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Professional Bike Fit.??

jamie77jamie77 Posts: 102
edited September 2015 in Road general
Hi
I have been cycling for about 8 months & really enjoying it. Infact i have just purchased my first Carbon Bike. BUT
I am wondering if it is worth getting a proper bike fit from people that know there shuff? I know it about £200+, but is it worth it?

Advice Please.!!

Thank You :D

Posts

  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,733
    Are you uncomfortable whilst riding, any major aches and pains during or after a ride, these are possible reasons for a bike fit.

    Some will swear by a bike fit others not, your money your choice.
  • I am at the same stage as you that I am about to get my first 'nice bike',this will last me a few years before i look to upgrade.
    I have been riding an old racing bike from the 90s while I was getting back into it.
    I personally am having a bike fit as I feel with the investment in the bike it is worth getting the bike set up correctly to get the most from the experience of having a nice bike.

    Phil.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,814
    I had a Retul fit done 2 years ago and it made a hell of a difference.
    They completely changed my position and, after an adjustment period, i found my back issues disappeared, the bike was more comfortable and my performance levels improved.

    It is a lot of money but i highly recommend it.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,518
    I know two people who have had bike fits and they both came out wondering if it was worth it, it was virtually a couple of millimetres adjustment of the saddle height and "improve your core strength".
    Will a 2mm adjustment of you saddle height make a differences? If you believe that I'd guess that you'd adjust your saddle height every time you buy a new set of bibs, because the padding on a new set of bibs must be at least a 2mm thicker than your old bibs.
  • Are you uncomfortable whilst riding, any major aches and pains during or after a ride, these are possible reasons for a bike fit.

    Some will swear by a bike fit others not, your money your choice.

    I agree with this post. I'm in the "why bother" camp. I had one, it worked but since having one I've changed various components, dropped the stem height and adjusted the saddle position.

    I like to put my bike on the turbo trainer and adjust things on there. If you change one thing at a time you can see how it goes and then adjust again and again until you get it how YOU like it. Remember, there is no "right" way of configuring your bike, the professionals will have their opinions but ultimately you will ride it so you need to be happy with the setup.
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    I was in the why bother camp but I kept getting knee soreness - went to Condor (a hundred quid) they made a few minor changes to footbeds, cleat position, a shim in right shoe, etc. All very silly and no way it could really make a difference - but it did cure my knee soreness.

    Now completely in the swear by it camp
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,437
    Are you uncomfortable whilst riding, any major aches and pains during or after a ride, these are possible reasons for a bike fit.

    Some will swear by a bike fit others not, your money your choice.

    I agree with this post. I'm in the "why bother" camp. I had one, it worked but since having one I've changed various components, dropped the stem height and adjusted the saddle position.

    I like to put my bike on the turbo trainer and adjust things on there. If you change one thing at a time you can see how it goes and then adjust again and again until you get it how YOU like it. Remember, there is no "right" way of configuring your bike, the professionals will have their opinions but ultimately you will ride it so you need to be happy with the setup.

    Then IMO, the fit you had wasn't a good one (unless you've changed things because you're fitter, or through injury or whatever, in which case it's not the fitters fault).

    It's the fitters job to get your fit how you want it, and that's where a good fitter with experience comes in. I haven't changed a single thing since my fit 9 months ago, it's perfect.
  • DizeeeDizeee Posts: 337
    A good riding friend of mine had one and told me not to bother, he spent a good wad of money and found that the fit was pretty uneventful and inconclusive.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,437
    A good riding friend of mine had one and told me not to bother, he spent a good wad of money and found that the fit was pretty uneventful and inconclusive.

    Again, probably a poor fitter. As my fitter told me, although they are great tools, the trouble with these systems (Retul etc) is that anyone can go on a two day course then call themselves a bike fitter.

    It is up to people to do some research before parting with their money though, you wouldn't take your car to a random garage just because they advertise the fact they use snap-on tools - you want to know that the mechanics know what they're doing.
  • I recently came across this site and he looks very thorough and gets good reviews:
    http://www.garrykirkbikefitting.com/
    If I was young and planning to race, I think a professional bike fit would be worth it. If just a leisure cyclist like I am, I would be reluctant to pay for a bike fit. I have recently bought a shorter stem and been replacing and adjusting my saddle etc. to try to find the most comfortable position. Next time I buy a new bike I would like to get some sort of bike fit for free, which I think would do for me.
  • I'm in the "don't bother" camp. Mine was an utter waste of time and money.

