Before “business casual” became “business everyday” it used to be a rite of passage for men entering the workforce or starting at a new job to visit a men’s clothier to be measured for a bespoke business suit made from the finest cloth.
That ritual may be fading, but a renewed interest in the custom, handbuilt bicycle industry means that a tailored bicycle – built and specced to suit the rider’s individual needs – has become de rigeur for cyclists.
And why not? A proper fit ranks among the most important qualities that cyclists seek in a bicycle. It only makes sense to invest in this attribute, just as you might spend to save weight on a pair of wheels. And it’s something that can’t be done online either.
Savile Road was started with the premise that a properly fitted bicycle is the start of a long and productive relationship between bike and rider. They believe that your bicycle should be built to your specifications: fit, riding style, and aesthetics. “The bicycle is about you. Just you,” states their website.
From their shop in Delmar, New York, just outside the state capital of Albany, Savile Road offers a professional fit service. Their master fitter, certified in biomechanics, will use a protocol refined from thousands of fittings over the years. First, an extensive interview of the rider yields an inventory of her needs, desires, medical history and cycling preferences. Next, a flexibility and range of motion assessment will highlight her strengths, fit challenges and determine what sets her apart from other riders. Finally, motion capture software while she rides a size cycle will, combined with the other data, yield a set of measurements for her ideal bicycle.
Measurements in hand, the rider can either apply them to their current bicycle or, more often, they can work with Savile Road to source a custom bicycle from builders like Mosaic, K. Bedford, Enigma Bicycle Works and Holland Cycles, or they can custom spec components on a production frame from builders like Colnago and Cervelo to produce a complete bicycle with the perfect, tailored fit.
Once ordered, produced and built up by Savile Road’s master mechanics – fluent in the three main languages of bicycle components: Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM – Savile Road’s personal Concierge Service is available to serve you at home or office, setting up trainers for Zwift or Peloton stationary bikes, repairing your bike on site, or even accompanying you with a support vehicle and licensed massage therapist to rides, gran fondos or races.
You might say that Savile Road is the cycling equivalent of British author P.G. Wodehouse’s famous butler Jeeves, and that’s their purpose: to provide the perfect service that enables their clients to realize their cycling dreams.