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Trying to get close to a Professional Fit

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Trying to get close to a Professional Fit

Old 06-10-11, 08:55 PM
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MNX1024
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Trying to get close to a Professional Fit

Ok, my goal is, trying to get as close to a Professional Fit as possible without getting one, . First off, I will get a Professional Fit done in a professional environment with Professionals in the future, but just not now because I lack the funding and possibly time.

I've read through all the fit articles that actually has a working link posted in the "Introduction to the Road Cycling" thread. That pretty much helped me get the jist of how it's done. I've also skimmed through numerous fit related thread that came up recently and it seems like some of those information in the "introduction thread" may be out dated or are debatable in terms of validity(eg. Peter White's). Also, is there any other articles I should read beside the ones posted in that thread?

Here's some of the question I've got so far. When answering my questions, may you please quote the questions then put the answer beneath the quote. If answering multiple questions, please quote multiple time with answers beneath them instead of bunching them up in one quote:

How do I determine saddle height?

How do I determine fore-aft?

What is the relationship of knee and spindle? If my knee is in front of the spindle what does that mean, and vice-versa?

How far should/can the knee be from the spindle if I don't want or need it to be directly on top of it?

Depending how and where I feel pain, discomfort, muscle twitch, and etc, how should I move the saddle(eg. if I have pain in the knee, I move it up(this is just an example)) ?

How do I determine Stem height, length, and if it should be flipped or not?

How do I fit my cleats?

When the fitting is hypothetically completed, what is the effect, how should I look, which muscle should be used and relaxed, and what should or should not be moving?

Is a flat back the result of a fitting or it's a form that one has to hold in cycling? Is it really required and what does it do? How is it achieved?

How accurate is Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator?

For the specialized seat bone test, how accurate is it? If it says that one needs a certain size, does that person have to get that size or they can go for a smaller/larger size?

What's Q-Factor? How do I set that up?

So far these are all my questions. Will probably post more if and when I can think of more. I will also post up videos of my form and how I look for verification later once I get it done.

Thanks in advance guys.

Last edited by MNX1024; 06-19-11 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 06-10-11, 09:28 PM
  #2  
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Ummm, the only thing that makes it "professional" is that it's done by someone who makes a living (or at least part of it) doing that. There are many resources out there that will help you fit your bike to your body, but that makes it an amateur fit... not that there is anything wrong with it (I have never paid someone to fit anything).

Start with the fit calculator at Competitive Cyclist. It's not just a tool for finding the right size frame. The numbers will help you consider saddle height, setback, cockpit length, etc. Read what Peter White has to say on bike fit. He explains it in terms that just about anybody can understand, and more importantly, understand the reasons and goals. Finally, there are a number of formulas and gauges out there for you to consider, but they are all based on theory and will only get you close. After all that, you're ready to put things where you think they should be and then start making fine adjustments until you're happy... or you give up and pay someone to make it actually a "professional" fit.
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Old 06-10-11, 09:44 PM
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This is a long and treacherous road you're headed down. I'd start by searching old threads on BF.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
This is a long and treacherous road you're headed down.
Ohh yes it is, but very much worth it. It takes a while to get it right because in time body changes as well to a certain point. Take some hints from all the info you have available and experiment till you're red in face. Finding what's good for you is all that matters, but there is one thing that is constant. You need to have balance and be one with a bike which sometimes isn't easy to accomplish depending how in touch you are with your self or your body. You have to look at the big picture more so than small details.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:16 PM
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I was once motivated to get as close to a pro fit as possible, but when I found out that lasers, x-rays, and 2-hours were involved, I gave up.

That being said, good luck getting as close to a pro fit as possible. I remember watching a Performance Bike video of how to get a comfortable fit, but that's probably pretty far from "pro."
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Old 06-11-11, 04:51 AM
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By the way, all Specialized BG Fit technicians take exams they have to pass before getting certified.
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Old 06-11-11, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
This is a long and treacherous road you're headed down. I'd start by searching old threads on BF.
Yup...

I do believe after 4 or so years of tinkering I've settled into what I consider my optimum fit....Minimal pain and discomfort, power numbers are rising...

The thing is even if you get a so called pro-fit, it does not end there. It's not like someone can take your measurements and say ok here ya go...you are fit! Everyone's body is different and reacts differently.

