Last Saturday I had the opportunity of meeting Dan Empfield, one of triathlon’s most influential people and also the founder of the website Slowtwitch. This year Dan has transformed the website into a road show through selected U.S. cities and their Saturday stop was at a local tri shop in Falls Church, VA. At the road show Dan offered an unique opportunity to briefly meet with him and discuss your current bike fit. Since I’ve been in the market for a new tri bike for almost a year, I jumped at this opportunity right away and made an appointment to meet with the “guru.”
The first thing Dan asked prior to meeting at the road show was to send him a video of my current bike position and so with the help of my mom (who is laughing midway in the video below) we sent him this:
To my surprise, Dan wrote back “I would not change a thing. That is a textbook position you have in my opinion.” I wrote back to him that I did like that position and found it very comfortable and that after my last fit I had put a longer and lower stem on my aerobar as I was feeling a bit tight prior. Since my current bike frame is very corroded inside due to a lot of sweet that has gotten through the headset, I still went ahead and did some homework and look for several geometries for possible bikes that I might have an interest in buying. The next step was to actually meet Dan in person at the tri shop. When I got there, Dan was already working on Coach Greg’s TT bike position and to hear him give Greg advise and walk him through bike solutions was a great learning experience.
When it was my turn, Dan greeted me with a big smile and said “so are you the guy with the perfect bike position?” and I responded “No sir, but I need your help in finding me a new bike.” I showed Dan the different bike frames I had been thinking about and he measured my bike position, set the coordinates in his Fit calculator and concluded that given how low and stretched out I was, most of the frames I liked would not fit me well. As we kept going back and forth through the Fit calculator for finding me a more optimal frame, Dan had an eureka moment and thought about the new TriRig aerobar system. Given the many accessible configurations of this system, Dan quickly figured out that this system is a good solution for finding me a frame that not only I would like but also it can preserve my optimal bike position. Dan himself wrote about this experience in an article for Slowtwitch here.
Overall, I had a great experience meeting Dan. I found him to be a good listener and very approachable. He heard me talking in Spanish with Irma and started speaking Spanish back to us and I thought that was a nice gesture. At one point we were both sitting on the floor just looking at my bike from many different angles and I thought how simple of a moment there with someone who has had tremendous success doing what he loves; a great life lesson right there.