Bike Fit Systems' (BikeFit) origins date back to 1995 in Los Angeles, California when the first product, the Cleat Wedge® (originally known as "Big Meats"), was co-developed by Paul Swift, the founder of BikeFit. While BikeFit’s products have been known by several names and distributed by several different companies the company’s vision hasn’t wavered—pain-free and powerful cycling.
Back in the 1980s, while Paul was living at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, the primary bike fitting adjustments were saddle height, stem height, foot-cleat fore/aft and cleat rotation positioning. The latter was a break-through by a company named Fit Kit. However, knee tracking was not considered, other than coaches telling the athletes to bring their knees in while pedaling. Paul watched some of America's best talent go to the wayside with knee injuries. He knew fitting wasn’t everything it could be but because his primary focus was being the best cyclist in the world there wasn't much free time to discover the answers.
While Fit Kit had introduced some important basic concepts to bike fitting the system lacked several key foot/pedal interface adjustments. Around this time, Serotta entered bike fitting; however, being a bicycle frame manufacturer, their primary focus was achieving the perfect frame size for their customers. Neither Serotta nor Fit Kit's products addressed the cyclist's discomforts and/or suboptimal positions. For the most part, discomfort was commonly accepted as normal and something you "had to get used to."
As Paul began winding down his athletic career, he started to focus on developing the first commercially available bike fit system that addressed the connection/contact points in greater detail—the goal being the elimination of pain and discomfort. Up to that point, no one gave any consideration to the front view which led to a break-through in side-to-side cleat adjustment and observing knee patterns while pedaling. The Cleat Wedge not only addressed forefoot tilt, but it could also be stacked to help for leg length discrepancies. The pelvis and hands (additional key contact points) were finally being addressed. BikeFit helped people realize that a better ride was possible by bringing bike fit education to a new level and offering a comprehensive course that is taught hands-on, learn how-to-do-it bike fitting.
In 1996, BikeFit introduced the ITS Wedges®(in the shoe) although at the time it was called "Sole Power." The ITS Wedge was put on the back burner as cycling shoes were still hanging onto old world ideals that you bought your shoes small and stretched them to fit your foot. Simply put, there was not enough room inside the shoe to make the ITS Wedge viable at this point in time.
Between 2001 and 2006, BikeFit’s products were distributed LeMond Fitness while Paul developed the LeMond RevMaster indoor bicycle. During this period the Cleat Wedge was called LeMond LeWedge.
Paul (and the bike fitting products) left LeMond Fitness in late 2006 and set up shop as Bike Fit Systems LLC (DBA BikeFit LLC). From its inception, BikeFit set about developing new bike fitting products and teaching a philosophy and approach to bicycle fitting. By focusing on education, BikeFit gets its products on the feet of many cyclists and in return gets invaluable feedback to develop new products.
BikeFit's products are used by cyclists and triathletes in every major cycling and triathlon event around the world, from the Spring Classics to the three Grand Tours, from long distance triathlon to Ironman World Championships. The products have been used in countless national championships, world championships and by an Olympic Gold medalist.
Based in Kirkland, Washington BikeFit has a global reach with European and Asian distribution centers. BikeFit's products are being used throughout the world by the most influential and recognized bike fitters, as well as in the medical community. BikeFit's current goals are continuing to grow its unique relationships in the bicycle business and the medical community by making its bike fit education and lectures available on a global scale.