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As a newcomer and someone in the market to purchase a road bike, do you recommend the expense (approx $350) for a 2.5 hr fitting in support of a recommendation of the "right" bike for me? I was in a LBS this weekend that fitted be to demo 2 bikes and the fitting was approx. 5 mins?
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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No.
If you're going to spend your time just riding around, "fitting" isn't necessary. You only need to get "fitted" if you plan to get "serious" about riding. Many people plan to get "serious" about riding. Most of them give it up because it's too hard. When they give up their dream, the bike soon turns into "something else"
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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How serious are you about cycling?

A good $350 dynamic fit will let you know what your base fit numbers are and are portable to any bike. If you engage in the process and understand the fit, you can build upon it as you learn more and more about what works for you & what doesn't. In addition, most shops will give you a credit for the fitting dollars against a bike bought from them.

That being said, IMO, a basic fitting by someone that knows what they are doing (& this usually isn't the shop floor salesperson) can get you close enough for you to go out and enjoy your ride while you get basic fitness. Once you get several hundred miles under you, then a good fitting will really dial you in and you will be able to give better feedback about what works for you.

Fit, especially for new riders is a journey...not a destination. It's about learning for yourself what works for you.........it's a lot of trial and error. Think of a good fitter as a guide...you still have to do the work.

IMO

Len
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Grumpy....you are bad. I love that cartoon.

len
 

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bondbike said:
As a newcomer and someone in the market to purchase a road bike, do you recommend the expense (approx $350) for a 2.5 hr fitting in support of a recommendation of the "right" bike for me? I was in a LBS this weekend that fitted be to demo 2 bikes and the fitting was approx. 5 mins?
There's little point in getting an expensive pro fit for your first road bike initial purchase. Your body will adapt to the bike with time, and so the initial fit is more of a starting point. You may find yourself on a quite different bike in a year or two as you learn about the sport and about yourself. Once you make the actual purchase, your bike shop may well take more than 5 minutes to set you up.

If you're willing to keep good notes and do some reading and talking to experienced riders, you can get a lot of the benefits of professional fitting just by trying incremental changes in your position.
 

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The most dangerous part of buying a bike is relying on the 'fit' a bike shop gives before you pay them the money for the bike they are selling you. Many shops frankly don't know what they are doing, and or have an agenda to sell you the bikes they stock or brands they sell. Do your homework THOROUGHLY. Take your time -as much as you need. For some people it is not an easy process to find a bike that fits coupled with what you want and what you can afford.
Use a couple of fit calculators to get a rough idea of what might fit you. Don't buy a bike based on brand name, or cool colors, or the deal to be had. A bike that almost fits, doesn't fit, and there is a chance you will never be able to make it fit correctly, no matter how much parts swapping is done, without having to use many spacers, or strange stems, etc.
Talk to a lot of folks about fit, and try to gain an understanding of it, before you make a decision.
I bought and built up over a half dozen frames (mostly on ebay) narrowing down what I really need. My finances never have allowed me to get the perfect trifecta of perfect fit, bike lust and the right price. But the journey has been fun. I love buying and building bikes, and trying out new ones, selling off the old ones.
Be patient, have fun. Go for a lot of test rides.
 

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+1 on the "no". Ride it for a season or so and see how you feel. If you don't hurt after long rides or hard rides, you are probably fine. When I mean don't hurt I mean no numbness, joint pain or other non-workout induced pains. If you feel that you can do better after you have ridden for awhile, a pro fit may do some good.
 

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+1 on the "no," at least for the time being. I bought a frame from 2000 miles away and had them do the build, emailed my measurements, got the bike in a box, and have been riding it ever since with no issues. Feels great. Now I'm afraid to go get properly fitted for fear they will say, "WTF, this is all wrong," change something and I will end up uncomfortable.
 

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agree on "no"

ncvwnut said:
+1 on the "no". Ride it for a season or so and see how you feel. If you don't hurt after long rides or hard rides, you are probably fine. When I mean don't hurt I mean no numbness, joint pain or other non-workout induced pains. If you feel that you can do better after you have ridden for awhile, a pro fit may do some good.
Perhaps first get some advice from a shop of experienced rider. Make some tweaks on your own based on some research and how you feel. Then after a season or so decide if you need more. Some people act like a fitting is some type of mystical black art that can only be performed by someone who has spent decades with the Dalia Lama on a mountain in Nepal. There is plenty of reasonable free advice out there. The fact that there are so many variations in fitting is evidence that there is much subjectivity to it. Your own views about how you feel on the bike is pretty darn good.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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That sounds like a lot of $$ for a fit. If you're going to buy the bike there and the fit will be applied toward the bike, then by all means get it. If not, or if you're buying the bike elsewhere, you really don't need a pro fit until you start riding 2-3,000 miles per year.
 

