Bike fitting is a topic that is often thrown around in bike shops. It can mean many things to many people. Some fitters use lasers and video, others may utilize rulers and protractors. *** Here’s how we do it. ***
The most important parts of a fit are the fitter’s experience and the communication with the rider. Our process starts with an interview, we want to get to know you and your goals. The more information we get, the better of an understanding that we’ll have of your issues and concerns.
Next we investigate your feet and shoes. This is often an overlooked but very integral part of the process. Not all feet created equal nor are the cycling shoes we put them in. We stock a variety of shoes to help match your foot shape, size and needs. We also look at your cleat placement and wear. Often times we hear “I’ve had fits done before but I’ve never had my foot measured.” Trust but verify is a mantra that we work by.
Your bike will be placed on a trainer and then we will have you get on the bike and spin, eventually working up to harder efforts. Much like the doctor, if you don’t tell us where hurts we can’t help you. But even that doesn’t always hold true. There have been many times I’ve asked a customer if something hurts or goes numb and they ask how I knew. The short answer is experience.
What are we looking for? Smoothness and suppleness mixed with control. Cycling is repetitive, if you pedal at 85rpm and you ride for 2 hours, that is a lot of reps. Cleats needs to be in the right place, the saddle needs to be supportive, and your hands need to rest comfortably on the hoods.
How about saddles? Easily the most asked questions in the bike shop, “which one is best?” or “what do you use?” All of them are good, some may work for you better than another. Saddle height, saddle set back, saddle to handlebar drop and reach all work together in a spider web of sorts. If you pull or push on one the other will move. For instance, if your saddle is too high, you will often get saddle sores. If your hands go numb, you might have too much reach/weight on your hand.
Do you feel powerful? Do you feel smooth? Do you feel balanced? All of these things inspire confidence. Confidence and comfort let you focus on the ride and your effort. When you leave with your new bike fit, we want all of these things to resonate with you. When all of these things are aligned it, makes cycling so much more fun. Schedule a bike fit today to feel the difference.
The bullet points: The items below are a part of our checklist. This is just some of what we do but not the only things we look at. A bike fit is a process, not a destination.
Saddle type/ wear
Saddle set back
Saddle to bar drop