    In my experience, get the correct size of bike (which any good lbs should be able to find for you) and you will be able to find a good position on it with a little trial and error.
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    Well I had a Rutel bike fit on the weekend and the chap doing the fit came recommended by a couple of riders at my club, I must admit it was a lengthy process and I was pretty impressed with the technology behind it, however the position I ended up with is the opposite to what I thought I would?

    Apparently my saddle was way too high and pushed back too far, my cleats were way too far forward, and my bars were too low, which shocked me as I could do 3-4 hour rides quite comfortably prior to the fit and my average speed wasn’t too shabby either.

    I completely understood the saddle height changes as this was a bit trial and error for me and it made sense when related to the cleat position on my shoes which were at the most forward position, basically as my saddle was too high I was rocking slightly when pedalling, and I was also riding in a toes down position because of this, the saddle was dropped by almost 4cm. The saddle was also moved forward in the clamp to give me a better position over the cranks, all of this I understood, and it did feel more comfortable when riding home afterwards.

    What did shock me was the bar height, apparently the best angle for your back is 40 degrees and mine was closer to 32 degrees which was restricting my breathing a bit and also meant I was losing power, the bars were raised and the estimate given was this should possibly yield 20-30 watts extra in power, plus I would be able to ride longer with no pain on numbness in my hands (something I suffered with on occasion). Riding home the bars felt awfully high and I felt very upright, the saddle to bar drop has changed from around 16cm to just under 10 cm, I am going to give it a go and get used to the position but at the moment it just feels very wrong?

    The other outcome was that I should actually be riding a 54cm bike (or one with a 55cm top-tube) instead of a 56cm, so it looks like I am going to be bike shopping over the coming months for a new bike for next year.

    I pick up a hard copy of my data this afternoon and they are also going to email me the data this evening. All in all I was impressed by the whole experience, my only concerns are the new bar position as I was always under the impression that the lower the bar position you can ride with comfortably the better as its more aero etc, I suppose time will tell.
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • Well I had a Rutel bike fit on the weekend and the chap doing the fit came recommended by a couple of riders at my club, I must admit it was a lengthy process and I was pretty impressed with the technology behind it, however the position I ended up with is the opposite to what I thought I would?

    Apparently my saddle was way too high and pushed back too far, my cleats were way too far forward, and my bars were too low, which shocked me as I could do 3-4 hour rides quite comfortably prior to the fit and my average speed wasn’t too shabby either.

    I completely understood the saddle height changes as this was a bit trial and error for me and it made sense when related to the cleat position on my shoes which were at the most forward position, basically as my saddle was too high I was rocking slightly when pedalling, and I was also riding in a toes down position because of this, the saddle was dropped by almost 4cm. The saddle was also moved forward in the clamp to give me a better position over the cranks, all of this I understood, and it did feel more comfortable when riding home afterwards.

    What did shock me was the bar height, apparently the best angle for your back is 40 degrees and mine was closer to 32 degrees which was restricting my breathing a bit and also meant I was losing power, the bars were raised and the estimate given was this should possibly yield 20-30 watts extra in power, plus I would be able to ride longer with no pain on numbness in my hands (something I suffered with on occasion). Riding home the bars felt awfully high and I felt very upright, the saddle to bar drop has changed from around 16cm to just under 10 cm, I am going to give it a go and get used to the position but at the moment it just feels very wrong?

    The other outcome was that I should actually be riding a 54cm bike (or one with a 55cm top-tube) instead of a 56cm, so it looks like I am going to be bike shopping over the coming months for a new bike for next year.

    I pick up a hard copy of my data this afternoon and they are also going to email me the data this evening. All in all I was impressed by the whole experience, my only concerns are the new bar position as I was always under the impression that the lower the bar position you can ride with comfortably the better as its more aero etc, I suppose time will tell.

    No expert but a more upright position may yield an increase in power but actually make you slower.
  • debelidebeli Posts: 583
    I can well understand that a professional cyclist (and indeed the team management) might want the team to benefit from some professional input from a specialist in sports ergonomics or similar. This seems entirely logical and sensible.

    Similarly, an amateur or keen rider with a particular build or injury history might benefit from some wise words from a professional ergo-wizard with a set square and a measuring thingy and a camera.

    However, most of us fall into the lumpen average of size and shape and fit. We can move a component this way and that and we can (usually) feel the impact one adjustment has on another area of fit. It does not involve opening the skull or getting into outer space.... partly because it is neither brain surgery nor rocket science.

    I will tell a short story: My daughter has (partly) my genes and therefore stands 5'2" in bare feet. Many years ago, when she was learning to drive, her instinct was to get super-close to the wheel and pedals. One sees many shorter drivers (often women) doing this. Seat back upright, hands at ten-to-two and elbows almost rubbing the bottom of the wheel. Face inches from (these days) the airbag.

