I was born and raised on Vancouver Island, Canada in Brentwood Bay. This was in the days when mountain bikes were being born, I feel like I was there for the birth. Racing mountain bikes in our school league put me up against the likes of Ryder Hesjedal. I skipped out on post secondary education, becoming instead a well paid commercial fisherman. I worked for six months of the year and skied for the rest! If the snow hadn’t fallen yet, I rode my mountain bike through the rugged back country of Whistler B.C., and patiently waited. My favourite trail is “A River Runs Through It,” I love riding on wood.
Driven by some cool advice and the love of the backcountry skiing, I followed the avalanche path and was certified as a Level One Canadian Avalanche Technician. I dreamed of guiding in Alaska, tail guiding for a helicopter skiing operation, or helping with dishes in the lodge!
This dream however was put on hold when I met the most beautiful Australian ski instructor Whistler had ever hired; Lara. Our first date was my formal Blackcomb Avalanche Awareness Tour that I gave on Sundays. Lara was the only attendee, and we had the time of our lives. Lara soon moved into my VW van and we traveled around B.C. looking for mountains to climb and jobs for the coming winter. I quit fishing and became a paid ski patroller. These were great times. We lived in Northern Alberta, in Jasper, and worked at Marmot Basin. The highlight of this job was the ski cutting in the morning before the mountain was open; causing man made avalanches on problem slopes, then shredding the slope hard to hit any loose pockets.
The winter season flew by and we decided to move to Australia and start a family. Lara could be home, and I could learn to surf and become a dad. I got a job at the local bike shop in Manly and learned how to turn a rusty ocean bike into a smooth beach cruiser. I learned how to fix Shimano shifters with WD-40 and how to build wheels that were strong and round. As the shop life progressed, I could see myself out growing my station and furthered my learning by taking on bike fitting at the store.
I attended a Trek Fit Services course that taught me the basics. I then traveled to New York to learn at SICI (Serotta International Cycling institute). Paraic McGlynn taught the course in the U.S., and I learned enough and gained enough confidence to quit Manly Cycles and start Fusion Peak. It was like a scene from the movie Jerry Maguire when Jerry is yelling, “Who’s coming with me?” I took the derailleur hanger alignment tool and left the shop.
I have been fitting on my own for six years now and always knew something was missing; a mentor, someone to ask for help. That someone has become Steve Hogg. I signed up for his training because I know a good thing when I see it, and I love being able to help people to the best of my ability. I now have the skills to do this. My dream now is to be the best father, surfer and bike fitter I can be, in that order. And cycling too, I love it.
Anyone for some cyclocross racing?
Thank you for your interest in a bike fitting with Aaron Dunford. Below are some things you should know if you are considering a fitting, or if you have already made an appointment.
All fitting work is conducted at$115.50 per hour. Please contact me to discuss your needs and the approximate cost of a session.
Payment will be due at the time the fit is completed. Personal checks, cash, PayPal, or credit cards are accepted. Cash or check are preferred methods as to avoid any surcharges.
If you are unsatisfied with your fit, and we are unable to resolve your issues on the bike with subsequent follow up appointments, I will refund your money. You are paying me for a result, not an attempt. Bike fits are expensive and I have heard many stories of riders who get fit and then change everything back to the way it was two weeks later because it “did not work out”. This is an unacceptably low standard in the bike fit industry in my opinion and I work to achieve a higher level.
The Service Course is on site to provide mechanical services as required, but fees may apply (cutting steerer tubes, seat masts, etc). For rate information, see their website at www.thebouldersc.com. They are the best shop in town to get your sled dialed so if you need work, come see them. Please have your bike in good working order for the fit so we can focus on the task at hand, rather than repairs. This means if your seatpost is frozen in the frame or bolts are stripped, deal with these issues before you come in for a fitting.
