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Did You Get a Bike Fit?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.
View Poll Results: Had a bike fit?
Yes and it was worthwhile
41
41.00%
Yes and it was snake oil
5
5.00%
No never
47
47.00%
Have never even thought about it
7
7.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

Did You Get a Bike Fit?

Old 04-13-21, 11:11 PM
  #1  
rsbob 
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Did You Get a Bike Fit?

Have you had a professional bike fit and if you did, was it beneficial?
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Old 04-14-21, 02:47 AM
  #2  
downhillmaster
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Have never had a bike fit but I only average 20-30 miles per ride a few times a week. Along with an occasional 50 mile charity ride pre pandemic.
At that mileage I can ride damn near any close-size bike right off the shelf.
Don’t need or want to obsess over dialing-in fit, or even sillier, ‘feel one with my bike’
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Old 04-14-21, 05:14 AM
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When I bought my last bike a couple of years ago I was supposed to get a free fit. The day I bought the bike, I rode it home and never took it back as I was happy with the seat height and angle adjustment I did on my own. I experimented with bar height and angle after a few rides and was satisfied with it as well. At my age, fitness level and riding skill, I don't think it is as important as it would be were I doing centuries or racing.

I also have a couple of old steel bikes I like to casually ride. One of them is a size too small and one a size too large but for the little 15 or 20 miles I rides I do with them, they cause me no issues. Were I trying to achieve best performance I think the correct frame size would be more important. But for enjoying the sound of a freewheel and the feel of non-indexed down tube friction shifting they are just fine for making me not feel fifty-plus for a while.
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Old 04-14-21, 06:53 AM
  #4  
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Three times here - the initial not long after a massively broken hip, the second after I had totally bungled the fit by tinkering with it as my body changed and healed from the break, and a third to address left knee pain. My bikes now seem to disappear beneath me as I ride, so I swear by the process. I haven't touched it now for 4 years and don't plan to do so until age or injury forces a change.
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Old 04-14-21, 07:06 AM
  #5  
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I gave myself a bike fit for my birthday... the fit is in a couple weeks. I have problems with stiffness and tingling hands/toes on longer rides (longer being 1+ hours, what many of you would call a short ride). Whether it helps or not I figure I will learn an interesting thing or two in any case.

I enjoyed watching Neill Stanbury doing bike fits on YouTube which got me interested in bike fitting. If you want to learn a bunch about bike fitting check out these videos, Neill is awesome!
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Old 04-14-21, 07:48 AM
  #6  
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No. I just hop on a bike and if the size feels good I buy it.

Sometimes people like to overthink this stuff. Not sure about the rest of you...but the bike shops in my area want to charge you $$$ for a "bike fit"

Ummmm...yeah...no thanks.
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Old 04-14-21, 08:05 AM
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Another "no" vote, though I don't discount it. I took several years dialing in my bike (now bikes); I suspect I'd have got the fit sooner if I'd bought a pro fit. As it is, all the key measurements between my bikes are within 1/4" --- AKA measurement error.
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Old 04-14-21, 08:10 AM
  #8  
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I answered no but. When I bought my bike from the bike shop, the very experienced owner put me on a couple and quickly determined what size I would need. And he was right
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Old 04-14-21, 08:20 AM
  #9  
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Nope. After 200,000 miles on road bikes I know what I like. I've made adjustments over the years,
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Old 04-14-21, 09:15 AM
  #10  
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Just had a bike fit last weekend because I wanted to get some comfort issues sorted out. I noticed a big difference in the ride quality and comfort right away.
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Old 04-14-21, 09:32 AM
  #11  
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Never had a fitting for a bike. I've always tried one I was thinking of buying. I did have the stem changed to a shorter than stock when I bought my road bike. Could tell after just a few blocks that the stock one had me a little to stretched out. Haven't felt the need to change it since. I'm an occasional, "recreational" rider, maybe if I was riding every day and for longer distances, a bike fit might be beneficial. I've been ok just trying before buying so far.
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Old 04-14-21, 10:34 AM
  #12  
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After riding my new carbon bike for 20 years, I got a fit. The fitter changed a couple things, but having my angles changed to what the fitter thought were more usual angles made no positive difference to my riding, though I didn't bother to change it back. No big deal except for the $250.
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Old 04-14-21, 10:43 AM
  #13  
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While I've never had a bike fit, it might have helped me learn quicker things that have taken me upwards of 55 plus years to learn.

