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Thread: Pro Fit

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    Pro Fit

    Tomorrow I am getting a pro fit from my LBS. He said it would cost about 100-120 dollars. Other than hey it hurts here to ride (points to my behind and hands) what questions should I have for him?

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    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    If he's a good fitter, he should be asking the questions. What type of fitting are you getting?
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    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    That's very cheap, my LBS charges $350 and it's a 3-4 hour process with a 3 month followup recheck.

    It should start with an interview, followed by physical measurements of your body and flexibility. The video taping you on a trainer with a power meter to get additional info.

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    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    If he's a good fitter, he should be asking the questions. What type of fitting are you getting?
    +1. The only question I can think of is "How many fittings have you done?"

    When I had my first fit 3 yrs ago it was 2.5 hrs long and started with a 20 mi interview where he asked all the questions.

    He had done about 4,500 fittings at that time. I had set up the bike myself based on a lot of google and youtube inputs. He said it was really close, but none the less, I was quite amazed at the outcome. No more back pain or hand numbness, and more power and comfort.

    Good luck.
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    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    Mine was initially setup by my son. After the fit the seat was raised 33mm and the stem swapped from a 100mm to 90mm. He said to come back in the Spring and he'll drop the bars and wants me to get a firmer saddle. He said he didn't want to make too many changes at one time since I was comfortable before the fit.
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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Bike fitting at those prices are a little suspect to me. That is in the area what doctors and lawyers charge.

    IMHO fitting may do some people some good, especially those that have no idea what so ever where to adjust a seat etc. Where is disagree totally is the fact that with "proper fit" all pain will be eliminated on a DF bike.

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Bike fitting at those prices are a little suspect to me. That is in the area what doctors and lawyers charge.

    IMHO fitting may do some people some good, especially those that have no idea what so ever where to adjust a seat etc. Where is disagree totally is the fact that with "proper fit" all pain will be eliminated on a DF bike.
    Sometimes it's not about pain; it's about avoiding injury or adapting to deal with a chronic condition. A good fitter is worth more than an MD to me.... when he or she is doing the fitting. I was fortunate in that when I ordered my custom bike, the fitting was part of the package, and the person doing the fitting had been trained in several different systems, worked with a professional racing team for two years and has done thousands of fittings. I can honestly say my doctor or lawyer would have had no idea of how to deal with the difference in leg length, arthritis starting in the neck and shoulders, and the range of kinds of riding I like to do. I went to my MD to talk about the neck pain, and he was clueless about what to do other than take medication and don't ride so much. My fitter, on the other hand, helped me understand the dynamics of what was taking place and identify choices that were available.... including riding a bent (which would have caused a whole different set of problems).

    BTW, to the OP. It is important that the person doing the fitting knows what kind of riding you do and/or want to do and knows how to fit for the style of riding. My experience has been that some fitters only know how to set someone up for racing or very fast recreational riding.
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    I agree with the others. Your fitter should be asking more questions than you can possibly even conceive of.

    By all means, share your concerns and any questions you have, but a good fitting session begins with 20-30 minutes of interrogation.

    The only other concern is be certain your fitter understands and responds to your answers.

    I've had fitters just assume that since I'm over 50, that I must need a short 17° stem over plenty of spacers. That's not me.

    Then again, the forum is rife with reports of fitters insisting their customers must get as long and low as possible. That's also not me.

    Just be sure communication is copacetic between you and things should go just fine.

    I'm not sure video is necessary, but once in the trainer, your fitter should watch you like a cat stalking a mouse. It can be unnerving.

    And expect to do at least 8-10 miles in the trainer. At my last fitting, I'd done not quite ten before my fitter finally said, "Okay, here's what I think."
    Last edited by tsl; 11-08-12 at 09:01 AM.
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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    One of these days, the industry will figure out a way to do more testing using sensors attached to your body while you ride your own bike. Then that will be replayed, studied, dissected, and reassembled into a 6 million dollar man.

