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Had a bike fitting recently, now I ROCK! (long)(24 posts)

Had a bike fitting recently, now I ROCK! (long)hrv
Jun 19, 2003 9:23 AM
Biking for not quite 2 years now, racing for one. Last several months had problems with lower back pains and super tight hamstrings. Not able to feel warmed up until 1 - 1.5 hours of riding also. Didn't stop me from riding, just didn't know what kind of damage I was doing to my body by riding through the pain.

Finally I said enough is enough and got a bike fitting from a bike fitter in Portland, OR, who was recommended by many
happy customers. He races and raced in Europe for a couple of years; not a requirement to be a good fitter, but I as a racer felt like it added a heap of credence to what he does.

It was nothing fancy either. Just took some body measurements, had me do a couple of flexibility tests, asked general questions like what I do at work, any stresses in life, etc. He then watched me pedal, changed a few things, watched me pedal again. He then came up with some things he saw needed changing and proceeded to do them.

What did he do? First thing, and one of the most noticeable, was give me wider handlebars. Barely an inch wider, but I can breathe now! Amazing how such a little change can open up your chest more. Next 2 things he did was to undo my stem so it angles up now, instead of zero rise, and moved the spacer on top of the stem to below it. I seem to remember flipping my stem last year and didn't have back pain then. Why is it just showing up now? Anyways, he lastly raised my saddle about an inch, and I still have some knee bend.

So all he did was what I could have done if I thought about it more but I needed an objective, expert eye to dial me in. Results? Well, its been 10 days since the fitting, and about 200 miles, plus I did a crit right after I left the shop on the new fitting! It was the best single bike related purchase I've made. My power increases, just measured by speed, especially on hills, has increased at least 10% and could go higher once my body fully adapts to the new fit. I crave hills, steep hills, like never before. So much so that I'm looking to do a couple of hill climb TT's soon! I'm a very, very happy rider who will sing the praises of the bike fitter, Michael Sylvester, to anyone who wants to listen.

I came up with some equations for you analytical types:

aero + back-pain = slow, unhappy, want-to-go home rider
less-aero + no back-pain = faster, happy, can't stop riding
get a bike fit if you haven't and if nothing else check your handlebar size.
hmmmmm. nm.Steve_0
Jun 19, 2003 9:35 AM
What shop?Dropped
Jun 19, 2003 9:47 AM
What shop does Sylvester work out of?
Not sure if it's the fitting or the bike, butpitt83
Jun 19, 2003 9:50 AM
I too went with a fitting to build my LOOK. When it came back, I thought, no way I'm a 58/59!!! I have a 60 now and I'm uncomfortable on that. I decided to have faith and went with the fitting. It seemed really small.

BUT, 1000miles later and I love the new bike and style. I'm faster (training, fitting or bike could be possible) and MUCH more comfortable.

I was likely over reaching and stretched out to far.

These are the results of what a good fitting got me. Very cool.
Not sure if it's the fitting or the bike, butmagnum
Jun 19, 2003 11:10 AM

how tall are you, and what is your inseem length?

the reason i ask this because i'm on the upper end of the size spectrum and sometimes i feel spread out..... sometimes i feel crammed in. I can't seem to get a happy medium. I thought I was supposed to ride a 62cm.....

Big fella!pitt83
Jun 19, 2003 11:19 AM
6'4", 230lbs (down to 228 now and dropping) w/ 34" pants inseam.

I went with the old tube to the nuts sizing with my last bike and thought that was good enough. This is indeed tighter than the 60 Specialized. I know that bike's TT was way too long and I always had trouble with my back on long rides. Could be drop to the bars was off too.

As you know, all makers size differently. What this fitting got me is: I can look at any geometry chart and understand where I'm making compromises.

Also, the $125 I paid for the fitting was deductable from the cost of my frame so it's essentially free.
Clydesdales of the world unitejptaylorsg
Jun 19, 2003 11:42 AM
... and take over.
I'm 6'4", 225 lbs (down from 245 - and 275 15 years ago). Inseam 33". Sadly, I'm on a Giant compact size large (bought it before XL option). Add that to aluminum, and I top out at about 60 miles before I'm looking for the urgent care. Can't wait to get a GOOD fitting and get a new (steel??) bike. Love the long rides. Keep mashing, Pitt and Magnum. BTW: What bike did you buy, Magnum? Weren't you looking not long ago?
She's a beauty!pitt83
Jun 19, 2003 12:03 PM
Carbon is the molecule of life! Forget that "steel is real" slogan!
Sweet ride!!jptaylorsg
Jun 19, 2003 12:16 PM
Wow! So cool I bumped into you today. I had been eyeballing the Look KG461, and I read your review of it. I'm kind of wary of full cf, but maybe you can change my mind. Does it climb/accelerate well? I don't much care about racing, but I would like a fast bike. Mostly I like to climb, and I want to do centuries, so comfort's key. My Giant is fairly responsive for a budget bike, and no complaints, really, but I want to step it up. You paid about $1400 for frame and fork, right?
Thanks and you are correct, sir!pitt83
Jun 19, 2003 4:29 PM
$1400 FF. I paid the same at Providence cycle as I would have at Excelsports. AND: That fitting was free since I bought the frame there. Now that fitting is mine for life. I'm contemplating building a SOMA tourer based on it (if budget allows).

