Zipp launched their Vuka Fit system (iPad and iPhone) just over a year ago. Since then, the Aerogeeks team has played with it quite a bit. Until recently, we had never done anything official with it. We always figured the next time we had one of our bikes professionally fit, we would utilize Vuka Fit to transfer the measurements to either a Vuka Alumina build or the Vuka Stealth and see if the cockpit Zipp recommended was a direct replacement for our current hardware.
Three months ago we had our Specialized Shiv test bike fit to Tracy, our multisports editor, via a Retul fit at Alex’s in Coral Springs. As soon as we got the bike back to the office, we broke out the iPad and measuring tape and got to work.
When using Vuka Fit, the first thing you have to do (well technically it’s the second thing after agreeing to the terms and conditions) is pick which cockpit to apply the measurements. All things being equal, we tend to go for carbon when we can (plus the Vuka Stealth is an incredibly attractive bar that we wanted to get a chance to spend some time with). So needless to say, we went with the Stealth.
Next up were the personal fit coordinates. A nice perk from Zipp is the option to select mm or inches. Not everyone on this side of the Atlantic thinks in terms of the metric system, so we greatly appreciated the option. The page also gives plenty of diagrams and instructions to help you determine how best to take your measurements. Just as a side note—we did find having two people made it slightly easier to hold the tape measure and keep everything level at the same time.
After that, comes the measurements for your current frame. Of course no two frames are alike, and Zipp accounts for that in the software. You could skip taking the measurements yourself and just grab them off the manufacturer’s website, but we prefer to take the exact numbers ourselves.
The final step is choosing your extensions. Two of our editors are fans of ski tips. They find them to be much more comfortable over the long haul. Our technical editor only wants to ride on S-Bend (Zipp calls them “Race”) extensions. But since Tracy was calling the shots, we went with the Vuka Ski.
Once everything is complete, the Vuka Fit app gives you two possible setups to consider. The first page provides the technical details of your setup and lets you consider the implications of your current fit.
Along with the technical explanation, the “Setup Details” link provides a visual representation of your setup (make sure this is the document you give to whoever builds your setup – they will thank you!)
So we had our ideal build. Now we had to see how it would work. We sent our information to Zipp, and a few weeks later, a number of shiny boxes showed up on our door step. We brought all the printouts from Vuka Fit (it lets you email them to yourself), the pile of boxes, and the instructions to ensure Zipp’s guide was followed to the letter to our most trusted mechanic.
The next day we looked upon our new Zipp’ified Shiv and—much to our dismay—realized something looked wrong. The bar spacing was extremely wide and just didn’t fit with our current setup. At first we thought it was our measurements. However, we knew we had double- and even triple-checked our measurements, so we were confident they were correct. Then we thought it was Vuka Fit, but quickly we realized the real issue lied with the Shiv itself.
The Shiv ships with aerobars that actually slope in toward each other, and the Vuka Fit app had no way of taking this into account. The result was that we chose the wide setting for the bars instead of the narrow. Unfortunately our mechanic had already wired up the bars, and to flip the setting, we had to unhook the shifters, pull the wires and do the swap. Luckily it wasn’t a whole rewire, so didn’t take too long.
Once we had that figured out, we were happy to see that the fit was right where it should be. The setup Vuka Fit provided matched our original fit spot-on. To validate this we actually laid the old bar on top of the new one and saw everything matched up.
The Vuka Fit app got us 90% of the way there for our final setup. The app set us up with the correct configuration for our fit and helped us order all of the parts we needed. However, next time around we are going to test fit prior to wiring the bike. Really that’s the other 10% – the small differences the computer can’t account for. But if you are considering buying a Zipp cockpit, this is where you should start. Really that’s the whole point of Vuka Fit—getting you into the cockpit. Your fitter will figure out the rest.