But I do consider those fitters that only do one and done fits as ... well just for the shock value... charlatans!
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Old 04-14-21, 12:43 PM
  #14  
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Never had one but I can see where small alterations can make a difference in comfort on longer rides. I have played with stem length, seat height, cleat positioning and now I am going to try a Herse Rando handlebar on one bike to raise my relaxed hood and tops position while still being to stretch out in the flared drops.
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Old 04-14-21, 01:24 PM
  #15  
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I rode a 75 mile ride and I had a sore knee and my shoulders were killing me. I went to the owners of all knowledge in the universe, strangers on Bikeforums to solve the problem. Everyone said bike fit. So I caved and got a bike fit. He moved my cleats back, put a shim under one of my cleats, lowered my saddle, changed the tilt, and changed the handlebar height. After 2 hours, I paid $150. At the time, I thought that was $150 wasted. My first ride was a 20-mile route I usually take and I averaged 2mph faster than I've ever ridden that route. I also noticed that my knee felt better and it fixed my shoulder pain. I soon realized that was the best $150 I've spent on my bike. As much as it pains me to say, bike fits are worth it.
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Old 04-14-21, 02:00 PM
  #16  
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I have had two Retul fits. One was done by a coach with the Retul equipment and the other at the ERO studio at the indoor velodrome in Carson, CA that included aero testing on the indoor track.

Both fits were beneficial and additive in their own way. Having a fit with an experienced coach/fitter gave me a lot of knowledge of the fit process and my individual needs to support my cycling goals.
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Old 04-14-21, 05:49 PM
  #17  
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When I bought my Della Santa in (about 1992) it included a fit. It was really good and I was riding pretty fast on that set up. Especially up hill. That was when I was 40 years old. But fits don’t last forever. When I got a new bike at 60 I tried to set it up based on that fit. My knees were killing me and I was not happy. But I had learned enough over the years so that I could adjust it and I am happy now. Well, I can’t climb like those days but now at 69 I can get around.
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Old 04-14-21, 07:48 PM
  #18  
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I could see how if you have been riding for many years, you might not benefit from a fit but I was very pleased with how mine went. When I got my new bike I rode it stock for about 500 miles on it. The bike I was riding previously was really a size too big for me so just getting the right frame size was a big improvement and I thought it was dialed in pretty well with just a saddle position adjustment I did.

When I got my fit, the adjustments were pretty minor but things I may never have figured out. The fitter noticed I seemed to have more pressure on one arm when on the hoods (likely due to damage caused by motorcycle crash years ago) and moved the left shifter down 2mm and it was quite noticeable. He also noticed my right knee angling in at the top of the stroke when spinning and put a small wedge under my cleat. Other than that, he added 10mm to the stem length and adjusted my seat height and fore/aft position maybe 1-2mm each.

I really noticed the difference after the fit and have no regrets. For us relative novices who don't have years of experience trying different adjustments, having a professional check your fit can be well worthwhile.
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Old 04-14-21, 08:07 PM
  #19  
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Yes, and it was the best $$$ I've ever spent on a bike 'accessory'. I have a very bad knee and carpal tunnel, and the slight changes the shop made to my saddle height, fore/aft position, stem length and rise, and cleat position made all the difference in the world.
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Old 04-14-21, 08:46 PM
  #20  
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No, but I do a lot of fine tuning- arch support, cleat wedges, cleat position, hoods position & angles, bars, & saddle & bars fore/aft & height.

Riding rollers is good as it eliminates pavement and traffic & makes it easy to try things out, & stop to make adjustments.
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Old 04-14-21, 09:15 PM
  #21  
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Guess it depends on the definition of 'professional bike fit'.
Three custom bike builders have built rides for me.
1. Tandem by Co-Motion, by physical measurements sent to them, with a follow-up call about needs/preferences.
2. CF semi-custom based on prior bike with adjustments for better position for performance enhancements.
3. Custom lugged steel endurance bike, based on measurements, observation, prior bike.

Were they doing 'professional bike fits' 18 years ago? My newest custom.

Nobody ever video'd me.
Nobody ever measured an arm or elbow angle.
Nobody told me which cleats or insoles to wear.
Nobody put me in a wind tunnel.
Nobody gave me a sit bone width measurement.
Nobody told me what crank length to choose. Or Q-factor was optimal.
Nobody selected components based on my personal riding needs.


59/60cm frames are optimal, but I ride 58-63 m frames without much craziness to stems, bars, posts, saddles, etc.

Like @downhillmaster most of my rides are 30miles or less. Sometimes up to a metric century.
With over 15 rideable road bikes across 4-5cms difference in some frames (and a few projects coming), achieving a single perfect position would seem a terrible thing for me.

Sign me up for a wind tunnel based position fitting.

Last edited by Wildwood; 04-14-21 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 04-14-21, 09:17 PM
  #22  
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Nah, I do my own fitting based on excellent YouTube videos by a pro fitter who generously shares all of his tradecraft -- alas, to benefit from his measuring equipment I'd need to pay him for an in-person visit to get data on saddle pressure, pedal pressure, etc.

