A spa for bikes and their riders.
By Pete Grady
Photos by Pete Grady
The phone rings and Jenny Kroll’s soft, cheery voice answers with an enthusiastic “hi, G Fit Studio”. With the phone balanced between her ear and shoulder, she smiles and waves as regular customers drift through the front door to spend a few minutes getting an update on the progress of repairs or just chat about the great time they had at a local mountain bike destination the previous weekend. Still on the phone, she clicks her way through a supplier website as she orders replacement parts for a mountain bike. In the background, the persistent whirring ratchet of a socket wrench and the clank of metal on metal echoes through the front room of this well appointed and immaculately clean repair shop. Exotic, high-end bicycles, the shop’s specialty, are suspended on racks under the discerning eye and steady hand of mechanic Jason Bauer, submitting themselves to the well-honed mechanical skills he’s developed since junior high school. Picking up discarded bikes in a vacant lot near his home, his dad, a helicopter mechanic by trade, helped him take them apart, fix what was broken and get them back together. Riding them himself or gifting them to friends and family members, what began as the casual interest of a young teen has evolved into a satisfying job at this spin-off of George’s Cycles in the trendy Linen District.
A sort of spa for bikes and their riders, G Fit also houses a bio-mechanical lab offering specialized bike fitting services for Treasure Valley cyclists. It’s a sophisticated studio where bikes are fitted to your body whether you are a competitive racer, an everyday commuter or a weekend mountain warrior. Using everything from state-of-the-art technology apparatus to classic tools you probably have in that tool box in the garage, champion adventure racer and certified fitter Michael Tobin uses the time-tested plumb bob, video, and sophisticated software programs to measure and analyze in 3-D the particular dimensions and motion of an individual bicyclist. Seat height and fore/aft adjustment, handlebar positioning and cleat adjustments are meticulously refined to accommodate an individual rider’s anatomy as well as taking into account their injury history and riding practices and goals. Already have a bike but you get a neck cramp every time you ride? Bring it in. Michael will mount it on the platform, have you get on and produce a video of you riding. The tape and measurements are analyzed and recommendations are made. Once the adjustments are complete, clients take the opportunity to ride their “new” bike for a few days or weeks, bringing it back in for a final tweak later; it’s all part of the service.
For those in the market to upgrade to a new bicycle, G Fit uses a fitting bike that is adjustable in every aspect of bicycle frame dimensions. When the optimum geometry is achieved for the client, the resulting measurements are compared against a comprehensive database containing the measurements of virtually every bike available today. Although they offer limited sales of bicycles at the G Fit location, they usually recommend a brand and model stocked at their parent shop, George’s Cycles. Bauer also builds custom, made to order bikes under the brand name Niner. However you obtained your bike, G Fit’s goal is the same; to maximize the comfort and performance of your riding experience in a friendly shop that customers can call home.