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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 07-06-13, 12:06 PM   #1
Rak73
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A newbies perspective on fitting

Hi forum!

So I picked up my bike this morning from my LBS. Last night I was stressing about picking up my bike and not knowing anything about fitting, what questions to ask or what to look for.

Firstly, having a good LBS is invaluable! I posted on this forum and got some great advice. But at the end of the day, the guys at the LBS were excellent. They had me stand by the bike, sit on the bike, go for a quick spin and come back for more tuning.

"Fitting" is actually a very simple concept (although doing it properly would take years of experience). "Fitting" simply means setting up the bike so that you are comfortable and efficient in your peddling - That's it, simple as that!

I spent a good 30 mins getting fitted, plus they showed me a little about maintaining the bike (tire pressure, etc). Its not rocket science but still good to get a walk through.

After picking up my bike, I rode it home (a good 15km). It gave me the opportunity to work through the gears and get used to the bike. Now that I have done that I am going to take my LBS advice and go back in a couple of days to get it fine tuned. Simply adjusting the bike a cm here and cm there can make a world of difference. Now, remember I am a newbie, so I don't know what needs to be adjusted, but I know how I felt on the ride. My LBS told me to make note of how my body feels during and after the ride. When I take my bike back, I am going to let them know that there felt like a fair bit of weight on my arms and changing gears was a little uncomfortable. I have no idea what adjustments they will make, but I know they will fix the issues, and talk me through what they are doing, so that I am learning at the same time.

The point I am trying to make is that "fitting" is a work in progress and a good LBS will help you through it. Just let the person know how you are feeling on the bike and how you would like to feel, and a good LBS will take care of the rest with your input.

TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF FITTING AND JUST ENJOY THE RIDING!

I hope that helps a little and please feel free to add to this. The more us newbies can learn the better
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Old 07-06-13, 02:35 PM   #2
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It sounds like you're in good hands. Goodonya.
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Old 07-10-13, 10:37 AM   #3
socopithy
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Thanks for posting this. I'm completely new to cycling and was about to post a thread asking wtf to read first lol

Very good reading this.
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Old 07-13-13, 12:01 PM   #4
Rak73
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Originally Posted by socopithy View Post
Thanks for posting this. I'm completely new to cycling and was about to post a thread asking wtf to read first lol

Very good reading this.
You are very welcome! To follow up on this, I just went back to my LBS to have them tweek some things. I found the top of my shoulders were a little sore. When I mentioned it to bike store, they made a couple of adjustments to the seat. I also told them my gears were slipping a bit and that my shifter was a little too far from my thumb. They made all the adjustments in about 5 mins and then I was off again! I think the important thing is that ride the bike for a few weeks and make a note of the things that are bothering you. Some will go as you get used to the bike (like my butt being really sore! It wasn't the seat, it was because I was just adapting to it). Other things will persist and those are the things you want to mention to your LBS to get a better fitting. ENJOY!!
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Old 07-13-13, 04:41 PM   #5
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How do you know a good bike store from a not good bike store? They could be very nice and totally clueless. How would you know?
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Old 07-13-13, 08:31 PM   #6
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How do you know a good bike store from a not good bike store? They could be very nice and totally clueless. How would you know?
I had one bicycle shop tell me, "We don't believe in fitting people on bicycles. We think it's best to just let them figure it out on their own".

That's a "not good bike store".
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Old 07-14-13, 07:23 AM   #7
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I had one bicycle shop tell me, "We don't believe in fitting people on bicycles. We think it's best to just let them figure it out on their own".

That's a "not good bike store".
Ironically, in my case that probably would have been really good advice!

I bought my bike a around 3 weeks ago and got it with the LBS i bought it from mainly adjusting saddle height and letting me switch the stock saddle for a Serfas E-gel saddle (which I ended up hating).

In the process of trying to find a saddle that was comfortable for me I got a free bike fitting at another LBS while I was trying saddles there and, frankly, the fitting was worth what I paid for it. The saddle they gave me to try was a horrible Selle Royal Lookin Moderate saddle that put way to much pressure on my soft tissues.

My first problem was that, as a newbie, I had no idea how to differentiate a good fitting from a bad one, so I no frame of reference to judge whether their adjustments were good or not.

While they did help by inverting my stem and dropping it a spacer (I like a more leaned over position that most newbie hybrid riders), their saddle recommendation and adjustment proved to be useless.

After that, I figured I'd be better off just trying things and seeing what worked for me on my own.

1) I got my sit bones measured and changed the saddle for a Specialized Milano. This was the first big leap in comfort. I find this saddle massively more comfortable than any other I've tried.

2) I added Giant bar ends and Ergon GP1 grips and fiddled with their angles repeatedly. This helped, but I still felt I was putting too much pressure on my hands (and I didn't want to fix that by raising the stem because I found the leaned forward position more comfortable overall).

3) I added Giant platform pedals because I needed a bigger, grippier pedal surface.

4) I dropped the stem a second spacer, and ultimately slammed it. This helped me rotate my pelvis forward and "tripod" better on the bike with a better weight distribution between saddle, pedals and hands. But it still wasn't perfect, my hands were still starting to hurt sooner than I'd have liked.

5) I tried moving my bar ends *inside* the grips. Another small improvement.

6) I donated my silver bar ends and Ergon GP1's to my GF's bike and got myself the same bar ends in black, mounted inside the grips at only ~15* above level, rotated my brake levers and shifters forward, and added Ergon GP2 grips to give me bar ends outside the grips as well.

7) I moved my saddle back 5mm and made sure it was absolutely as high as it should be (knee locked at bottom of stroke with heel on pedal) and made sure the nose tilted up a tiny fraction. Finally, I had my first ride yesterday with no neck, shoulder, hand, or wrist pain. Where I naturally stayed in the right spot on the saddle. Where I could ride my inboard bar ends like hoods on a road bike (helped by having my bar height slammed).

Before that last 5mm adjustment with the saddle, I thought I was going to need a longer stem, but right now it appears that I'm golden for the time being.

This is all over the course of 3 weeks.

Here's where my bike started:



Here's how it was after the "fitting":



And here is where it has ended up:



So for me, it turns out that figuring out myself was actually the right answer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Escape RX 1 01.jpg (76.2 KB, 123 views)
File Type: jpg Bike as fitted.jpg (100.8 KB, 121 views)
File Type: jpg Side shot with GP2s.jpg (98.9 KB, 122 views)
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