You are often referred to as a master bike fitter, can you tell us what your approach to bike fitting is all about?
Balance is key. Balance is harnessing the latest technology as an extension of one’s extensive experience and knowledge. Also, a good fitter should be able to ask the right questions to assess a client’s riding style and experience to get a better understanding of how he/she rides in order to better help or improve the client’s cycling. Every fit decision needs to be justified by using data to prove and/or logic to rationalize recommendations. I like to keep my fits well reasoned, backed by reliable and relevant data. My work will speak for itself on the roads.
How did you get into bike fitting? Jan Falge, our friend and local bike fitter in Prague, told us that you know each other from the Retül Summit in Boulder. Can you tell us what takes place at Retül Summits and who your fitting mentors were?
Retül Summits! That was back from 2012 to 2015 I think. Before Specialized acquired Retül, we have a Retül University that brings together established Retül fitters the world over (known then as the Retül Army) for fit master classes and to exchange ideas and knowledge. It was a week of in-depth studies, practical sessions and lectures from the fields of cycling biomechanics to nutrition with breathtaking (pun intended) rides up in the mile-high city. It’s intense but very fun. We are coached by Todd Carver, one of the Retül founders and guest speakers from the cycling industry alongside specialists from the medical field. Phil Burt from British Cycling was with us in 2015 I think.
What is the cycling community like in Singapore? Does FITSKUUL help people to meet and ride together?
I operate and ride extensively in the Southeast Asia countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Depending on where I am, I can lead or provide recommendations to bike shops or cycling tour operators that will help my clients and friends in their cycling needs. There is a joke going around that I know more routes across Java than most Indonesian cyclists. I join local clubs and get myself involved in events and rides. There are no FITSKUUL rides per se — however, I bring and introduce cyclists from different countries, clubs, and cities to each other – enriching everyone’s cycling experiences, building bridges, and developing friendships — unity in diversity.
You’ve probably changed many people’s views on cycling. What are the main benefits that riders give you as feedback? BTW, do you know how many people you have already fitted?
I have been fitting since 2009 and I have stopped counting! Everyone’s objectives and requirements are different but the common denominator is happiness. Happiness is being able to complete a Gran Fondo without discomfort, a Personal Record in an ITT race, or a 70.3 Age-Group Podium. My job is to make sure that their cycling position is optimized — minimizing the risks of injuries and maximizing their potential.
We see photos of very tuned bikes with a specific style; who builds these bikes? How does the process of building a “dream bike” work?
I have the very good fortune to work with the guys from CycleProjectStore and BuiltWheels in Singapore. They are really knowledgeable, highly skilled, and very professional. FITSKUUL focuses on the fit, geometry, and components recommendations, CycleProjectStore procures the necessary parts and builds the bikes to the most exacting standards. Built’s role is in custom building wheels to each rider’s requirements and style. There are only 4 of us at our premises and each has a dedicated area of expertise, so each client gets the best of us! We take great pride in our work and profession, every project is an extension of our principles and professionalism.
Through your activities, you contribute to the mosaic of the story of a customer’s bicycle. What do you see as the main benefit of a custom bike build?
A custom-built bike will be like no other. We are able to get you the fit you need with the handling you want and the aesthetics you demand. It is akin to a bespoke suit that is made to measure so that you look your best in your most natural posture and manners. A good fit, combined with a detailed understanding of a rider’s preferences and requirements results in a well-balanced and good-looking rider-bike relationship. Again, balance is everything.
We have known for some time that you were planning to open another space in Indonesia; can you tell us a little more about this? What led you to open another FITSKUUL location there?
It is already open! It is in South Jakarta and I am using STT 3DMA for cycling biomechanical analysis and Retül for bike measurement and log – making use of the best of each system just for one bespoke fit. So far I have been busy with bespoke fittings and follow-ups from some past clients and have not officially open for bookings yet. Jakarta is a natural choice as it is the capital of Indonesia in West Java. I have already established myself in Surabaya – the second capital in East Java, so the West comes as a natural progression.