Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fitting Your Bike
Reload this Page >

DIY Bike Fit

Notices
Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and donít know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. Itís more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, youíll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here yaí goÖ..the location for everything fit related.

DIY Bike Fit

Old 07-17-19, 04:29 PM
  #1  
neverquit
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. For the past 30 years we have been living in Fort Smith, AR
Posts: 81

Bikes: Two road bikes, Zanes and Specialized.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
DIY Bike Fit

Well, called a guy who does bike fitting and he wanted $ 300 and it would take about 4 hours. So I'm wondering if I can do it myself. Saw a couple of books on Amazon one for $ 20 and another for $99.
What are the experiences and outcomes of others with a DIY fitting? Are there other resources, and books available? Do you think it's worth it?

Thanks
Lloyd
neverquit is offline  
Old 07-17-19, 09:16 PM
  #2  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 4,365
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1096 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 76 Times in 46 Posts
IMO, fit is not a one time thing but changes with fitness, experience, objectives, compensation for injuries, etc.,

so being able to DIY is good. Rollers have been good for me- ride for a bit, make adjustment, ride for a bit, then try it out on the road.

Steve Hogg website gives lots to consider- arch support, cleat position, saddle issues, and more.

Lots of YouTube videos to sift through- some more useful than others.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 07-18-19, 10:54 AM
  #3  
neverquit
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. For the past 30 years we have been living in Fort Smith, AR
Posts: 81

Bikes: Two road bikes, Zanes and Specialized.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Woodcraft! I looked at the one book on Amazon but a lot of the reviews said it was just too basic, I'll checkout You Tube and the site you mentioned.

Thank you
Lloyd
neverquit is offline  
Old 07-18-19, 10:58 AM
  #4  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,560

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1017 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 29 Posts
My suggestion is try it yourself. If you find after getting used to your settings that you are having problems, THEN consider paying for a bike fit. Worst case is you will be more informed and more able to communicate your needs during the fit. I don't recommend "suffering" through as you can cause yourself all kinds of temporary or permanent issues, but there's nothing wrong with tweaking the settings as much as you can to find your sweet spots. Sometimes things will change after you've been fine for a while, if you can't figure out what to adjust, then it's time for a fitting. Just make sure any fitting you get includes a follow up after a couple months.
linberl is online now  
Old 07-19-19, 12:48 PM
  #5  
TKJava
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: North Eastern U.S.
Posts: 100

Bikes: Kestrel RT1000 Ultegra, Mercier Orion AL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
There is a place near me and they do a bike fit for $300 and takes a couple of hours. This is a fit that will give you the right position on "a bike". From this you can get a bike list. Basically a list of bikes who's geometries can be mapped into the fit you just received. So in other words you get your fit and a list of bikes, you pick a bike and would know essentially that this bike will "fit" you. You'll of course have to maybe change the stem, handlebars etc. change the seat height and fore/aft position. This would sound great to me except that it's $300. I'm not saying that a 3 hour bike fit that cost's $300 is not "worth" it but it's too much for me.

I have been riding since 1976 and have never had a proper bike fit. I'm 6' 3" and have long legs so I'm typically going to buy the largest frame a bike company makes. It seems that bike manufacturers produce approximately 2 bikes in the largest size per year and you can't buy it. But this is beside the point. I think you are well served going onto the university of YouTube and getting your information and trying it yourself. Go ride a few times, short rides, long rides and see. Move somethings around and ride again. It took me a while to find the proper saddle height and fore / aft position and it's one of those things where it may not feel bad and then you move it and go "yea this is it. The bike fit that a LBS will offer for "free" if you buy the bike is worth having done to get a starting point from which you can modify.
TKJava is offline  
Old 08-15-19, 01:15 AM
  #6  
vikay
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm curious as to how a fitter can give you a list of bikes that you 'fit' in considering that my last 2 bikes' posted measurements are dead wrong. Both were Trek, but I would think other manufacturers may not do as great either in terms of making sure their measurements are correctly posted.
vikay is offline  
Old 08-15-19, 05:05 AM
  #7  
berner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 3,575

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 348 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 56 Posts
My personal experience is that the optimum bike fit is a moving target as cycling fitness changes. For the person starting out in cycling, that fitness will change fairly rapidly so that getting a comprehensive fitting would be wasted money. Cycling fitness would also change after a lengthy layoff from riding due to any number of reasons such as injury or illness. For example, I've recently had a modest weight loss and suddenly my saddle was causing some discomfort with a saddle that previously had been totally comfortable.
My solution was a bit of saddle tweaking 'till bliss was achieved.