Have fun
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Old 06-11-11, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MNX1024 View Post
I've read through all the fit articles that actually has a working link posted in the "Introduction to the Road Cycling" thread. That pretty much helped me get the jist of how it's done. I've also skimmed through numerous fit related thread that came up recently and it seems like some of those information in the "introduction thread" may be out dated or are debatable in terms of validity(eg. Peter White's). Also, is there any other articles I should read beside the ones posted in that thread?

Here's some of the question I've got so far. When answering my questions, may you please quote the questions then put the answer beneath the quote. If answering multiple questions, please quote multiple time with answers beneath them instead of bunching them up in one quote:

How do I determine saddle height?

How do I determine fore-aft?

What is the relationship of knee and spindle? If my knee is in front of the spindle what does that mean, and vice-versa?

How far should/can the knee be from the spindle if I don't want or need it to be directly on top of it?

Depending how and where I feel pain, discomfort, muscle twitch, and etc, how should I move the saddle(eg. if I have pain in the knee, I move it up(this is just an example)) ?

How do I determine Stem height, length, and if it should be flipped or not?

How do I fit my cleats?

When the fitting is hypothetically finished, what is the effect and how should I look? As in, which muscle should be used and relaxed, what should or should not be moving? I know people say that the hip should not be rocking left and right when the fit is done properly. How do I know if I'm rocking or not(when I'm watching my own recording)?

So far these are all my questions. Will probably post more if and when I can think of more. I will also post up videos of my form and how I look for verification later once I get it done.

Thanks in advance guys.
All great questions.
Lotsa great answers in many great posts in prior threads

Already been mentioned - competitive fit calculator is a good place to start...
otherwise Lemond formula for seatheight also good start
otherwise heel on pedal technique also a good start
knowing whether you have leg length anomalies is an important bit of info...
in the age of modern pedals, cleat alignment, most especially rotation is a very important thing especially to minimize potential for joint problems.

fitting is never finished...
the more and longer you ride the more you will tinker
keep reading, make some decisions, you're on the right track...

you get an A+ for the best questions
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Old 06-12-11, 09:18 PM
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Looks like people seem to misunderstood me, so let me clear up some misunderstanding. When I say Professional Fit, I meant a Pro Fit, assuming that they're the same thing. What I'm trying to do is achieve the result of a Pro Fit or as close to it as possible by myself, and the help of you's good fellows out in this forum.

Also, I have read all the articles and threads posted in the following thread concerning fitting:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Answered-Here
Which mean the following articles and threads I have read from the thread posted above are:
http://www.roadcycling.com/training/kneepain.shtml - Knee pain
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/ - Colorado Cyclist
http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html Sheldon Brown
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm Peter White

I'm asking all these questions because some of the information on these articles and thread is either outdated or information is debatable; according to some past fit threads in this forum. Some questions may be redundant but I would just like to reassure my information.

I would also like to say that I have already used the fit calculator provided by Competitive Cyclist.

Here's a few more questions I have thought up of:

How accurate is Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator?

Is a flat back the result of a fitting or it's a form that one has to hold in cycling? Is it really required and what does it do? How is it achieved?

For the specialized seat bone test, how accurate is it? If it says that one needs a certain size, does that person have to get that size or they can go for a smaller/larger size?

Last edited by MNX1024; 06-12-11 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 06-14-11, 03:40 AM
  #10  
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The CC fit calculator is not very accurate, but it gets you in the ball park. It's also better if you have someone else taking the measurements than trying to do it yourself (in my experience).

A "flat back" is the most aero position, and it is a position one has to hold. The more flexible you are and the more upper back strength you have, the easier it will be to achieve and hold that position. It is not required and many recreational cyclists don't get that aero ever, but it's nice for racing or efficiency/speed (but usually reserved for faster parts of the ride/race). fwiw "flat" just means you're torso is relatively parallel to the ground. It does not mean there can't be a curve in there.



I don't know about the Specialized ass-o-meter, but I can tell you that my butt seems fine with either a 130 or 143 Toupe.
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Old 06-14-11, 04:42 AM
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Stop calculating so much and simply listen to your body.
There is no such thing is the ideal fit ... te best fit is the fit that feels best for you.
Your body will change over time and so will your optimal fit ... so unless you are ready to spend money on a pro fit every other year I believe it is more meaningful to fit yourself.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:35 AM
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http://www.amazon.com/Pruitts-Comple.../dp/1931382808

Andy Pruitt wrote this book and its user friendly advice. It explains all the questions you have on a bike fit. Take a read at it because its about 200 pages.

