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Main Benefit of a Professional Fit?

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Main Benefit of a Professional Fit?

Old 04-02-20, 07:18 AM
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UsedToBeFaster
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Main Benefit of a Professional Fit?

Would you say it's comfort or power or something else?
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Old 04-02-20, 07:25 AM
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berner
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I doubt that benefits can be reduced to a single issue. Comfort and delivering power to the pedals certainly is part of the equation but so is bio-mechanical soundness and the prevention of long term injury.
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Old 04-02-20, 09:20 AM
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The main benefit goes to the person who got paid adjusting a seatpost and a stem based on what they believe is best for you.
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Old 04-02-20, 10:56 AM
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Aside from comfort and power, you'll reduce chance of injury. I see a lot of people on nice bikes that are very obviously not adjusted properly.

When you get a fitting, all that's really happening is they're using geometry and rules of thumb while adjusting to your personal biomechanics. If you don't have anything unusual going on, this is pretty straightforward. But many people have something going on that require tweaking, and you might need to do something with cleats or shoes as well.

Be aware that your positioning and a number of other factors can vary in real life from shop conditions that you were fitted under -- so further adjustments may be necessary later.

Anyone who knows what to pay attention to can do this themselves, but that you're asking the question suggests this service might be a good idea.

I can rough fit a bike for myself in a few minutes, but it takes a couple weeks to dial it in just right. Those small adjustments really are worth it.
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Old 04-02-20, 11:21 AM
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I was skeptical of doing a "pro fit". I was determent to never waist money on this service. Then one day my LBS's coffee talk the topic came up. I shared my opinion. the guy who does this I know pretty well and he said I will do it for free. Then after 30 days if I thought it was worth it I could pay for it or not if I thought it was a waist.

Now I had a decent fitting once before when I got my bike for free but it wasn't the in-depth version. I thought I was pretty good. BUT I took the challenge and did the full on retel or rutel I think it was called. Anyways I was eating crow pretty fast I learned. Even just little tweaks make you more comfortable, and provide more efficient power through the pedals. I think the biggest for me was how less tired I was after long efforts, was just easier to ride. I think its worth it now. I would pay for the service. I was true to my word and told him he was right. Didn't make me pay but I do spend all my money at his show so we both with I guess.
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Old 04-02-20, 11:33 AM
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I felt like an utter tool walking out of the bike fitter's room after 2.5 hours and minus $180. The fitter (Nate Loyal in Santa Monica) only shifted my seat a little under a cm up and forward, and my cleats back a few mm. But then two weeks of pain free riding later, I cancelled my appointment with the knee surgeon about my chronic knee pain. Surgery would probably have cost $18,000 or more, so that $180 was a good investment.
I got much faster and had an easier time doing it.

Consider a spirited 2-hour ride: 90 rpm x 120 minutes = 10,800 repetitions. If you're off by just a few millimeters, there's a good chance you're damaging your knees.
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Old 04-02-20, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
Would you say it's comfort or power or something else?
Bit of both, really.

Case in point - I recently built up 2 bikes, a Venge and a R5. I got my fit nailed down pat on the R5, and it was a pleasure to ride - and ride hard. I didnt get the fit of the Venge dialled down too well initially (and still isnt perfect), and was finding my left hand would get pins and needles, and my riding posture just did not lend itself to hard efforts at around FTP: i was just feeling OFF on the bike.

Comfort and power are fairly closely related, i feel - if you are comfy, you can put out power more efficiently. And while the reach is one thing, small things like saddle fore-aft and also correction of varus/valgus make a significant difference in riding comfort. And here, a fitter who knows what he is doing is key. That said, i have never felt the need to get my fit tweaked repeatedly. I paid for 1 extensive road bike fit about 10 years ago and 2 TT fits in 2011 and then 2014. After that, i have always tweaked my fit myself, based on how i feel.
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Old 04-02-20, 11:54 AM
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I posted this recently in another thread:

The purpose of a bike fit is to find the right balance between aerodynamics, power output and comfort. I've personally never had a professional fit, but I think it's a good idea in 3 cases. 1) You're new to cycling and need some help or want some advice setting up your bike 2) You're racing and want to eek out every available watt of performance 3) You're having some discomfort and are unable to resolve it on your own through trial and error
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Old 04-02-20, 11:59 AM
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Main benefit of a professional fit? That depends on two things. Where you are starting from and the skill of the fitter. This wasn't a "professional fit" but I had the mechanic at the shop I worked in as a second year racer suggest the previous year's Fuji Professional in the basement would be a far better ride for me. Set it up with all the settings, stem. seat, etc, midway in the range and took it for a slow ride over my my 45 mile training loop. (Mid-season. I was upping the crank length from 170 to 175. Didn't need an injury.) That "slow" ride matched my best time ever. Three days later two minutes fell off that.

