Custom bike.....

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Boshk
Posts: 311
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:59 am

by Boshk

I'm following this recent thread 'c64 vs Speedvagen' and it got me thinking about these custom bikes..
https://weightweenies.starbike.com/foru ... 3&t=152615

It seem most people agree that a 'bike fitted' custom bike is better than an off-the-shelf C64 or F10 etc etc

My questions are:

Bike fitters are all different. They usually work on a preset/predefined set of numbers and adjust accordingly using their own experience and of course your needs.
How do you know that a certain bike fit is correct for you without weeks of riding on that specific setting?

Taking for example, Baum. They make beautiful bikes and apparently you get bike fitted before they make your bike. How would you know that their setting is correct?

I've only done 2 bike fits so far, granted not for the same bike but the questions asked and fitting done was vastly different.
Colnago C60

User avatar
WinterRider
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:46 pm

by WinterRider

Looked for a thread that presents the subject in detail.. anyone w a link to one?

My bias: most fitting is bike selling nonsense.. at least below the dedicated rider range of user. Riders generally 'harden up' to the position the bike dicatates.

I for one .. would like to read on the subject presented in real world terms: seat position---> seat fore/aft and angle, weight the hands carry.. et al. IMO pro riders adapt to the bike being sold to the masses.

by Weenie


wintershade
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

I have the same question and concern ---

It would seem like a custom bike is only as good as the fitter who measured you. And we all know fitters are a dime a dozen. I see two problems:

1) Some builders I've spoken said they'll put me on a dynamic fitting machine (a Guru machine, etc.), change the positions, and dynamicly figure out what's most comfortable for me. My concern with this approach is being baised by my current fit (which I think is suboptimal) -- the most comfortable thing is likely to be what I'm used to. Or would a good builder say -- "I know this isn't comfortable today, but this is how you should be positioned, and you'll quickly adapt and it will feel more perfect than you've ever felt before"?

2) Some builders simply seem to need an extensive set of measurements and a questionaire use that to build the bike. I don't know -- for some reason, this method seems somewhat lacking, but perhaps it's really all a great builder needs?

Robbyville
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

I think that there are a couple factors to consider. A good bike fitter will take the bike you currently own and set it up for you optimally. Theoretically they should be looking at your peak power positions and balancing that with your long term comfort. But the fitting should be tailored based on any Q&A with that fitter. As an example if you say that you want to be fit to a TT bike that you ride for 40km at a time he may base your fitting on nothing more than peak power in the tt position, adjusting stem length, saddle tilt, fore/aft etc.

Not to mention that your body changes with time. I’ve had 3 different fits over a 5 year span as I lost weight, changed my riding style, etc. my first fit was based on my goal of losing 40 lbs and wanting to be comfortable for long days in the saddle and power while climbing since I was averaging over 2000ft if climbing on the bulk of my rides. So that first fit had me less set up for solid power and more around comfort, additional spacers and such. But ultimately we’re still relying on that fitters knowledge of kinesiology and pre determined biases around fit and trusting that they know best. FWIW, all of my fittings adjusted me by small increment but always based on the discussions we had prior.

Now a builder is different IMO. They need to be both a good builder and fitter. My fitting took a few hours and was focused on my goals, style of riding, balance, flexibility, and to a certain extent my wants from an aesthetic standpoint. But none of this takes away from the fact that even custom bikes are generally built around the standards of geometry and such that we all know so well. SPeedvagen geometries and frames are still based around Sasha’s beliefs on how a bike should be fitted just like (I would imagine) pretty much any custom builder would use their proclivities coupled with a solid Q&A session with the purchaser. That is what makes them a bike builder/designer vs a talented welder. Geometries for the most part haven’t changed drastically in years once you get over the style of bike you want (criterium vs stage racer as an example).

What I liked most about every fit I’ve done including the one for my SV is that I spent hours in the saddle in practically every position after warming up. Still subjective of course, but plenty of dialog to ensure you’re getting what you want for the present and future. Further, in the case of a custom bike having it built around you maintain the aesthetics that you may not have if having an off the shelf bike fit to you. I no longer have the stack of spacers I used to, sloping top tube, etc. even if I had asked for a bike to be built with a similar focus as my previous one.

Lastly, any professional bike fitter worth their salt will offer a few “touch up” sessions in order to follow up with you.

Just my .02

User avatar
silvalis
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:02 am
Location: Aus

by silvalis

I recall reading somewhere that Baum does the fit on the initial consult, and can transfer it onto your existing bike. Then you have plenty of time to change it - possibly the best thing about the long backlogs...
Chasse patate

GothicCastle
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:52 am

by GothicCastle

wintershade wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:39 pm
1) Some builders I've spoken said they'll put me on a dynamic fitting machine (a Guru machine, etc.), change the positions, and dynamicly figure out what's most comfortable for me. My concern with this approach is being baised by my current fit (which I think is suboptimal) -- the most comfortable thing is likely to be what I'm used to. Or would a good builder say -- "I know this isn't comfortable today, but this is how you should be positioned, and you'll quickly adapt and it will feel more perfect than you've ever felt
This shouldn’t be the case.

