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are those professional bike fitters worth it(4 posts)

are those professional bike fitters worth itjohn de
Mar 23, 2001 4:30 PM
fitting a bike is not only simple but very individualistic and not subject to a formula so its kind of a scam when they charge you a fortune and act as if they have some secret formula.. anyone with a measuring tape can figue it out and unless you have freak limbs i doubt you will need a custom frame... i think fancy bike stores would do better if they were nice enough just to tell people how to find out what they are looking for and stop trying to sell advice and we should all know what we are doing anyway...
re: are those professional bike fitters worth itAkirasho
Mar 23, 2001 5:28 PM
... actually, a pro fit session should be used to get you in the neighborhood. You're right, there is no formula that can be worked that will fit every individual's needs, but there are basic theories that can be applied that most of us will fit within. There is just enough variety in inseam, or torso, or arm lengths, to make it interesting.

I recently had a fit for a bike with a 57.4cm top tube... their numbers indicated a 110mm stem... the bike now has a 140mm cuz it felt better to me (and I'm a knuckle dragger). Also, my stem/saddle height seperation is somewhat large at about 6.5 inches... again, this is what works for me (I'm mostly leg).

My small group of riders does an annual fit sessions (using formulas for initial setup) for each individual rider. Little actually changes over the course of a year, but it helps to validate fit and position on the bike... especially early in the season. During the season, most adjustments are minor yet documented to give better overall feedback. One of the boys has even compiled a spreadsheet to show us just how "abnormal" we are.

The key to a pro fit, is to get you close, then listen to the fitee. For a new rider, or someone who doesn't have local support for private fit sessions, a good fit is paramount... and usually goes towards the cost of the bike if you buy from that LBS. Having seen enough riders on ill fit and/or fitting bikes, I still recommend them.

Be the bike.
lbsjohn de
Mar 24, 2001 3:48 PM
6.5 inches above the seat for the bars is the highest ive ever heard of, the general guidline i find in books seems about 2 inches..i still think that even without local support someone new to the sport should be able to get info instead of staying oblivious and relying on a store
... reliance...Akirasho
Mar 24, 2001 4:48 PM
The info is available, but if you're new, where do you look? What manuals you get with a new bike anymore, read more for covering liability than the specific product (in my experience). That might be part of the problem...

You've got to start somewhere, and even in this day and age (with respect to the internet in particular) the LBS still represents the consumer's goal of one stop shop. As part of that initial set up, would a customer expect anything less? And, to garner customer loyalties as well as future sales, why not offer as much as is practical?

In all honesty, most shops in my area do not offer in depth fit sessions for all customers... those that do will set aside at least an hour per customer for such a service (usually by appointment). In this day and age, that could represent a huge investment in time by smaller shops where other customers could come and go within that hour. Still, I think I get your point.

At some future time, most of us will rely on some sort of web based information instead of those from my youth (when you wrote to a company to get their brochures or catalogs) or going to your local library.

And, I know my little group's proficiency in fitment has grown from our past experiences... not that we are experts, but we do have a grasp of the fundamentals... if you wanna go fast, it had better feel as good as possible. It's no good to be fit by the numbers if you're miserable... thus, 6.5 inches of vertical seperation.

Be the bike.