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Hi all
I have just received advice from my physio, who said i could not go wrong with my decision to buy a bike, as long as i get fitted properly. Surprise surprise. I am compelled to say thanks to all of you here for your excellent advice, as you have really hammered this message all along.

Now the question. Along the way, my physio mentioned the fit kits, computerised and otherwise, that are available in some bike stores. However, she said she could not provide much advice on them.

One close by LBS actually has one of those fit kits. However, he is more of a salesman interested in selling his expensive stuff. The two smaller LBS's whom i feel comfortable with, (because they never tried to convince me to buy a thing, recommended i go check out other shops, provided heaps of advice and asked me to come back with more questions to talk), dont appear to have one. They might but i haven't seen it.

So my question is: Is a Fit Kit necessary for a good fitting? can an experienced LBSer do it without one of those fancy looking machines? I am confident that an idiot operating this machine would get you killed on a bike. But is it necessary for proper fitting?
Thanks all again
 

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I nailed mine dead center, as far as I know....

I'd never vote against a scientific, quanitifiable fitting, but there's been a ton of stuff written about this here and elsewhere, and unless you have some special requirement, it's not exactly rocket surgery. I'd ridden for 25 years (mostly on too-small bikes, I now realize) when I finally nutted up and bought an Atlantis. Rivendell's recommendations put me on a frame 3-4cm bigger than I was used to, and once I got it I measured everything carefully and ordered the stem and bars accordingly. It fit so well right out of the stand that all I've changed in four years is the seat height, when I got new shoes. So it IS possible.
Two things I'd be wary of in any fitting, but maybe especially if somebody was eyeballing it at the LBS: I think a lot of those guys have a tendency to put you on frames that are too small, because that's sort of become the style the last several years. The old smaller-is-lighter-and-stiffer argument may be true, to a degree, but that doesn't compensate for discomfort. And if they tell you something's right, and it doesn't FEEL right, it's probably easier to make the bike fit you than you fit the bike. What works for Lance may not work for you and me.
 

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So, presuming you've got the stem and seatpost and bar width to make your reach, saddle height, etc., all dialed in -- what is it about a frame that's too small that you feel hurts?

This was something I was wondering a lot as I built up my new bike.
 

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A fit kit website if you haven't seen it already

fouadaswad said:
Hi all
I have just received advice from my physio, who said i could not go wrong with my decision to buy a bike, as long as i get fitted properly. Surprise surprise. I am compelled to say thanks to all of you here for your excellent advice, as you have really hammered this message all along.

Now the question. Along the way, my physio mentioned the fit kits, computerised and otherwise, that are available in some bike stores. However, she said she could not provide much advice on them.

One close by LBS actually has one of those fit kits. However, he is more of a salesman interested in selling his expensive stuff. The two smaller LBS's whom i feel comfortable with, (because they never tried to convince me to buy a thing, recommended i go check out other shops, provided heaps of advice and asked me to come back with more questions to talk), dont appear to have one. They might but i haven't seen it.

So my question is: Is a Fit Kit necessary for a good fitting? can an experienced LBSer do it without one of those fancy looking machines? I am confident that an idiot operating this machine would get you killed on a bike. But is it necessary for proper fitting?
Thanks all again
Well, I certainly don't have enough experience to be able to answer your question, but I was interested in this fit kit thing earlier, so I looked up the webpage for one of those companies:

www.bikefitkit.com

If you want to know if those nice LBSs have the fit kit, you might check out:
http://www.bikefitkit.com/store_locator/store_locator.html

I don't know what other kits are out there...

Even on the bike fit kit webpage, the fit kit is described as a "sales tool" as much as anything else. That doesn't mean it doesn't work, though.
 

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think of it like this, computers were invented after bikes.

People before computer weren't like "man we need to make a way to fit our bikes better" so they invented the computer.

I'd talk to the oldest person you see at the smallest bike shop you see. Or the guy at the bike shop that does the most riding like you do.

And if the guy fitting you keeps asking other people he's working with for their opinion, just ask them instead of him.
 

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Reach to the bars, mainly....

Argentius said:
So, presuming you've got the stem and seatpost and bar width to make your reach, saddle height, etc., all dialed in -- what is it about a frame that's too small that you feel hurts?

This was something I was wondering a lot as I built up my new bike.
I'm a Clydesdale, 6'4" and 240, and when I started riding I didn't have a lot of money. I bought my first two bikes at end-of-season clearance sales. I should have been on a 65 or 66cm frame, but I let the shop owners talk me into 62s, because that's what they had, the price was right and "We'll put a longer seat post on for you." They didn't swap the stems, and I was too dumb to know the difference. In one case I had to reach down 6 inches to the bars. I rode that bike for five years, did several centuries on it, and EVERY MILE was uncomfortable.
But of course I didn't know that until I got a bike that fit. I thought bikes were just uncomfortable, and you had to put up with that if you wanted to ride. The difference was really amazing.
Besides the height, which I think was too low to be fixed with a stem swap (this was in the quill-stem days, and I've never seen one long enough to raise them where I needed them), I had some reach issues from the short top tube, and I just generally felt cramped even with a 46cm bar. Plus, when I see pictures of the bike now, it just LOOKS weird. I must have had 10 or 11 inches of seatpost showing. It worked, sort of, and I rode it a long way, but it would have been a lot easier just to buy the right size to start with (finding the right size won't be an issue for you if you're shorter than about 6'2", I don't think, so this doesn't apply to everybody).
My Atlantis and Rambouillet now are both 64cm (I would have bought 65s, but Rivendell didn't make them at the time--it was either 64 or 68), and I've set them up the way Rivendell recommends. Originally the Atlantis was going to be a stopgap to last me until my 60th birthday when I was going to get a full-custom Riv to celebrate my son's graduation from college and the return of my money to my own pocket. Then I got a good deal on a used Rambo, and I can't even imagine better bikes. I'm fixed for life.
 
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