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Old 08-29-08, 07:40 AM   #1
Rockrivr1
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Is getting a fitted with your bike worth the money?

A few weeks ago I bought an 06 Felt F80 and without any modification I jumped on it and went for a 25 mile ride last weekend. The end result of that ride was that I was numb in the nether region for a couple days. (Glad that finally went away)

I posted about it and a lot of people indicated to get a new saddle, which I was already thinking about as well. The OEM saddle on the Felt isn't all that good. As I started to look for a new saddle I keep hearing about getting myself fitted for the Felt. Landry's in MA will do a two hour fitting for $150, while another shop does a 15 minute fitting for $50. Plus I'll probably be buying a new saddle as well. Most likely some version of a Specialized Body Geometry saddle. (I looked at the Selle Glider, but $230 is WAY out of my price range)

I'm wondering though if getting fitted for my road bike is worth the money or if it's something I can do myself. Obviously I have no idea what to do to "fit" myself to the bike. I've been MTBing for years and I never had to "fit" myself to my Rockhopper. It just worked for me. Does anyone have easy to follow instructions on how to fit yourself to your road bike?

What do you think? Fit it myself for pay the money and get it done?
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Old 08-29-08, 07:47 AM   #2
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Pay the money to get it done...and get fitted for a saddle by a Specialized dealer while you are at it...you don't have to buy their saddle but they will give you an idea of the correct width for your sits bones...I have had ZERO saddle issues once I moved to a 140-143mm wide saddle from the 130mm wide saddles that seem to be stock an many road bikes.

I had a fitting about 3 years ago and only made minor adjustments but they increased my comfort and reduced some knee pain I was getting...in the spring I am going to go back in for another fitting as I have lost 30 lbs since the last one and am more flexible so I want to see if there are any fitting changes that could/should be made.
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Old 08-29-08, 07:54 AM   #3
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A fitting eliminated my saddle problems, wrist and elbow stiffness, neck ache, and foot hot spots. It was the best investment I ever made. When I got a new bike it was set up perfectly. I wish that I had done it a long time ago because it has increased my riding comfort and enjoyment dramatically. My fitter is Serotta trained and has ridden all his life and done a lot of fittings. That is important. Good for injury prevention also IMHO. YMMV.

He used the Specialized ass-o-meter to measure my sit bone width. You can do it yourself by sitting on a piece of wet cardboard. Just make sure that you lean forward like you are in your cycling position.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:21 AM   #4
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A fitting can let you know right away if your new road bike is just the wrong size, and if it is the right size, will get it properly adjusted for you. Is it "worth" the expense? Well, if the bike ends up sitting in the garage for 20 years, and then gets sold at a yard sale for $5, it is worth the whole price you paid for the bike, minus $5, adjusted for inflation.

A proper bike fitting might also give the saddle a chance to prove itself, if you want to hold off buying a new saddle. This is especially true of proper saddle height. If you don't know any better, you probably have your saddle too low, but you may also have it set to high. (Most seem too low, from what I have seen.) I do agree with going to a Specialized saddle dealer, to sit on their little foam saddle-fitting gadget, if you do need to buy a new saddle, as that knowledge will help even if you don't buy a Specialized saddle.

Don't fall into the trap of buying a wider or cushier saddle unless you KNOW you need a wider saddle. Riding on a wider saddle when your body needs a narrow saddle causes its own list of ailments and discomforts, and that extra cushioning can rub the insides of your thighs, causing chafing.

What is a proper fitting worth? Go to the Jokes and Humor section, and see the joke about the guy having surgery to cure persistent headaches.
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Old 08-29-08, 07:12 PM   #5
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Well I took everyone's advice and went for a fitting tonight. Decided to go with the local shop for a fitting and I am very happy with the outcome. I was incorrect in the price as it was only $25. Spent a good hour going over my bike set up. I was working with one of the owners of the shop who even adjusted my bike shoes to make sure they were positioned right. I'm very happy with the end results. Overall my bike was completely set up wrong for me. The seat was to far back, which made me ride the nose of the saddle. It was also to low. The handlebars also needed to be adjusted up some for a better fit. I also changed the OEM saddle for a Specialized Avatar Gel saddle. The owner told me to test out the new setup and come back if I wanted more adjustments. He did recommend that I change the handlebar mount as he thought it put the bars to far out in front of me, but he told me to try this setup and come back if I wanted the change.

If anyone in MA is looking for a good local bike shop I recommend that you try Milford Bicycles!!!
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Old 08-29-08, 07:22 PM   #6
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If ya wear a size 12 shoe and ya buy a size 9 cause they look good and are on sale yer in
for some real pain!!

