Bike Fitting Loosing Popularity?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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by mattr

Johnny Rad wrote:Another thought. Those that are better at fitting are still busy based on their reputation.

My $.02
Good ones are getting busier, bad ones have got all the cash out of the cow that they can and are moving onto other things (or out of the industry!)

Mate of mine (*very* good fitter, internationally recognised) has a 18 month waiting list at about €350 for a 5 hour service (half day plus 1 hour follow up).

He's busy enough that the bike shop/wheel building service he and his wife used to run on their own now has two full time employees and his wife is full time doing the accounts/ordering/calendar and related paperwork. He is now building wheels evenings and weekends.......

A couple of others i know have gone back to building shit wheels and hitting BSOs with hammers.

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by DutchMountains

mattr wrote:Mate of mine (*very* good fitter, internationally recognised) has a 18 month waiting list

What's his secret, does he whisper to the bike or something ;) Darn, I was considering making an appointment when I am coming to the UK to ride some brevets next spring.

Since this topic started with a remark on saddles, I wonder if anyone has experience with saddle specific bike fitting? The kind where they put pressure sensors on the saddle?

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by tymon_tm

re: saddles

it's interesting to hear what you guys say, because

1) there's such a variety of models and shapes it's hard to guess just by looking at your buddy (times of 3 brands - San Marco, Italia and Fizik are long gone)

2) testing - most shops provide saddles for a try out and it's something new and encouraging to tweak with one's set up. back in the days I had to buy it try it out, and then often sell it online and get a new one. and when I found a good one I just stuck with it no questions asked (I'm a happy kit carbonio (both regular and flow) user for 10 years now :thumbup: ).

3) I don't know how you guys feel about it but over the years I've learned fit is mostly about the contact points. I can tolerate a larger drop or reach provided my hoods are positioned right and hands feel 'good' on the bars, but feel hopeless when it's other way round. same with the seat and cleats. if those three are set up right, there's a chance I might get by with a different geo (like now, riding lower and longer Aeroad). fitters I met though, they'd tell me it's all about the angles and dimensions, for instance tip of the nose - middle of the bar distance is far more important than how and where the shifters are set up, or the bar shape itself. same with seat position and the saddle type. only recently I've learned (thanks to an old dog with 50+ years of experience) decreasing the pressure on the prostate (superflow type of saddles) can get me breathing more freely when in the drops. when I spoke to fitters about it their answer was always "raise the bars".
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by antonioiglesius

In my area, the range of saddles physically available in the LBS is much less than that online. Which makes sense since they have limited space to store the saddles. That also seems to restrict the variety of test saddles. It does not help that manufacturers in general make many different types of saddles, which adds confusion when consumers are deciding what to buy.

Also, since the idea that "one saddle may be fine for a person but not another" seems to be well drilled into people, I don't agree with the statement that people buy what their buddies have. If I'm selling just one model of saddle, then everybody buying from me buys that model of saddle. It does not mean that everyone cycling is using that one model. I think there may be a bump in sales due to word-of-mouth for a particular new type of saddle for a while, I don't think that is the same as a big group of people riding a very narrow range of saddles.

My impression is that manufacturers are primarily working on saddle finishing at the moment, making nicer and nicer saddles (Velo is making better-looking saddles and Fizik is playing catch up), but those I see on bikes in my area still vary greatly and many don't look all that great. People want cool-looking stuff in general, but for saddles they have to make an exception.

As the number of brick-and-mortar bike stores continue to decline, the option to physically test saddles is also removed for more and more people. This may mean more people look for help at bike fitters, then get a terrible experience in general, turning them off from cycling.

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by kode54

Johnny Rad wrote:Another thought. Those that are better at fitting are still busy based on their reputation.

My $.02

yeah. good fitters are busy. had a Retul fit years back. total waste of money. fit should be based on the actual fitter. even old school fitters are better than fitters with high-tech gear.

LBS may not be able to afford to hire a good least the one by me.
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by dim

input your measurements and for starters, use the Eddy Bike fit results .... ... e.jsp#type

this is normally pretty accurate .... no knee pain, no excess pressure on your hands .... if you do get pains, most can be attribted to your core strength being weak and continual riding will make you stronger

if you still get saddle pains after 150-200 accumulative miles of riding, try a different saddle (your arse has to get used to the saddle and that takes miles)

however ......

once you have ridden a good few thousand miles, and your core strength is good, and if you can cycle a century, get a professional bike fit, but one that uses a computer.