    My daughter (now a super whizzbang expert driver) was finding it difficult to move the controls, operate the handbrake and all sorts of other things. So we sat her in the car and moved the seat and wheel about until she was comfortable and could do everything comfortably. Her arms were straight-ish and her nose was far from the wheel. Her instructor noticed an improvement in her confidence straight away. She loves to drive. I know many drivers of around her height who look trussed up and nervous and nose-to-the-wheel in even small cars. They do not enjoy driving. They are not comfortable and cannot operate the vehicle as intended. My daughter did not need a professional fit. She needed to have a think and a Winnie-the-Pooh-style ho-hum about how to sit.

    She also loves to cycle - and has a nice if aged and creaking 48cm Pinarello Angliru Alloy 'Far East Special'. Not posh, but lively and with nice geometry and components. We set it up for her just the same way as we did the car seat and wheel. It fits her. She is fast and she loves it.

    By all means have a pro fit if you are a pro or have a major discomfort or injury issue, but if not, then just have one if you want to rank yourself (and want others to rank you) a 'serious' cyclist because you chuck money and conspicuous consumerism at what is essentially a practical hobby.

    I may be biased in this matter, but I am also right.
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    No expert but a more upright position may yield an increase in power but actually make you slower.

    I think the more upright position is meant to make me more comfortable on the bike over longer distances but we will see, I do know that how I sit on the bike in relation to saddle position and cleat position is more comfortable, but having a higher body position does seem counter intuitive to putting out more power and going faster.

    I suppose time will tell.
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • My feeling on the whole bike fit is this: Many will spend £800-£1000 on a wheelset that will probably give then no real improvement and yet recoil at the idea of spending £150 on something that may give them an improvement. (I would like to point out that I have never had a bikefit, though I am not against the idea. I have also never spent £1000 on some wheels)
  • JesseDJesseD Posts: 1,961
    I can well understand that a professional cyclist (and indeed the team management) might want the team to benefit from some professional input from a specialist in sports ergonomics or similar. This seems entirely logical and sensible.

    Similarly, an amateur or keen rider with a particular build or injury history might benefit from some wise words from a professional ergo-wizard with a set square and a measuring thingy and a camera.

    However, most of us fall into the lumpen average of size and shape and fit. We can move a component this way and that and we can (usually) feel the impact one adjustment has on another area of fit. It does not involve opening the skull or getting into outer space.... partly because it is neither brain surgery nor rocket science.

    I will tell a short story: My daughter has (partly) my genes and therefore stands 5'2" in bare feet. Many years ago, when she was learning to drive, her instinct was to get super-close to the wheel and pedals. One sees many shorter drivers (often women) doing this. Seat back upright, hands at ten-to-two and elbows almost rubbing the bottom of the wheel. Face inches from (these days) the airbag.

    My daughter (now a super whizzbang expert driver) was finding it difficult to move the controls, operate the handbrake and all sorts of other things. So we sat her in the car and moved the seat and wheel about until she was comfortable and could do everything comfortably. Her arms were straight-ish and her nose was far from the wheel. Her instructor noticed an improvement in her confidence straight away. She loves to drive. I know many drivers of around her height who look trussed up and nervous and nose-to-the-wheel in even small cars. They do not enjoy driving. They are not comfortable and cannot operate the vehicle as intended. My daughter did not need a professional fit. She needed to have a think and a Winnie-the-Pooh-style ho-hum about how to sit.

    She also loves to cycle - and has a nice if aged and creaking 48cm Pinarello Angliru Alloy 'Far East Special'. Not posh, but lively and with nice geometry and components. We set it up for her just the same way as we did the car seat and wheel. It fits her. She is fast and she loves it.

    By all means have a pro fit if you are a pro or have a major discomfort or injury issue, but if not, then just have one if you want to rank yourself (and want others to rank you) a 'serious' cyclist because you chuck money and conspicuous consumerism at what is essentially a practical hobby.

    I may be biased in this matter, but I am also right.

    Started to write a long post in response but thought what's the point, glad your daughter is a great driver but am a little lost as how this relates to bike position and bike fit?
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Debeli - you have actually made the case for a third party involvement in fit for cars and bikes. Now if that third party is a trained professional with lots of experience then this can only increase the chances of that fit being perfect.

    Plus, does your daughter drive 8-10 hours in a day, or cycle the same amount? If she is only doing relatively shorter times then any slight problems with fit might not show up yet.