    Not only is it a fitting, but its a coaching type fitting. Both are necessary. One without the other is like trying to isolate why Johnny can't read by looking at his eye sight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    One of these days, the industry will figure out a way to do more testing using sensors attached to your body while you ride your own bike. Then that will be replayed, studied, dissected, and reassembled into a 6 million dollar man.
    My fit was done using the Retul system and with a power meter. He was able to "replayed, studied, dissected" my riding.
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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
    My fit was done using the Retul system and with a power meter. He was able to "replayed, studied, dissected" my riding.
    I mean while you are actually on the road riding, not inside a building. Climbing, descents, sprints, etc. I am curious about what Retul said about your saddle choice.

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    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Greyride,

    How did the fit go?
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    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    I mean while you are actually on the road riding, not inside a building. Climbing, descents, sprints, etc. I am curious about what Retul said about your saddle choice.
    Climbing, descents and sprints can all be closely simulated on a Retul system. The trainer can be controlled remotely by the fitter, or the computer, to put less or more resistance on the rear wheel to do the simulation. My first Retul fitter had a platform where the front half could be raised or lowered, on the fly, to simulate climbing and descending. I don't think that being on the road would be any more accurate because you have to take into consideration the current climate and road conditions of the day you are being fitted, which will be different from other days. I had a Retul fitting when I got my first road bike and for me, it was well worth every cent.

    As for saddle choice, I don't think that there is a system made that can tell you what saddle you should be using. I had no issues with the OEM saddle that was on my Defy after it was properly set up. I rode it for over 3,000 miles without any further adjustments. The same thing with my Colnago OEM saddle (almost 3,000 miles on it). I recently changed to an ISM saddle because I had lost more weight, especially on my butt, and none of the standard, road bike style saddles I tried were working for me.
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    What type of fitting are you getting?
    Goal ? go fast on a race bike, [most of those are expecting you are on that path]
    or casual touring for weeks on end with home in the bags.
    are divergent goals.

    and will have different fit set ups.

    Out Here in a small town, the Trainer stand is on the shop floor, and
    will be a free part of bike type/size selection..
    no extra charge..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-09-12 at 12:32 PM.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    Climbing, descents and sprints can all be closely simulated on a Retul system. The trainer can be controlled remotely by the fitter, or the computer, to put less or more resistance on the rear wheel to do the simulation. My first Retul fitter had a platform where the front half could be raised or lowered, on the fly, to simulate climbing and descending. I don't think that being on the road would be any more accurate because you have to take into consideration the current climate and road conditions of the day you are being fitted, which will be different from other days. I had a Retul fitting when I got my first road bike and for me, it was well worth every cent.

    As for saddle choice, I don't think that there is a system made that can tell you what saddle you should be using. I had no issues with the OEM saddle that was on my Defy after it was properly set up. I rode it for over 3,000 miles without any further adjustments. The same thing with my Colnago OEM saddle (almost 3,000 miles on it). I recently changed to an ISM saddle because I had lost more weight, especially on my butt, and none of the standard, road bike style saddles I tried were working for me.
    Ok, so Retul system doesn't make any analysis on saddle choice?

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    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    As for saddle choice, I don't think that there is a system made that can tell you what saddle you should be using. I had no issues with the OEM saddle that was on my Defy after it was properly set up. I rode it for over 3,000 miles without any further adjustments. The same thing with my Colnago OEM saddle (almost 3,000 miles on it). I recently changed to an ISM saddle because I had lost more weight, especially on my butt, and none of the standard, road bike style saddles I tried were working for me.
    Correct, my "fitter" took into account that my current saddle was relativly soft and there was about 5mm of "squish". He felt that a firmer seat would cause me less discomfort on long (50+ mile) rides.

    As to which seat, he had no specific suggestion. As we already know, finding the right saddle can be a long and personal process.

    The "fitter" is just as if not more important than the tools he uses.
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    After you guys blasted him, I'm not surprised he didn't respond due to embarrassment. BTW, my fitting was a measly $130 for a Specialized BG Fit and the bike feels more awesome than it ever did. I have zero discomfort issues. Oh, and that $130? It also covered transferring the numbers to a second bike.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I propose that the current state of the art with fitters is that they don't have the analytical tools to fit a rider at a most important contact point, the saddle. Fitters and their fit systems I think just avoid it to a certain degree.

    My fitter just said to get a saddle that is flat and not curved in any way.

    How many custom frame makers are there? How many custom saddle makers are there? Can you guess why?