Same goes for a bike. If fits or it'll hurt ya!
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Old 08-29-08, 08:08 PM   #7
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Well I took everyone's advice and went for a fitting tonight. Decided to go with the local shop for a fitting and I am very happy with the outcome.
Glad to hear things turned out well for you.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:12 PM   #8
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Good!
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Old 08-29-08, 09:36 PM   #9
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What a nice ending. Now that it's fitted properly, you will ride it much, much more.
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Old 08-30-08, 04:11 PM   #10
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Same goes with frame size. Thousands of people riding too-small bicycle frames with the seatpost jacked up so high that it's comical. It's equally as sad to see that as it is observing people with the seat too low.
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Old 08-31-08, 03:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rockrivr1 View Post
Well I took everyone's advice and went for a fitting tonight. ... I also changed the OEM saddle for a Specialized Avatar Gel saddle. ...
Well according to the common wisdom (around here) gel saddles are bad.

----

I don't own any regular upright bikes anymore, all I've got is one recumbent and one semi-recumbent now. I did have normal bikes for quite a while, though.

Having a bicycle that is sized and adjusted properly can make a difference--as will wearing padded cycling shorts (which is something that a lot of non-bicycle people don't even know about),,,, -but none of the upright bicycles I ever owned was even close to as comfortable to ride as the recumbent bike I use for long-distance riding now. I don't need padded shorts at all, and adjusting it comfortably didn't require that I get a "fitting".

I hope things work out well for you, but don't be too surprised if they don't.
For a lot of people they don't.
There are bikes that don't hurt to ride, but you have to spend a bit more and search a bit farther to find them.
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Old 08-31-08, 09:22 PM   #12
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-but none of the upright bicycles I ever owned was even close to as comfortable to ride as the recumbent bike I use for long-distance riding now. I don't need padded shorts at all, and adjusting it comfortably didn't require that I get a "fitting".
Probably true but I can't fantisize about being Fausto, Eddie, Greg or Lance while riding a 'bent or crank forward bike.

Anyway, to the OP, good choice in getting that fit. I did a lot of reading and experimenting and adjusting on my bike before I got a bike fit done and it ended up that they didn't change anything but at least it was good to know I had understood what I had read and managed to set the bike up right. If I had any issues with pain now I would not hesitate to get another fit done. There is a sports medicine clinic up in Boulder that does some really advanced fitting (way more than $25 I'm afraid) but I think it would be worth it if I experienced any problems.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:30 AM   #13
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The reason why you need someone else to fit you is because a fitter has experience with many cases and is objective. Its like being your own doctor. It doesn't work. Sure you can go online and learn about medical problems, but to apply some knowledge may not be sufficient.

Good bike fitters are more than just their methodology. Its their experience. Some fitters have cross disciplines. They're more than just bike fitters.

My bike fitter keeps a record of my statistics and when I upgrade to a new bike, that data becomes important to track my issues.

Also there's the bigger picture. For me and maybe for many, bike riding is a health thing. The bike riding activity becomes part of healthcare. So I treat it accordingly.
The healty person puts less strain on our Nation's already stressed out health system. And it is a big plus on your quality of life.

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Old 09-01-08, 08:34 AM   #14
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My bike fitter keeps a record of my statistics and when I upgrade to a new bike, that data becomes important to track my issues.

I'm in my bike fitter's computer too! I also was given a copy of it. I was thinking though..If I were to get another bike (soooooooomewhere way down the line-) I have a feeling that because of my age and things that are associated with such -- I might need to be refitted. I have back issues that were taken into consideration during this fitting and who knows if it's going to get worse ~~ or even better!
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Old 09-01-08, 02:37 PM   #15
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Some LBS's will do a fitting for free on a bike you buy from them - can't hurt to ask....
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Old 09-01-08, 06:26 PM   #16
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Well according to the common wisdom (around here) gel saddles are bad.

~
Yeah, I had read that, but doing some research online this particular saddle had some pretty good reviews. It wasn't excessively expensive, so I figured it was a good place to start. I'm glad I did. I went on a 30 mile ride on Saturday and no numbness. I experimented a lot with different sitting positions on the seat before I found the one that seemed to be the most comfortable for me and allowed me to get good power to the pedals.

The bike has a Felt 110mm stem with a 7 degree rise. As the LBS recommended, I am going to shorten that up. I'm going to go with a 90mm and see how I fit with that one. I think I'll want to stay with the 7 degree though. We'll see.
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