DIY bike fit (youtube/websites) vs a pro fitter?

Red27 Posts: 26
edited June 2017 in Road beginners
I just purchased my first road bike (been mtbing for 25 years), a 2016 Trek Domane 4.0 disc and obviously it feels foreign being stretched out compared to my mtb. I know from test riding Trek, Specialized and Cannondales that I'm at least in the right ballpark size wise, if not on the exact right size of 56cm.

First off, I 100% plan to pay for a fit when the time is right but there are a couple things I want to figure out first. The first is that I bought a low-end bike to get started with so there is a good chance I will upgrade to a higher-end bike in the not too distant future. That said, after riding the other manufacturer's Rubaixesque bikes, I'm almost certain that I'd go with another Domane (probably an SLR) so maybe doing the bike fit now wouldn't be a waste of money (unless they tell me I should really be on a 58cm which both Trek dealers hinted towards).

Other considerations are, I'm a total newb so I don't know if I should get some miles under my belt first so that I'm at least consistent with my pedal stroke or whatever before going in. Would having bad form, or inconsistent form, throw off a fit since they use slo-mo cameras and there is a decent chance that my knees, hips, feet might be all over the place due to lack of mileage?

Or...can I watch some youtube videos or is there a good website where I can get myself close enough to rack up some miles and then wait until I upgrade to get the full bike fit done? FWIW, I have enough of an understanding to at least understand what they are talking about when I watch a bike fit video on youtube so I could probably talk my wife through measuring my kops, angle between tibia and femur, etc. Thanks!


  • joey54321
    joey54321 Posts: 1,297 ... RlMzU1N2Fi

    Will probably get you 90% of the way there (if you have an Iphone, though I am sure there will be similar apps for Android).

    As explained in the book, cycle fit is a window not an absolute. There is a range of positions your body will fit (if might be big, it might be small) and it's important not to get too obsessed once you know you're close.
  • davidof
    davidof Posts: 3,057
    Red27 wrote:
    I just purchased my first road bike (been mtbing for 25 years), a 2016 Trek Domane 4.0 disc

    Did you buy in a shop or online? The shop should have advised and set things up for you.

    I wouldn't get all OCD over bike fitting. As Joey says: "it's a window"

    The Trek is a compact frame so should accommodate a wide variety of body types. I would do the basics: saddle height, knee over pedal spindle position, saddle to handlebar position then ride a bit. If the bike seems way off based on a typical setup then maybe getting some outside help is a good idea before spending money on stems etc.
    BASI Nordic Ski Instructor
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    I did the same a few years back coming from mountain biking. The big difference is a road bike setup needs to be more accurate as you are not moving round the bike as much and jumping over trail hazards.

    Start by getting the saddle in the right position and ignore everything else. For the saddle height you want a slight bend in your leg, when the crank is down and in line with the seat tube you should just be able to lift yourself off the saddle in line with the seat tube keeping your foot level. For the saddle fore / aft position on the rails look up KOPS, which gets it roughly right and then adjust as needed. Check the manufacturers instructions for how to get the saddle level. Basically you just need to make sure you are on flat ground and use a spirit level. This will take a few rides to get spot on so take your time and the main thing is don't put the saddle too high as it causes strains / injuries and don't use the saddle position to adjust reach to the bars.

    Next think about your bar height and position. This is really personal preference and up to you. Ideally you want to be able to ride comfortably on the bar, hoods and drops without being too stretched out and having too much weight on your hands. A lot of bike setup guides assume you want a head down position and many people prefer to be more upright. Just whatever suits you really. If it is too low and stretched out flip the stem into the upright position.

    If it hurts it is probably not right , good luck :)
  • fat daddy
    fat daddy Posts: 2,605
    yeah I wouldn't pay for a bike fit at the beginning .. My flexibility and core strength has changed immensely over the last year and the position I am on the bike now I could have only dreamed of when I started ... how much of this is from riding everyday and how much is from my wife forcing me to do yoga I don't know .... but either way, the bike fit I would have had would be completely redundant by now.
  • Red27
    Red27 Posts: 26
    Thanks for all the help! That's kind of what I was thinking that I'm new enough at it that it may be premature for a pro bike fit. I bought the bike on CL, someone got it as a gift and rode it like 50 miles so I got it for 1/3rd the new price. I just ordered a new saddle as the Selle SMP pro that came on it almost brings me to tears, lol but I know my sit bone is on the wide side so I got a used Specialized Romin Evo 155 to try out. The Selle was so bad that I have limited my riding until I get a good seat so I'll start working on getting the seat fit dialed in this weekend.

    Regarding bar position, I'm wanting a more upright position (hence the Domane) and understand going with the 56cm will be a little less upright than the 58 due to the higher seat to bar position. Until I get in some decent rides it's probably premature to talk about what I'm feeling but on the hoods I feel really stretched out and a lot of weight on my hands. Riding on the bars is comfortable and in the drop position isn't bad.

    Is it true that your core is supposed to support your weight to where even stretched out on the hoods my hands shouldn't be supporting so much weight? That's what one shop told me and if that's true, that's my problem because I'm definitely putting a lot of weight on my hands.

    BTW-everything is stock on this bike so 100mm stem with no spacers on top so bars are about as high as can be. Once I get the saddle I will try to get everything dialed in best I can. Thanks for your help!
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    If you flip the stem upright it raises the bars.