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    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Ok, so Retul system doesn't make any analysis on saddle choice?
    I don't think I'm following you on why you feel that fitters should recommend a specific saddle, but other than staying away from the plush, department store saddles, none of them do. Just like they don't make any analysis on which gloves you should wear or which shoe/pedal combination is best for you. If you have a fitter that is pushing saddles, I would be willing to bet that there is a personal, monetary reason behind it. If you are asking if they recommend a different style of saddle if the one you are on still causes you discomfort, then yes, they do that, but not a specific brand or model.
    Last edited by John_V; 11-10-12 at 07:27 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    I propose that the current state of the art with fitters is that they don't have the analytical tools to fit a rider at a most important contact point, the saddle. Fitters and their fit systems I think just avoid it to a certain degree.

    My fitter just said to get a saddle that is flat and not curved in any way.

    How many custom frame makers are there? How many custom saddle makers are there? Can you guess why?
    I would try a different fitter if thats all they said to me about saddles...


    Is it because custom frames are a profitable "expensive" item and by comparison saddles are not?

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    Sorry for not getting back sooner. I went on a 3 day vacation right after the fitting. I was going to ride on my vacation but the weather had other ideas.
    The fitting took about 2 1/2 hours and he asked a lot of questions about my riding. Where I was where I wanted to be and such. I tried to explain where it hurt and that what I wanted to fix. First thing he did was go over the bike and straightened out the items that wern't quite straight (handlebars were not square). He measured my behind for a saddle and reccommended a different one (about 100 bucks), I deferred on buying it until I road a bit after the fit. One of the biggest pains I was having was my left foot going to sleep after about 3-4 miles. H adjusted the cleats on my MTB shoes and I can now barley feel pressure there. He suggested my core wasnt strong enough and that was why my hands hurts so much. He introduced me to a different way of holding on to the bars. He replace the "stem" (the part that holds the handle bars) with a raised one. He said this puts me in a more relaxed position.
    I rode yesterday " my hill day" No foot pain, hands still hurts and my behind is still tender( hurts in a different spot so maybe I just need to harden up a bit). all in all the 140.00 seems worth it. Plus I can go visit him at no charge for the next year.
    BTW I ride mainly to lose weight. Been riding about 40-60 miles a week and haven't lost more than 8 lbs in the 2 months I have been riding. I will keep at it though.

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    I've never had a pro fitting--I just bought my first road bike a few months ago--a Specialized Allez Comp which I suppose is considered "entry level". When I bought it I test road a few and the LBS helped me pick one. Then he checked me out as I sat on it, for my saddle adjustment, and flipped the stem (at my request--having only been riding a VERY vertical hybrid/comfort bike until then I thought it made sense to ease into it). Briefly looked at me sitting on the bike and thought it all looked good. I've been riding it for a few months now and feel very comfortable, no issues at all. Given it "feels" fine to me, would it still behoove me to get a pro fit? (BTW, I ride for fitness and fun, about 60 miles a week right now, and I use platform pedals, not clipless).

  23. #23
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    One of these days, the industry will figure out a way to do more testing using sensors attached to your body while you ride your own bike. Then that will be replayed, studied, dissected, and reassembled into a 6 million dollar man.

    Not only is it a fitting, but its a coaching type fitting. Both are necessary. One without the other is like trying to isolate why Johnny can't read by looking at his eye sight.
    Something like this? (plugging my team sponsor):

    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    I got the fit only because I was having discomfort riding after 4-5 miles. So it is entirely up to you. If you are having no pain while riding I wouldn't get a fit right away. Just my opinion.

  25. #25
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    I don't think I'm following you on why you feel that fitters should recommend a specific saddle, but other than staying away from the plush, department store saddles, none of them do. Just like they don't make any analysis on which gloves you should wear or which shoe/pedal combination is best for you. If you have a fitter that is pushing saddles, I would be willing to bet that there is a personal, monetary reason behind it. If you are asking if they recommend a different style of saddle if the one you are on still causes you discomfort, then yes, they do that, but not a specific brand or model.
    My LBS developed a saddle selection methodology that uses pressure sensors embedded in fabric that is placed on the saddle. Pressure is monitored real time as you pedal. They do indeed make saddle suggestions, and their suggestions are based on science. Fitting science has come a long way.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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