    Plus, fit in a car is generally easier as you are not exercising at a high rate constantly while driving.
  • debelidebeli Posts: 583
    Debeli - you have actually made the case for a third party involvement in fit for cars and bikes. Now if that third party is a trained professional with lots of experience then this can only increase the chances of that fit being perfect.

    Plus, does your daughter drive 8-10 hours in a day, or cycle the same amount? If she is only doing relatively shorter times then any slight problems with fit might not show up yet.

    Plus, fit in a car is generally easier as you are not exercising at a high rate constantly while driving.

    Absolutely; I am strongly in favour of third-party involvement. Very strongly.

    My parents gave me my first 'bike fit' when I was tiny. After that, a wise old wag at the bike shop... later still friends who'd ridden behind me or 'silverbacks' at the local club. Any elegant idea I've put into practice about setting up a bicycle has come from the mouth of another.

    But... I didn't pay for the ideas in pounds, shillings and ounces. They were offered as helpful hints. I have no scorn for those who want to pay for this advice, but I see them much as I see people who would pay to be taught how to boil an egg or make a coffee. It strikes me as a sort of 'what else can we flog to the followers of this new retail faith?' proposition.

    As to 8-10 hours in a day... My daughter certainly does those distances on a bicycle - and I've trogged along with her on a couple of charity rides for rather longer. I don't think she's ever driven for that long in a day.... but times (and attitudes to long hours at the wheel) have changed since my pro-plus-fuelled mad drives into continental Europe as a youth.

    I have no issue with the messianic proponents of professional bike-fit, but I cannot help noticing that no members of my club have gone that way.... I think the emperor looks quite lovely after his professional bikefit, but he also seems blissfully unaware that he is stark-censored naked.

    I am, as ever, right.
  • I find this all a bit annoying. It is completely normal to have the wrong seat height and to try to get too "pro" in one's position. Any good bike shop, or indeed your riding buddies, should be able to spot an unusually large drop to the bars, or overly straight knees suggestive of the seat being too high.

    The retul motion capture stuff is just window dressing, at this level. And expensive window dressing at that.

    Oh, and all retul fitters are telling people to have their cleats further back at the moment. I am willing to bet that it's a fad. The theory goes that power is lost if cleats are too far forward. Generations of cyclists failed to notice. As soon as there is a research paper suggesting something contrary, that'll be the new advice.

    A bit like dieticians really.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,437
    Debeli - you have actually made the case for a third party involvement in fit for cars and bikes. Now if that third party is a trained professional with lots of experience then this can only increase the chances of that fit being perfect.

    Plus, does your daughter drive 8-10 hours in a day, or cycle the same amount? If she is only doing relatively shorter times then any slight problems with fit might not show up yet.

    Plus, fit in a car is generally easier as you are not exercising at a high rate constantly while driving.

    Absolutely; I am strongly in favour of third-party involvement. Very strongly.

    My parents gave me my first 'bike fit' when I was tiny. After that, a wise old wag at the bike shop... later still friends who'd ridden behind me or 'silverbacks' at the local club. Any elegant idea I've put into practice about setting up a bicycle has come from the mouth of another.

    But... I didn't pay for the ideas in pounds, shillings and ounces. They were offered as helpful hints. I have no scorn for those who want to pay for this advice, but I see them much as I see people who would pay to be taught how to boil an egg or make a coffee. It strikes me as a sort of 'what else can we flog to the followers of this new retail faith?' proposition.

    As to 8-10 hours in a day... My daughter certainly does those distances on a bicycle - and I've trogged along with her on a couple of charity rides for rather longer. I don't think she's ever driven for that long in a day.... but times (and attitudes to long hours at the wheel) have changed since my pro-plus-fuelled mad drives into continental Europe as a youth.

    I have no issue with the messianic proponents of professional bike-fit, but I cannot help noticing that no members of my club have gone that way.... I think the emperor looks quite lovely after his professional bikefit, but he also seems blissfully unaware that he is stark-censored naked.

    I am, as ever, right.

    I'm unsure why what other people spend some of their money on bothers you so much? I'd also hazard a guess that your club miust be the only one in the country where nobody has had a bike fit.

    Rides out must be a blast, nobody daring to say they've spent money on anything for fear of being ridiculed.
  • Debeli - you have actually made the case for a third party involvement in fit for cars and bikes. Now if that third party is a trained professional with lots of experience then this can only increase the chances of that fit being perfect.

    Plus, does your daughter drive 8-10 hours in a day, or cycle the same amount? If she is only doing relatively shorter times then any slight problems with fit might not show up yet.

    Plus, fit in a car is generally easier as you are not exercising at a high rate constantly while driving.

