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Thread: bike fit

  1. #1
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    bike fit

    I am in the market for a new bike and my LBS has suggested getting a bike fit at a cost of $100. I've had good luck with my past two bikes, but am planning to spend considerably more for this one and want it to be right. But $100 seems like alot of money unless it's really going to make a big difference. What do you think?

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    Usually they give you part of that, if not all of it, back towards the purchase of a new bike. If you're sure you're going to buy the bike from them, and they credit you at least half of that towards the bike, I say go for it.

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    That would make sense, I'll check it out. Thanks.

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    I usually have six or eight road bikes at any given time. And, it makes switching from bike "A" to bike "B" much easier if I already know what the key measurements are. So, as a baseline, I took careful measurements on the bike that had the best fit. Then, I set up each of the other bikes to those exact measurements. A couple of bikes were too small to provide that exact fit, so I got rid of them.

    The key measurements are:

    - The distance from the back edge of the saddle to the front of the stem

    - The distance from the back edge of the saddle to the front, center surface of the brake levers

    - The distance from the bottom bracket bolt to the top of the saddle, folling the center line of the seat tube

    - The "drop" from the top of the saddle to the top of the bars (If the top of the saddle is 39 inches from the floor, and the highest portion of the bars is 37 inches from the floor, the "drop" is 2 inches).

    When buying a new bike, simply look for bikes that are easy to set at those measurements. If the bike is the correct size, you should be able to set it at those measurements easily, without using an "extra" long seatpost, or an extra long, or extra short stem.

    On a traditional frame, if the bike is the correct size for you, after the saddle is at its correct height, the "gap" between the bottom of the saddle and the top tube should be about five inches. If that gap is only two inches, the frame is too tall. If the gap is seven or eight inches, the frame is too small.

    Likewise, you should be able to get your preferred "rear of saddle to front of stem" measurement using an average length stem of around 100mm to 120 mm. If getting the correct fit requires using an 80mm stem or a 130mm stem, the top tube is the wrong size for you.

    The problem with a "professional" fit is that the store is fitting you according to the fitter's notion of how a bike should fit. That "fit" may work well for him and for most of his customers, but not necessary for you. If you have been riding a lot for the past couple of years, and already own a bike set up to "fit you like a glove", you HAVE the data you need to obtain a perfect fit on your next bike. You can fit yourself better than someone else can.

  5. #5
    Senior Member curt in denver's Avatar
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    My lbs took the time to fit me properly without a $100 fee. Maybe my guy is oldschool but he broke out a string with lots of knots tied in it put me on a trainer the whole process took about 30 min. I am very happy with the fit .
    "People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch"
    -Jack Nicholson

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    My lbs has serotta certified fitters with a fitting bike...the process takes a few hours to complete. I'm not planning to race, just put in lots of miles. Thanks for the tips, Alan. I'm going to check out those measurements just to see where I am on my touring bike.

    And appreciate your feedback, as well, Curt. Sometimes when you listen to people really into the whole science of cycling it starts looking more complicated than it has to be, at least to the average recreational rider.

  7. #7
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmalade
    My lbs has serotta certified fitters with a fitting bike...the process takes a few hours to complete. But $100 seems like alot of money unless it's really going to make a big difference. What do you think?
    I guess I see the situation a little differently than you.

    Reputable fitting system
    Certified techs
    A minimum of an hour of labor

    I think $100 is a great deal considering you're going to walk away with a better understanding of a bike fit.

  8. #8
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    I basically did what Alan recommended. I have a 20 year old bike I have been using off and on (mostly off) for the past 20 years. But it fits me like a glove. So when I went looking for a bike on the internet I looked for a frame with similiar measurements to mine. The only change I made was to the stem. I changed a 110mm to a 90mm. A 100mm would probably be fine also. Once you get the bike you can make the minor adjustments to seat both front and back and height and changing a stem which the LBS usually will swap for free.