On the other hand, for an experienced cyclist with many miles, a comprehensive professional fitting may well be worth the expense if racing performance or long multi-day rides are a consideration.
berner is offline  
Likes For berner:
Old 08-15-19, 12:58 PM
  #8  
phughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,210
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 257 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by neverquit View Post
Well, called a guy who does bike fitting and he wanted $ 300 and it would take about 4 hours. So I'm wondering if I can do it myself. Saw a couple of books on Amazon one for $ 20 and another for $99.
What are the experiences and outcomes of others with a DIY fitting? Are there other resources, and books available? Do you think it's worth it?

Thanks
Lloyd
If you want to take a stab at it yourself, read on this site before you do. It can give you a lot of good information regarding self fit. I liked it enough to pay to join the site, which gives you access to more information. https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com
phughes is offline  
Old 08-15-19, 06:59 PM
  #9  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 15,247

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1935 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 70 Posts
I've done it myself all my life. Though I recently had a pro fit by a big name local fitter. He moved my hands back 3cm, no other change. I'm still not sure if his move made a difference or not. As far as I can tell, no difference in feel or performance. Both positions work fine.

One does a series of operations.
1) Determine saddle height. I use the heel on pedal method, then modify a hair by feel.
2) Determine saddle fore and aft position. I mess with it until my hands feel light on the bars.
3) Bar height. Whatever feels good, generally between level with saddle and 6" below saddle. Mine are ~10cm below saddle.
4) Set reach. Your upper arms should make a 90į angle with your straight torso, hands on hoods, forearms horizontal. Use a mirror.
5) Go back to #1 and try it all again. Usually something has changed. Keep messing with it until your pedaling feels strong. Keep stretching and working your back until your position feels good. Keep your back straight between your shorts top and shoulder blades. Get fit rather than degrade fit.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is online now  
Old 08-15-19, 11:12 PM
  #10  
Sapperc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Lompoc, CA
Posts: 112

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp, Trek 930, Nishiki International

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 14 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've done it myself all my life. ...

One does a series of operations.
1) Determine saddle height. I use the heel on pedal method, then modify a hair by feel.
2) Determine saddle fore and aft position. I mess with it until my hands feel light on the bars.
3) Bar height. Whatever feels good, generally between level with saddle and 6" below saddle. Mine are ~10cm below saddle.
4) Set reach. Your upper arms should make a 90į angle with your straight torso, hands on hoods, forearms horizontal. Use a mirror.
5) Go back to #1 and try it all again. Usually something has changed. Keep messing with it until your pedaling feels strong. Keep stretching and working your back until your position feels good. Keep your back straight between your shorts top and shoulder blades. Get fit rather than degrade fit.
Sounds about right. Bike fit for more serious cycling needs to be individually designed, but you can most certainly fit yourself. I would add that during step #2 you should focus on getting the position you want over the cranks set. So saddle height and angle, position over cranks, bar height, reach (to bar top, hoods and drops). Also donít forget bar width, bar angle, bar profile, bar end flare or not, pedal float and Q factor, and brake lever position and reach. Test and readjust one thing at a time till you get it all right or you need to change your fit for your evolving life.

It it will be considerably more time consuming and involve a good deal or trial and error, especially if you are learning as you go like me, but itís a rewarding and enjoyable part of cycling to figure it all out, too.

Good luck!
Sapperc is offline  
Old 08-15-19, 11:16 PM
  #11  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 15,247

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1935 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 70 Posts
Speaking of which, here's a primer on what bars and brifters should look like: Drop Bar Hand Positions: an Introduction
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is online now  
Old 08-16-19, 03:22 AM
  #12  
BookFinder 
Lifelong wheel gazer ...
 
