Two Spoke Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Specialized Crosstrail
Joined
·
150 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK so I often hear this talk about getting fitted for a bike... especially for new riders. I of course understand that a bike that has a good fit for you is important, but how many options are there really? I mean besides choosing between S-M-L and XL bike frames? If a medium size frame is a little to small, you get the Large frame right? You're now fitted! I mean from the talk I hear it almost sounds as if there are many custom options to choose from... unless getting fitted could mean that a Giant medium frame has different demensions than a Specialized medium frame has, so maybe the Giant frame fits you better between two similar bikes?

The only real way I can see anyone getting truly fitted for a specific human body would be to have a totally custom frame made. How many people do that. Besides the obvious adjustments of handlebars, seat position and height ect, what other fitting is there to be had? Or did I just recite all the ways to get fitted lol.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
400 Posts
from what i hear different brands can have different geometries here and there plus when you get fitted they can fine tune everything from seat position and handlebar height to suggesting a different post or pedals to give put you in the right position. I was at a fitting and it was like a doctors appointment. I doubt anyone that just rides for fun will get fitted like THAT, i think it's mainly for the racers but in general it's good to be fitted at a basic level like your seat and handlebar reach. don't think a medium bike is no good just because the seat may be to low cause if you go the a large bike maybe the handlebars will be a bit far and not as good of a reach as the medium bike and all you would have to do is raise the seat for the medium to be good. I donno much but i've been reading a lot of stuff online.
 

·
Total noob (& forum admin)
Joined
·
12,350 Posts
You kinda covered it there. Once you get the correct frame size, then there are a few little things to work on:

Bar width and possibly lever placement
Stem length and rise or drop, plus height (headset spacers)
Seat fore/aft, height and tilt

If you're using clipless pedals, then a very comprehensive fitting can include cleat alignment and possibly shims. I know at least one person on the forums here had some wonky knee issues, and working with a pro on proper alignment made all the difference in the world.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
If your speaking of a pro fit don't waste your money. The pro fit that most bike shops sell charge $150 to $250 PLUS the cost of parts they think you should get to fit "perfectly" on the bike. A pro fit is just a huge money making scheme that some LBS do; by the time you leave with the recommended stuff you could be leaving with $800 less then you came it with and still not be comfortable! That's right, still not comfortable. I've known too many people who went that route and out of the some 13 some odd people I knew that did it only 2 were happy with the results, the others all said they were less comfortable then they were before they went for the fitting!!

the little things that Industry Hack mentioned are the things that can only be really done by trial and error after you found the average starting point for a person of your build.

Here's a web site that will show you exactly how to get the stuff the Hack mentioned dialed in pretty close: Bike Fit Internet search will turn up others offering similar info.

Here's an aid for symptoms like pain or discomfort in different areas and how to correct it: Bike 101 - Bike Fit

Just click on the above bold print areas to be taken to the site.
 

·
spin... spin.. spin
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
fit to me is huge... most bike companies offer a little different geo. seat tube length is what bikes are sized by but for me to fit, the effective top tube length is the one that matters. usually the boys at the lbs can set one up on a bike that fits good. however, i like to go to bike shows and places where you can get a factory rep to help fit you. once fitted ride and then adjust to what feels good to you. my wilier cento 1 is same size frame as my cervelo rs however the top tube is shorter, thus i am less stretched out. so, i ride a shorter stem on the cervelo to make up the difference, but the wilier fits better. to be honest i like the cervelo better (more responsive and stiffer) but ride my wilier almost exclusively due to it fitting better.
however, i am a finicky girl.... i own more bikes than any normal person should (more bikes than shoes, and i love shoes like most girls) because they ride different in different conditions and i want a perfect ride everyday..... not going to happen but i can dream right?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
Odd, I have bikes that range in size from 54 to 56 and none of them ever bothered me in fit, as long as I could get the arms relaxed with about a 30 degree bend give or take 5 degrees, and the handlebar obscured the front hub axle when on the drops and the seat was the right height with the right knee bend I was good to ride. I wear the same shoe for all my bikes depending if I'm going to be staying on the bike or hiking/walking depends on the which of two shoes I'll wear. Fit never was an issue for me even when I raced; my body didn't care so I never cared!
 

