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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so... sorry if the title is offensive but I thought It was clever. Anyway, I went to my LBS yesterday for the first time because I'm thinking about getting a road bike. The guy there had me stand over one of the bikes they had there, lift up on it, and said something like "ok well that seems like a pretty good fit". Is that all they have to do?? I know I've read on here that there's way more to it than that. In his defense, the store was about to close and I had told him that I wouldn't be buying it that day... so maybe it was a more general "what size frame fits you and then....eh?" I dunno... Also, do they make fenders small enough to fit on road bikes like the Allez??? And is it pronounced "allez"? He said it differently... *siiigh*
 

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MWPDX said:
Ok so... sorry if the title is offensive but I thought It was clever. Anyway, I went to my LBS yesterday for the first time because I'm thinking about getting a road bike. The guy there had me stand over one of the bikes they had there, lift up on it, and said something like "ok well that seems like a pretty good fit". Is that all they have to do?? I know I've read on here that there's way more to it than that. In his defense, the store was about to close and I had told him that I wouldn't be buying it that day... so maybe it was a more general "what size frame fits you and then....eh?" I dunno... Also, do they make fenders small enough to fit on road bikes like the Allez??? And is it pronounced "allez"? He said it differently... *siiigh*
they f*kked you--theres a lot more to fitting a road bike than that--plus the fit and geometry vary among brands.
 

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krisdrum said:
I believe it is pronounced Al-lay, like O-lay. Believe it means "go" in French, or something like that. And yes, far more fitting is needed to ensure comfort.
Ahh Lay. Often said as words of encouragement in a race...i.e. "Come On, Go!"
 

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MWPDX said:
Ok so... sorry if the title is offensive but I thought It was clever. Anyway, I went to my LBS yesterday for the first time because I'm thinking about getting a road bike. The guy there had me stand over one of the bikes they had there, lift up on it, and said something like "ok well that seems like a pretty good fit". Is that all they have to do?? I know I've read on here that there's way more to it than that. In his defense, the store was about to close and I had told him that I wouldn't be buying it that day... so maybe it was a more general "what size frame fits you and then....eh?" I dunno... Also, do they make fenders small enough to fit on road bikes like the Allez??? And is it pronounced "allez"? He said it differently... *siiigh*
The salesperson played it very fast and loose.


Of course, if one is only intending on riding a few miles at a stretch-fast and loose can be adequate. It depends on how much you told them you were thinking you might ride---but one way or another they did you a disservice.


Allez is the 2nd person formal conjugation of Aller, in French meaning ¨to go¨
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hmm... Thanks for all the responses... is there any way to sort of "fit myself"? Like anything to look for when I'm looking at the bike or test riding it that would indicate whether or not it was a decent fit? Also, not sure if this means anything, but my old mtb that I've been riding was "fitted" the same way and it seems to feel ok but I don't know how that translates into the fit on a road bike. And what exactly do they change if it doesn't fit? Do they just adjust things or would I need a completely different bike or what???

Thanks
 

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noble dirtbag
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Did you ride the bike?

I don't think they did you wrong. You asked what size was right so they sized you. A proper fitting takes a while and possibly involves changing the stem, handlebar, saddle and seatpost.
If you went in there just before closing then you didn't give them a chance to do all of that. Go back and ride the bike in proper riding attire and then you should be ready to give them some feedback as to how the bike feels.
Most good shop employees can size a person based on their height and inseam. There is a tendency for some posters to assume that an LBS is ready to f*** the customer every chance they get.
 

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MWPDX said:
The guy there had me stand over one of the bikes they had there, lift up on it, and said something like "ok well that seems like a pretty good fit". Is that all they have to do?? I know I've read on here that there's way more to it than that.

I'm no bike fit expert, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

If you're buying your first road bike and don't intend to ride it for 8-10,000 mi a year right away, and if your body proportions (leg/trunk/arm length) are close to average, and if you don't have any other fit issues that you are aware of (bad back/neck/knee/etc., extreme leg length discrepancy, etc.) then the stand-over fit is OK for now - after all, right now you're browsing.

Once you decide to buy, then you should definitely ask to be fitted to the exact bike (size, brand and model) you are purchasing. At least they should look at you on the bike on a trainer and make sure your contact points are where they should be (i.e. your saddle set back is adjusted so that your knee is approx. over the pedal spindle, your saddle height is OK, the reach to the bar is OK, and the saddle to bar drop is within your comfort range). Then, at that point, if there are significant issues then they should be addressed by either adjusting, swapping out parts or, if it isn't possible to adjust the fit by swapping parts, then going to a different size, model or brand.

