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Professional fitting... worth it?

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Professional fitting... worth it?

Old 08-30-16, 03:33 PM
  #1  
oldgrowth45
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Professional fitting... worth it?

Curious if any other BF members have paid to have a professional fitting done, and if so, was there a noticable improvement in your time in the saddle?
Thanks for input.
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Old 08-30-16, 10:12 PM
  #2  
Leisesturm
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I have not. The only justification I could possibly see is if the cyclist has competitive aspirations. What are you doing with the bike? Commuting? Fitness? Club rides? What are you hoping a fitting will accomplish? Reduce pain somewhere? Increase your spinning ability? I think the single greatest innovation in bicycle development is the quick release seat-tube collar. Do you have one on your bike(s)? With your q/r seat-tube and 5mm and 6mm allen wrenches (for saddle adjustment) you can do much of what the professional fitter would do, and you can actually try the results out for a day or two after each tweak, which is a good thing because some of those fitters charge $60/hr. The next most awesome innovation in bicycle development is the threadless headset and ancillary components, mainly the stem with pop-top handlebar clamp. Salsa, Dimension and Civia are particularly good values. I rarely pay more than $20 for one. You should rarely need one shorter than 80mm or longer than 110mm. Experiment. Then when you know what you like you can buy bikes the way you buy clothes. I live in Portland too. If you promise not to sue me and your aspirations are NOT competitive I could look at your bike fit and it won't cost you a dime. FWIW.
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Old 08-31-16, 11:39 AM
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oldgrowth45
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Leisesturm, thanks for the cogent info. Currently I use my bike for both commuting and pleasure rides, however I signed up for Cycle Oregon for the first time and am feeling a little geeky thinking about multiple full days in the saddle. So, essentially the motivation for the fitting is trying to micromanage any potential hiccups that possibly might detract from the experience.
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Old 08-31-16, 01:52 PM
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fietsbob 
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Awash with bike Geeks in PDX that is Understandable..
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Old 08-31-16, 03:14 PM
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I've had a couple of fittings done. The first one fixed some problems I was having (numbness in a sensitive area after long rides). The second one just put a different bike in the same set up as the first.


It's definitely a luxury thing for most people. I don't agree that it is primarily for people with athletic aspirations. I think middle-aged people and people with a history of injuries would benefit significantly more than people looking to eek out that last little bit of power. On the other hand, people who are currently comfortable on their bike and not having any problems probably don't need a professional fitting.
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Old 08-31-16, 06:21 PM
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oldgrowth45
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Awash with bike Geeks in PDX that is Understandable..
Yup, and they're moving your way. Astoria already is shaping up as Portland lite.
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Old 08-31-16, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by oldgrowth45 View Post
Leisesturm, thanks for the cogent info. Currently I use my bike for both commuting and pleasure rides, however I signed up for Cycle Oregon for the first time and am feeling a little geeky thinking about multiple full days in the saddle. So, essentially the motivation for the fitting is trying to micromanage any potential hiccups that possibly might detract from the experience.
This could be a situation where a fitting is helpful. Many riders can deal with a less optimal fitting for shorter rides. Sometimes it takes 40, 50, or more miles in a single ride or multi-day riding for issues to present themselves. You could always test this yourself before a big planned ride though.
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Old 09-01-16, 09:19 AM
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they go home on mondays ..

most of the Shore jobs here are bartenders wait staff Cooks and room cleaners .

Unless you start a small Biz or build yet another Hotel.

Or taking a Risk at Sea in Commercial fishing ..



./.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-01-16 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 09-01-16, 09:28 AM
  #9  
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I was interested in a professional bike fit, too. When I asked my LBS about it, they really weren't interested in doing it unless I was buying a new bike. That's my answer.
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Old 09-01-16, 01:51 PM
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I had a fitting from Todd Nordmeyer, a former professional cyclist turned fitter/coach, and it was worth every penny. While my position was close to optimal my seat height and cleat positioning needed adjustment. His lowering of my saddle, cleat wedging (due to falling arches on one foot and underpronation on the other) and cleat positioning prevented fatigue in my calves when climbing and resolved my left knee pain. This resulted in an increase in average wattage of 8-10W. All in all I would call it worth the money spent.
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Old 09-01-16, 03:52 PM
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Another opinion...my view is that unless you are a pro racer, you are better off learning the basics yourself, so you can fiddle with the saddle position, stem length etc. I am a bit OCD, so I will read my brains out on my current bike issue, and then make a change.

Seems to me that a new rider will need a fit adjustment every couple of months, as he gets more flexible, comfortable on the bike etc. Loading my bike up in the rack every couple of weeks, and trekking off to the LBS, does not appeal to me. I suspect that a lot of the 'experts" in the LBS do not know much more than I do.
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Old 09-01-16, 09:21 PM
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Zeeway, I agree oldgrowth should learn how to do a self-fitting because it helps you dial in your fit as your flexibility and strength increases. This self-fitting method got me to a good fit, but I still had some lingering knee pain that was the result of physical issues with my feet and calf pain during long rides and a lot of climbing. The knee problems would have been nearly impossible to detect on my own and the seat height seemed good but it was just slightly straining my calves over time. These are the types of issues for which you should see a fitter or you are an experienced rider looking to up your power output.
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Old 09-01-16, 11:48 PM
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I just went through a very detailed professional fitting, using one of these
http://www.purelycustom.com/fit-bike-pro-2-2/

Its geometry is dynamically adjustable as you pedal under load. The fitting took 2.5 hours, and went into detail such as placement of cleats on shoes, and length of pedal stems (for me, needed 5 more millimeters on the left to get the left knee into correct alignment).