    Absolutely; I am strongly in favour of third-party involvement. Very strongly.

    My parents gave me my first 'bike fit' when I was tiny. After that, a wise old wag at the bike shop... later still friends who'd ridden behind me or 'silverbacks' at the local club. Any elegant idea I've put into practice about setting up a bicycle has come from the mouth of another.

    But... I didn't pay for the ideas in pounds, shillings and ounces. They were offered as helpful hints. I have no scorn for those who want to pay for this advice, but I see them much as I see people who would pay to be taught how to boil an egg or make a coffee. It strikes me as a sort of 'what else can we flog to the followers of this new retail faith?' proposition.

    As to 8-10 hours in a day... My daughter certainly does those distances on a bicycle - and I've trogged along with her on a couple of charity rides for rather longer. I don't think she's ever driven for that long in a day.... but times (and attitudes to long hours at the wheel) have changed since my pro-plus-fuelled mad drives into continental Europe as a youth.

    I have no issue with the messianic proponents of professional bike-fit, but I cannot help noticing that no members of my club have gone that way.... I think the emperor looks quite lovely after his professional bikefit, but he also seems blissfully unaware that he is stark-censored naked.

    I am, as ever, right.

    I'm unsure why what other people spend some of their money on bothers you so much? I'd also hazard a guess that your club miust be the only one in the country where nobody has had a bike fit.

    Rides out must be a blast, nobody daring to say they've spent money on anything for fear of being ridiculed.
    The other thing that occurred to me whilst reading that post is how many hundreds of pounds they must have spent on club fees over the years. Not everyone can or wants to be part of a cycle club in order to get free advice. (BTW I also have no problem with anyone who likes being in a cycle club)
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    Compare if you will, the outcome of two "bike fits" that I had done:
    (a) the fit with Rourke when I was being measured up. This didn't touch on the foot/pedal interface (shims/wedges) but I would like to think they got the geometry and saddle/bars placement spot on. This "fitting" was free as part of the service.
    (b) full bike fit with The Bike Whisperer, focusing more on the foot/pedal interface, but also looking at the person/bike fit that Rourke should have got spot on.

    Indeed, the bike/person fit WAS spot on, so confirms that Rourke can do this by eye and very quickly too.
    The foot/pedal interface is more tricky and takes a lot more time.

    I would therefore conclude that if you want a bike fit, choose:
    - a cheap service if its just the person/bike fit you're concerned about, this should be quick, straight forward and not need to involve lots of expensive jigs.
    - a more comprehensive (and costly) service if you also want to the foot/pedal interface looked at.
    If you want to go to town to get the best possible position for that last watt of power, then by all means pay a lot more for the service you'll need. Its horses for courses.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • debelidebeli Posts: 583

    I'm unsure why what other people spend some of their money on bothers you so much? I'd also hazard a guess that your club miust be the only one in the country where nobody has had a bike fit.

    Rides out must be a blast, nobody daring to say they've spent money on anything for fear of being ridiculed.

    I'm sorry. I've given the wrong impression. It bothers me not at all how people spend their money. At the club I used to attend more than I do now (being old and fat) I never had the slightest issue with some noble young gun showing up for a club TT on the latest carbo-fantastic TT whizzbang, wearing a condom and with a pointy egg on his head. In truth, these plastic missiles always tore me to pieces over any distance.... And even if they hadn't, it was no business of mine. It is quite a fun club.

    I am a terrible mis-user of money and have no right to judge, even if I wanted to. On sunny days I knock around in a 1950s roadster that can have no possible investment benefit and certainly isn't as fast as my daily-drive econobox. The roadster is a waste of space and of money. People have every right to pour scorn on the old rust box, but to me it is beautiful and sounds like heaven. I also spend an absurd amount on tools for the garden and plants that amuse me. It is almost a crime.... So I have no right to judge.

    Our club runs (when I went on them) were actually quite a giggle - and I don't imagine anyone was afraid to admit to anything. Quite the reverse; I was thought odd by some for being too tight to cough up for tri-bars. I dare say I am.

    I do not judge others on how they spend their money... but I do giggle quietly to myself at the slightly messianic zeal of some posters about the wondrous effect of having a chap tell you you might need to spend a couple of quid on a longer stem and a shorter sniff-gurgler.... It really does seem to me like people taking it all slightly more seriously than is strictly necessary. I may be wrong.
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    The other benefit for me (which nobody mentioned) is having an expert bike fitter put you in a position means an end to endless setup tinkering as you know you are now riding something that *should* be right. FYI mine was worth every penny.
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