Off The Bike vs On The Bike:
Keep in mind that there is a difference between “issues on the bike” and physical or structural issues which prevent an athlete from achieving optimal position, or riding pain or discomfort free on a bicycle. Some of what an athlete brings to a fit may be out of the domain of my area of expertise, and therefore may require additional modalities in order to improve function. I have a network of health care professionals in Boulder including a physical therapist, acupuncturist and massage therapists, and I may provide referrals. Have confidence that my methodology is not to dodge a bullet by sending you somewhere else, my intent is to work with integrity and help you get comfortable and fast on a bicycle. This requires a holistic approach to the athlete.
Post Fit Adaptation:
You should expect an adjustment period of up to three weeks after your position changes are made. The adjustment time will vary depending on how much change is made, how heavy your training and racing load were before the fitting, how adaptable to change you are as an athlete and as a person, and how much intensity and volume you do following the fit. This may mean reduced training load, volume, or changing competition schedules. If you are concerned about the timing of your fit and how it may impact your training or competitive calendar, email me and we can talk specifics.
Three steps forward, one step back:
Understand that even if your new cycling position is superior to your previous one, you may go slower and experience soreness initially as part of your adaptation. If you are a high volume rider or have been cycling for many years, thousands of pedal strokes have contributed to neural programming and patterning which have been ingrained in your movement, and it may take time to find fluidity and efficiency in your new position as those pathways are reprogrammed. Your short term performance may be compromised as a result of changes made to your position.
Please bring with you:
- Cycling shoes with orthotics or insoles if you have them
- A cycling kit
- The sunglasses and/ or prescription eyewear you wear on the bike
- New cleats if your current cleats need replacement or are significantly worn
- Any wallet or credit cards you carry with you on the bike
- Any phone you carry with you on the bike
- Ladies please bring a crop top or athletic bra. Riders will be asked to remove their tops for part of the pre – fit assessment
- Any saddles you have tried and you feel may be an option for the fit
- Extra stems or bars you have, if you feel they may be useful for the fit
If you don’t have any footbeds or orthotics in your cycling shoes and are planning a fit, please contact me in advance. The basic foam liner which comes with most shoes is not a footbed. Some shoes now come with a moldable liner which may include interchangeable, modular arch supports. If you have these, bring all the arches which were included. Proper arch support is essential to a complete bike fit. I may recommend that you purchase some footbeds prior to the fit and can provide suggestions. I have a limited selection of footbeds for sale in my shop but I can’t guarantee I will have all sizes in at the time of your fitting.If you are a runner, bring your running shoes and any footbeds that go with them.
I may send you a client questionnaire in advance of your appointment in order to get background information and a bit of physical history.
Food and Drink:
Because of the length of the fit process, it may be a good idea to have some snacks on hand so you don’t get hungry. We have water and tea at the shop for customers at any time but if you prefer another source of liquid, feel free to bring it. Sometimes we have some calories around the office but there are hungry mechanics here also!
Notes on Equipment:
- Ensure that your bike is reasonably clean. A dirty bike is not pleasant to work on and in some cases takes extra time to work on.
- If your cleats or shoes are worn beyond the point where it impacts on performance, I will insist on replacing them.
- If repositioning of brake levers or adjustment of handlebar angle is necessary and your bar tape takes a beating in the process, you may need new bar tape.
- I will make every effort to ensure your bike is ready to ride when you leave, however if we make changes to stems, bars, saddles and posts, it is possible some parts may require additional tightening after the fit. Please know it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your bike is safe to ride before you ride it.
I look forward to working with you soon.
When I first began to offer bike fits under the name Fusion Peak six years ago, I had completed the Trek Fit Services and Serotta SICI training courses, but felt that I needed more. I asked Steve Hogg if he would help to train me. I felt that I needed a mentor and that he was the man for the job, because as far as I could tell, he was the best. At the time I was trying to read everything he had written in an effort to try and gain as much insight into how to fit a bike properly as I could. And although there were millions of words to read, to me it was all making sense. Steve’s arguments for a particular point where clear and easily understood. He declined my request for training due to business conflicts and said to contact him if things ever changed and we would talk again. I continued following what he wrote and tried my best to offer quality bike fittings based on my observations and firsthand information.
