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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Choosing a fitter

    I will soon get my first-ever pro fitting for my road bike(been riding it for almost 2 years, with platforms, ready to switch to clipless now---plus have had some knee discomfort lately which I'm having success treating with stretching and various exercises, and some time off the bike--when I go back to it I want to get things dialed in correctly finally).
    The LBS I bought the bike from does a "Body Geometry Fit" for $225. I like this shop, I like the vibe there. However, another LBS I frequently pop into, a bigger one (an InCycle) does a fit for $150. As far as I can tell, they both claim to do the same thing (but keep in mind, I'm a noob so I might not be asking all the right questions).
    That extra $75 would go a long way towards my new pedals or shoes, so I'm just curious, how to select one? Will the more expensive fit be . . . . "better"?
    2013 Specialized Allez Comp

  2. #2
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    I'd love to hear a response to this question.
    I'm also looking to get a professional fitting done and don't really understand the difference in benefit between getting one done for $90 at PB versus spending $250 for a ReTul.

  3. #3
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    I am no expert on this topic. I have investigated articles and discussion threads about the topic to find out what "magic" is performed in the various fits. What I have learned is that before approaching a fitter, you need to ask yourself: what do you want the fitter to do. What are your expectations as in the article http://www.slowtwitch.com/Bike_Fit/R...ions_3595.html

    Generally, there are a range of fits that are available that may or may not meet what is outlined in the above article. In the lower part of the fitting price range, you bring your bike to the bike shop and it is put on a trainer. The fitter watches you as you pedal and advises you based on his experience whether your saddle is the appropriate height and whether your reach to the bars, hoods and drops are satisfactory. Some adjustments may be made to height and reach. Some recommendation may be made as to whether a different handlebar eg. one with a shorter reach and drop may be made. This type of fit will aim at making your bicycle more comfortable and more efficient to ride.

    Because a key question may be what size bicycle should I purchase, a more extensive fit may be in order and this will be higher in the price range. To help understand the sizes of bicycles and the differences between the geometry of different bicycles, you need to have some basic knowledge about geometry. Without this knowledge, you may not understand what the fitter is telling you or why he is telling you. If you are not aware of it, you need to know what is meant by frame stack and reach. These are the (x,y) coordinates that come out of a bike fit where one uses a fit bike like Retul or Guru or some other make. Knowing your (x,y) coordinates allows you and the fitter to look at published data and geometry charts that show the frame stack and reach measure of particular frames. In this way, you can match the data and identify the size of bike that will fit. The fit should be precise enough to identify stem length, angle and the amount of spacers under the stem. It should be precise enough for you to know what is your measured position on the bicycle. Some fits in the upper price range will study your motion on the fit bike with a camera (and this will contribute to the cost of the fit). Some fits will determine your best position on the bike by using power output measurements. To know what you are going to get from the fit, you need to talk to the fitter. Both you and the fitter have to have the same understanding. An additional aspect of the fit may involve positioning the cleats on your shoe. This also may be priced separately. As the fit becomes more detailed or intensive with power and motion data, then the price of the fit will increase.

    To understand stack and reach, you may want to look at http://www.slowtwitch.com/Bike_Fit/G...ature_190.html and http://www.slowtwitch.com/Bike_Fit/G...mbers_193.html

  4. #4
    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    Good write up on static vs. dynamic fit. I was fit by SW.

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/page/l...2#.Upos7ZHDNuY
    "Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, then me will eat cookie." -Cookie Monster

  5. #5
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Aside from investigating the fitter, the shop reputation, reading Pez, Slowtwitch, and the various threads here, consider this additional data:

    Body Geometry is a trademark of Specialized. Specialized has purchased Retul and is or will be sourcing all their tooling from Retul, for fitting. I don't know if the Retul Fit will disappear, become the BG Fit, or whatever.

    My opinion is that neither of these are bad things. If you want a good start with a new bike, I'd do the BG. I've been a self-fitter for a while now, and I'm thinking of trying the local BG person to get a good start on the coming season. I've had a few bad experiences with local folks and one great one, and that was because the guy was trained, skilled and sensitive, not because he had learned from Paul or whomever.