·
Total noob (& forum admin)
Joined
·
12,350 Posts
i own more bikes than any normal person should (more bikes than shoes, and i love shoes like most girls) because they ride different in different conditions and i want a perfect ride everyday..... not going to happen but i can dream right?
Nothing wrong with having a lot of bikes. And you can always go the custom route for the perfect fit.
 

·
spin... spin.. spin
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
my next bike will be a custom ti ride... need to decide who will build it but i have an idea i will go with those cool cats in colorado
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I'm a cheapskate, my TI bike is going to be a Motobecane from Bikes Direct only because I can't see the logic in spending 5k or more for a bike. Do please note, I said I'm cheapskate and I can't see the logic...I didn't say any of you should be cheapskates, nor implying that any of you are illogical if you buy an expensive TI bike. We all have different needs and ideas. I had to make that clear because occasionally I get hacked at by someone reading into things that aren't there.
 

·
spin... spin.. spin
Joined
·
1,616 Posts
I'm a cheapskate, my TI bike is going to be a Motobecane from Bikes Direct only because I can't see the logic in spending 5k or more for a bike. Do please note, I said I'm cheapskate and I can't see the logic...I didn't say any of you should be cheapskates, nor implying that any of you are illogical if you buy an expensive TI bike. We all have different needs and ideas. I had to make that clear because occasionally I get hacked at by someone reading into things that aren't there.
i understand and Motebecane makes some cool rides. i only buy expensive bikes because i won't buy even cheap cars.... a 5k car is not that cool even a 10k car is not close to the best but for 7k i have a road bike that is top notch... like you said to each their own. i save enough in fuel and insurance a year to buy a cool bike and enough on the cars i will never buy to own the most expensive bikes made. however, the one i ride the most is a steel road bike that is less than the best, but i love her and she gets from a to b quickly. come to think of it all my bikes get around pretty quick, must be because they have a kick butt motor! ;)

excluding bikes i am a cheapskate for sure... thus i understand. i have friends that buy a cup of coffee that cost more than i spend on make-up in a year.
 

·
Rollin Solo like Han...
Joined
·
517 Posts
I think bike fitting is a lot of hype for most people. Not to say that it doesnt have its advantages but I think for the average person that comes into the shop asking for it, its just something they heard their friends talking about and they really have no clue what it is or why they want it other than someone they know told them they need it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
i understand and Motebecane makes some cool rides. i only buy expensive bikes because i won't buy even cheap cars.... a 5k car is not that cool even a 10k car is not close to the best but for 7k i have a road bike that is top notch... like you said to each their own. i save enough in fuel and insurance a year to buy a cool bike and enough on the cars i will never buy to own the most expensive bikes made. however, the one i ride the most is a steel road bike that is less than the best, but i love her and she gets from a to b quickly. come to think of it all my bikes get around pretty quick, must be because they have a kick butt motor! ;)

excluding bikes i am a cheapskate for sure... thus i understand. i have friends that buy a cup of coffee that cost more than i spend on make-up in a year.
See, even though bicycles are one my hobbies, the other is classic cars, for a car I don't mind spending the money but I still look for a bargain. My current "stash" of cars consist of a 63 Studebaker Avante supercharged; a 67 Ford Galaxy 500 2dr conv; a 58 Plymouth Fury 2dr 350 Golden Commando; a 79 Chev Camaro Z28: and the odd one which is not really considered a classic but I bought it with 28,000 original miles about 6 months ago a 72 Chrysler Newport 4 dr. Only the Z28 has been modified for performance the rest are factory stock...except I did replace (for the car nuts who understand this) the mechanical points with Pertronics electronic points that maintains the stock distributer and can easily be switched back to mechanical points.

But even with cars I don't believe in buying new cars, in fact my main driver is the Newport!! My wife drives a 98 Ford F150 stripped down 6 cylinder with no options other than AC and automatic and I installed a stereo. Actually the Newport gets 21 miles per gallon with a big 400 cubic inch engine! That's fantastic gas mileage considering the size of that car...it would take 2 new 4 door Toyota Camry's to about equal the length of that Newport and the Newport would still be bigger in width. I have a problem with cars that depreciate, so I look for cars that have taken most of the depreciation for my main cars and then find the best deal and condition; I won't pay more then $7,000 for a everyday driver car, but to buy a classic...that's a different story as you can tell.

