Bike fit or not to fit??

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07/11/2012 at 09:15

Bike fit... Is a bike fit a good move? And with prices varying greatly what do you get for your money? I have seen prices from 50-200 so far...

A friend just got a bike fit for 50 quid using some kind of measuring machine along with a computer print out. The guy in the lbs disregarded most of the print out and I guess just used his own judgement instead in setting up the bike.

Question is, if you got a bike fit from one shop and then went and under took a second bike fit at another shop would there be any change in the bike set up?

Confused...

07/11/2012 at 09:29

theoretically a bike fit is a bike fit irrespective of who does it as they should also be taking into account how you like to ride - but sadly many don't and just go on standard measurements which can vary depending on instruments used.

you don't NEED to get a bike fit - I've never had one bar for when I bought my custom sized Ti bike - and the more ride experrience you have, the less likely you are to have one as you know what a) works for you and b) how to fettle your position.

if your bike is new and you don't have much ride experience, then I would suggest a fit so you get the best experience from the off.  just use a fitter that has a good reputation

cougie    pirate
07/11/2012 at 10:21

This bike fit mallarkey seems to be a new fangled thing to seperate you from your money.  Never used to happen in the olden days. 

Get approximately the right size frame.  Then dial in your fit with the stem and raising and lowering the seatpost. Sorted. 

Thats basically the idea that Mike Burrows had - produce a limited amount of frame sizes and its just the stem and seatpost to adjust, rather than buying a custom frame. 

Any decent shop should be able to sell you a bike that fits. 

07/11/2012 at 10:45

Up to now I've never felt the need.  My last two bike purchases were both online, checking the geometries against my current set-up.  One of those was a track bike; I dithered between getting a small or a medium, and finaly worked out I could have got exactly the same set-up with either, dialling in different positions with seat-post adjustment, stem size and spacers. (I doubt I'd honestly notice the difference in handling between the two set-ups.)

However I'm now considering getting a TT bike and there are a few reasons why I think it might be worth getting a minimal bike-fit service done, namely:
- still considering an online purchase but will be able to try out the bike "instore"
- similar "between sizes" conundrum, so may as well get it right the first time.  Might as well spend £35 on the fit and get it right (you get a discount if you purchase the bike through the shop) than have to buy a different length stem afterwards.
- never even sat on a TT bike before, so need to get a feel for how aggressive a position I can get whilst still being comfortable. 

So it depends on circumstances IMO.  If you really haven't got a clue, and have a decent amount of money to spend on a bike purchase, it's got to be worth considering. However, I've got no idea how much benefit there is in getting an all singing and dancing £200 fit with lazers and videos and shit, over a £50 fit.

AndyB99    pirate
07/11/2012 at 11:37

i cannot recommend having this done enough!!! you have no idea how much certain things like cleat possition can make a difference...especially if you're an ironman wannabe.

a good bike fit should take about 4 hours....and things should be taken into consideration like any pains, any troubles you have..not just how long your inside leg is.

Mike at Bridgetown cycles in cannock is an absolute master of this dark art.....no lazers....but the most productive morning you'll ever spend on your bike....tell him i sent you!!!

Cheerful Dave    pirate
07/11/2012 at 11:38

PP, when I bought my TT bike a few years ago I did exactly that - on a turbo in the store, trying both frame sizes, with the guy in the shop giving his advice.  It did the trick, all I've done since is raise the stem a little to make it a bit more comfortable over longer distances.  In those days it was all free and part of the service when you bought a bike - nowadays they'd charge 50 quid for the same thing and call it a bike fitting.

Dustboy    pirate
07/11/2012 at 11:50

LOL. When I had my bike fit done, had never owned a race bike before and only had one 10 minute go on Coach Bassos'

Had never even heard of a turbo so much amusement in the LBS with hardened bikeists who could ride for twenty miles when I had no idea how to get on, or off, it. And that bikes didn't come with pedals.

Having said which, have now tweaked it a few times by small amounts but I think the basic bike fit is essential eg correct crank length and stem length. The all singing all dancing one, am not so sure unless you are THAT good. Remember to wear what you will ride in on the bikefit. Eg, don't wear a pair of running shorts if you will ride in a padded bibshort, the pad can be huuuge and makes a difference.

07/11/2012 at 12:40
AndyB99 how much did it cost you at Cannock?
O.rangeCannon (kona-7)    pirate
07/11/2012 at 13:54
I agree wit thw general advice above
I built up a tri bike, (guessed tje frame size after lots of reading)

It felt great

I then got a free bikefit at freespeed. they were excellent, and shifted my seat down and masively forward, and raised the stem up.
I dont think i would have got to that position on my own as its different to a road bike

However a good shop should be able to do a lot of that....
07/11/2012 at 14:30

Sounds like a 50 quid bike fit should get me into the ball park, I guess. Then I suppose if I need a new stem or whatever the money not spend on an all singing and dancing laser type set (200 quid job) will go towards the new parts..

Cheers, I'm sure I'll be back with some more numpty questions as I get more into this!

07/11/2012 at 19:27
I took Andy's recommendation and got a discount too 3 hrs with Josh and bike is very different from how it was. I thought it was fine before but it's so much better now. Going back in the spring for a free recheck after a winters riding.
I consider it money well spent.
08/11/2012 at 09:10

I recently posted about getting a new bike to continue with long distance tris next year.

Should a bike fit be done before purchasing the bike or used to "dial you in" post-purchase?

Anywhere in Essex / London that has a good rep for this?

Apologies for the numpty questions.

08/11/2012 at 10:20

Ktpie - Look at Freespeed, it over near chiswick but i went in sept with my tri bike and it was well worht the money.

08/11/2012 at 10:27

Great. Will do. I hope to spend well this season and figure the right fit / size bike is key to that for IM distance. Hope these guys can sort me out.

08/11/2012 at 10:57

If you are spending a decent amount on a bike I'd have thought you would be better off going somewhere that sells a couple of makes of time trial bike and has expertise in bike fitting - that way you get advice pre and post bike purchase.   There might not be many shops like that but there are a few - round here maybe Langdale Lightweights, TFN or something like that - there will be something close enough to where you live.   

I think bike fitting is more an art than a science though and while it's worth paying for an opinion it's not going to be gospel - people do get bike fits and find the position doesn't work for them.   

08/11/2012 at 11:20

+1 for Freespeed.  

it's run by a sub-10 IM guy who occasionally pops up on this forum - in fact the guy who designed the pirate kit......

08/11/2012 at 14:04

and haven't they just joined up with the tristore??

Rafiki    pirate
08/11/2012 at 14:19

 it would appear so according to the news

08/11/2012 at 14:22
Flat Foo..ted wrote (see)

and haven't they just joined up with the tristore??

more partnership than joining.  I know the guys at the Tristore very well (my local shop) and it's a good match of 2 similar minded businesses

08/11/2012 at 16:20

Sorry, bad choice of word there FB, "working in partnership" would hve been better.

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