I knew things were working well when clients would refer their friends to me. This is an amazing compliment and I always enjoyed the sessions with a great sense of connection to the client.
Six years, and more than a thousand bike fits later, things changed. Steve contacted me and let me know he was planning a move to Canberra. This meant there was no longer any conflict between our business interests and he would be happy to train me. We agreed on a day when I could go in and see him fit a client (in Sydney at Pedal Pushers) so I could decide whether or not the offer was for me. It was Christmas Eve 2016 and as I stood in Pedal Pushers watching the master at work I had to pinch myself. For six years I had wondered if would ever even meet Steve Hogg, never mind witness his work at first hand. I felt as if Christmas had come early for me.
I had fantastic day and knew this was a great opportunity. I spoke to some close friends about all the details of the training and what it meant to my business, my family and me. At one point it looked like funding was unavailable but I knew this was something I really wanted to do and the details seemed irrelevant. The next thing I knew I was calling Steve to confirm my commitment to training and sorting out dates. I was to travel to Canberra for three weeks of training with Steve at his new location in Fyshwick at Pushys Plus; the biggest bike shop I have ever seen. I would work with him; ride with him and live with him. One week in Canberra training and one back in Sydney working and practicing what I was learning x 3.
The training was a not easy. Learning the different techniques Steve uses to assess clients and improve their alignment and posture, as well as the excitement of being thrown into the fire to practice, motivated me to pay attention and ask questions. Too do this job well you need to focus, paying attention to the client is crucial and I found this to be challenging of itself. We often fitted two or more clients in a day and by the second client I was out of mental energy and would make mistakes. I think knowing this helped me build up more psychological endurance for the job and taught me about managing my energy and time.
As a Bike Fitter, Steve Hogg is awesome. He fitted me to my road bike on the first day of training so I could see the work from within. A highlight after the fitting for me was how balanced I sat on the bike. Once he had completed his assessment of my neuromuscular function it was obvious that my brain didn’t fully recognise my gluteus medius on the right side of my body. Once Steve remedied this he was able to raise my saddle one centimetre. This is something I had tried to do in the past but I’d been unable to sustain a higher seat height as it made me feel unstable. Now I feel stable and the increased leg extension has made my pedal stroke feel freer and allowed me to ride faster. Even bike fitters’ need a great bike fit!
As a teacher Steve is aware and empathetic about how hard it is to learn new and demanding techniques. I tried as hard as I could to make connections in my mind and would ask Steve questions along the way like “Does this mean that this equals that?”
He would reply “We can never know. We can only speculate, so just focus on the task at hand and get a result.”
So I abandoned all notion of making possibly unfounded assumptions and focused on who was standing in front of me and trying to help them as best I could. At times when I was using certain techniques I felt I was attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but seeing what an amazing improvement in posture, function and stability on the bike that the techniques Steve has developed can make is impressive.
Steve is passionate about his work and about helping clients achieve good results. This shows in his work and in the way that he teaches. He does not give up until the person on the bike in front of him is sitting in as stable and comfortable position as possible. He encouraged me to try new things and treat people with fresh eyes so you don’t fall into the same old traps of making unfounded assumptions. This is advice I will always heed.
So for three weeks I watched, learned and practiced and in the end I passed the certification. The final test came and went and I had no idea it had even happened. I knew Steve was happy and I was to become certified but the test was all together unknown to me. Only later reading Steve’s accounts of my training on his web page was I enlightened to the moment it happened.
The next challenge is to keep up the highest standard of care and perform and produce as high a quality bike fit as possible for my clients; to always be suspicious, not make assumptions and to keep trying new things.
I am looking forward to using my new skills to look at old issues and resolve tough bike fit problems.