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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Fit & Fuel: Coffee, Bicycles and Conversation

Dec 01, 2011 01:15PM ● By Beth Davis

The concept of a charming coffee shop and café is certainly not a new one; neither is the idea of a bicycle-fitting studio. However, the combination of the two is new, and it’s exactly what owner Mark Trudeau has done by opening Fit & Fuel Café. Located in the Pavilion Shopping Center, in Naples, and adjacent to Naples Cyclery, the bike shop he has owned for more than 20 years, Fit & Fuel offers the same top-notch service the shop’s patrons have come to expect.

Intended as a gathering place where cycling enthusiasts and coffee connoisseurs could congregate, Fit & Fuel provides indoor and outdoor seating in the front, and professional Body Geometry (BG) bicycle fitting in the back.

Patrons feel welcome in the café’s warm décor that recounts the days of cycling’s past with vintage racing posters and plush leather chairs. Focused on lifestyle, Fit & Fuel features a light-fare menu with items ranging from granola and seasonal fruit to sandwiches and salads, many of which are organic. According to Chef and Café Manager Elliot Tobin, the food is meant to be simple, healthy and delicious.

Panther Coffee, a Miami-based specialty coffee roaster, retailer and wholesaler, provides the coffee for the café. “Panther’s focus is on quality,” explains Tobin. “They specialize in small-batch coffees that are roasted and ground in-house—it is truly artisan craftsmanship.”

Open floor-to-ceiling glass doors separate the café from the fit studio, which features triathlon and road bikes lining the racks and a large, flat-screen TV streaming views of real-time bike fitting. Professional fitter Dave Harris says the goal is simply to make riding more pleasurable for everyone, not just seasoned riders.

Harris says a bicycle fitting is beneficial, even for casual riders. “Over a 100-mile ride—no matter if it’s done during a week’s time or a year’s duration—each foot will do between 25 to 28 thousand revolutions. If the fit is wrong, every revolution is wrong, and it can cause an injury or exacerbate an old one,” he explains.

Fittings are done using the latest technology, to ensure a precise fit based on exact measurements. A session takes approximately three hours and covers everything from one’s athletic and cycling background, flexibility, strength and detailed injury history, to their height, inseam and even goal assessment. Individuals can start with a current bike, or get fit for a new one. Either way, BG Fit Data software uses video cameras to capture the rider in motion, enabling the fitter to analyze and make necessary adjustments to the bike to guarantee the best possible fit.

“We are here to help provide the answers you need to ride longer, happier, and healthier—it’s as simple as that,” states Harris.

Location:  819 Vanderbilt Beach Rd. For more information, call 239-566-0600 or visit

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