Name: Marc Cormier
Position: Bike Manager for all locations. I’m the bike, accessories, and parts buyer.
Store location: Mississauga
Years at Skiis & Biikes: 19
What bike(s) do you ride:
Mostly Trek and Specialized, as well as a quiver of old antique collectibles, I probably have about 10 bikes...I’m a collector of bikes.
Certifications: (Where did you learn the finer points of bike fitting)
I’ve done the Trek and Specialized fitting programs, and completed the fitting course with BIke Fit, which is a fitting company out of Montana.
What is your favorite part about being a bike fitter?
Working closely with people, dealing with their issues and rectifying them. I do a lot of ski boot fitting also. As a skier for 50 odd years I just want to see more people skiing and cycling. If you’re comfortable you’ll have a better day. Each customer has a different issue, we’re just trying to limit those and get them on the hill a little more.
How long have you been riding bikes?
55 years, as a 58 year old. My first bike was a white fixed wheel Italian bike that my parents brought back from Italy. I can still remember the exact bike. I went to university and then got a job in the sporting goods business and never came back. Do what you love as they say. Those are my two passions, skiing and cycling.
Why would the average cyclist want to undergo a proper bike fitting?
So that they are going to be able to ride further, longer, and consequently faster. Most of our customers aren’t professional athletes, they’re daily riders, families. If you’re comfortable, you’ll bike all day long and your improvement will go from there. And also, everyone has an ego, they like to beat their friends.
In your opinion, how important is it to have a bike fit done? Can’t somebody just set it up how they think it feels best?
Anybody can ride a bike. If they get into it and want to use it for training, or increasing performance and efficiency you can ride faster, longer and more comfortably with a proper fit. If people have been injured over the years, the fit will make riding more comfortable. As you get older and want to ride, the injuries you’ve accrued over the years will affect your riding a lot more. A big thing about fitting that people don’t talk about is that as you become more fit, your fitting will change. If you come in at 190lbs, and then ride a lot, the fit will evolve with you. This is an ongoing process and people should come back in intermittently as their skills, flexibility and overall fitness improve.
If you’re an avid skier you might understand the changes a lot more. I use car analogies a lot for people who are just getting into biking, like “this is the corvette, and as you become more fit you will need more of a corvette stem vs. the beater you used to drive.”
What small change in fitting do you think makes the biggest difference in ride quality?
Saddle width. Saddle width and stem, the length and rise of the stem.
What can you tell us about saddle fitting and how it affects performance?
Generally, most bikes come with too narrow of saddles, and you’re not positioned on your sit bones. For guys and gals this is always an issue. Lycra shorts as well, people always think they’re to go fast, but it’s about support, cushion and comfort. The sliding of the lycra on the saddle increases comfort dramatically. You wouldn’t play hockey without a jock, it’s the same with riding.
Top 3 tips for a better fit and ride:
1: Going to a proper shop that knows what they’re doing with experienced people. There are a lot of electronic systems out there for fitting, but that knowledgeable human factor makes all the difference. Hearing issues and trying to resolve them is the most important. The reality is that once you have been fitted you have to go out and ride, then come back with feedback. Thats the biggest tip I have, that is pretty much all encompassing.
(no need for 2 & 3, it’s all there).
You will have more fun riding if you:
Well this is a family store so I’ll leave that one alone...you’ll have more fun if you’re properly attired: shoes, gloves, shorts, pedals.
What are some signs of an ill fitting bike?
Discomfort, not working in an efficient manner, lower back, shoulder, wrist, groin issues.
What are some adjustments cyclists can make on their own?
Usually seat height adjustments, because people aren’t equipped with extra stems and saddles. Usually people ride with their seats too low.
Any concluding thoughts on bike fitting?
All our locations have either a BG Fit expert or a Trek expert. Everybody that works at Skiis & Biikes participates in the sport, so it’s not like one of the mass merchants who only play hockey and never cycles. Everybody from our management to technicians to sales associates ski and cycle and over the years we have promoted race teams, raced, skied. We carry a diverse selection and deal with families from the youngest riders on their first bike to professional racers looking for project 1 bikes. In working with this customer base we are at the forefront of providing a wide array of bikes. We try to be leading edge in all categories because a lot of people now are graduating from one type of bike to another. Like me, I started off with a fixed gear, and now my bike is worth more than my car. We provide bikes for every level from upright townie bikes to cyclocross, to whatever. As a big outfit we still have an identity to each store, whatever the staff needs we try and facilitate them. We buy according to the needs of our staff, and the customers that tend to come into that shop. Vancouver is more urban centered, Mississauga more cyclocross and road, Whistler more XC. It’s cool to see what’s successful and less successful. We don’t want to fall into the fallacy of only catering to one category of bike.