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    I trusted the shop I bought my Aegis Swift from as the best fitters in town, that was in 2000. They did the best fitting they could but they missed one important factor, I have short arms. I'm a small rider my but all my bikes have been set up for the average male. Riding a few days a week didn't matter but with this new bike I was doing centuries, tours, etc. and then I would have shoulder pain. I thought this was due to my rotator cuff problems and was working like crazy to strengthen my shoulders.

    Finally, in 04 I went to a Serotta fitter and had a refit done. It turns out that my handlebars were 4 cm to low. To correct the problem I needed a new fork (my carbon steerer tube was cut to short to raise the handlebars). So the total cost to me above and beyond the original cost of the bike was $125 for the refit and almost $500 for a new fork and stem.

    So, is the $100 for a fitting worth it? I'd say yes. Besides, if your shop is like the shop I deal with now if the bike is over a certain price, the fitting if free.

    Kathi

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    Good point. I'm not saying there isn't a need for their service...my friend went through the fitting and was very happy. But she was having problems with pain while she was riding and needed the adjustment to be more comfortable. Certainly, serious cyclists looking to improve their times would benefit. But as an average rider, not experiencing any problems, I wonder what I will gain. I haven't ruled it out, which is why I'm asking advice from seasoned riders who can give me the benefit of their experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemyswift
    I trusted the shop I bought my Aegis Swift from as the best fitters in town, that was in 2000. They did the best fitting they could but they missed one important factor, I have short arms. I'm a small rider my but all my bikes have been set up for the average male. Riding a few days a week didn't matter but with this new bike I was doing centuries, tours, etc. and then I would have shoulder pain. I thought this was due to my rotator cuff problems and was working like crazy to strengthen my shoulders.

    Finally, in 04 I went to a Serotta fitter and had a refit done. It turns out that my handlebars were 4 cm to low. To correct the problem I needed a new fork (my carbon steerer tube was cut to short to raise the handlebars). So the total cost to me above and beyond the original cost of the bike was $125 for the refit and almost $500 for a new fork and stem.

    So, is the $100 for a fitting worth it? I'd say yes. Besides, if your shop is like the shop I deal with now if the bike is over a certain price, the fitting if free.

    Kathi
    Well, then it's a no-brainer. I'm going to check into that the next time I go in. They never said there was any kind of discount. Maybe it's negotiable.

  12. #12
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    Another thing about the fitting, I have a sheet on my mtn bike and my road bike that has all my measurements and set up of my bike. When I had my Aegis repainted the LBS was able to use the specs and reconstruct it exactly like it was.

    I demoed some bicycles from a different shop, also Serotta fitters. The guys took my specs from my road bike fit and set the bikes up as close as they could to my current bike. I think I got a better feel of the bikes because the fit was more accurate for me.

    In all my years of riding no one factored in my short arms until I saw the Serotta fitter. My frames got smaller and smaller and closer to ideal but everyone missed that one part of the equation.

    Kathi

  13. #13
    GO KINGS! kingsfan4life's Avatar
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    my lbs will refund you if you buy a bike then give you another free fitting and aero fitting for your new bike
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity.
    It comes from an indominable will." -Gandhi

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    One more thing, if you're going to a Serotta fitter, they pay big bucks for their training.

    Kathi

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemyswift
    One more thing, if you're going to a Serotta fitter, they pay big bucks for their training.

    Kathi
    I hope I didn't give you the idea that I didn't respect the training they have had. It's not that. And I do feel my shop has very knowledgeable staff...but they are selling a service and an unbiased opinion will help me make a better decision.

    I can appreciate the idea of having all your measurements for future reference, that's something I hadn't thought of.

    What I'm hearing from several people is that the shops typically discount or include the fitting in the price of a bike. That's good info to take with me next time I go in and makes the idea alot more appealing.

    Thanks for all the input.

  16. #16
    they call me GRUMPY rover-r-us's Avatar
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    i getting a bike fit 2 about to weeks.i think it's a good thing.

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