Also I want to add one more thing. Since most of those questions are quite common and its simple to say it can be ambiguous at times. Before a fitting can be done, the fitter must ask numerous question about the individual if he/she has "biomechanical" problems. Sometimes people have leg length discrepancies, the inability to be flexible at certain joints, abnormalities, etc. So just because you have numbers does NOT mean you have results to determine bike fit. An assessment must be made prior to any bike fit. See a specialized (not the brand) physician who can give you accuracy at the millimeters rather than the centimeters.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
The CC fit calculator is not very accurate, but it gets you in the ball park. It's also better if you have someone else taking the measurements than trying to do it yourself (in my experience).

A "flat back" is the most aero position, and it is a position one has to hold. The more flexible you are and the more upper back strength you have, the easier it will be to achieve and hold that position. It is not required and many recreational cyclists don't get that aero ever, but it's nice for racing or efficiency/speed (but usually reserved for faster parts of the ride/race). fwiw "flat" just means you're torso is relatively parallel to the ground. It does not mean there can't be a curve in there.

I don't know about the Specialized ass-o-meter, but I can tell you that my butt seems fine with either a 130 or 143 Toupe.
The flat back is what I'm confused about. According to the fitter at my LBS, a flat back is required regardless of position, which mean when you're holding the bars like flat bars, on the hood, and on the drops. What he meant by a flat back is that the back is completely straight, obviously there would still be some curves on the upper back. By doing this, it allows one to engage their glutes more and disengage the use of back muscles so one doesn't burn through their stamina. Basically this allows for maximum comfort and performance. When he showed me the before and after videos of his clients, I do noticed there's a difference in pedaling style and it looks like there's a performance increase. Of course, I don't know how true this is.

As a side note, I just tried out the Toupe Gel, borrowed it from my friend. Either I'm not use to it, or it just hurts like a "female dog" when I was out for my 10 mile ride this morning. Well, I am coming from a Selle SMP saddle with a lot of padding. Going to use it a bit more and see how my butt likes it. If it's good, going to get the Toupe Pro; hopes Specialized gets their Toupe Carbon back in stock though.

Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
Stop calculating so much and simply listen to your body.
There is no such thing is the ideal fit ... te best fit is the fit that feels best for you.
Your body will change over time and so will your optimal fit ... so unless you are ready to spend money on a pro fit every other year I believe it is more meaningful to fit yourself.
Not to be rude, but I have no idea where you get the idea that I'm being calculative and I'm not listening to my body. Am I not trying to achieve the best fit for myself? If not, I guess I have no idea why I made this thread asking all those question.

Originally Posted by NotZeroSix View Post
http://www.amazon.com/Pruitts-Comple.../dp/1931382808

Andy Pruitt wrote this book and its user friendly advice. It explains all the questions you have on a bike fit. Take a read at it because its about 200 pages.

