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Getting Fitted

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Old 03-04-09, 09:22 PM
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patgoral
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Getting Fitted

Ok, so for some reason I feel fine on my bike in warm weather BUT as soon as it gets cold I get sore all over and really feel bummed out by riding. I do decent fits in my shop, but I am debating on throwing down the big bucks and getting a full laser fit. This is the place I'm looking at http://www.55nineperformance.com/ I know alot of retro-grouches dont believe in this sort of thing, but I want to be comfortable and power efficient all year long. If I am going on long tours, I want to be comfortable. What do you think, and have any of you tried a fit like this before?
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Old 03-05-09, 05:49 AM
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If you do please report back. I would like to hear about it.

One thought that I have is that this fit business has some consistent criteria across all preferences, but many things about fit are dependent on what kind of position you are trying to achieve. Even within a given discipline there is wide variation and the differences across disciplines are greater. I have to wonder how any fit system deals with the difference between someone who rides in an aggressive roadie type position, someone who rides bolt upright, and all the in between positions.

Additionally there are issues of technique. Some drop their heel at the bottom of the stroke, some have a level foot and some have the forefoot dropped. Do fit systems accommodate that or do they try to "normalize" position?

I am not criticizing fit systems. I am genuinely curious how they deal with these variations.

Personally my preferred touring position is pretty much the same as my road bike position, so I could probably rely on a fit tailored to road racing. Folks who have different preferences would seem to be in a different boat wrt fit some issues.
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Old 03-05-09, 06:30 AM
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I have not but I know several people who have used the serotta fitting system and swear by it. I'm like staehpj1 and and curious as to how it copes with the personal preference / difference thing too.
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Old 03-05-09, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Even within a given discipline there is wide variation and the differences across disciplines are greater. I have to wonder how any fit system deals with the difference between someone who rides in an aggressive roadie type position, someone who rides bolt upright, and all the in between positions.
I think it's all up to the skill and experience of the fitter. When I mentioned a fitting to a local shop I trust, they recommended the least expensive, least mechanical approach. Mainly because I was looking for increased efficiency and comfort as opposed to optimizing performance. The fitter asked questions and watched my position as I warmed up. He then made small adjustments starting with bar height and reach and we did the eye doctor, A or B better? comparison routine. We worked through all the contact points making small adjustments and doubled back some to compensate for previous moves.

It was all much more organic then mechanical, although he did make angle and length measurements as we worked. I think the keys were, the fitter knew me fairly well, I knew the fitters qualifications (he's a certified coach, working on a sports masters degree), he was interested in my riding needs, he's done hundreds if not thousands of fits, and I went at the end of the season when everyone was less rushed.

For me it was worth the time and money. Overall I felt better balanced and more comfortable riding, and that first ride post-fit utilized muscles I hadn't recruited in years.
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Old 03-05-09, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dewaday View Post
I think it's all up to the skill and experience of the fitter. When I mentioned a fitting to a local shop I trust, they recommended the least expensive, least mechanical approach. Mainly because I was looking for increased efficiency and comfort as opposed to optimizing performance. The fitter asked questions and watched my position as I warmed up. He then made small adjustments starting with bar height and reach and we did the eye doctor, A or B better? comparison routine. We worked through all the contact points making small adjustments and doubled back some to compensate for previous moves.

It was all much more organic then mechanical, although he did make angle and length measurements as we worked. I think the keys were, the fitter knew me fairly well, I knew the fitters qualifications (he's a certified coach, working on a sports masters degree), he was interested in my riding needs, he's done hundreds if not thousands of fits, and I went at the end of the season when everyone was less rushed.

For me it was worth the time and money. Overall I felt better balanced and more comfortable riding, and that first ride post-fit utilized muscles I hadn't recruited in years.
I can visualize that type of approach working very well for the full range of riders, but it isn't like what I think of when I think of a fit "system". I have a hard time imagining a system being able to effectively deal with all the variables. Then again maybe I have the wrong idea of what these fit systems are like. I have never dealt with any of them personally and my fit was achieved by starting with standard fit advice and then applying years of trial and error.

Can someone who has used some one the systems, please pipe up? I would be curious to hear more about them.
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Old 03-05-09, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by patgoral View Post
Ok, so for some reason I feel fine on my bike in warm weather BUT as soon as it gets cold I get sore all over and really feel bummed out by riding....
I'm not an expert by any means, but I commute year round and know that feeling pretty well. And it sounds to me like a warm-up issue rather than a fit issue. When I get on the bike on a cold morning, my first priority is to get my heart rate and my body temperature up. I believe an athletic trainer would tell me I am doing exactly the wrong thing, but this is what works for me.

