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The "Fit" Trend

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The "Fit" Trend

Old 10-12-10, 05:51 AM
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The "Fit" Trend

So I'm in the market for a new bike and it seems like everyone wants you to pay $100-$300 for a "fit" before they'll "recommend" a frame/bike. What's that all about? I mean some shops won't even let you take a bike out for a spin unless you're willing to give them the money first. Some shops will let you test ride every bike they have, some say they don't have much faith in the "test ride". Is there really a best way, or is it just up to me to figure out what works for me?

I will say one thing. When thinking about spending $5000 or so on a new bike, you'd better spend more than 15 minutes with me and answer all my inane questions before running off to other customers.

Last edited by Snapperhead; 10-12-10 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 10-12-10, 05:55 AM
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If they won't give you the time you need when making said $5000 purchase, go to another LBS.
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Old 10-12-10, 05:57 AM
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I 've been riding for over 25 as serious rider...I never saw the need to spend an hour and upwards of $150 to be fit properly after dumping a large sum on a new bike...Just read up some get a trainer and do it your self.....Unless it is your JOB & or an Olympic trials......for those people why not...a good fit is not rocket science
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Old 10-12-10, 06:04 AM
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Mine does... you have the wrong LBS!
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Old 10-12-10, 06:21 AM
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yep, I think you need to find a new shop to deal with. One that appreciates your business and your money.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:24 AM
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They should let you test ride anything in the store without anything more than taking a copy of your driver's license. They should also help you choose the correct frame size and do a fit and setup on whatever bike you buy. That's just standard service. Some shops have all kinds of super duper fit equipment that may or may not be helpful. Either way, they should be able to do a traditional fit pretty easily and get you close to where you need to be. In fact, they should even offer to let you come back after a month or so and redo the fit if necessary. Most LBS are smart enough to realize that every time you return to the store for a free service like a fit, that you are likely to make a purchase....
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Old 10-12-10, 06:31 AM
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You should try buying a bike in Japan. they usually don't let you touch the bikes.

If you are lucky, you can sit on it. but they often won't put peddles on or pump up the tires...
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Old 10-12-10, 06:52 AM
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I recently had a Specialized BG 3D full fit. It was a recommendation from the bike shop pro. for optimal performance which I am getting out of my Carbon race bike. While most shops can FIT people sufficiently using common sense and some tools - the BG Fit process utilized time lapse video, dedicated software, body ergonomics /measurement and practical advice regarding a range of cycling nuances which I had zero idea about. The largest improvements in what I was doing previously were in the area of riding position & discovering body length differences/anomalies, gear which now actually fits the first time around and not wasting more dollars on personal experimentation. In short - this new bike and I feel matched and working in near-perfect unison.

As per the afore-mentioned bike store - pushing product / service without a logical ground makes very little sense. I'd walk out.

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Last edited by Essex; 10-12-10 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 10-12-10, 06:54 AM
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that shop is a scam. if you look at the shelf where they keep the lubes, you'll see some snake oil too.

I think that shop has devised its scam by reading BF. Every fit thread ends with the advice go get a pro fit. Yeah..ok. thanks.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by coasting
that shop is a scam. if you look at the shelf where they keep the lubes, you'll see some snake oil too.

I think that shop has devised its scam by reading BF. Every fit thread ends with the advice go get a pro fit. Yeah..ok. thanks.
I have no problem getting a pro fit. I certainly can see the benefit. But I'd like you to spend some time with me and let me ride a few bikes before I go plunk down my $150.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Snapperhead
I have no problem getting a pro fit. I certainly can see the benefit. But I'd like you to spend some time with me and let me ride a few bikes before I go plunk down my $150.

Are you new to cycling or just getting another bike? I think that makes a difference as to whether a pro fit would be necessary. my bf comment is not that getting a fitting is pointless just that it depends what the fit issue is and what the circumstances are.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Essex
As per the afore-mentioned bike store - pushing product / service without a logical ground makes very little sense. I'd walk out.
Even with logical ground, I don't want to feel "pushed" into anything.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by coasting
Are you new to cycling or just getting another bike? I think that makes a difference as to whether a pro fit would be necessary. my bf comment is not that getting a fitting is pointless just that it depends what the fit issue is and what the circumstances are.
Not new. I have been riding my Tarmac for three years with very few issues. I have a little foot pain on longer rides sometimes, but I'm certain this is a shoe issue, not a fit issue (as I have tried other shoes and had no problems).
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Old 10-12-10, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Snapperhead
Not new. I have been riding my Tarmac for three years with very few issues. I have a little foot pain on longer rides sometimes, but I'm certain this is a shoe issue, not a fit issue (as I have tried other shoes and had no problems).
Actually I think getting a fit is relevant for you, in that case. I thought about it when I couldn't get rid of a pain after experimenting with positions so if you can't do it yourself, it is worth getting help. Getting a fit for a new cyclist is a bit much. In your situation, I would try another shoe and play with cleat positions and if that fails, get a fit.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by coasting
Actually I think getting a fit is relevant for you, in that case. I thought about it when I couldn't get rid of a pain after experimenting with positions so if you can't do it yourself, it is worth getting help. Getting a fit for a new cyclist is a bit much. In your situation, I would try another shoe and play with cleat positions and if that fails, get a fit.
Don't get me wrong, I am not against getting a fit, and most likely I will. But like I said, I'd like to at least take a test ride and have someone spend a little time with me before I start spending my money.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:34 AM
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I think there's some logic to the Shop's approach. Test riding a bike that's a poor fit for you is not going to tell you much about the bike.

