Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Bike Fitting

Old 08-23-11, 12:58 PM
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cleon
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Bike Fitting

So I'm six weeks into my new favorite fitness activity and am wondering if I should get a bike fit done professionally? I've read mixed reviews ranging from 1) take a toolkit out and do it yourself one day as you ride, 2) don't bother until you get used to the riding position, to 3) it will help anyone regardless of saddle time as insurance against an improper setup.

So my specific question is if I'm past most of the aches and pains of just starting in the road position, but still have alot of personal weight to drop, is it too early to be worth the $200 to get a professional fit??

Curious what the consensus is...
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Old 08-23-11, 02:52 PM
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if you're serious about the sport and know that you will continue doing it, I say get the pro fit done. Maybe for those who are experience in cycling, they can do it themselves, but you're new. It's not a bad idea to watch and learn from the pro.
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Old 08-23-11, 03:27 PM
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Pro fits are great if you are a professional racer and every second counts. They can also be great if you have noticeable wobbles or inefficiencies in your technique or aches and pain and you are unable to resolve those on your own.

If you feel comfortable and efficient enough on your own and maximum power/speed is not a big deal for you, then $200 is a lot of money to spend on possibly nothing significant. If you really want to spend that money, a better way to spend it might be a couple of lessons with a coach that will work on your technique and posture rather than just focusing on your fit.
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Old 08-23-11, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cleon View Post
So I'm six weeks into my new favorite fitness activity and am wondering if I should get a bike fit done professionally? I've read mixed reviews ranging from 1) take a toolkit out and do it yourself one day as you ride, 2) don't bother until you get used to the riding position, to 3) it will help anyone regardless of saddle time as insurance against an improper setup.

So my specific question is if I'm past most of the aches and pains of just starting in the road position, but still have alot of personal weight to drop, is it too early to be worth the $200 to get a professional fit??

Curious what the consensus is...
Yes, it's a good idea.

$200 pro fit? Maybe might be a little over the top right now. I'd do a basic fit at the very least. Is there a median at your LBS between the two?
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Old 08-23-11, 04:18 PM
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Get a fit. Not for $200, but definitely get one. An ounce of prevention...
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Old 08-23-11, 07:00 PM
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My suggestion would be if you're not sure what you need to do in order to get a proper fit, which is more than just a saddle adjustment, have one done. If the cost is a factor then you're left with the possibility of riding with aches and pains until you learn how to tweak the bike so it will fit. I don't see why, as someone new to cycling, you would spend a bunch of money on a bike and not have a fit done right of the bat. I know that there will be some answers given to HTFU, and that's all well and good. You can HTFU today and hurt like hell tomorrow, even if you are past some of the aches and pains.
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Old 08-25-11, 03:43 PM
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Ok, thanks for the feedback guys. I did do the fit and I am happy to have gone through the process. I'm sure most of the information is out there on the web, but having someone watch your body mechanics as you ride is hard to replicate on your own. I learned a few things as well in terms of correct hand positioning etc. I'm a wide guy and all of the recommendations made complete sense to me. With more experience I'm sure I would have known what/how to do it on my own but like one of the above posters mentioned, it sure helps to have a pro do it once with you to know what to look for.

I ended up widening my bars from 41" to 44", raising my bar/saddle drop from -4cm to about level, and shortening my reach to the hoods by quite a bit which pulled weight off my hands. Also corrected my cleat placement and pronation issues to align my feet/knees/hips. Overall it was very helpful and I look forward to seeing how it affects my next long ride.

Just going through the exercise will let me correct 80% of my fit on my own next time (things like handlebar width, bar height, etc.), and definitely enlightened me on what to think about in terms of my pedal stroke/biomechanics.

Anyway, thanks again for the input.

Last edited by cleon; 08-26-11 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 08-29-11, 07:04 AM
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Just finished my usual 1hr workout ride 2min faster than the previous 3 rides which were roughly similar in terms of time. And completed a nice 25-mi loop yesterday with some elevation gain and felt better than ever. Could be coincidence but definitively feeling better at the end of every ride!
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