Though I agree with staehpj1 and TheBrick about personal preference, I think the word "preference" implies that one has tried all the options, which is usually not the case; therefore it comes down to "what works for me," or what one is accustomed to, rather than what one prefers. When you tell someone "you would be better off doing it this way," and they reply "but that feels wrong!" you cannot be certain of their reasoning.

Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
.... I have a hard time imagining a system being able to effectively deal with all the variables. ...
+1.

My suspicion is that too many aspects of bicycle design are taken as a "given," and are not seriously challenged when a person is fitted to the bicycle, that the result cannot be more than an approximation. For example (here I go again, sorry!) though people vary in height by 20% or more, crank arms are sold in only a few sizes, varying about 5%. Clearly the industry thinks crank arm length doesn't matter much; the fact that few cyclists demand crank arms in other lengths demonstrates that, for all practical purposes, the industry is right.

Anyway, about the laser precision fitting system: I too am curious about it, and would love to try it. I would even pay for it if they were offering a money back guarantee, but there, I suspect, is the rub.
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Old 03-05-09, 08:08 AM
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I'm persona; friends with the owner of this 55nine and apparantly he goes into great lengths to not only cater to your riding style and form, but also to help correct any poor riding habits you may have. They use the wobble-naught and dartfish systems which you can read about here http://www.wobblenaught.com/whywobble.asp It seems very promising. I don't have a car and I ride everywhere so I think its worth the money to be comfortable.
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Old 03-05-09, 08:34 AM
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Sounds good! Let us know what changes are recommended, and how it works out, okay?
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Old 03-05-09, 01:55 PM
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So much of the fitting depends on the fitter's skills and experience. I have been fitted by three different "experts," but only one got it just right.

The differences between a fit that is almost right and exactly right can be subtle. In one case, I was beginning to experience knee pain as a result of cycling, and one fitter tried twice to adjust the bicycle, without success. The problem resolved after an hour-long session with a kinesiologist who made micro adjustments to my bicycle -- one of the adjustments involved rotating a cleat a couple of degrees. Just as important, the kinesiologist made suggestions on how I could improve my pedaling technique. It took a few days of practice to begin to get comfortable with the new technique, but even before I did, and the knee pain subsided.
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Old 03-05-09, 02:20 PM
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Other than the outside temp obviously..... analyze what changes when it gets colder. Thicker clothing/layers can restrict movement/blood flow. Or maybe you just aren't any good in the cold. That said, how cold are we talking about here? How do you layer dress differently when it gets nippy out? Different shoes?/cleats.... or are you merely adding thicker socks?
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Old 03-05-09, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer View Post
Other than the outside temp obviously..... analyze what changes when it gets colder.
In winter commuting I use a lightweight hiking boot that has a thicker sole than my normal shoe. I have to raise the saddle about a cm to compensate.

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Old 03-05-09, 06:59 PM
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In winter weather I use the same shoes but I am wearing a wool jersey, arm warmers, a light cycling jacket, shorts, knee warmers, full leg tights, neoprene shoe covers, windproof gloves, and a balaclava. I am talking anything under 45 I am EXTREMELY cold sensitive!
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Old 03-06-09, 09:16 AM
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hmmm I bike all year, which in the winter is constantly sub zeroes, I wonder if you either aren't wearing the right clothing or simply too much too tight and it's affecting your circulation (which would make you cold as well). Are you as cold sensitive, say if you were just going out for a walk? Some people just can't handle the cold, and need to be over dressed for it. From what it sounds like though other than the balaclava nothing is winter specific. A wool jersey is another layer that's ok, but tights are tights, once you start getting to the point of freezing temps, then it's time for a the cool/cold weather specific gear.

Another factor might be your age as well. I used to be winter indestructible, road shoes/covers in -20C. After i hit 40 my circulation seemed to change and I am much more susceptible to the cold. I bought Gaerne winter specific boots and my feet haven;t been cold since. Slight adjustments will make all weather riding fun again.
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Old 03-06-09, 04:45 PM
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I'm 20 years old and all of my winter gear is cold weather specific cycling gear. I am extremely cold sensitive always. I never stretch and i've been told stretching (especially yoga) may help fix my problem.
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Old 03-06-09, 05:41 PM
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I must say that's one of the most extreme reactions to temperature I've heard of. So even if you "bundle up" do you get the same reaction? I must admit I've not been much of a stretcher either.
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Old 03-06-09, 07:20 PM
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I think you need to drink one can of HTFU every morning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EY7lYRneHc
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Old 03-06-09, 07:43 PM
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Hahaha, man I just can't stay warm.
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