And that's the problem I have with new expensive bikes is that a year after I buy it it's worth less then half of what I paid for it. Granted I won't be selling it, but I have a difficult rationalizing in my head paying 6 grand for a bike only to have it be worth a grand in 3 years; so I feel better at paying 2 or 3 grand for a bike new, and that's why I'm looking at the Motebecane because I want a TI bike but don't want the huge depreciation of a more expensive one, plus I don't have the need for something "better".
 

·
Total noob (& forum admin)
Joined
·
12,350 Posts
I think this thread would be more meaningful if the people that posted in it shared whether or not they have ever had a fitting.

Oddly, I've never had a really comprehensive one myself, but I used to do them at the bike shop that I worked at in Australia. The owners had at least 30 years racing experience between them, and a stack of medals and trophies to back them up. Anyone that bought a bike got a free fitting. Didn't matter if it was an inexpensive MTB or hybrid, or an $8k CF road bike. And they would spend as long as it took to get the rider comfortable. The last thing they wanted was for someone to buy a bike and not ride it, because it wasn't comfortable. They were truly the model of what a bike shop should be, and not just for that reason.
 

·
Biking With a Mission
Joined
·
159 Posts
I worked for 5 years at a bike shop, and we did "fittings" (no charge unless you choose to switch a stem or seatpost etc) We would typically do the fitting little adjustments at the time with the bike in a spinner so the user could feel the changes for real as they happened.

Fit is important for pretty much all types of riding because not all people all created in equal proportions. Even in trials riding, without a seat, fit is important.

If finding a new bicycle/frame we would:
Find a frame/size/geometry that properly fits a persons body type and riding style.

For instance we had quite a few woman come in under 5' 4" who wanted to ride road and couldn't fit properly on a conventional 700cc road bike. But you put them on one of the 650cc road bikes made specifically for woman by many companies and the fit worked better. Similarly there are some frames made specifically for woman in Road/MTB with a shorter top tube. Because women tend to have longer legs and a shorter torso for the same height they may be too stretched out a normal bike. A shorter stem may help, but will throw off the handling of the bike.

Typically road bikers would want about 1" of clearance between the top tube and crotch when standing. XC 2-3". BMX/DH/Freeride/trials/anything super aggressive 5+"

Ok... these are adjustments that can be made on any bike, new or used.
Seat height: If the seat's too high you bottom out your knees and cause damage, too low you can't harness power. Height depends largely on riding style. There are million ways to calculate this, they all get about the same thing. Generally for max power your leg should be straight when your heel is on the pedal, create the slight bend when the ball of the foot is properly placed. Slightly lower for mtb etc.

Seat position (forward/back):
The seat position forward/back changes the angles of your leg/knee when pedaling. We generally had a norm and would change it slightly for people looking for spring/velodrom stuff or cruising. Generally speaking when your knee is in it's furthest forward position (i.e. pedals parallel to the ground your lower leg should be straight up/down)

Seat angle:
with rare exception parallel to the ground

The seat itself:
Not all rears are the same. Depending on time in the saddle, age, body positioning etc many people getting into road bikes may choose to use a slightly heavier less aggressive seat for a period of time. There is a major nerve/blood vessel that travels right under the tailbone and some seats have slots/holes to relieve pressure. There are male/female versions. Similarly "shock" seat posts may be used especially for people with back pain or spinal issues.

Stem height/angle:
This varies largely on what type of riding and how aggressive of a body position the rider wants to achieve. A weekend road warrior may not want to be hunched over as much as a pro-racer. Or a cruiser may want to sit almost upright. Changing stem height/angle brings the bars to where you want them.

Bar angle/width:
This is fairly obvious with road bars. Flat bars typically have a little rise and upsweep and back sweep. If set up wrong this can cause wrist issues. Along with this goes changing the lever angles: the angle should be such that the wrist is under no strain in the most common position. Bar width can be changed especially for people with narrow shoulders.

Bars:
We may choose to change bars (if you the user want to spend $) to get a width/sweep/rise combo that fits best.