If you're new to this and don't have a bike that has your fit dialed in, then a logical approach to getting a new bike is to first determine your fit, and then set you up on test rides with that fit.

If however, you already have your fit dialed in on your current bike, or you otherwise know the frame size, and other dimensions of what you want, then I'd agree that you shouldn't need to pay for a pro fit before test riding a bike.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I think there's some logic to the Shop's approach. Test riding a bike that's a poor fit for you is not going to tell you much about the bike.

If you're new to this and don't have a bike that has your fit dialed in, then a logical approach to getting a new bike is to first determine your fit, and then set you up on test rides with that fit.

If however, you already have your fit dialed in on your current bike, or you otherwise know the frame size, and other dimensions of what you want, then I'd agree that you shouldn't need to pay for a pro fit before test riding a bike.
I agree, but this shop never asked me any of those questions. It was more like pay $150, and then we'll talk. Also, I don't agree that a test ride on a bike that isn't "dialed" in will be a poor experience. Naturally at 6'3" I don't want to test ride a 51, but I think that's obvious. You can do a quick fit with very little time and effort. Good enough for a test ride I think.
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Old 10-12-10, 07:50 AM
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When we went to test ride bikes for my wife, they spent time with her on the trainer on each bike she rode adjusting the seat position, stem length, etc, before we had spent penny one. Also once it was in the ballpark, they sent us out the door (I brought my bike so I could ride around with her) for as long as we cared to go on each one. She rode 4 bikes that day, and they all got the same treatment. I think your LBS is full of ****, if you are looking at 5000 bikes, the least they can do is do some basic set up work on them so you can ride them and make an informed opinion. Once you have decided and bought the bike, then the pro-fit makes more sense.
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Old 10-12-10, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Snapperhead
Even with logical ground, I don't want to feel "pushed" into anything.
I wholly agree. A majority of bicycle shops that I see aren't staffed with folks who know proper salesmanship. Pushing high-end clientele into "needed" services during the information-gathering phase is plain dumb. If they knew their clientele they would market, advise and service accordingly. That being said - having returned to the cycling world after a 30 year hiatus the profit margin on bikes doesn't seem large and a number of shops seemed ambivalent about product movement focusing more on bicycle maintenance, clothing and parallel products in fitness. Which means - unless your local LBS is the only game in town - go elsewhere.

Cheers.

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Old 10-12-10, 08:21 AM
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I see no point to a test ride unless it involves your saddle, your shoes/pedals, the wheels you will ride, and a bike set up to your fit specs. However, I'd also not pay for a fit before buying a bike.

I'll also rather not buy a bike that a whole bunch of people have done "test rides" on, either.
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Old 10-12-10, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by coasting
Actually I think getting a fit is relevant for you, in that case. I thought about it when I couldn't get rid of a pain after experimenting with positions so if you can't do it yourself, it is worth getting help. Getting a fit for a new cyclist is a bit much. In your situation, I would try another shoe and play with cleat positions and if that fails, get a fit.
OP needs good insoles, not a fit...
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Old 10-12-10, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DScott
I see no point to a test ride unless it involves your saddle, your shoes/pedals, the wheels you will ride, and a bike set up to your fit specs. However, I'd also not pay for a fit before buying a bike.

I'll also rather not buy a bike that a whole bunch of people have done "test rides" on, either.
i'd charge you for a test ride if you "made" me do all that just so you could take a "joy ride" on a bike no-one else had every ridden before... *shakes head in disbelief.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:13 AM
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The more I think about this, I think there's definitely a viable business model here. All LBS's these days struggle with the problem of people using there time and inventory to test ride bikes, and then going off and buying them on line.

For LBS's to survive, they have to do something to add value that people will pay for. Professional fitting can be one of those things.

So for everyone who wants to buy a high end bike, you offer a professional fitting. The customer gets all their measurements, and then can begin test riding bikes that will likely meet there needs with a much better knowledge base (i.e do I want a bike with a tall head tube, or a short head tube, etc.)

As part of the package, the customer would get the shop's time to set up with the right fit any bike the customer wants to test ride.

If the customer buys from the LBS, they get the new bike set up precisely to the fit by the LBS.

If the customer chooses to buy on line, the customer gets the information to spec it themselves.

Either way, the LBS gets compensated for their time and expertise, and the customer gets valuable information and assistance.

Priced, and marketed correctly, I think this may be one way for LBS's to prosper in an internet driven world.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
The more I think about this, I think there's definitely a viable business model here. All LBS's these days struggle with the problem of people using there time and inventory to test ride bikes, and then going off and buying them on line.

For LBS's to survive, they have to do something to add value that people will pay for. Profession
If this service is to be a viable revenue generator it is not being used correctly by this particular shop. It is being used to put off a buyer by making him commit before he even knows if he wants to buy the bike. It needs to be used as an extra rather than a barrier. Maybe it can be offered like optional extended warrnanty that is sold by electrical goods retailers.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:23 AM
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^ that's why I said priced and marketed correctly.

Th shop in question clearly didn't succeed with the OP.

I think though if a shop really does have substantial expertise, and can explain the value of that expertise, they have something that they should be able to sell , and package in a manner that works for the shop and customers.
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