Also I want to add one more thing. Since most of those questions are quite common and its simple to say it can be ambiguous at times. Before a fitting can be done, the fitter must ask numerous question about the individual if he/she has "biomechanical" problems. Sometimes people have leg length discrepancies, the inability to be flexible at certain joints, abnormalities, etc. So just because you have numbers does NOT mean you have results to determine bike fit. An assessment must be made prior to any bike fit. See a specialized (not the brand) physician who can give you accuracy at the millimeters rather than the centimeters.
Wow, thanks for the tip on the book. Definitely going to look into it. You are right about these questions being ambiguous. I pretty much have more than 2 answers for most of these question already. Just want to ask around for what people know so I can consolidate my research and what I know. As for my flexibility, don't think I should have any problems because I'm coming from a MMA background prior to cycling. Concerning the physician, which specific type of physician I should be looking into and what questions should I be asking him or her?
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Old 06-14-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MNX1024 View Post
For the specialized seat bone test, how accurate is it? If it says that one needs a certain size, does that person have to get that size or they can go for a smaller/larger size?
I thought it was somewhat bogus when I did it a few years back, but I went with a 143 like it recommended and it helped a lot. IIRC, my lbs offered to exchange or refund the saddle if it didn't fit right. The other route would be to see if your lbs has a bargain bin or something like that with used saddles or "last-years models" they are trying to get rid off. I just picked up one for $10 that retails for around $100. Even if it didn't fit, I was only out ten bucks.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MNX1024 View Post
The flat back is what I'm confused about. According to the fitter at my LBS, a flat back is required regardless of position, which mean when you're holding the bars like flat bars, on the hood, and on the drops. What he meant by a flat back is that the back is completely straight, obviously there would still be some curves on the upper back. By doing this, it allows one to engage their glutes more and disengage the use of back muscles so one doesn't burn through their stamina. Basically this allows for maximum comfort and performance. When he showed me the before and after videos of his clients, I do noticed there's a difference in pedaling style and it looks like there's a performance increase. Of course, I don't know how true this is.
I wonder about this myself. When I was racing in my teens, my coach also told me to keep a flat back (meaning completely straight). However, lately I have noticed pros and elite riders have a curve in their spine when they're in the drops. It makes me think the flat back theory is an outdated one, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.
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Old 06-14-11, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I wonder about this myself. When I was racing in my teens, my coach also told me to keep a flat back (meaning completely straight). However, lately I have noticed pros and elite riders have a curve in their spine when they're in the drops. It makes me think the flat back theory is an outdated one, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.
Guess the fitter is old school than, because he's been racing since he's 11 and he's from Italy.
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Old 06-18-11, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I wonder about this myself. When I was racing in my teens, my coach also told me to keep a flat back (meaning completely straight). However, lately I have noticed pros and elite riders have a curve in their spine when they're in the drops. It makes me think the flat back theory is an outdated one, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.
I noticed that also, especially in the breaks during the Giro and recent Dauphine.

issue of youth and experience and team support (as relates to helping with position improvements).

thinking about the Pro peloton as ****genous (applies also to elite national level teams) could give a lot of impressions maybe not well supported. the peloton spans from complete frosh to decades seasoned veterans, and is a real mix of types and abilities.
Not all teams can afford to take their riders into windtunnels, not all teams will make major changes to a new/young rider's position - one who has just come onto the team.
All these young riders have unbounded energy and in spite of that, many don't make it but for a few years... some don;t last the season.
I think a lot of them get by on their strength and energy, and pay the price later.

I would think (not having really paid that close attention to this...) that experienced, older riders - say over 30 - who have some sizeable years in the pro peloton would prolly not exhibit that... could be wrong, but I don;t think so, IMO.
Especially the guys over 35, I;d be surprised. Especially the guys who win tough races/stages - Cancellera, Gilbert, Contador, etc.
The young eventually get weeded out as their careers progress, and only the truly good, resourceful, durable and lucky, keep riding as they add years. There's always more 'young' biting at the heels of the back markers or those who can't find their niche (like Jens).
I'd be surprised if we saw that kind of 'form' from a top level pro team rider at a major race, like the Giro, Tour or Dauphine, etc. Team mgr would be all over that long before they get into season.
I'll keep a tally as I watch, it'll will be fun to look at riders in a slightly different light than normal... although if a noted veteran exhibited that I would have marked that already... there's always the anomaly, but in this case it will prolly be very rare.
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Old 06-18-11, 11:37 PM
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^ You've got me onto something here. I admit I haven't paid attention to which riders are arching their backs and which keep them flat as a board. I have noticed world champ track sprinters arch a lot, but that's a whole other game. I'm just now watching the Tour de Suisse, so I'm going to have to take note.
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Old 06-19-11, 03:47 AM
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Pro fits are over rated unless you want to be uncomfortable. Spesh sit measurement is very good, do what it says. seat heaight puts your knee at 30 degrees flex at bottom of stroke. Ignor relationship of knee to spindle and set yourself up on ballance, if you have too much weight on your hands or bike feels too streched move your seat BACK.

dont forget other adjustments like Q, varus, crank length, spacer height, pedal stack, bar reach, bar width, hood rotation, saddle angle

Based on your questions you dont have a hope in hell, go see a fitter so you can be a little wiser (but just as uncomfortable IME)
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Old 06-19-11, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MNX1024 View Post
Ok, my goal is, trying to get as close to a Professional Fit as possible without getting one, . First off, I will get a Professional Fit done in a professional environment with Professionals in the future, but just not now because I lack the funding and possibly time.

I've read through all the fit articles that actually has a working link posted in the "Introduction to the Road Cycling" thread. That pretty much helped me get the jist of how it's done. I've also skimmed through numerous fit related thread that came up recently and it seems like some of those information in the "introduction thread" may be out dated or are debatable in terms of validity(eg. Peter White's). Also, is there any other articles I should read beside the ones posted in that thread?

