How Geeky Mechanics Use Motion Capture to Design Perfect-Fitting Bikes

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We ride bikes not just because they’re fun, but because they’re efficient. They enable us to use our body power to propel us forward far faster than our pathetic, floppy feet ever could. Efficiency, though, is only as good as the fit.

When you get a new bike, the first adjustment even a casual rider will make is adjusting the seat. It’s immediately evident when you get on a bike with a seat that’s too high or too low as it completely throws off your ability to ride it. Less intuitive is how other factors affect your riding mechanics, like handlebar height and distance, seat angle, and the overall bike geometry. Even an expert bike-fitter might miss some subtle nuance, and that’s where obsessive riders turn to tech. We had to check it out.


At the Acme Bicycle Company in Brooklyn, NY, technicians used a robotic fit bike and motion capture to figure out the perfect fit for my body. From there, we traveled to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to see how my dream bike would come together if it were made from aerospace-grade titanium at Moots Bikes.

I’m not going to lie, it was tough to go back to my dusty old clunker of a bike after riding the perfectly configured Moots bike. Check out the video above to see how the magic happens.


Brent Rose is a freelance writer, producer, photographer, and actor, and has been contributing to Gizmodo since 2011. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter, and learn more at


Can confirm, I’ve had 2 Retul motion-capture bike fits over my time in cycling and they’ve been some of the best investments in comfort aside from quality contact points (shoes, saddles, shorts).

So, have you cracked the cleat plates on those P.I. X-Projects yet? Went through a pair and 2 warranty replacements in a little over a year before giving up on them.