My point - the bike I was riding was far, far from a fit that allowed me full power and oxygen consumption. Going from that to a bike that was very close to perfect for my body was game changing. 40 years later, I stll ride close variations to that fit.

Now, if the bike you are riding fits perfectly (I don't care how you got there) a pro fit will be money spent and no increase in speed. If the fitter is really wise (and ego-free) he will say that you've already got the setup and there is nothng he can do to improve it.

Ben
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Old 04-02-20, 01:45 PM
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Try reading some of Steve Hogg's articles. You may learn what your fit problems are and be able to fix them yourself. I have never found that a few millimeters has ever made much of a difference in power, comfort or endurance. A 10mm change in reach or saddle fore/aft position can be felt, but it still should't make any night and day difference. One of the most common mistakes is a saddle that's too far forward. That will place too much weight on your hands and it's the most frequent cause of flipped up stems and small saddle to bar drops. Using the old KOP method of setting the saddle fore/aft will often place the saddle too far forward.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/articles/

https://forums.thepaceline.net/showt...=239036&page=2
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Old 04-02-20, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I posted this recently in another thread:

. 1) You're new to cycling and need some help or want some advice setting up your bike
I'd be a bit wary of this. I'd suggest a new-to-cycling person put in at least a few hundred miles or so, on the bike hopefully at least in the right ballpark (eg. adjusted by the LBS before you walked out the door). And, do this before paying serious bucks on a full fitting. Back, abdominal, neck, butt, and leg muscles need to be broken in a bit and get used to the general cycling positions used and the duration. A full bike fitting too early on, may just mean another needed bike fitting after your muscles have adapted to the general stresses.
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Old 04-02-20, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I'd be a bit wary of this. I'd suggest a new-to-cycling person put in at least a few hundred miles or so, on the bike hopefully at least in the right ballpark (eg. adjusted by the LBS before you walked out the door). And, do this before paying serious bucks on a full fitting. Back, abdominal, neck, butt, and leg muscles need to be broken in a bit and get used to the general cycling positions used and the duration. A full bike fitting too early on, may just mean another needed bike fitting after your muscles have adapted to the general stresses.
All of this.

People who are new will ride in a totally different position and have a very different sense of comfort at first. The rough fit they would have sent you out the door with is a good starting place, and it will give you a chance to think about what is and is not working before you go in.
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Old 04-02-20, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I'd be a bit wary of this. I'd suggest a new-to-cycling person put in at least a few hundred miles or so, on the bike hopefully at least in the right ballpark (eg. adjusted by the LBS before you walked out the door). And, do this before paying serious bucks on a full fitting. Back, abdominal, neck, butt, and leg muscles need to be broken in a bit and get used to the general cycling positions used and the duration. A full bike fitting too early on, may just mean another needed bike fitting after your muscles have adapted to the general stresses.
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
All of this.

People who are new will ride in a totally different position and have a very different sense of comfort at first. The rough fit they would have sent you out the door with is a good starting place, and it will give you a chance to think about what is and is not working before you go in.
Agree with these clarifications. I meant new to cycling as in the first couple of seasons.
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Old 04-02-20, 04:08 PM
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When I got my new bike the shop owner (specialized certified fitter) threw in a fit session. I didn't think I really needed it but he uncovered a couple of things I may have never figured out on my own. One is that he noticed I had more pressure on one arm than the other when on the hoods. Probably due to a motorcycle injury years ago. He moved one brifter forward about 5mm and I really notice the difference from that on long rides.

The second thing he noticed was one knee moving inward at the top of the arc when spinning. After trying a few things he put a wedge under one cleat to raise the inward side 1mm and that cleared that up. Besides these two things, he raised the seat a very small amount, maybe 2-3mm, and back about the same. Also changed the stem to a slightly shorter one with a different angle. These things I may have figured out over time but more likely I would have just gotten used to it the way it was.
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Old 04-02-20, 04:15 PM
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The flaring knee issue is a common problem, that a good fitter would look for and hopefully be able to correct with cleat shims. I see a lot of people who have one or both knees flaring widely at the top of the stroke. I use one thin shim on my left cleat, but it's really to correct a foot angle problem that causes my speedplay x-type cleat wire to rub a groove into the pedal axle. That's the only way I knew there was a problem, since my knees track straight up and down.

