialized and Cycle U are a good fit, because we have both stood the test of time. The same is true for cycling. Stay focused on improving and being the best you can, and soon you will look back and be amazed and the distance you have traveled.


Coach Craig

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