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Choosing A Bike Fitter

3629 Views 45 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  One Wheel
I'm planning to buy a "forever" or "last" bike in the next year or so, I'm thinking it's worth getting a fit to make sure I buy the right size bike. A quick Google search shows several places within a few hours drive with a variety of services and price points, but I don't know what to look for.

1. Generally what should I look for when picking somebody to do a bike fit?

2. Specifically, I'm located about 2 hours drive west of Madison, WI. Is there anybody you would recommend roughly in the radius of Madison-Dubuque, IA-Rochester, MN?
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You need to find someone that understands then type of riding you plan on doing and is comfortable doing fittings for that. Some fitters are very caught up in 'racing' fits and will set up most of their clients in a similar way.
Very good point here.

And of course ignore lowrider's advice. If you knew what you wanted you'd just buy it or have it made.
^^^This.^^^ This thread he started and continues to troll says it all:

Being in a rural area certainly limits the number of bike shops you can go to for advice. Not sure what the answer is if you don't have time to travel.
i had a 60 something frame if not longer, and im 5'8" with longer legs.
Size 60 is way too large for someone 5' 8". You're most likely a 54, possibly 56.
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35 mph in still wind is 55 mph with a 20 mph tailwind, except 55 requires higher gearing. I'm not above sniping a good tailwind to win a local downhill Strava segment or two.
55mph on the bike? No thank you. 40mph is as fast as I care to go and that's only on roads I know very well, otherwise no more than around 30. 50/11 works fine for me.

Downhill Strava segments don't impress me. What impresses me are uphill segments.
Uphill segments are undeniably more impressive than downhill, but I'm still working on reducing my advantage on downhill segments, so I'll take what I can get.
Very well. For me though, 55 is just crazy. Go down at that speed and I won't be cycling another day.
Of course not.
Besides, nothing is for free. If they're going to do that, it would be added to the cost of every bike, making them even more expensive.
What if I don't need a fit? If I know my fit, I can transfer the measurements. Or what if I want to use a different fitter with different mythology? Then I'm paying for something I don't need.

On top of that, many (most) shops selling bikes don't have a clue about bike fit. Sit you on the bike, eye ball you pedaling on a trainer, looks good, out the door.
Go to 10 different shops and get 11 different opinions on setups.

Shops can't even afford to pay for quality mechanics. They're not going to keep a certified fitter on staff.
Of course you won't get a "professional fit" with a bike purchase. But the stores I have bought bikes from have at least put me and my new bike on the trainer, watched me pedal and made adjustments. Granted I knew much less about fit then than I do now. At one shop, it was the owner who did this Granted it won't be precise, but it will at least get you a ballpark starting point.

Right now, I'm dealing with some spinal issues that are causing some pain I hope can be at least partially resolved with some adjustments.
Interesting and informative video. I plan on having a detailed fit at a shop in my area. They charge $180 and spend 2 hours with you. Yes, it's at a shop, but I may learn something new if nothing else.
FWIW, when I Google bike fitter in my area, I only get bike shops. I think finding someone who is exclusively a bike fitter and not a retailer would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
One of the two I've emailed, who never got back to me, looks to be primarily in the fitting business ( That seems to be the most promising option at this point.
And of course, the fit you get will be dependent on what type of riders they mostly work with. Are they pro or recreational riders? And of course you need to make your own goals clear. Are you looking to increase performance or decrease incidents of pain? For me, I'm just looking for a pain-free ride.
This is all well and good. The challenge is finding someone to do this level of a bike fit on this side of the pond.
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