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Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 16th 04, 05:41 AM
Mike
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Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

I am searching for a new road bike and I am looking for advice on fit
checks/measurements. I have heard a range of things from a minimum of
a quick visual check to limited measurements to an extreme of paying
$75 for a two hour fitting.

Is it worth paying this type of money for fittings? What questions
should I be asking about their measurements/techniques?

From what I have researched, the key measurements are : frame size,
seat height, seat location (front/back) and handlebar to seat height
difference.

Thanks
Mike
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  #2  
Old February 16th 04, 06:18 AM
Mike Jacoubowsky
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Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

I am searching for a new road bike and I am looking for advice on fit
checks/measurements. I have heard a range of things from a minimum of
a quick visual check to limited measurements to an extreme of paying
$75 for a two hour fitting.

Is it worth paying this type of money for fittings? What questions
should I be asking about their measurements/techniques?


$75 for two hours of fitting consultation from somebody who knows what
they're doing is hardly extreme; that would qualify as one of the great buys
in my book! That's not to say it's required though; many shops do an
excellent job of fitting as part of the sale of the bike.

From what I have researched, the key measurements are : frame size,
seat height, seat location (front/back) and handlebar to seat height
difference.


Those might be the key measurements, but they're meaningless without
context. Well, not exactly meaningless, as they represent a starting point
for the fit process. Anybody who tells you that measurements alone are the
answer doesn't have a clue in the world about being comfortable on a bike.
They might know something about how *they* ride, but this is about *you.*

Another thing to keep in mind is that even the best fit person in the world
isn't going to be able to anticipate everything. Fit is, in many cases,
dynamic, and a proper fit sometimes takes a number of readjustments over
time. Make sure wherever you go that they aren't going to run away from you
later on.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Mike" wrote in message
om...
I am searching for a new road bike and I am looking for advice on fit
checks/measurements. I have heard a range of things from a minimum of
a quick visual check to limited measurements to an extreme of paying
$75 for a two hour fitting.

Is it worth paying this type of money for fittings? What questions
should I be asking about their measurements/techniques?

From what I have researched, the key measurements are : frame size,
seat height, seat location (front/back) and handlebar to seat height
difference.

Thanks
Mike



  #4  
Old February 16th 04, 10:37 PM
Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

I think the computerised bike fit systems in decent road bike shops
are well worth the money. A proper fitting from someone who knows what
they are doing is even better. If the bike is going to cost $2,000 or
more it's a no-brainer.


The usefulness and joy of a bike doesn't come from its price, but rather
from how fun it is to ride. Why should somebody take advantage of being
properly fit on a $2000 bike and not a $600 one? If we, as an industry, did
a better job of fitting people to $600 bikes, they'd spend a *lot* more time
out on the road, a lot less time in the garage, and, in the end, we'd sell a
lot more $2000 bikes.

It's reasonable to expect a more detailed, finely-tuned fitting on somebody
who has ridden a road bike extensively already, compared to somebody new to
the concept (because it's going to take a while for the new rider to
recognize what makes for a more comfortable ride, and to accomplish that
leap-of-faith required to believe that a skinnier saddle and road-type bars
can do that). But it's not reasonable to think that the $600 bike doesn't
benefit as much, and possibly even more so, from being fit properly to the
rider.

--Mike--
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com

"Just zis Guy, you know?" wrote in message
...
On 15 Feb 2004 20:41:46 -0800, (Mike) wrote in
message :

I am searching for a new road bike and I am looking for advice on fit
checks/measurements. I have heard a range of things from a minimum of
a quick visual check to limited measurements to an extreme of paying
$75 for a two hour fitting.


Is it worth paying this type of money for fittings? What questions
should I be asking about their measurements/techniques?


It entirely depends how much you're going to pay for the bike, or
whether (like my LBS) they give you the money back if you buy.

I think the computerised bike fit systems in decent road bike shops
are well worth the money. A proper fitting from someone who knows what
they are doing is even better. If the bike is going to cost $2,000 or
more it's a no-brainer.

Guy
===
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at the University of

Washington.


  #5  
Old February 16th 04, 11:14 PM
Peter Cole
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

"Mike" wrote in message
om...
I am searching for a new road bike and I am looking for advice on fit
checks/measurements. I have heard a range of things from a minimum of
a quick visual check to limited measurements to an extreme of paying
$75 for a two hour fitting.

Is it worth paying this type of money for fittings? What questions
should I be asking about their measurements/techniques?

From what I have researched, the key measurements are : frame size,
seat height, seat location (front/back) and handlebar to seat height
difference.


I'm very skeptical about bike fittings. Most of the parameters boil down to
individual preference. It would be great to have a completely adjustable bike
that you could actually ride around on, but even that wouldn't tell you how it
would feel after a few hours. Besides, from what I've seen, most shops sell
bikes that are poorly suited to the rider's needs, fit is usually tweakable
after sale, models are not. You'd be much better off spending an extra $75 for
a sales-droid with a clue.


  #6  
Old February 17th 04, 12:58 AM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 21:37:30 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction
Bicycles" wrote in message
:

The usefulness and joy of a bike doesn't come from its price, but rather
from how fun it is to ride. Why should somebody take advantage of being
properly fit on a $2000 bike and not a $600 one? If we, as an industry, did
a better job of fitting people to $600 bikes, they'd spend a *lot* more time
out on the road, a lot less time in the garage, and, in the end, we'd sell a
lot more $2000 bikes.


Would you spend 20% of the cost of the bike getting it fitted? In my
LBS it's not an issue, you get the money back if you buy a bike.

