Bike Fit

Afternoon all, I expect this question has been asked a fair few times but I am not the greatest on the world wide web so searching for things takes me twice as long as if I just asked the question, so here I am.

New guy to cycling, have a Ribble Reynolds that I have 36 spoke wheels on, which is due to my weight as I figured more spokes means more support, however my question is this:

Do you think it is worthwhile getting a proper bike fit done now when all I am doing is riding to lose weight, or is it better to wait until I have shed a few stone (yes stone!) and then have one?

Reason is I already look a bit of a tool in the lycra and what not but I don't want to make myself look even more stupid by asking a guy who does bike fits for guys who are racing and can manage more than 5 miles in a day to do one for a flabby whatsit like me, or am I just being a massive drama queen and need to get a grip?

Don't worry I'm a thick skinned northerner so I wont take offence at much, just after someone elses opinion (possible confirmation) really, I am desperate to get into cycling properly and use it as a new way of keeping healthy as I find gyms bore me (not that i have frequented one for many years) but prefer the fresh air and eventually want to join a cycling club, but again is the fear factor of being the slow fatty who's coughing up a lung after five minutes riding.


Big Rog


  • Longshot
    Longshot Posts: 940
    Hi Rog. I'm no lightweight myself so no weight-related insults from me.

    Firstly, good on you for getting into cycling and for trying to lose weight. Getting off your backside and doing something about it is the hardest thing.

    As to the bike fit, it is definitely worth getting some kind of bike fit if only to minimise the risk of injury or damage from being in the wrong position. In my opinion, you don't need to spend a fortune on it at this stage (you can do that later!) just get checked out by someone who knows what they're talking about.

    Seriously, there's a lot of us big guys about in the cycling world, just not on the podiums typically!

    Have a look at Fat Lad at the Back's social media feeds for example - they're northerners too so hopefully you'll get their tongue in cheek sense of humour. More importantly they're working hard to a) make money and b) attract larger would-be cyclists in to the sport and feel a bit less uncomfortable about themselves.

    Best of luck on your quest. If you have any fat guy cycling related questions, always ask - I may be able to point you in the right direction or at least to the right people!
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • Thanks for the reply, I think just getting someone to check over the fit is ok is a good idea and not do a full bike fit, I got my bike from Ebay so how open are local bike shops to me asking them to take a look? I wouldn't be so cheeky as to not buy something from them or pay them for it obviously as I know its a hard world out there at the moment and hopefully that would pave the way for a decent relationship with them

    Re Fat Lad at The Back, i have just ordered some stuff from there, looks decent kit, bit pricey maybe but I guess you get what you pay for and as long as it fits me as well as it can do despite my big tummy then hopefully I wont receive too much abuse from passing cars!
  • Longshot
    Longshot Posts: 940
    Decathlon is another shop that has some larger stuff in at a keener price point than FLAB, but doesn't go as big sized.

    Just talk to the guys in your local bike shops and explain to them the situation. Ask nicely for some advice in exchange for your business!
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • Excellent i will do that, just think i need to get over the size issue and view myself as a cyclist trying to sort myself out, focus on the bigger prize and not what i am right now, anyway cheers again for the advice i will look on Decathlon as well and see what they have
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    You could post a side on photo of you on the bike, here. It's not definitive, but we could take a look and offer some advice or pointers?

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
  • Ben6899 said:

    You could post a side on photo of you on the bike, here. It's not definitive, but we could take a look and offer some advice or pointers?

    Oooh good lord I'm not sure I am ready for that amount of publicity at this moment in time! Imagine a rhino riding a wasp and you may get the idea of why i am a little cautious!

    Thanks for the offer and if I can pluck up the courage I may do so, but then I will be opening myself up to ridicule once its on the World Wide Web! :#
  • hopkinb
    hopkinb Posts: 7,129
    Basically if you're not getting any pain, you're OK.

    A good rule of thumb for saddle height is that when the pedal is at 6 o clock, your heel should just reach the pedal. Similarly, when the pedal is at 3 o clock, your knee should be more or less directly over the pedal spindle. Finally, when you're on the hoods and look down you shouldn't be able to see the axle of your front wheel. Cleat position if you ride clipless is also important - your legs should rotate in the same plane, with no significant lateral movement.

    All these are rules of thumb though, and if you are getting pain after a few weeks of riding, then paying for a bike fit might be a good idea.

    Good luck with the weight loss - I started commuting and riding for leisure 7 years ago and have dropped from 102kg to 85kg, trouser size down from 38 to 33. No racing snake, but at 184 cm, I'm just about in the healthy BMI range.

    There are all sorts of shapes and sizes of people on bikes, and only a d!ck will laugh at how someone looks on a bike, and they are best ignored.
  • Cheers for the advice, I will check that tonight on the bike and just use it as a guide, congrats on the weight loss too, I've just got to the stage where its either try and sort it now or sit back and wait for the medical problems to come along and thats something i really dont fancy as an option to be truthful.

    I get to the Lakes quite a bit, on my motorised bike which makes life a lot easier, but whilst doing the passes this year I noticed a fair few cyclists and thought to myself thats a goal to set, so i want to get to a position where i can ride at least one of the passes by this time next year, will take a lot of hard work and dedication but beats sitting on the sofa eating pizza and kebabs!

  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    edited December 2019
    Just ride - and try and adjust fit so you feel ok - A bike fit IMO is only necessary when :-

    1: you can not get comfortable on the bike

    2: You are searching for marginal gains - ie serious racer.....
  • No need for fit, its one more thing that people needlessly worry about when theyre starting out.

    Riding a little and often to avoid injury and exhaustion is the way and time position fitness weight and flexibility will develop.

    Enjoy :)
  • shiznit76
    shiznit76 Posts: 640
    you should be able to pic enough info off videos on youtube from lieks of GCN to get your fit right, assuming you got the right sized bike in first place.
    Ride small miles , say 10 miles or so to begin with, preferably on flattish roads and build up from there. Don;t head out to the hills just yet, buiild up to them. Unless you have big gears on your bike (34 tooth inner ring at front and 32 tooth at the back) you will struggle with hills when you first start out, but putting in the miles will stregnthing your legs, and shed some timber.
    Oh, and don;t be tempted to but some casteli gear just now (the stuff with the wee scorpion on you see so many cyclists wearing) They are sized for Italian jockeys!
    Good luck, and welcome to the club
  • roypsb
    roypsb Posts: 309
    If you’re comfortable in your riding position then it could be detrimental.

    I got a new bike last year and as part of the deal, I got a bike fit. A premium fit due to the price point of the bike, the fit process took about 1.5 hours.

    An excellent experience and hugely informative. However, Soon afterwards I found I was getting extreme sit bone pain when riding 20+ miles, which I’ve done pain free for years.

    I thought it could be the new saddle so tried swapping it for my old one, but in the same bike fitted prescribed position. No change, still lots of pain.

    The biggest change to my riding position from the bike fit was the saddle position. It was considerably further forward than I’d been used to, 2 to 3 cm. so I tried moving the saddle back and eventually got to a point where the sit bone pain was no more.

    So whilst the more forward position could well be much more efficient from a performance perspective, comfort wise it was hopeless.

    So if your comfortable and performance is not paramount, you could be wasting your time and money.