Less than positive bike fitting experiences ?

Raffles Posts: 1,137
edited December 2012 in Road general
We read here all the time at BR" oh my bike fit cost a zillion pounds and it was worth every penny" , but can I ask for the details from those who went for a fit ,paid the cash and werent exactly blown away . The one id been looking into is the Retul fitting service , but £170 :shock: :shock: :shock: , well I aint got £170 that I can afford to completely waste if turns out not so good. Ive done a bit of background research into opinions about that service and I am really unsure at this time. Feedback ranged from riders being so stretched out that the fit was ridiculous, riders changing so much after the fitting session that they neednt have bothered in the first place and riders who thought it was great and worth the hefty expense.

Who has had fitting sessions that they didnt feel they where worth the expense and what were the reasons for the dissapointments and lack of satisfaction ?Poor%20Bike%20Fit.jpg
2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105


  • I have had two one was great one not so great. The one that was not good was a retul one and i dont think the guy had much of a clue as to what was going on and just looked at stick man on the screen rather than me. I have since changed the set up myself and have got much more power out of the bike and can ride longer. My good fit (adrian Timmis) made a huge difference. He did not adjust much and still made a lot of difference. Depend who you use. Adrian does it mostly by eye and it works because he knows his stuff. If someboody goes on the retul course they get you in certain parameters and thats it but that does not suit everyone. At the end of the day its only as good as the bloke operation the machine. But I could go out today and buy the best snap on tool kit and all the gear for 50k but could i then change a car engine tomorrow because i have all the tools? Nope. It does not get you experience and know how. I have seen both sides of the coin and I flew back to the UK just for a fit with adrian which was a flight and a 5 hours return drive and it was worth it. Im guessing the bad reviews people have are purely down to the skill level of the other guy. If you go to adrian and spend 150 (with footbeds) you will come away thinking blimey he did not change much but everytime you ride you will think blimey this gets more comfortable the more i ride. I do regular 100 plus rides. I did 107 miles yesterday here in mallorca and amazingly a couple days before xmas its going to be 19 degrees here and sunny again today so im off out for another 100 miler in a min, and with the fit it just makes it that bit more comfortable. If your in a reasonable distance of adrian timis I would go and see him.
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    That sounds great jeff, today in uk is gale force winds :x

    Guy I know had a retul fit that cost £170 and didnt he change everything after it :roll: , sounds like this Timms dude knows his stuff as ive seen his name crop up on the net.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • + 1 for Adrian Timmis

    Best upgrade = bike fitting
  • Velonutter
    Velonutter Posts: 2,437
    suddons wrote:
    + 1 for Adrian Timmis

    Best upgrade = bike fitting

  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    Velonutter wrote:
    suddons wrote:
    + 1 for Adrian Timmis

    Best upgrade = bike fitting


    +7 Adrian did my bike fit, 2 cross bikes and a road fit for one of my boys and a road fit for my other lad
  • I had a £150 RETUL bike fit in Nottingham and I have to say I was very underwhelmed by the whole experience. They concentrated on the angle my knee makes and also the angle of my back - nothing else. The only thing they changed on my bike, infact the only thing that was discussed at all was the seat height. Maybe everything else was perfect (although with the seat being a good two inches too low I doubt it!!).
    I haven't been able to rider the thing too much since the fitting to know how effective it actually was, all I can say is that if i need another fitting i won't be having a RETUL one.
  • carl69
    carl69 Posts: 31
    Had a retul bike fit in derby, which to be honest was laughable or would have been if it hadn, t been for the hefty price tag. Same as previous poster the whole episode resulted in my seat being raised. That was it. Nothing to my reach despite me informing them of a very stiff neck after rides, in fact no other changes whatsoever. The change resulted in back and knee pain. This was rectified by Richard at pedal precision at the velodrome in Manchester who made numerous changes with the result being a comfortable and enjoyable ride. Bike fits obviously depend on the fitter and obviously my experience with the Derby retul representative was poor. Good fitters are out there just take advice from other riders experiences be that positive or negative and I, m sure you can find one to make your riding more enjoyable.
  • meesterbond
    meesterbond Posts: 1,240
    Just to balance up the Retul side, I had one done for my road and TT bike and it was excellent. I used John Dennis at Velomotion in Milton Keynes.