I will get one of these soon and from what I have read, it is very good:
Last edited by dim on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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by bm0p700f

while there is no massive secret to bike fitting and I know I can do it well, I have trouble though charging what I would need to to make it profitable. Simply it does not seem worth it to me as the number of things I can change are quite limited. $300 is alot of money in the u.k it gos for up to £200 and while there are companies who do that I have decided not to continue offering the service. the main problem I see is the trend for more of an experience based on fit, video capture, adjustable trainer bikes all of which are not really needed but give the air the fitter knows what they are doing (and they may know what they are doing). Also people where coming to me and I ask them is there any problem with your current position, they answer - "no" and in my head I wonder should I say why are you here then? Normally I can find a few things to tweek that improve the position for the customer but if I was charging close to £200 for the experience then they would possibly ask was it worth it.

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by Tinea Pedis

Ghost234 wrote:My thinking has always been that a fit is not some "one time" thing, but rather a process.

Steve Hogg has preached that line since forever.

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by fromtrektocolnago

we have one large shop in the tri-state area that made its mark on bike fittings, now adays they switched their emphasis to push vivax assist bikes, ceramic bearings and toys for the rich and bike trips.
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by misterq

I think fitting is in a crappy place- so many out there and most just dont get it. I have been fit so many times and over the years have wasted money and gotten quite frustrated.
I took the time to learn it and use wifes experience as a therapist to do own fit. Its worked but up until just recently I didnt know what am real fit was. I have been fit 2 x by retul which can miss so much, which means the fitter needs to know much more than where to place the dots like how to see proper pelvic movement.
I was lucky enough to get a great first fit since ongoing process which is in included- from Cyclepoint which is off shoot of who makes the shims lots of folks have. I wasnt have pain or issues just wanted to check stuff for performance and such since making jump to cat 2 didnt want to waste energy. She set me up well I feel so far.

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by bilwit

I did a bike fit once in my lifetime and it was completely worthless to me and I ended up not using it at all. For TT bikes or sponsored race dudes make sense, for the general public... not worth it IMO.

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by Ozrider

My opinion is that many jumped on the fitting bandwagon and many shops bought bike fitting systems without investing in training their staff to do fits properly.

I have experienced a generic bike shop fit many years ago, and after a year or two of lower back and neck pain was referred to a well respected Physio who also did bikefitting.
A few changes were made and I was riding pain free.
About 5 years later I had an accident that put me on crutches for 7 weeks. Getting back on the bike was a slow and painful process.
I went for another fit with a bike fitter working at a well known cycling fitness centre. His fit put me within mm’s of my previous fit, but he made a few tweaks to ease the back pain while I got my fitness back, and advice on slowly getting back to my previous position as my flexibility improved.
In my experience bike fit is best left to someone with a Physio degree or a degree in sports science that takes all your previous injuries, flexibility and any other biomechanical anomalies into account and does follow ups on your position after a few weeks using the new position.
Sometimes you need to transition to a new position gradually, as significant changes to saddle height, setback or reach should be done incrementally to give your body time to adapt.
It is also really important not to make major changes a few days before a big race, gran Fondo etc, as you might cause injury by having trained hard and then expect your body to suddenly ride in a new position, putting different strain on your muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Probably the most important thing in finding a fitter is to speak to experienced riders from a local club that race at a decent level.

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by micky

I will drop it here just for get some "damage" :lol: ; one of the most popular bike fitter in north of Italy is an old guy who worked for plenty of time in his garage (now has a bit nicer location).
He does use kind of "old style" way by putting you on rollers and checking you on the bike, and he after twitching you here and there, he would ask you to go back 1-2 months later to have some feedback and double check everything.
If you were going there you would find everytime many U23 and even some pro (Rasmussen would bring all his friends...).

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by Franklin

Recurring theme is always that people are surprised that fitters are just con-artists and seldom lead to success... and if they do they won't lead to success for someone else.

Well, a few facts are always missing:

1. There's no perfect fit
2. Humans are quite adjustable. Bodies get used to things (that's a very good thing).
3. There's hardly any research on "fitting"a bike.

This makes every fitter just someone who does what he thinks is best.Even Steve Hogg just wings it on the basis of what he likes.


Retul is nothing more than a marketing tool to sell bikes. This is no slam, it's how they present themselves.

- The naming "University"is utterly misleading considering the lack of any scientific basis of their ideas.
- The "mm perfect" measurements are just plain idiotic. Hint: A human shrinks 1-2 cm during a day. People have days where they are flexible, days where they are a bit stiff. People are fresh and people are tired. A mm perfect measurement is utterly nonsense.

Retul? Avoid at all costs.

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by wheelbuilder

I don't know. Like many of you here probably, I've been riding road bikes since the early eighties. I have always been able to get myself into an efficient, comfortable, powerful position. Maybe I'm just really flexible or adaptive or something, but I have never even considered a fit. As long as a bike is in the ballpark of my preferred position, I can ride it.

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