Craig’s ability to visualize what will allow a rider to maximize their efficiency and comfort is uncanny. However, what really sets Craig apart from other fitters and those who teach fitting is his ability to communicate what he is seeing and why the changes he recommends will work. After spending time with Craig I not only have a better understanding of how to fit, I am also more confident in the fit room and in my own ability to help people get all that is possible out of their riding experience.

Craig’s expertise and attention to detail is the reason I no longer have any knee pain.

In 2005 Craig and I set out to conceptualize and build my dream mtb, a custom 20lb titanium single speed with uncorrected geometry and a rigid fork.  His uncanny ability to listen to my vision for this bike and apply data gleaned from my fitting, transformed a blank sheet of paper into a work of art.   From fierce one hour sprints at Buck Hill to marathon sessions at Dakota 5-0 and various 12/24 hour events, this bike has proven itself at every turn.  Six years later that bike is still my primary race and training bike with no replacement insight.  In fact, I consider it’s perfection so timeless I wrote it into my will.

It is a testament to Craig’s professional fitting service that I can ride a century ride or beyond and not have any of the usual aches and pains associated with long rides like ulnar nerve pain, tired arms, knee or hip pain, or neck pain.  Sure my quads get tired, but all contact points and position on the bike feel fine.  Craig has an eye for seeing how a person rides, and after 1000′s of fittings can dial you into your bike like you never thought possible.

Craig’s fits go to 11

As a lifelong mountain biker I’ve always been able to ballpark my bike fit.  With the amount of time I spend off the bike (hanging from trees or buried in a pile of sticks off the trail….) and the amount I move around on the trail I’ve never felt like a pro fit was necessary.  All that changed after I decided to take up road cycling.  Specifically, riding rollers in the winter.  I’m not aware of a better way to test your road bike fit than to spend 60 minutes on a set of rollers.  It was rough, my shoulders hurt, sore neck, numbness.  Not fun.  It was time to reach out to Craig, and boy am I glad I did.   I’ve been around the industry for several years now, and I’ve had the opportunity to witness the Star Wars side of bike fit.  We’ve all seen the thousand dollar photo imaging machines that “assist”  in pro bike fits.  With due respect to those devices, I’m sure they provide useful information.  But for my dollar I prefer a well trained eye, and a fully educated individual that understands the science and theory BEHIND the Star Wars tech.   Craig Watson IS that person.   It goes without saying that Craig does all the meat and potato stuff, measures flexibility, takes the basic measurements.  But what sets Craig apart from his contemporaries is his personal interaction.  Craig asks the right questions that allow him to paint a picture of what a perfect ride feels like, and fits the bicycle to perform that way every time.   If your goal is a week-long bicycle tour or a cat 1 race, you’ll end up more comfortable, more powerful, and able to pedal longer.  All of the issues I had before my fit with Craig are totally gone, I’ll never purchase a bike without his fit recommendations.   As far as I’m concerned, his professional fit assistance is as important to me as the kind of bicycle I ride.

I have been working with Craig for around eight years. Over that time he has fit
me on multiple bikes, addressed every one of my “issues” and designed a bike
for me. Some of my cycling related issues, back pain and knee pain, required
less than 4mm of change. Craig is the only one I know with the experience and
attention to detail to be able to detect and make the precise adjustments needed.
I sincerely believe I would not be riding a bike today if Craig had not made those
exact adjustments to my fit.

Craig Watson has the unique gift to convey complex ideas to a group of people and have them all ‘get the picture’ as though he is speaking to each one of them one on one. It’s incredible

After a cycling-incurred back injury sidelined my riding in 2005, I was worried I would have to ride a recumbent bike to enjoy the sport I love.  A professional fitting from Craig moved me into a more upright riding position that took pressure off my L4-L5 disk, but still enabled me to generate enough power to ride with my fast buddies.  I have 3 road bikes and I have taken them all in to be fit by Craig.  I don’t make any changes to my position unless “blessed” by Craig.  I have been riding pain-free for the last 4 years.  Thanks Craig!

When fitting me on my new bike, you helped me reach a point where I felt nothing. No aches, no pulling, no twinges or tweaks. It just felt right.

A professional fit session, with minor adjustments, brought comfort and joy back to me and the bike.

After suffering through many seasons of numbness in my hands and pain in my knees, I scheduled a cleat and handlebar fitting with Craig. His wealth of knowledge and exacting attention to detail, paired with his genuine concern for my comfort and riding enjoyment, resulted in our making adjustments to my bike which not only cured both of the problems but also helped renew my love of riding. 

Craig is very thorough and professional. He got me set up perfectly on two different bikes. Worth the time and money!

Craig’s depth of knowledge on bike fit and its application to all riders from the new recreational to the seasoned pro is unparalleled. Also, Craig’s attention to detail and love of his work comes through in his highly professional and personal interactions.

Black Cat Bicycles at NAHBS 2011


The 2011 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Austin included some true standout bikes. One of my favorites at NAHBS this year was the Chug-a-Lug by Black Cat Bicycles. This was one of those bikes that you just couldn’t walk past without stopping to take a closer look. First the simplicity and the curves. Then the fillet brazing and the lugs. The rear dropouts, the seat tube angle, the paint. Wow, that paint! All this before finding out that those lugs are part lug, part fillet in construction.  A beautiful bike.

Check out more about the Chug-a-Lug here:  www.blackcatbicycles.com/2011/04/chug-lug.html


The Cinelli M-71 Pedal

I’ve always been notoriously fussy when doing cleat fittings. This contact point between shoe and pedal is where it all begins.  Every good fitting session starts with an assessment or review of the cleat position while the rider spins on a stationary trainer.  Get the cleat position just right and the pedal stroke will be smoother and more powerful.  (And, the rider will be less prone to injury and aggravation.)  Left unchecked, the cleat / pedal interface can cause all kinds of problems.  No surprise then that the history of pedals and cleats has always been interesting to me.

This is a pair of Cinelli M-71 pedals from the 1970s.  This is the fourth generation version and is the most refined or well-developed that Cinelli produced.  Radically different in design, the M-71 that Cino Cinelli developed came to market at a time when the vast majority of riders were using cage pedals with toe clips and straps.

Cinelli M-71 Pedal

Getting in to the M-71 required the rider to slide their cleated shoe on to the pedal body from the rear.  The rails along the top of the pedal helped to guide the cleat but had to be kept clean of dirt and grit in order to work smoothly.  Once the shoe was pushed forward, the rider (or a coach or assistant) would reach down and engage the lever to lock the shoe in place. In theory, if you crashed or fell over, the lever would dis-engage and release your shoe.  That didn’t always work well but, for track events and time trials the M-71 developed a cult following amongst riders looking for more power.  In design terms, Cinelli deserves credit for developing a pedal that gave riders a solid platform to push against while eliminating the need for toe straps that cut off the blood circulation to the toes.  More power and more comfort.

The M-71’s development in the early 1970s predates the popular Look clipless pedal by more than ten years.  Without Cino Cinelli’s radical pedal design, it might have taken even longer for us to move on from toe clips and straps.