Vancouver, Lower Mainland, bike fitting, physiotherapist
I'm looking for anyone who has gotten a bike fitting, specifically with a physiotherapist, because my health insurance covers most of the cost. I have a couple of leads from friends but would welcome any other opinions and experiences from members of this forum. Please share!
I was recently in the same boat you were; I Googled around a bunch and spoke to my chiropractor, who in turn asked around with his clients and colleagues for recommendations. He came back with three:
1. West Point Cycles (http://www.westpointcycles.com/fitting/). One of his patients went here last year due to having hip pain after every ride. She dealt with one of the owners, he assessed things and the post-ride discomfort was gone. She stressed that after speaking with a few employees, she felt especially comfortable with the owner, so you may want to ask for him (she can't recall his name). (My note: the head bike fitter there is Andrew Fullterton. He was awesome. Haven't been impressed with any of their other staff yet though).
2. BC Bike Fit (http://www.bcbikefit.com/details/). This place was recommended to my chiro by a friend. Although she's never used them personally, she has a number of friends that have. As far as she knows, everyone was happy with the results.
3. Physio Room (http://vancouverphysioroom.com/contact/). My chiro didn't know much about them, however a colleague of his mentioned that he knows of a few people who have used them for fittings before. My RMT works there and says they are good.
My Google searches also turned up Active Life Physio in North Van. Of all the places I saw, they seemed to have the most detailed assessment.
I was initially thinking of going to Physio Room or Active Life Physio because a fit by a physiotherapist could likely be reimbursed through my extended health. Upon thinking about it, I figured that if I needed a new seat, stem, handlebars, crank or anything in order to actually achieve the right fit, I’d be better off at a place that could supply that on the spot. I talked to Dave @ BC Bike Fit; while he has parts at his place and seems like he knows what he’s doing, I opted instead to go to West Point Cycles as they are a lot closer to my office and I figured it would be good to start a relationship with a local mechanic here (I haven’t been happy lately with the shop I was using in New West). Anyways, I got my fitting done yesterday with Andrew Fullerton (he’s their senior fit specialist; not sure if he’s the owner too). He was great - really knows his stuff, and was thorough yet practical. He got me onto a new seat and is getting a longer stem/handlebars to improve my riding position as much as possible on this bike. Ultimately though, I needed a new bike; he showed me why this bike’s frame is a bit too small for me. (Note: I sold that bike last week and bought a new one this weekend; will be going back to Andrew for another fitting!)
All-in-all, I’d highly recommend West Point Cycles. It wasn't covered by my extended health, but really if you need parts or anything you won't be able to get them at the physio's office. I thought I was happy with my saddle before, but when Andrew got me to try a less padded version, I found I wasn't slipping forward as much and saw performance improvements.
The bike fitting helped a LOT. I no longer have calf or sartorius muscle pain (at least to a MUCH lesser degree). Love it!
Thanks for the quick response!
I'm definitely sticking with a physiotherapist just so that it's easier on the wallet, which means I can't sit down with the shop that I like, which is Might Riders. My friend recommended one place in Surrey, and I found 2 more through Google.
I've only had a basic fitting twice, but nothing in great detail. I know enough to have gotten very close to my ideal position but recently noticed that something is missing and I think it's better fit. No pain after long rides, just the usual workout aches. But I feel like there's a significant room for improvement. I'm just an enthusiast, but would like to squeeze all the potential I can out of my bike.
I know it will also take more than one session, so having my insurance cover most of it will be much more appealing. As for access to proper bike parts, as long as I know what I need, I can always source it locally or online. I still have some spare parts at home too.
Active Life Physio (the third one on your list above) is the one that I thought looked like the most complete and detailed assessment based on their descriptions.
FYI, West Point told me that I get free refits for the rest of the season (presumably until the rain comes?); may want to ask the physio people if refits are included as well?
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