If they won't do the minimum, then I'd go somewhere else. You don't need a sophisticated fit right now, but getting the contact points at least in the ballpark is critical to your comfort and, potentially, your health.
 

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A real fitting doesn't take place until after you buy, or at least until you appear on the brink of buying.

If you're just sizing a bike to take out on a test ride, then they usually just eyeball it. After you ride that, you should probably test ride one size larger and one size smaller to see what feels best. Then, when you're ready to buy, they can fine-tune the fit.
 

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he didn't "fit" you but I'm not sure you can expect that unless you've settled on a model and are ready to buy. When I worked in a shop that was my standard, albeit lame, method of "sizing" for 95% of the people that bought. for the other 5 you mount the bike on a trainer, get out a plum line and dial things in. If/when you buy it Id guess they'd be willing to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ooooh ok. See, I didn't know that they didn't really do any kind of fitting stuff until right before you buy the bike. And he did offer to let me test ride it but I didn't really have time (my fault, not theirs)
 

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MWPDX said:
Ooooh ok. See, I didn't know that they didn't really do any kind of fitting stuff until right before you buy the bike. And he did offer to let me test ride it but I didn't really have time (my fault, not theirs)
bring in bike shoes and wear bike clothes. plan on spending a hour or more test-riding some bikes. ask lots of questions. don't come in right before closing or when it's really busy.
 

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Id suggest going to multiple shops and seeing what they have to say about frame size. If 4 out of 5 shops tell you that a 54cm is right than its probably what you'll need. I had one shop try to tell me that at 5'6 and a 30" inseam I needed a 56cm. which shockingly is what they had on clearance at the time! Also realize that certain companies measure up differently. Lemond for example is very strange to fit. I take about a 52 on most bikes but the 49 lemonds fit me well.
 

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if you want to (roughly) fit yourself, i'd recommend checking the Fit System available at Wrench Science

the site requires a quick registration but it uses several important inputs from you, such as inseam, torso length, arm length, shoulder width, flexibility etc. it doesn't hurt to give it a try. i actually used that the measurements it gave me to build my bike and its been pretty good so far.
 

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John Nelson said:
A real fitting doesn't take place until after you buy, or at least until you appear on the brink of buying.

If you're just sizing a bike to take out on a test ride, then they usually just eyeball it. After you ride that, you should probably test ride one size larger and one size smaller to see what feels best. Then, when you're ready to buy, they can fine-tune the fit.
This helps, thanks. I had this same question as I have visited 7 shops so far to purchase my first road bike. All of them seemed to eyeball me, which was weird to me since I have been reading here about how important it is for the LBS to fit you. Some salesmen examined me as I rode and made a few adjustments based on what they saw, but nothing major. I guess I will be properly fitted after deciding on the bike.

Quick questions: after i buy the bike, should i expect to be fitted on a machine, or just by look/feel based on the person helping me? Most of the people say that the fit is really up to the rider. Is this true?
 

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matches said:
This helps, thanks. I had this same question as I have visited 7 shops so far to purchase my first road bike. All of them seemed to eyeball me, which was weird to me since I have been reading here about how important it is for the LBS to fit you. Some salesmen examined me as I rode and made a few adjustments based on what they saw, but nothing major. I guess I will be properly fitted after deciding on the bike.

Quick questions: after i buy the bike, should i expect to be fitted on a machine, or just by look/feel based on the person helping me? Most of the people say that the fit is really up to the rider. Is this true?

IF you buy the bike, you should be fitted to that particular bike. Adjust seat height and fore and aft, stem length (maybe), but it will be to the bike you buy. There are rules of thumb or guidelines that "fitters" start you with and then dial you in. Yes, Bike fit is very personal. What works for one person will not work for everyone. That's why when you go into a shop there are about a brazzillion different sizes of the same component. Also if there is any changing of components/parts make sure they are changed for the same caliber part. For example make sure if you get an expensive part taken off that they put an expensive part back on. I recently had a bad experience with this when a friend purchased her new Trek Madone 5.9.
 

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jupiterrn said:
Also if there is any changing of components/parts make sure they are changed for the same caliber part. For example make sure if you get an expensive part taken off that they put an expensive part back on. I recently had a bad experience with this when a friend purchased her new Trek Madone 5.9.
The problem is I can't tell what part is what. I was looking at an allez sport that i almost bought the other day, but the chain kept throwing. they replaced the three chain rings in the front and a new chain. This worried me because I didn't know what parts I was getting. They assured me that they were 'more expensive' parts.. but I don't think that means its better for the bike... does it?
 
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