If you find a seat you love and bars that fit perfect, carry them onto your next bike. It's worth it.

Clipless:
Center the cleat properly. Set up the release tension. Also coach the rider in how to get in/out

Pedals:
the pedals can be changed for preference if the rider wants to.

Brake lever reach:
Depending on how long your fingers are you may want to bring the levers back (I do). You may also want the contact the be closer or further from the bar.

Gearing:
A rider may need changes in gearing to facility riding ability/terrain/style. This can happen. It may be pricey.

This is the pretty extensive fitting we would do for free (parts excluded) for every single person who bought a bike at our shop and had the patience to hang out for a little bit/maybe come back when we're less busy. I can't believe shops charge for this.

It can make a HUGE difference in comfort/feel. If you have a odd body type this would be doubly important.

I greatly encourage women to find shops that offer female specific geometry and the time to help them out. You aren't built the same (thankfullly) why would you ride the exact same bike? It will make a difference in your ride.

Sorry if it's long:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Never had a fitting. I have had good success using geometry & size charts to get in the ballpark for frame size and then making incremental adjustments from there with stem length, handlebar height, seat position, etc. My body will tell me when something needs adjusting. I would possibly get a fitting if I were to buy an expensive road bike with clipless pedals, but otherwise no...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,198 Posts
I think this thread would be more meaningful if the people that posted in it shared whether or not they have ever had a fitting.

Oddly, I've never had a really comprehensive one myself, but I used to do them at the bike shop that I worked at in Australia. The owners had at least 30 years racing experience between them, and a stack of medals and trophies to back them up. Anyone that bought a bike got a free fitting. Didn't matter if it was an inexpensive MTB or hybrid, or an $8k CF road bike. And they would spend as long as it took to get the rider comfortable. The last thing they wanted was for someone to buy a bike and not ride it, because it wasn't comfortable. They were truly the model of what a bike shop should be, and not just for that reason.
I'm going to copy what I put in another thread. I have had three professional fittings. The Serotta one described below is by far the best and had fit me well to three bikes after it. I still use those numbers and am super-comfortable on the bike. For example, prior to that fitting, I could only ride in the drops for about 5 minutes at a time, max. Today, the wind was screaming and I spent my entire lunch hour ride in the drops with the exception of about 5 minutes for some climbs.

Here's my previous post:

My closest experience with any of those was my Look 595. I had to get rid of that bike because I just couldn't get comfortable on it. I'm only 33 (I can still say "only", right?), but my hamstrings and lower back just aren't that flexible. The main problem I had with the Look, and other models I tried as I was looking to get more comfortable, was the seat to handlebar drop. I finally settled on the Specialized Roubaix SL2 S-Works. It's still a super light, super fast frame, but it has a longer head tube allowing me to run less drop.

You're obviously looking to drop some serious cash. And the fact that you rode the Cannondale so long means you're probably looking to ride the next bike for several years as well. I recommend finding someone who will do a professional fitting for you, then basing your next frame decision mostly on which one would fit you best. Most people seem to do the opposite. They buy a frame, then try to get it to fit them.

What I did, and what I highly recommend if you can find it in your area (I drove 2.5 hours to have it done, but it was more than worth it, IMO), is to find a Serotta dealer in your area with a fit cycle. Since Serotta does full customs, they have a fit cycle where every aspect can be adjusted. They put you on there (it was about a 2 hr process for me) and tweak everything from crank arm length to stem height/angle/length to top tube length until you are riding comfortably. Then, they'll give you these numbers so you know what fits you best. They even first measured my flexibility to get a starting point.

Best of luck. Be sure to show us that new ride when you get it.
 

·
GiddyUp
Joined
·
337 Posts
I have never had a fit either, at least not a real fit. I went online and read different techniques and set myself up. I am comfortable except for a couple of things, my feet tend to get numb after awhile and my bars are too narrow for me, I need one size up for more comfort out of the saddle and climbing. I can easily fix that, I have the bars, I just need to either figure out how to change them out or have an LBS do it for me. The numb feet though have me stumped. Anyone ever solve the numb feet syndrome. Usually happens around 6 miles in to the ride.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top