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I didn't even own a cat..
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here here...

DaveG said:
Perhaps first get some advice from a shop of experienced rider. Make some tweaks on your own based on some research and how you feel. Then after a season or so decide if you need more. Some people act like a fitting is some type of mystical black art that can only be performed by someone who has spent decades with the Dalia Lama on a mountain in Nepal. There is plenty of reasonable free advice out there. The fact that there are so many variations in fitting is evidence that there is much subjectivity to it. Your own views about how you feel on the bike is pretty darn good.
It's funny how people put stock into a profit. Learn the bike first and yourself. I asked one of Indy's top cyclist if he has ever had a pro fit. He has ridden for about 25+ yrs racing all types of bikes from BMX, track and road. He said that he has never had one. His response was if you don't hurt and get good results, why fix what ain't broken?

I set up both my bikes and don't have any problems to this point. I will do some hard (for me) training rides and see how my bike feels after a month or so. I may do some tweaks but I'm not so sure that I want to. It feels right even after I flipped my stem. I love the lower feel.
 

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ive been fitting myself and its a nightmare.. the cleats are especially fun. you never really know if you got them spot on until the next day when your knee hurts. took me a bunch of miles to get my bars where they should be, and seat set reasonably.

.. isnt a 350 dollar fit a tad on the high end though? i think a good one hour professional fit should get you mostly laid out on the bike, cleats set, stems and bars all swapped out etc? id imagine bike fitting has massively diminishing gains.. the first 30 minutes should do more than the 3rd hour or so.
 

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TomH said:
.. isnt a 350 dollar fit a tad on the high end though? i think a good one hour professional fit should get you mostly laid out on the bike, cleats set, stems and bars all swapped out etc?
No one paying $350 for a fit will admit that his was a waste.
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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Can you get a slightly cheaper fit? The one you mention sounds like overkill for now, but I think an initial fit is a good idea to get a bike suited to your size. Look around for shops with the FitKit and you should be able to get something for ~$100, and most shops will put that money towards a bike if you decide to purchase there.
 

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I didn't even own a cat..
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I agree with a simple fit. You should get the dseat adjuste, seat fore/aft and stem length but this should always be included in the purchase of the bike. Why would an LBS not include it?
 

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I bought my first road bike 9 years ago. I went to a Serrotta dealer who sold other brands, too. They use an adjustable stationary bike to find out what size you need in terms of top tube length, seat height, crank length, saddle postion, stem length, and cleat position. They gave me a diagram with all the measurements, then showed me what bikes they had in stock that would fit me. I bought a Bianchi. The fitting cost was $100, but it was subtracted from the price of the bike. Look for a deal like that. Prices have gone up, but they still may take it off the price of the bike if you buy there.
 

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+1 NO. My LBS does has several different levels of fits. A basic fit comes with the purchase of a bike. This usually entails about an hour and a half of adjustments and measurements and is followed a few days after you have ridden the bike to see if anything need to be changed. All the way up to a Professional Athlete type fit that includes video analysis and all of that stuff for around $350.00 or more. My LBS does a lot of Tri Athletes so they do this quite often. I don't think I will ever need a fit of this level.
 

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bw77 said:
I bought my first road bike 9 years ago. I went to a Serrotta dealer who sold other brands, too. They use an adjustable stationary bike to find out what size you need in terms of top tube length, seat height, crank length, saddle postion, stem length, and cleat position. They gave me a diagram with all the measurements, then showed me what bikes they had in stock that would fit me. I bought a Bianchi. The fitting cost was $100, but it was subtracted from the price of the bike. Look for a deal like that. Prices have gone up, but they still may take it off the price of the bike if you buy there.
This is what all bike shops should do, but I don't know of one that does. That is great service.
 

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$350 is way too much. A cheaper ~$100 could be worth it though. I have a cyclocross bike that I got 2 summers ago. The LBS basically saw that I could touch the pedals and the bars and said it was good enough. I tried all summer to get used to it, but I end up coming home every day after <10 miles because I hurt too bad to continue the ride. I have instead been riding my SS bike as I can ride it all day in comfort. This month I will take it in for a real fitment at another LBS. Hopefully it helps.

If a fitment will make me comfortable, it will totally be worth it. Otherwise, that bike will just sit.
 
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