The Holidays are fast upon us and it’s the time of year when a lot of people swap out gear, reassess their position or, if they’re lucky, switch bikes altogether. One thing that we don’t have on our website and we don’t make a huge fuss about here is our bike fit program. If you’ve been to the shop, you know that the space where we first opened the shop is now where Craig Upton does our fits. Who’s Craig Upton you might be asking yourself?
Mr Upton driving the break in a local race.
Well. Craig is a 39-year-old from Wellington, New Zealand that raced as a European professional with teams like the Brescia-Lat and Tönissteiner for a handful of seasons. During that time Craig raced some of the world’s most prestigious one-day races including Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix as well as the world’s biggest stage races, including the Giro d’Italia. Craig also did a stint of racing in the USA with the Navigator’s squad. After stopping as a pro, Craig eventually wound up in New York working for a dot-com era start-up.
While in NY Craig kept riding and developed somewhat of a following as a coach and bicycle fit specialist. Just prior to the dot-com experiment revealing itself as a dot-bomb, Craig, who holds a degree from Victoria University in New Zealand, went full time with his coaching and bicycle fit business.
Initially, he opened his performance coaching lab in NY (where a branch of it still remains), but soon enough the enterprising Mr. Upton was living in Northern California and coaching a stable of top riders. By top we mean, Olympic and 2xWorld Champion Kristin Armstrong, Jeff Louder of the BMC Racing Team, a range of other professionals, via USA Cycling, the Women’s National program and the men’s U23 squad. While working with Kristin (who is now retired), Craig dialed in her position, working closely with her in the wind tunnel. So successful was he with Armstrong that Craig was also asked to lend his skills in the wind tunnel to riders like Tour de France champions and classics winners. Set foot in the hallway outside the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel’s control room and you’ll see a number of Craig’s clients pictures lining the walls.
Craig with BMC rider and client Jeff Louder.
Most days you’ll find Craig riding the roads and trails in Marin and doing bike fits and performance testing in the space where we first opened Above Category a few years back. Over the years Craig has developed and refined a system for fine tuning a rider’s form and technique based on a unique set of physical measurements and physiological testing. Craig has also been a pioneer in the creation of power-based training tools that have helped everyone from Tour de France competitors to first-time triathletes surpass their goals. We’ll delve into Craig’s system a bit more in the next posting.