This September, two of the world’s leading bike brands – Cannondale and Specialized – have struck separate deals to buy into bike fit solutions.
Last week Specialized Bicycle Components confirmed its purchase of Retül, the Boulder, Colorado, based bike fit system that captures 3D data to ensure the optimum fit between bike and rider.
Meanwhile, this week, Cannondale’s parent company Dorel announced the purchase of Guru Cycles’ innovative piece bike fit technology – the Dynamic Fit Unit, which adjusts on-the-fly whilst a rider pedals.
In the latest deal, Dorel adds the Dynamic Fit Unit to its Cycling Sports Group (GSG), which houses Cannondale, GT, Mongoose, Schwinn and Sugoi, amongst others. (Guru retains its bike and frame business in a licensing deal with Dorel.)
“The way consumers shop is changing radically in and outside the cycling industry,” said Robert Baird, Group President and CEO of Dorel Recreational/Leisure. “Guru is the centrepiece of our overall goal of meeting the needs of consumers and our retailers and transforming bicycle shopping.”
Dorel had its official launch for the ‘Guru Experience’ fitting system at Interbike in Las Vegas. According to Dorel, the Guru Experience will analyse a rider’s flexibility, riding style and riding goals.
Dorel’s system will also be available to non-Dorel brands, acknowledging the role of existing dealers and specialist bike fitters in the marketplace; and recognising the growth opportunities for bike fit solutions across the biking world.
Dorel has reworked the Dynamic Fit Unit, with software that measures and then suggests the brand, model, seat post, size, spacers and stem. This uses a database of 1,000 bikes from all key brands in the market – giving retailers the option to customise according to bikes available in store.
Last week’s acquisition of Retül is taking a similar line in universal bike fit solutions. Specialized has in recent years developed its own Specialized Body Geometry Fit Integration Technology (BG F.I.T.). Using video capture and on-bike direct measurements, this allows trained Specialized BG FIT dealers to fit Specialized riders to their bike.
Although BG FIT can be utilised with any brand, with Retül now part of the Specialized stable, the company now has an advanced – and dedicated, non-brand specific bike fit solution.
Commenting on the deal, Specialized founder and CEO Mike Sinyard said, “We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Retül. We were impressed with the latest technology and their profitable and debt-free business model, and we see this investment enabling them to further expand their impact on the fitting industry.”
Fit bike to rider rather than rider to bike
The two latest deals give sales reps and distributors a double-pronged opportunity when in discussion with retailers. Ultimately, one strategic goal would be the expansion of Dorel’s and Specialized’s own brands in the marketplace. Yet, a second ambition would be to take a stake in the lucrative bike fit category – offering solutions for riders whatever their chosen brand.