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Old 04-02-20, 08:51 PM
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Never had a professional bike fit. I am leaning towards doing this because my right arm is a full inch longer than my left and my left knee is affected by Osgood Slatter Disease and is a half inch shorter than my right leg. I also have a history of a rotator cuff tears (inhibits my reach) and a fractured lumbar process (limited flexibility).
Does anyone else have similar asymetrical differences that were solved by a fitter?
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Old 04-03-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Never had a professional bike fit. I am leaning towards doing this because my right arm is a full inch longer than my left and my left knee is affected by Osgood Slatter Disease and is a half inch shorter than my right leg. I also have a history of a rotator cuff tears (inhibits my reach) and a fractured lumbar process (limited flexibility).
Does anyone else have similar asymetrical differences that were solved by a fitter?
You'll need a top notch (expensive) fitter to fix all of those problems. Steve Hogg has some writing on the leg length discrepancy. The arm issue can be partially fixed by placing one brake hood further forward and the other further back, but 1 inch is a lot of difference. Turning the bars a little crooked, might help too.
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Old 04-03-20, 11:00 AM
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^^^^^^^- Good to know. Thanks for the response.
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Old 04-04-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by UsedToBeFaster View Post
Would you say it's comfort or power or something else?
Injury prevention, comfort, ease of riding.
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Old 04-04-20, 09:45 AM
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Lighten the pockets.
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Old 04-04-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I'd be a bit wary of this. I'd suggest a new-to-cycling person put in at least a few hundred miles or so, on the bike hopefully at least in the right ballpark (eg. adjusted by the LBS before you walked out the door). And, do this before paying serious bucks on a full fitting. Back, abdominal, neck, butt, and leg muscles need to be broken in a bit and get used to the general cycling positions used and the duration. A full bike fitting too early on, may just mean another needed bike fitting after your muscles have adapted to the general stresses.
High end bike shops nearly always have a person on staff that can take a couple of measurements and set your bike up extremely close on the first try. There is NOT much to a bike fit. If your knee is over the center of the crank at straight forward position and your legs are not quite fully extended while sitting at full down and you can comfortably hold the hoods there isn't a whole lot more that a "professional bike fitter" can do.

You have to have your cleats adjusted so that you can automatically kick into your pedals as you leave a stop sign. You have to have them adjusted so that your heals do not clip the sides of the chainstay. The saddle height is personal and unless the fitter has a special fitting machine which is used for shops to order custom bikes, it will require YOU to set the saddle height exactly right by moving the saddle no more than 2 mm at a time. Your arms will tell you if the reach is correct - this changes over time as you get used to your position. The important setting is the fore and aft saddle setting to put your knee over the pedal center and the saddle height.

It is also important to know that you may not fit the bike correctly. With the saddle height and fore and aft position you may have your weight too far to the rear which doesn't balance the weight on the wheels correctly. This can cause the rear wheels to wash out on hard turns. Properly balanced the rear wheel should wash out just before the front wheel. This allows you to steer into the slide and catch it. Most bikes put the rider in more or less the center of mass though.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:51 AM
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There are pro fitters who pay no attention to the location of the knee relative to the BB. Instead they concentrate on getting the body weight centered over the saddle. With the correct weight balance, you'll have less weight on your hands and be able to tolerate more saddle to bar drop, for a more aerodynamic position.
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Old 04-04-20, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
I felt like an utter tool walking out of the bike fitter's room after 2.5 hours and minus $180. The fitter (Nate Loyal in Santa Monica) only shifted my seat a little under a cm up and forward, and my cleats back a few mm. But then two weeks of pain free riding later, I cancelled my appointment with the knee surgeon about my chronic knee pain. Surgery would probably have cost $18,000 or more, so that $180 was a good investment.
I got much faster and had an easier time doing it.

Consider a spirited 2-hour ride: 90 rpm x 120 minutes = 10,800 repetitions. If you're off by just a few millimeters, there's a good chance you're damaging your knees.
I've had four or five fits over the years for several different bikes and Natel Loyal's fit was for me in a class by itself in the level of comfort and performance that resulted.
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Old 04-07-20, 06:18 AM
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I got a tri bike, with a $300 professional fit I have it completely slammed, my back is straight, and find it quite comfortable, I don't think I could possibly achieve that on my own.
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Old 04-07-20, 10:35 PM
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I actually had a tear in my right gastroc (calf) muscle, prior to a pro bike fit. This was at the end of a 4000 mile year which was typically for me at the time. Post fit - no issues with injuries and more comfortable than ever. Well worth it IMO.

With that said my flexibility and preferences have changed Over the years and Now I find I can do my own micro-adjustments but will likely go in again as my body changes with time.
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