BookFinder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lower US 48
Posts: 287

Bikes: 4 good ones, 1 junker

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 12 Posts
Holy moly - $300 is half the price of the new bike I want!

I learned to ride at age 4 or 5, and aside from "does if feel comfortable" was blissfully ignorant of the nuances of fit until sometime in my mid-20's. Even then, a stand-over check and comfortable reach seemed adequate for me. So I sometimes read these fitment discussions and wonder how I (and countless others of my baby-boomer generation) survived to adulthood without a high-dollar fitting session.

For a pro, or perhaps a high-level amateur who spends hours upon hours in the saddle while locked into an optimized position, $300 for a four-hour session might be a value.

But for the rest of us, an informed DIY approach just makes sense.

In fact, I'm heading out in a few minutes to hop on my 2cm too large, but a blast to ride salvage PD bike and take an early morning spin around the neighborhood. A shorter stem took care of the reach adjustment so I'm not worried about the 2cm, but the 100 degree Fahrenheit afternoon temps we are having right now in the deep south are kicking my butt.
__________________
Current bikes: '80's era Cannondale police bike; '03 Schwinn mongrel MTB; '03 Specialized Hard Rock (the wife's)
Past bikes: '97 Giant ATX 840 project bike; '01 Giant TCR1 SL; and a truckload of miscellaneous bikes used up by the kids and grand-kids

Status quo is the mental bastion of the intellectually lethargic...
BookFinder is offline  
Old 08-16-19, 05:45 AM
  #13  
coopman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Slidell, Louisiana
Posts: 99

Bikes: Electra Cruiser 1

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 37 Times in 25 Posts
My bike only cost $300, and I could have gotten one for a lot less if I'd have checked Craigslist first. No way I'm paying that much money for someone to tell me the optimal riding position/setup.
coopman is offline  
Old 08-16-19, 06:14 AM
  #14  
Lemond1985
Sophomore Member
 
Lemond1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1,931
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Liked 441 Times in 297 Posts
Ditto. Proper bike fit is a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly changing fit on my fleet of 6 currently-running bikes.

What I do first is get it close, visually. I can tell by looking at a bike whether it fits me or not. Once over that hurdle, I get on it, and go into the drops, and look straight down. I wanna see my handle bar drops blocking out my front axle, or very close to that.

Then I just ride it and see what starts hurting. Here's a partial list of how to fix some common problems.

Knee sore in front = saddle too low.

Hamstrings sore = saddle too high.

Back feels compressed / rounded / can't breathe properly = longer stem

Lower back sore = stem is too low, raise it a cm or so

I like my seat perfectly level, and drops parallel to the ground. It's not that hard to dial in a bike that's within my range (54-58 cm) just takes a few days and some patience. The final test is a day in the mountains. If I can spend a half day or more on the bike, and nothing hurts afterwards (and I don't crash) that's when I stop tweaking on the poor thing.
Lemond1985 is offline  
Old 08-20-19, 10:56 AM
  #15  
Txbluelacy
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Ditto. Proper bike fit is a journey, not a destination.

Here's a partial list of how to fix some common problems.

Knee sore in front = saddle too low.

Hamstrings sore = saddle too high.

Back feels compressed / rounded / can't breathe properly = longer stem

Lower back sore = stem is too low, raise it a cm or so

I like my seat perfectly level, and drops parallel to the ground. It's not that hard to dial in a bike that's within my range (54-58 cm) just takes a few days and some patience. The final test is a day in the mountains. If I can spend a half day or more on the bike, and nothing hurts afterwards (and I don't crash) that's when I stop tweaking on the poor thing.
what would you recommend for hands going numb? Bike feels great when I start riding. Very relaxed and natural position (I have an Emonda) but after about 6 miles my hands begin tingling. I am working on changing hand position and improving my core strength but didnít know if there is a common fit tweak that needs to be made as well. Thanks
Txbluelacy is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Robert A
Road Cycling
5
06-24-18 11:00 AM
ptempel
Fitting Your Bike
3
11-16-16 02:59 PM
RWBlue01
Fitting Your Bike
7
08-12-13 02:11 PM
Lexi01
Road Cycling
3
03-12-12 09:42 PM
roadrider63
Road Cycling
4
09-05-11 06:51 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.