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Thread: Bike fit?

  1. #1
    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    Bike fit?

    I've noticed a number of posts here concerning the importance of having the proper bicycle fit. Usually in response to a question about which bike to buy, the response is to go to a LBS to have a bike fitted. I have two bikes: a hybrid that I bought at a LBS and a road bike that I bought new over the internet. They are two very different bikes and when I ride them it takes me about half a block to familiarize myself to the new position. I love riding them both.

    When I bought the hybrid the sales person just kind of looked me over and said that I needed this particular size. No measurement or anything. As far as the seat height and handlebar height they just asked me how everything felt, and they made a couple of adjustments.

    On the road bike, the web site guided me through the sizing procedure. Basically they went by standover height. I'm a medium sized guy and got a medium sized bike. All the other adjustments I made myself.I set my seat height using Ken Kifer's procedure. Seat angle is level. I adjusted the front-to-back seat position up about 1/4 inch. Haven't adjusted the handlebar height yet 'cause that feels ok for now.

    Here's my question: What besides frame size should be considered when fitting a bike. It seems that all or most of the other adjustments can be made according to "feel".

    My point is that given an approximate frame size (S-M-L-XL), shouldn't most adjustments be made according to feel?

    Sorry for the long post. It's amazing what thoughts pop into your head during a long ride.
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. - Bob Seger

  2. #2
    X-Large Member Istanbul_Tea's Avatar
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    Other things to consider are riding position e.g. relaxed/upright, sporty/bent in half...

    what kind of riding are you doing-relaxing rides, pure speed, touring(fully loaded, partially loaded, credit card touring), cyclocross, etc...

    Your age, weight... physical condition, flexability....

    how long will you be in the saddle for any given ride-30 minute commute, 6 hour century, 20 miles per day touring, around the block...

    pre-existing conditions-back injuries, surgeries, etc...

    for a complete fit there are many factors involved.

  3. #3
    Desert tortise lsits's Avatar
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    The LBS didn't ask any of those questions. I pretty much decided that I wanted a hybrid and they showed me what they had. The only real difficult decision I made was to go with the 700c wheels instead of the 26 inch wheels.

    Since that purchase, my goals have changed. I found that I do all of my riding on the road and that my distances and speed have increased. I'm planning on doing my first century in February. I needed a bike that would be more comfortable for a long haul. I figured that I should be riding in a less upright, more aerodynamic position.

    Once I figured out what I needed I went to the LBS and looked at what they had. I also did some research on the web. I ended up buying a bike for $500 from the internet that was comparable in quality to an $800 bike at the LBS. I know that's not a lot of money for a bike compared to a lot of the rides I've seen here. Maybe that's why the LBS didn't want to spend a lot of time with me. It might have been a different story if I was spending $2000. Maybe it's just a crappy LBS,
    Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. - Bob Seger

  4. #4
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    Read the webpages listed in my signiture line (below). Those will help tremendously.

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