Here's some of the question I've got so far. When answering my questions, may you please quote the questions then put the answer beneath the quote. If answering multiple questions, please quote multiple time with answers beneath them instead of bunching them up in one quote:

How do I determine saddle height?

How do I determine fore-aft?

What is the relationship of knee and spindle? If my knee is in front of the spindle what does that mean, and vice-versa?

How far should/can the knee be from the spindle if I don't want or need it to be directly on top of it?

Depending how and where I feel pain, discomfort, muscle twitch, and etc, how should I move the saddle(eg. if I have pain in the knee, I move it up(this is just an example)) ?

How do I determine Stem height, length, and if it should be flipped or not?

How do I fit my cleats?

When the fitting is hypothetically completed, what is the effect, how should I look, which muscle should be used and relaxed, and what should or should not be moving?

Is a flat back the result of a fitting or it's a form that one has to hold in cycling? Is it really required and what does it do? How is it achieved?

How accurate is Competitive Cyclist's fit calculator?

For the specialized seat bone test, how accurate is it? If it says that one needs a certain size, does that person have to get that size or they can go for a smaller/larger size?

So far these are all my questions. Will probably post more if and when I can think of more. I will also post up videos of my form and how I look for verification later once I get it done.

Thanks in advance guys.
That's a lot of questions for someone who has done all this research and gets the jist of it.

BTW...after all this fooling around, the difference between getting it done by someone that knows what they are doing and your method is that they can prove to you that you are producing more in your new position. We'll print out your data at the start of the session and at the end and show you the difference. You have no idea.

I do understand, however that you may not be able to do this right now for whatever reason.

We average 15% more power when adjusting setups from self-fitters.

Last edited by roadwarrior; 06-19-11 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 06-19-11, 07:17 AM
  #21  
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Have you tried the Framebuilders forum? These guys might have the experience to answer some of your questions.
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Old 06-19-11, 07:25 AM
  #22  
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CC's fit calculator is excellent--IF you take proper measurements. I found that if you screw up the arm measurements you get some really wacky top tube numbers, so make sure you have help getting that right.

If you're looking for "pro," the Competitive Fit will get you there. Then, when you're in pain, switch to more of the Eddy fit and you'll be fine.
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Old 06-19-11, 08:20 AM
  #23  
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I used to pay for pro bike fits and when I none of them got me comfortable (and i went to some very experienced and well thought of fitters) I just set things as they felt best. Now im very comfortable and trust me comfort makes power. No more condramalacia caused by my stance being too narrow for a start, saddle set level and still comfortable due to having my knee (shock horror) behind the spindle to get ballanced nicely and shoulder pain gone for the same reason. I mean what is the point in paying someone to set yopur knee over the spindle to the mm when thats just a rule of thumb?

In all honesty unless you are seriously uncomfortable and lost as to what to do then id save your money.

How many people here paid for a fit and then just, i dunno, mover the seat 10mm to make it a bit more comfortable.........whats the point? And to the post above, 15% extra power for a few mins on a trainer is irrelivant unless that same person could complete a century in that position. Comfort = power the trick is to decide how much comfort you can do without.
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Old 06-19-11, 09:25 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by MNX1024 View Post
Ok, my goal is, trying to get as close to a Professional Fit as possible without getting one, .
If you already have a bike then the CC fit calculator is not going to help you. It is there to help you BUY a bike, not fit one. Although having good measurements is always a plus.

Read this: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

If you search Youtube for "BG Fit" there are 4 poorly edited, but informative videos, regarding BG Fit process and fit in general. You may pick up enough info to help with cleat placement and positioning. I'd still recommend having a cyclist friend assist. Part 1 > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNcQdqrz4JQ

Good luck!
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Old 06-19-11, 09:52 AM
  #25  
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The ideal way to get "as close to a Professional Fit as possible" is to go stand next to the guy doing one. Maybe he'll let you touch his shoulder as he works?

The "best pro fit" is just an estimation, a theory, and is based on averages.

Your best fit, OTOH, depends specifically on your individual body, age, fitness, bike, and style of riding.

All of that is driven by your personal goals. What are your goals?

Comfort?
Endurance?
Speed over a certain distance?
To look cool?

What?
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