One of the advantages of a system like the guru is the ability to quickly a/b test existing position vs proposed position. When comparing the position under load, it is easier to see how your body responds to changes. It can be quite surprising what you’ve been putting up with when you have a fit bike that lets you compare positions.

The most comfortable position might not be what you are used to, and the goal of the fit might not be finding “the most comfortable” position. This is why it is important to work with a fitter who understands your goals and who can do a basic assessment of strength and flexibility.

Fit is also more than coordinates on a bike. A good fit tool will also let you quickly swap out contact points (saddle, bars) to see what fits you best, including spinning different crank lengths under load.

Builders are used to working with fitters. They should be able to deal with the output from a competent fitter.

kgibbo1868
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

by kgibbo1868

With a custom bike the fit should be perfect. A current ride can be a good start and then an extensive fitting should take place. You need to be an active participant letting the builder know what you want. Do you want a smooth bike you can ride all day, or a crit racer that is super stiff? Do you prefer internal or external cabling routing? Bottom bracket choice is also important! Ultimately it is up to the purchaser to think about what they want from a bike, and then decide for themselves if a perspective builder can deliver. :thumbup:

I have heard stories of people asking for a super stiff bike and then being upset because the bike was not comfortable :noidea:
Pain is my friend!

Robbyville
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

Whole heartedly agree with these last posts. Bike fitting is dynamic and requires two way communication

Mr.Gib
Posts: 3228
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

I never bought into the whole custom fit thing. Most of us move our hands around by as many as 15 cm from tops to hoods to drops. As well we may move fore and aft in the saddle two or three cm depending on the situation. The idea that a few mm one way or the other for frame dimensions could be the difference between a perfect fit and a bad fit is nonsense. That's what adjustible seatposts, crank length choices, various stem options, adjustable cleats, and handlebar types are for.

There are a few cyclists with odd body proportions or those that are at the extremes of very tall or very short that may benefit. Other then that I don't see the need.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

darnellrm
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:06 pm
Location: NC, USA

by darnellrm

^^^^^^ THIS!!

MAsshole
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:08 am

by MAsshole

I think the nice thing about a custom bike is if you want a certain geometry along with certain build specifications you can do it, and you're not limited by material.

For instance, just a few years back if you had wanted a more aggressive gravel bike you were really limited to CX bikes. So your only option was to go custom or potentially very boutique. Now, you've got a wide range of both stock and custom options. But you're still limited by materials, although these restrictions are being removed quickly.

With custom manufacturers, all these hurdles are removed and you can do almost whatever you'd like.

Robbyville
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

I'd never call BS on custom fits. True, most people don't "need" a custom fit, we can adjust our bikes to fit us as mentioned with spacers, handlebar changes, etc. but don't knock that sometimes people want the bike to fit and keep a certain proportional look. In my case that meant less of a sloping top tube, fewer spacers, etc. This was accomplished while also giving the ride feel and options desired. Did my last bike fit equally as well, absolutely, it was wonderful but it didn't have the look I wanted as a result. On the last post I would also agree, prior to the Domane that I had before the SV when I was doing a ton of gravel grinding I was stuck with a cross bike that had a BB height that gave the word "Twitchy" new and very unpleasant meaning.

nemeseri
Posts: 722
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:40 pm

by nemeseri

Mr.Gib wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:29 pm
I never bought into the whole custom fit thing. Most of us move our hands around by as many as 15 cm from tops to hoods to drops. As well we may move fore and aft in the saddle two or three cm depending on the situation. The idea that a few mm one way or the other for frame dimensions could be the difference between a perfect fit and a bad fit is nonsense. That's what adjustible seatposts, crank length choices, various stem options, adjustable cleats, and handlebar types are for.

There are a few cyclists with odd body proportions or those that are at the extremes of very tall or very short that may benefit. Other then that I don't see the need.
100% true.

People tend to believe that there is a "perfect fit" out there for them. In reality it's just in their heads. Riding a bike for 8 hours straight will never be a comfortable experience. You can change your fit to be in a more relaxed position or focus on performance and aero. If your bike size is largely ok, you will be probably fine. If you have a returning issues, a bike fitter can help you to overcome those with adjusting your position (most of these issues are related to be on the wrong size anyways). But it's a process and also a moving target based on your weight, fitness level, current flexibility and experience.

User avatar
nickf
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

Before confirming my for with Rob English I went to see a fitter. I have no issues, pain, anything. I made that clear to the fitter, told him don't change stuff just because I paid to be here. He only added I think 5mm spacers under the stem, put the saddle -1° nose down, moved the cleats a bit. Retul fit. Really didn't notice a difference in the bike. Small changes like that don't bother me.

NiFTY
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

I am very sensitive to fit. Few mm here or there in terms of seating position does make a big difference. I have had a bunch of fits recently due to various injuries. All of them felt off. I found my position due to tweaking on rides. My right position now would be easily achievable on any frame available in roughly my size.
Evo 4.9kg SL3 6.64kg Slice RS 8.89kg viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

by Weenie


Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post