Guy
===
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
  #7  
Old February 17th 04, 02:22 AM
Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

Would you spend 20% of the cost of the bike getting it fitted? In my
LBS it's not an issue, you get the money back if you buy a bike.


If it made the difference between a bike that was fun to ride and one that
wasn't, it might be worth it. But it's academic for the most part; the
fittings we do are part of the service we offer with bikes we sell,
regardless of price. Even a $500 TREK 1000 customer doesn't leave the door
without being properly fit (which means, at minimum, the various common
measurements, along with checking out his/her position on the bike
afterward, looking for indications that something might need further
adjustment).

The biggest mistake comes when people make the purchase of that first road
bike. The better shops essentially subsidize that purchase, by putting in
more time & effort making sure everything is just right than makes sense
economically. But it's worth it, because if we can get people hooked on
cycling, they come back for more and more and more. Jerseys, shorts,
helmets, shoes, computers, racks, seat bags, tools, pumps... The shop that
just pushes a bike across the counter and congratulates themselves on making
a sale is a sad place, because not only is the shop losing out on a
continuing revenue stream, but the customer is losing out because they may
very well add cycling to that long list of things they spent a bunch of
money on but didn't work out.

--Mike--
Chain Reaction Bicycles

"Just zis Guy, you know?" wrote in message
...
On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 21:37:30 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction
Bicycles" wrote in message
:

The usefulness and joy of a bike doesn't come from its price, but rather
from how fun it is to ride. Why should somebody take advantage of being
properly fit on a $2000 bike and not a $600 one? If we, as an industry,

did
a better job of fitting people to $600 bikes, they'd spend a *lot* more

time
out on the road, a lot less time in the garage, and, in the end, we'd

sell a
lot more $2000 bikes.


Would you spend 20% of the cost of the bike getting it fitted? In my
LBS it's not an issue, you get the money back if you buy a bike.

Guy
===
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University



  #8  
Old February 17th 04, 12:34 PM
Mike
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

"Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles" wrote in message . com...
Would you spend 20% of the cost of the bike getting it fitted? In my
LBS it's not an issue, you get the money back if you buy a bike.


If it made the difference between a bike that was fun to ride and one that
wasn't, it might be worth it. But it's academic for the most part; the
fittings we do are part of the service we offer with bikes we sell,
regardless of price. Even a $500 TREK 1000 customer doesn't leave the door
without being properly fit (which means, at minimum, the various common
measurements, along with checking out his/her position on the bike
afterward, looking for indications that something might need further
adjustment).

The biggest mistake comes when people make the purchase of that first road
bike. The better shops essentially subsidize that purchase, by putting in
more time & effort making sure everything is just right than makes sense
economically. But it's worth it, because if we can get people hooked on
cycling, they come back for more and more and more. Jerseys, shorts,
helmets, shoes, computers, racks, seat bags, tools, pumps... The shop that
just pushes a bike across the counter and congratulates themselves on making
a sale is a sad place, because not only is the shop losing out on a
continuing revenue stream, but the customer is losing out because they may
very well add cycling to that long list of things they spent a bunch of
money on but didn't work out.


Mike - I agree with you - that is part of the reason for my question.
When I bought my first road bike 10 years ago, I paid $400 for it but
got a 1/2 hr fitting with a bunch of measurements just like the guy
that bought a $2000 bike. Unfortunately, the person doing the fit was
a bike racer and didn't take the time to understand how I was going to
ride the bike and set everything up for racing - I think that's part
of the reason that I hated my old bike so much and eventually gave up
riding for a number of years...

Now, I am looking at a $1500 - $2000 bike and was suprised that they
want to charge me an additional $75 - $100 for a fitting at some
places. Their contention is that the shops that aren't charging are
not doing a proper fit. That is what drove one of my other questions
- is there a basic set of measurements that should be done that I
could ask each of the shops to see if they are doing an apples to
apples fit?

Thanks
  #9  
Old February 17th 04, 05:56 PM
Ken
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

(Mike) wrote in
om:
- is there a basic set of measurements that should be done that I
could ask each of the shops to see if they are doing an apples to
apples fit?


You can find a basic fit calculator at
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/
This should give you a starting point, if you're really careful about taking
your measurements. Some things like saddle tilt and handlebar height are
mostly a personal preference issue. Other things like cleat position need to
be evaluated on-the-bike.
  #10  
Old February 17th 04, 07:08 PM
Luigi de Guzman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bicycle Fit Checks - Worth the $$?

On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 16:56:05 +0000, Ken wrote:

(Mike) wrote in
. com:
- is there a basic set of measurements that should be done that I
could ask each of the shops to see if they are doing an apples to
apples fit?


You can find a basic fit calculator at http://www.competitivecyclist.com/
This should give you a starting point, if you're really careful about taking
your measurements. Some things like saddle tilt and handlebar height are
mostly a personal preference issue. Other things like cleat position need to
be evaluated on-the-bike.


competitive cyclists have different fit concerns than guys who want to
go for a spin in the countryside. Humans are bewilderingly diverse in
their shapes of their bodies and their agendas--you wouldn't size a
grandmother who was new to cycling the same way you'd size a Cat 1
amateur racer, would you?

All the money in the world spent on having a bicycle fitted to you is
wasted if you don't participate in the process-and that means knowing
immediately what's not comfortable, and telling the 'expert'
that....After all, it is *you* who's going to be sitting in the
saddle, not the bike-fitter.

-Luigi
www.livejournal.com/users/ouij
Photos, rants, raves
 




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