I answered your paging post re: climbing. I'm doing Mt. Washington in August and can answer w/o hesitation then, but my training climbs are great. You don't "fall backwards" on it (I found on the Allez I felt like my weight drifted too far rear-ward when climbing and I was pulling with my upper body more. Probably an artifact of poor fit.

What drew me to CF was comfort. The LOOK isn't the supplest CF on the market and doesn't ride "like wood". It has a little flex, smooths out the roughs and tracks liek Aluminum. Don't know how they do it, but it seems the best of all worlds.

PS: My brother-in-law in CA is J. P. Taylor. I'm sure he's not you; believe me, I'm sure ;-)
She's a beauty!magnum
Jun 19, 2003 8:06 PM

as a big fella as i am? do you think it would be a very unwise decision if i bought a carbon frame? I really love carbon - so beautiful. And i adore your frame. DO you think it would take the punishment of my max weight for a month or so until i drop - which i know I will, because i know my metabolism..... but i'm just around 290 right now so...... i dunno. I just want a nice bike...
Tough callpitt83
Jun 20, 2003 4:15 AM
I specifically chose the LOOK 461 because it's made stronger than typical lube / lug frames. Comapre it with the 361 and you'll see what i MEAN. Oversized tubing, wishbone seat stays, etc.

BUT, 290 is tough. No weight limits are posted or called for, but you don't know. I'd discuss it with a l;ocal dealer.

PS: My bud goes 320 and he just bought a Trek2000. Lves it and NP yet although the tech rebuilt his wheels before delivery, just to be sure.
Carbon and a rider over 200 lbs... a good idea?mleptuck
Jun 20, 2003 4:36 AM
Forgive me if I'm WAY off here, but I've been under the impression that a carbon frame and a rider over 200 pounds is a recipe for disaster (or at least premature frame problems)...

As a former 249# rider (down to 201# this morning!), I've always ignored carbon bikes in my frame shopping, believing I simply shouldn't ride them because of my size. I'm not positive where this notion came from, but I'd appreciate comments, thoughts, suggestions, as I'd LOVE to at least be able to seriously consider a carbon frame for my next ride...

Can anyone enlighten me?
Youre right, sort of.pitt83
Jun 20, 2003 5:27 AM
Carbon is directionally laid, so it distributes stresses in the opposite plane. That means, your downward / road's upward force energy is distributed linearly, not vertically. This means, you're not really working the fiber up / down like a hinge. This is how it was explained to me.

I agree, not all CF is created equal. That's why I like my 461. It's not the lightest out there, but it is CF and has the advantages of that material. I agree that I'm pushing the upper limit for this bike, but am cognisant of that fact and taking a financial risk after 2 years warantee is gone (and probably before then considering warantees are often difficult to envoke).

The shop I bought from seemd to think NP for my weight on the 461. They did balk when I suggested the 361 or Aegis (but they didn't sell Aegis so, no surprise there)

I did, however, break an EC70 seatpost, but that was likely a manufacturing defect. Looked like very little epoxy holding the head onto the post. The CF tube was completely in tact.

I've got about 2K miles since March and the post was my only problem.
What I am, a freak?kjr39
Jun 19, 2003 12:26 PM
Two guys that are 6'4" with right around the same inseam that I have. I'm 6' flat with a 33.75" inseam and am riding a 59. Do I have longish legs for my size?

Clydesdale for life...218# (down from 240.)
Freaks rule, but...jptaylorsg
Jun 19, 2003 12:47 PM
People come in all different packages. I happen to be a long-torso, shorter-leg type. Seems Pitt is, too. Your proportions probably skew toward the long-legged. That's why frames are different and fitting is vital. What are you riding??
Freaks rule, but...kjr39
Jun 19, 2003 1:14 PM
I'm on a Colnago Classic. Absolutely love the steel ride.
No, don't think so, I am 5-10 w/34.85 inseam (nm)cjwill
Jun 20, 2003 8:44 AM
nifty looking outputkenyee
Jun 19, 2003 2:46 PM
Does it let you put in different STa and HTa so it can recommend stem lengths and seat setback?
Not reallypitt83
Jun 19, 2003 4:43 PM
The shop asked re: riding style and started there. It's from (The site is absolutely information free). The shop does the measuring, sends it off and the output comes back.

I went with this system because I wanted the LOOK and that's what the LOOK dealer used. I know there are others; this was available where I needed it. Happy with what I got.

Since I'm "riding smaller", I was really sore in certain areas. Glutes were killing me when I started, but not any more. My hamstrings are never sore; probably used to have too high a seat setting and was pulling to the top too much. I think I pedal in circles better now; at least it seems more natural.

They are based in Nordicland where 6ft tall, perfectly proportioned blondes offering 4X distilled frozen vodka roam the streets looking for men to have fun with.
LOL. Are podium girls from Nordicland?kenyee
Jun 19, 2003 8:01 PM
Nordicland sounds like Sweden :-)

I found the site that seems to use the Bioracer software. The Bioracer site is only available in the Nederlands language :-(

MIchael fit me, I've been happy ever since nmPdxMark
Jun 19, 2003 10:03 AM
What does he charge?GFocker
Jun 19, 2003 10:07 AM
For an average fitting.
What does he charge?ortman
Jun 19, 2003 12:41 PM
I think it's $100/hr. Parts of course are extra. Michael is very good. In addition to riding and racing experience he practices and teaches yoga. He was a bike fit instructor for Serrotta and traveled throughout the US instructing bike shop personnel in fitting.