    Given your choices, I'd be biased toward Specialized BG. You already have a set of footgear, right? Go along with those for another half-season.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    There is an app......
    as there for everything it seems these days, called Size My Bike. As I recall it was $5. It was suggested to me by my cycling coach. He has paid the $300 for a pro bike fit, and he said that the SMB app put him bang on where the pro put him. I changed a couple things on my mountain bike-haven't really noticed any change in feel, no discomfort-or greater comfort for that matter. Not that there was before. It's only 5 bucks, but then again, some guys just want that "professional opinion" so you'll spend the money. Just my 2cents.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    just an old guy, Years in various LBS.. none very big, [never paid a cost-of-living wage].

    so for customers coming in We talk . I look at them on the bike .. and talk some more

    The market now having $10,000 bikes now people want more scientific feeling selection.

    hence the Fit Session, and to make it feel special , you charge for it..



    You getting a Racing Licence to compete? might matter more..

  8. #8
    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    I have spent a half crap ton on bike crap. I like all of it, but really only two things have helped me go faster and feel better on a bike. Training/riding time and a good fit from a guy that knows what he is doing.

    The method of fitting is somewhat secondary to the experience and ability of the fitter, but the dynamic fit does pick up things that the static fit cannot.. such as is your stroke the same under load as it is when pedaling soft or static.
    "Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, then me will eat cookie." -Cookie Monster

  9. #9
    BikeFitPro
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    Find a good bike fitter. Check out the individual that is going to do your fit. You can even call us during the middle of your fit.
    Find a good fitter near you look here http://bikefit.com/dealerlocator.aspx

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    LA has stuff that we dont bother with way out here, because ours is not as wealthy a place .

    Or as Trend driven .. as the big cities ..

    Bike on the trainer stand , and discussing how it feels ,

    does not cost any more than the buying of the bike .

    Out here: a few road bikes , a fair number of Mountain bikes .

    and service for the Hundreds of Cycle-tourists riding the Pacific Coast ..



    Unlike Portland, with A bike shop on every block.. and Trustafarians..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-31-13 at 12:54 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeFitPro View Post
    Find a good bike fitter. Check out the individual that is going to do your fit. You can even call us during the middle of your fit.
    Find a good fitter near you look here http://bikefit.com/dealerlocator.aspx
    What kind of fitters does that website find? Near Ann Arbor we have probably 2 dozen fitters, yet only one is shown in this tool. Even more, some pretty capable riders get good fits (fits that help them) from the people whom are not "recommended" by the tool on this site.

    What gives? What are your fitters doing that nobody else is? Why are all the others not capable or good enough to be listed?

    Or is this purely advertising? In which case, sell me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    What kind of fitters does that website find? Near Ann Arbor we have probably 2 dozen fitters, yet only one is shown in this tool. Even more, some pretty capable riders get good fits (fits that help them) from the people whom are not "recommended" by the tool on this site.

    What gives? What are your fitters doing that nobody else is? Why are all the others not capable or good enough to be listed?

    Or is this purely advertising? In which case, sell me.
    It just looks like the directory for Bike Fit.

    Here's the one for Retul. I'm sure there are others. My $0.02 is what ever system or certification(s) the fitter has, it ultimately comes down to how well they use it. Best way to find out the ones that have that talent locally is usually word of mouth.
    "Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, then me will eat cookie." -Cookie Monster

  13. #13
    BikeFitPro
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    Was mostly trying to stress the skills of the fitter trump the tool or tools they may use. Check out the background of the fitter. Many schools they may have attended do not cover several important aspects in a bike fit.

    Here is also an article for review. If your fitter can cover all this and more you may be in good hands.
    http://bikefit.com/s-13-road-bikes.aspx

    I would stress proper foot-pedal interface and also proper saddle choice. On average shops that have a SwitchIt and provide bike fitting sell a new saddle at least 8 out of every ten bike fits. That shows us typically saddle choice has not been so great. If folks we already on a saddle they really liked that number would be much lower. People have no clue what they like in a saddle because they do not have a chance to try them. Surveys show people that so called try a lot of saddle really only try a few at most.

    Demo programs do not compare. Demo programs are nice offers but trying saddle after saddle is the key to helping someone select the best saddle and for a fitter to observe postural changes.

    Happy Pedals.

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