    The Retul kit, in the right hands, should be able to give a far more dynamic view of the pedal stroke etc etc than some of the methodologies, but it's only as good as the person using it - in fact, I guess there's a risk that some fitters rely on the technology instead of the bio-mechanical knowledge they should have.
    When my fit was done, John probably spent more time looking at me on the bike than the screens and any changes were recommended based on what the numbers said, what the video showed and what I was feeling.
  • I used the Specialized BG service at one of the Concept stores (in the London area.) Whilst I got to a solution for myself and my bike - I think - the store did not have adequate stock of some of the key items on which to ensure I went away with a final configuration that would have been derived from the fit. In other words, I had to order items that we felt 'should' work but were never actually tested during the 3 hours I spent with them. We are talking about standard Stems and Saddles from the Specialized range as well. And on top of this, I ended up having to travel back to the store to collect the bike once the parts had arrived and been fitted, without any further testing.

    On top of this, the cameras were not properly aligned and so I'm not entirely sure I got a set of results that looked consistent with what the online brochure said I should be getting. It is clear that Specialized do a a standard programme, however I'm not sure that even in the Concept stores that they have to follow it rigourously.

    And lastly, I think they should make the 3-4 hour fit, a little more of a pleasurable experience. So how about a simple cup of tea? After all, I did end up spending another £200 on bits. Don't get me wrong, the folks in store were friendly - perhaps my expectations of a Concept store are inline with what I get from an Apple Store and unfortunately there is a significant gap.

    In my view, a Fit does deliver benefit - but the stores need to deliver against the promise.
  • When I had a retul fit I asked about the front end of the bike being adjusted and it was not touched and told it was "personal preference" It was then I thought I had heard enough. Stick man was in the "parameters" but I certainly was not. (I am now thought after a fair bit of trial and error but still not totally happy) When funds allow I will get anouther TT bike im sure mines one size too big and buy it in the UK and see adrian with it before flying it back to mallorca much as i did with my road bike.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,467
    As others have said, don't pick a bike fit based on whether it is Retul, Specialized or whatever, pick it based on the reputation and experience of the fitter. They may or may not choose to use retul or whatever, but it will be the fitter, not the method, that determines whether it is worthwhile or not.
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    mawheele wrote:
    And lastly, I think they should make the 3-4 hour fit, a little more of a pleasurable experience. So how about a simple cup of tea? After all, I did end up spending another £200 on bits. .

    and therein lies a very real concern in that you go in to get a better fit and walk out a couple of hundred quid lighter.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • As others here have said Retul does not fit you to a bike it just provides the fitter with a lot of very useful and accurate data in a short period of time that would be very difficult to capture without the Retul equipment.

    However if the data is not used correctly or understood in relation to your requirements then the fitter will still not be able to really individually fit you.

    I'll say now that my girlfriend is a qualified Retul fitter. Her comment upon finishing the course was that some people on the course had little bike knowledge or understanding of the biomechanics of the riders and she was surprised they were doing the course. She has a "pretty" good cycling pedigree and has worked with some of the best coaches and physios around over the years so knows her stuff and the Retul course just gave her the tools to assess what position a person currently has before deciding what to adjust if necessary. However it still has taken her at least 3 hours for every fit so far due to all the time spent doing flexibility tests, assessment of strengths/weaknesses and talking through requirements/injuries/preferences...

    I think the danger with Retul as a brand is allowing too many people to qualify and practise badly. These bad fitters then damage a name/brand for all fitters who do use the software as an effective tool to provide a good service.

    Retul Bike Fits at Romero Performance
    2009 BMC SL-C Pro Machine Super Record
    1969 Carlton Longfellow Single Speed