I'd pedal a bit at a specific configuration, then the fitter would change one setting (reach, bar height, seat height, or seat post angle) by a centimeter and ask the question "do you like A or B better?" We went through several cycles of this, to discover the optimum geometry for me.

The changes were instantly detectable, and it was easy to see how particular settings affected muscle uses. Much quicker feedback and repeatable, controlled environment than riding, getting off, swapping bikes and/or fiddling with seat height or stem, and then riding again, trying to compare with a ride many minutes previous.

The fitter's main clientele is triathletes and pro riders, that's not me.

However, due to a neck surgery a few years ago, i was trying to find a geometry that would work with my limitations, and keep me comfortable on a bike for longer distances. I hope to order a new bike to the spec soon.
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Old 09-03-16, 08:19 PM
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I've had 5 fittings, 2 that were included with a custom frame, 3 that I paid for. Ended up with 5 different positions. (Differences in positioning of bar and saddle between them was 5 - 6 CM . . . yes, cm, NOT mm!) None of those fits were particularly comfortable or efficient. Only way I'll go for another fit is if its for free, or, perhaps if I have the chance to have it done by a world class expert who really knows what he's doing (Steve Hogg, Andy Pruit, etc.) There's no expert on the face of the earth, including Steve Hogg, who knows how a certain position feels to you than YOU do. If you're not comfortable, something is wrong! It may take a lot of time, and trial & error, but by experimenting -- changing saddle positions by 5 mm at a time -- and reading some info on bike fitting, you can get to a reasonably decent position if you pay attention to your body.
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Old 09-08-16, 07:12 AM
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I had a fitting done last year - the Specialized fit system, I can't recall the name. I'm not a competitive racer, but I have a challenging commute (26 miles round trip). I log a lot of miles.

IMHO it was totally worth it.

or you can move your components in 5mm increments, ad infinitum:

Seat 5mm in the wrong direction forward because the seat was angled upward
next week: seat down 5mm in the wrong direction because my toes felt colder than usual and were tingling.
next week: my pinky was falling asleep so move the seat 5mm up in the right direction and then handlebars 5mm in the wrong direction
etc...

That's assuming you even have the right components. Your intuitive fit instincts have to be pretty sharp to recommend a different seatpost with more or less setback or a different angle stem. The cost for the wrong components can add up quickly.

That method, compounded with internet research will pretty much guarantee failure. There's not a straight answer to be had online. Every online fitter has an opinion and thinks they're right. How are you to sort through the solid advice vs. the snake oil or misinformation?

I tried to do it myself for two years. I probably had it close to right as I could in the first 6 months (and didn't know it), then I started moving in the wrong direction, then really wrong by two years.

Bottom line: If you intend to ride a lot, there's some value to be had in a good fitting.

Last edited by Marc40a; 09-08-16 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-08-16, 06:20 PM
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I found that if you are extremely experienced, perform extremely well, have no pains, and set in your ways, it will take a while for you to see the benefits of a good bike fit. You are so used to having yourself in a certain position that your body has adapted to it and performs well in it. Newer cyclists benefit most and fastest from having a fit done. They will build an ideal base of technique in the most advantageous position. Also people moving from Road to Tri or vice versa benefit greatly from being fitted properly for the sport. Tri riders tend to be super quad dominant and train on a normal Road bike to work their hamstrings and glutes more. The Road cyclist converting to Tri is used to using as much muscle mass as possible to power the bike. This comes back to get them when they get off the bike to run. Their hamstrings and glutes will be fried.

Some info on my fitting services in NJ is below.
Bought A Bike Online? I Come To You Build & Fit It. Road Mountain Tri
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Old 09-17-16, 07:17 PM
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I have had two professional fittings:
~ first was on my hybrid when I was planning for my first 100 mile trip,
~ second fitting was a 'refresher' to set up my first road bike

I had no specific issues on my rides upto 50-odd miles - just wanted peace of mind that I was not going to create problems by participating in much longer rides. Somewhat unusually, it came with a 'money-back-guarranty' - which was a factor in my choice of fitter.

First fitting took nearly four hours and involved many aspects (but no 'formulaic' approach). Changes included narrower handlebars, shorter stem, changes to saddle and (last but by no means least) changes to cleat position + a fancy insole for my shoes)

I was completely satisfied with the process - but acknowledge that many would regard it as a luxury purchase.

I regard my fitter as an essential part of my increasing activity on bikes (by-the-way - I am 69 yo) - and still exchange e-mails on an 'as needed' basis.
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Old 09-26-16, 04:27 PM
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I was fit for my bike two days before RAIN 2016. Best $150.00 I have spent. Could not have made the ride without it.
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Old 10-02-16, 10:27 AM
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I've been to 2 professional fittings that cost $$$ - 1 for my road bike and 1 for my tri bike.

For my road bike, I actually had a minor left gastroc muscle tear prior to the fitting, including some discomfort on long >70mi rides. Post-fitting, i was not only more comfortable in the saddle on long rides, but also never again had calf issues, and have actually been able to get lower/more aero in the front as a result.

For my tri bike, it's been a similar story - relatively un-aero at the start, feeling ok on the fit, but afterwards - aero as hell and feeling better.
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