Occasionally I'll set up a video camera to check my fit on the indoor trainer, then another video check outdoors, setting up the camera on a guardrail or something to do several ride-bys to check my form approaching, from the side and riding away. It's been helpful in spotting minor fit issues such as saddle height, reach, neck angle, etc. But I can't check things like uneven pressure in the saddle and pedals -- for that I'd need a pro fitter.

My body comfort issues interfere with any effort at a fixed bike fit. I have chronic problems with neck spasms due to old injuries (car wreck busted up my C1 and C2 in my neck), and just gittin' old. Some days one bike feels great, the next day that same bike might feel like torture. So each bike is set up a bit differently to suit how my neck and body feel on any given day.

I usually choose a compromise in handlebar height/reach that favors comfort over maximum aero efficiency. My old school steel road bike has about a 1"-2" bar drop below saddle height. The carbon fiber racy bike is around 3"-4" bar drop below saddle height. I like a stem around 100-110mm long, so I choose handlebars to compensate for the desired reach and fit -- mostly compact drops like the FSA Omega Compact and Soma Hwy One. Depends on the reach to the hoods. With the old school aero hoods on my steel bike with downtube shifters, I can handle older drops with longer reach. With brifters, I prefer compact drops with shorter reach, since the brifter hoods are considerably longer than the old aero brake hoods.

My next project is converting all my bikes to 170 or, at most, 172.5 cranks. Technically I can handle 175 cranks (I'm 5'11" with 33" inseam and longish feet). That'll be easier on my knees and lower back/hips. Usually I don't have much problem there, but since resuming jogging a few months ago my knees and hips are a bit more sensitive to crank length now and I find myself avoiding my bikes with 175 cranks in favor of the 172.5 and 170.

If my various aches and pains settled down and I could be comfy and efficient riding just one bike setup indefinitely, I'd consider paying for a bike fit to set up my other bikes to be equally comfy. But even with routine physical therapy, my neck is what it is and ain't gonna get any better. I'm usually limited to rides up to 90 minutes, 2 hours max, before any bike becomes uncomfortable, regardless of setup.
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Old 04-15-21, 05:28 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
.
Nobody gave me a sit bone width measurement.
I think this is one thing that would benefit me due to after a couple of hours in the saddle, I do find myself shifting positions quite often. That shifting positions certainly has to be having an effect on other things.
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Old 04-15-21, 11:03 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
When I bought my Della Santa in (about 1992) it included a fit. It was really good and I was riding pretty fast on that set up. Especially up hill. That was when I was 40 years old. But fits don’t last forever. When I got a new bike at 60 I tried to set it up based on that fit. My knees were killing me and I was not happy. But I had learned enough over the years so that I could adjust it and I am happy now. Well, I can’t climb like those days but now at 69 I can get around.
I think this speaks volumes especially in the over 50, 60, 70... crowd. The perfect bike fit may not be some 30 or 40 years later. While some people can ride miles in the drops no matter the age, others have a tough time riding on the hoods. As time and miles move on it can be a challenge for some.

That said, I do think that the correct saddle tile, and saddle to pedal to cleat placement is more important for long term riding than bar height and reach as that will change as flexibility goes. I don't fight for the now debunked KOPS, but I have used it for years and it has served me well enough to be able to ride, also at 69, basically pain free. My bars basically fall where they need to. But if someone is having pain and has no idea what adjustments to make, I think it is beneficial.

If I were planning to go on a long tour, I would probably make sure that I would hold up hundreds of miles into it and see a fitter. More about survival than pure performance.

John
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Old 04-15-21, 11:04 AM
  #25  
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I don't get it. You went from a painful 75 miler to a comfortable 20 miler and give the credit to the bike fit. I will add that riding consistently over the last 23 years, if I slack off on my mileage, the shorter ride speeds tend to fade. If I increase my distance, the shorter rides tend to get faster. MOF, recent years, I topped my faster speeds on local rides of 10 years ago by pretty good gains and still have had no bike fits.

Either way, the things you mentioned are things I would have adjusted the second I started feeling any discomfort on the 75 miler. Other than shim on the pedal, all seems pretty basic. I'm guessing with 11 different bikes, no discomfort on 35 centuries, I must have saved myself at least by paying attention to my body. $1650
I was training to do a 140 mile ride and the 20 mile ride was just my first ride. Secondly, it's very difficult for someone to fit themselves because you change one thing, it affects the other touchpoints. Thirdly, if you are having pain on the bike, chances are you aren't going to be able to fix that on your own without a bike fit.
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