Been trying to solve knee pain issues and am now thinking Q-factor might be a significant part of it. Had my regular ride in the shop for a week and rode another bike. Found my knee pain seemed to be eased, even gone. I've been tinkering with getting the right fit on both these bikes for a year. Seat height, fore and aft, stem length, etc. One difference between the two bikes I had not looked at was Q-factor. Measured and lo and behold, difference of about 10mm. Many internet posts tell me this might make a difference, including the great Sheldon Brown, and mention medial pain (which I have), etc. And (not that this is always a good guide - it seems logical: if your feet are further apart than your hips while cranking there's more strain on the knee). So firstly, I'm looking for feedback on that point.
Its amazing to me since I've had knee problems and been asking around (from my GP, an orthopedic surgeon, a physiotherapist, and countless bike shop mechanics and salespeople) on the one hand how there seems to be a pretty standard set of replies (adjust your seat height, spin more) on the other how much contradictory info there can be about hardware - whether crank length or Q-factor are important when it comes to knee pain, for instance. The last word always seems to be, 'go to a pro fitter'. So secondly, what should a pro fitter do? I bought these two bikes new (been going second hand most of my life) and thought with a new bike I'd get a fit, get the right thing, etc. First bike (a Fuji Touring 2012) guy sold me. $1,000 CDN. Fit would be extra. Second bike, a Devinci Silverstone SL3 cost about $1,500 CDN. This time I got measured up, but my options for a bike were S,M,L. So why the measuring? This shop was better and let me swap out handlebars months after buying trying to get me comfortable, but in both cases the fit was basically, raise or lower saddle height til it looked good. I know what I spent is not a ton of money in the bike world (though for me, a lot) but what is a reasonable expectation for a fit from your local shop when buying a new bike? And what would a pro fitter do and for how much more money? I would have gladly spent some more money on fitting machines or cameras filming my movements if I could then get choices in crank length and Q-factor if it would mean saving my knees. Do you have to spend $10,000 before these kinds of options?
Hoping I have my problem solved. Happy riding.