Where Did MBFA Come From?

From a recent article on Frameforum.com:

“Some of the Worlds’ leading bike fit specialists have joined together to establish an association for Professional bike-fitting practitioners and businesses.

The seed was planted at a bike-fitting conference, held last year in the USA.  This led to a follow-up get-together in New York in November 2008. At this three-day meeting, the ‘I’s were dotted and the ‘T’s crossed by the the founding members, or the “6.0” as they have come to be known, and The Master Bike Fitters Association was born.

The idea of MBFA grew out of a meeting at last year’s SICI Symposium in Colorado. Present at the meeting were some of the most established and respected fit-centric businesses in the world – they all also happened to be run by current or past instructors at the SICI Fitting School in either the USA or London. They decided to form a fitting trade association that would represent and govern the very best of the best to the public. Although they worked together periodically the six or ‘6.0’as they had now been dubbed by SICI decided to meet in New York for three days to share their combined wisdom and experience to refine and identify the very best fit practices in the industry.

The Master Bicycle Fitter Association (MBFA) is dedicated to creating, evaluating and promoting universal and recognizable dealer standards for the cycling industry in regards to:

  • Bicycle fitting methodology and equipment
  • Knowledge of cycling technology
  • Independent product selection and sales for dealers

In conjunction with SICI (the cycling industry’s most established bicycle fit institute), MBFA recognizes those dealers who lead the industry in the above standards and serves as a consumer resource to help cyclists locate these dealers.”

The MFBA website not only acts as a directory of professional bike-fitting, it also serves as a reference point and resource  to help the cyclist “make informed decisions on cycling fit practices and product selection”.

‘6.0’ Conference In New York

At their New York meeting, the MFBA founding members set out their mission:

“While it is exciting that the fitting industry is growing at an accelerated rate, as people see and feel fitting’s potential to improve performance and efficiency, it was felt by 6.0 that the fitting market needed more clarity and defined standards to help guide the public to make informed choices about where they could get the best advice and fit experience.”

The group then started working on defining those standards.  SICI’s Paraic McGlynn, Director of Applied Cycling Science, was kind enough to donate his high-tech ‘Fit-Lab’ for research sessions.  Paraic also contibuted his own fifteen year experience fitting some the world’s best known professional riders to the 6.0 event.  From these sessions the guidelines and standards that would later be refined into the MBFA dealer and fit standards started to take shape.

To set the MBFA criteria the founding 6.0 members first had to re-evaluate, critique and, if possible, improve every step of the Advanced SICI Fitting Syllabus to consistently deliver the highest possible levels of professionalism and client satisfaction in the industry.  All of the members of 6.0, in their own ways, have pushed beyond even the Advanced SICI Syllabus working day to day with their own way in their own practices. Each had strengths, research and specialities that could improve and inform the whole group.

This search for excellence resulted in the Uniform Fit Elements and Uniform Dealer Standards that today underpins MBFA membership and guarantees the consumer an surpassed experience.
Some of the criteria and standards are so stringent that they became aspirational and some of 6.0 had to make slight changes and update their businesses to fulfil them.

It is the long term goal of MBFA to encourage the cycling industry to embrace fitting and strive for improved levels of fit-related education and qualifications. Moreover MBFA wants to improve and enhance consumer experience with the fit process and from that their relationship with their bike and sport.”

Original 6.0 MBFA Founding Members are:

Julian Wall and Philip Cavell – CycleFit
Paul Levine – Signature Cycles
Ian Buchanan – Fit Werx
Chris Soden – Pro Peloton
Chris Jacobson – Sports Garage
Chris Kautz – PK Cycling

The formation of the Master Bike Fitters Association by this like-minded  group of forward-thinking bike-fit professionals heralds a new era in Cycling Science.  Frameforum wishes the founding members of the MBFA every success with their vision and congratulates them on acheiving something the framebuilding scene clearly lacks  and, apart from the establishment a few regional groups, has so far been able to accomplish.”

To view the article on frameforum.com, click http://frameforum.org/portal/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66&Itemid=1