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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-30-11, 07:28 AM   #1
CraigB
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Another Bike Fitting

My LBS includes a 2-hour, $250-value lifetime fitting service with every bike they sell. So, after putting about 250 miles on the new Synapse, I scheduled my fitting for last night (they recommend getting some miles in first, so you have some experience with how the bike feels, good or bad, before they begin to tweak things).

It was a pretty impressive session. They put the bike on a trainer, but before I got on it, we spent about 30 minutes talking about all kinds of things - my biking experience, how far and fast I ride, what other bikes I've owned, any injuries, surgeries or medical/physical conditions that need to be taken into account, even why I ride.

Once on the bike, after about a 5-minute warmup, he began to observe my riding pretty intently. It felt kind of weird, being scrutinized that closely, but I got over it. He took a ton of measurements, examined my shoes in detail, used spirit and laser levels, knee-angle protractors and untold numbers of other tools and measuring gadgets.

2 hours later, the net result was a repositioning of my cleats, a slightly (1 cm) raised saddle, and swapped stem (from the OEM Cannondale 6-degree 110 stem to a 3T 17-degree 120, angled up). The difference in position felt immediately better while we were there on the trainer, but the real proof will be in the next actual ride. Maybe I'll try to take it out this evening if there's time.

The other great thing about this service at this LBS is, as I said, it's good for as long as I own this bike. If I decide at some point to change out the saddle, they'll dial it back in for me (even if the saddle doesn't come from them). Same thing for shoes/pedals. Or if there's any change in my body, like losing these last 25 pounds that are proving to be such a struggle.

IMO, it was well worth the sale price of the bike ($50 off list instead of the $80-90 off that the other area C'dale dealer typically charges). Plus these guys are a smaller shop, with much more personal service and attention to their customers. I actually enjoy spending time there and talking with all of them.

Last edited by CraigB; 08-30-11 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:56 AM   #2
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Nothing like the personal service you get from a good local bike shop.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:57 AM   #3
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If the fitting is after you get the bike and ride it for a while (which makes sense) how do you be sure that you got the right bike for you in the first place? Do they do a pre-fitting of some kind to help you get the right bike? Or is there enough slop in bike size and geometry that the error risk is not great and you can go by how good it feels when you test ride it?
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Old 08-30-11, 08:35 AM   #4
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Sounds like a valuable exercise. I had a basic fitting when I bought my bike, but the more I read about these pro style fittings, the more I want to try one.
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Old 08-30-11, 08:37 AM   #5
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If the fitting is after you get the bike and ride it for a while (which makes sense) how do you be sure that you got the right bike for you in the first place? Do they do a pre-fitting of some kind to help you get the right bike? Or is there enough slop in bike size and geometry that the error risk is not great and you can go by how good it feels when you test ride it?
I think the key is understanding that bike sizing and bike fitting are two different, if related, things.

When you come in to look at bikes, this shop will do the usual stuff to size you, like measure your inseam and things like that. Plus they offer "unlimited distance" test rides, which helps a lot. They've had customers take bikes out for metric centuries to see if they like them. I did a couple of 20-mile group shop rides on the Synapse before I bought it. At that time they do a very basic setup for you that involves stem height, saddle height, saddle fore/aft and angle adjustments so you're fairly well dialed in as you go out the door. In my case, they took measurements off my current bike and transferred them to the Cannondale. But the formal fitting process is much more detailed and depends, to some extent anyway, on how you've been reacting to the bike in the condition it left the showroom. They want you to have a reasonably good-sized base of experience so you can talk with them intelligently about what seems to be working and what doesn't. Conequently they recommend you get a couple of hundred miles under your belt before going through the process.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:20 AM   #6
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That's awesome; I wish any of my LBS's had that kind of service.

By the way, interested in parting with that spare stem cheap? I'm not sure what size I'll need for my new bike, but I having something to build it up would be a good start.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:20 AM   #7
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My local shops offer a similar deal. $250 up front for the fitting (with Sammamish Valley Cycles, at least that was the price a couple years ago when I got mine) and it was a full Serotta Fit session with the interview, measurement of stretch angles, computerized analysis of ride position and power generation at the cranks, adjustment and measure of all the different settings on the fit bike, etc.
Once you're dialed in, they'll pull up all the frame geometries for what fits you. Then you narrow it by components and price. When you buy the bike, they'll knock half the price of the fitting off the purchase cost.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:34 PM   #8
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When I buy my next bicycle I'm likely to visit that same LBS Craig. The Unlimited miles test rides, and "free fitting for life", is tough to beat.

Any chance you'll be there Thursday night for the ride?

Last edited by Absenth; 08-30-11 at 04:34 PM. Reason: added group ride question
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Old 08-30-11, 06:56 PM   #9
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Any chance you'll be there Thursday night for the ride?
I'm going to try, but I might not know for sure whether I can make it until mid-afternoon that day. If I do, I'll be wearing that same solid yellow Fondulac Bike Club jersey I said I was going to wear before. But this time I'll be on a white Cannondale.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:20 PM   #10
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if you head in, will it be the Bumble Bs again?
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Old 08-31-11, 07:47 PM   #11
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if you head in, will it be the Bumble Bs again?
Somehow I missed your post.

Yes and no. Yes, I'm going to make the jump to the Bumble Bs, but no, not again, as I haven't done it the first time yet. I fully expect to get dropped at some point. It'll be interesting to see when it happens. I know all the roads around there pretty well, so it won't be a traumatic thing. I can find my way back to the shop just fine.

Plus they have a lot of Dan Henries.
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Old 08-31-11, 07:53 PM   #12
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Mind if i ask what store?
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Old 08-31-11, 08:22 PM   #13
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PRetty sure it's Nebo Ridge on 106th and Michigan in Indianapolis.
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Old 09-01-11, 04:56 AM   #14
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Yes, Nebo Ridge.
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Old 09-01-11, 05:40 AM   #15
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Craig, have you ridden your bike on the road yet after your fit? What differences did you notice?
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Old 09-01-11, 08:06 AM   #16
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Craig, have you ridden your bike on the road yet after your fit? What differences did you notice?
Work and home commitments have prevented me from taking it out yet. But if the 99-degree forecast high temp today doesn't do me in, I'm planning on attending the shop ride tonight to see how it all feels. I'll make sure to post my impressions either after that ride, or after my weekend ride(s).
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Old 09-01-11, 09:47 AM   #17
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craig: must kill ya not to be able to take the bike out and see.
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Old 09-01-11, 10:00 AM   #18
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craig: must kill ya not to be able to take the bike out and see.
It's a little disappointing, but I've learned to be patient. One of the benefits of age.
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Old 09-01-11, 10:13 AM   #19
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can you send over a dose? All I can think about is riding and I still have 5 more hours of work
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Old 09-02-11, 05:27 AM   #20
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Last night's Bumble B ride from the shop went well. I met and had a chance to ride with Absenth, a real nice guy. We stuck with the group up past mile 20, when I noticed that during our conversation we'd fallen a bit behind. That's what happens when you aren't paying attention.

But to the matter at hand, the results of the fitting were great - little or no lower back fatigue or discomfort at any point in the ride, and not even any numb hands. I think I need to do some work on my neck and shoulders, though, as they were a little tired from holding my head up, what with my upper body being stretched out on the new stem. All in all though, well worth it. Very comfortable and efficient-feeling.
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