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I have little riding experience and want to get into roadbiking. I currently lift and run marathons and am looking for a new cardiovascular workout and eventually participate in 5-7 day road bike tours. Would anyone recommend paying a professional to size and fit me appropriately or is that not necessary. The Spin Cycle company fits for $125...is that worth it. Any advice???
 

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It certainly wouldn't hurt. However, depending on which bike you go for, it may be included in the price. You might start by going to your local bike shop and trying out some bikes in your price range. The shop will do their best to fit you properly, and more than likely, you will fit a standard frame size. If things don't feel right after multiple efforts to rectify the problems, you may need a special size that can only be accomodated by a custom builder.

Paul
 

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In my opinion it's worth it to pay for a fit. Depending on where you live, too many bike shops will try to sell you something in stock even though it might not be right for you. If you pay them for a fit, you're under no further obligation. Coming from a marathon background, you're well aware of the importance of proper shoe fit. A bike not only has to fit the legs but the upper body as well.

I wish I had a professional fit when I started riding. I spend hundreds of dollars on frames, stems, handle bars, and other items trying to get the correct fit. The $125 fit would have been much cheaper in the long run........

I'm not familar with the company you mention but $125 is not out of line for a professional fit...
 

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What do you think of this thought

Go to the best road shop in town. One preferable owned by a serious bike guy.

If you have an olympic cyclist or ex pro guy and they have a shop, you can certainly get the job done right, get a great bike for your application and support someone who will probably give you more advice and help than the regular community shop and save the $125 for better bibs and a shop jersey. Which will also score you points with the local cycling community.
 

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slightly against the current here

flach said:
I have little riding experience and want to get into roadbiking. I currently lift and run marathons and am looking for a new cardiovascular workout and eventually participate in 5-7 day road bike tours. Would anyone recommend paying a professional to size and fit me appropriately or is that not necessary. The Spin Cycle company fits for $125...is that worth it. Any advice???
Okay, you have little riding experience. When getting fit for a bike it is often better to have some experience so that when asked if you feel something is right or not you will have enough miles under you to know if a certain fit will work for you. Going in cold with little experience and getting set up for a road bike can easily put you on a bike that may work for the first season or the first month, but after that as you and your body become conditioned for road cycling you may find you'd prefer a slightly different fit. Some adjustments can be made after the fact via stems and handlebars and seatposts and crankarms and pedals, but sometimes those later adjustments are stopgap measures to make due with what you have.

My recommendation is to buy used or buy something at less than the high end bike categories until you have a few miles under you. A basic fitting at the time of purchase from a competant bike shop is all that 90% of recreational cyclists ever need. Then after you get some training in, accumulate some more experience, and know a little better how you like a bike to be setup, then you'll be ready for a finer fitting, and will know by then if the fitter is serving your needs or if the fitter is just following a recipe sheet.

How fast is your usual cadence (I average 85-95 when out just riding around), what body position do you prefer for longer rides (I prefer the bar top close to the seat top height due to limited flexibility and a bad lower disc in my back), what gearing do you need (I'm currently running 39/53 on front and 12-25 on the rear), what tire size fulfills your needs (I'm currently using 700x23 Michelins which are a tad skinny for my current weight but haven't caused any grief due to the road conditions I primarily ride on). The list goes on and your answers will vary, both personally and over time as your needs and conditioning change.

That $125 fitting fee will pay for a nice upgrade in components on a main line bike (Trek or others) at a local bike shop (LBS), or will pay for a decent helmet and cycling shorts from the previous season's clearance bins.

Week long touring needs are fairly different than weekend racing needs. Know your own personal needs, and proceed prudently. That's what I'd do and what I'd recommend to family and friends.

Hope this helps, or at least hope it doesn't hurt.
Mike.
 

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Flip Flash said:
Go to the best road shop in town. One preferable owned by a serious bike guy.

If you have an olympic cyclist or ex pro guy and they have a shop, you can certainly get the job done right, get a great bike for your application and support someone who will probably give you more advice and help than the regular community shop and save the $125 for better bibs and a shop jersey. Which will also score you points with the local cycling community.
I agree. Make sure you get what you pay for....and if you do go to that place, make sure that you buy the bike from them too....don't internet order it!!!!!!!!
 

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Flip Flash said:
Go to the best road shop in town. One preferable owned by a serious bike guy.

If you have an olympic cyclist or ex pro guy and they have a shop, you can certainly get the job done right, get a great bike for your application and support someone who will probably give you more advice and help than the regular community shop and save the $125 for better bibs and a shop jersey. Which will also score you points with the local cycling community.

I agree if you have that bike shop. You California guys are spoiled. I'm not knocking you, I'm jealous.... I wish we had the choices. When I go out to California on business, I'm like a kid in a candy store. I can spend all day roaming around all the quality bike shops......
 

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That assumes you have money.

Most people get a bike and then live with it whether it fits just right or not, especially a newer person.

I think I'd be hard pressed to pay half for the bike on my own belief about what would fit, potentially not get the right size (since it sounds like you say don't get the fitting done) and it would have it's own stem and seat, etc. and then somehow know what's right or not.

If you go to the good shop, they will tell you the proper way it should be (barring some physical limitation), like pedal heel down or up, bend your elbows and keep your back flatter, etc. and set you up so you're comfortable to start.

I assume they would give him a more upright position by not cutting down the fork and then as he gains flexibility cut to down to more of the fit rider level.

He could stop by, ask questions, get tips on groups and best equipment. But don't forget, buy the bike there (as they will remember you and all the time you used them) and get the jersey from their shop. You'll see. It does matter.
 

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Go to a good local shop and spend some time with them. Have them fit you personally, they ought to do this for free, if they do you'll probally wan to buy the bike from them, if not then spend a little money in their shop (jerzey, shorts...) as a thank you...
 

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that depends

Jed Peters said:
don't internet order it!!!!!!!!
as written on a web site supported by Internet retailers...

If the shop spends a lot of time fitting and working with you for no charge then buying from them seems only fair.

However, if you pay for a fitting, then feel free to purchase your bike where ever you find the right one and best deal for you. It may save you a lot more than the cost of the fit in the end.

I was fit by Terry at Shaw's in Santa Clara. The session lasted two hours. He watched me ride my current bike, measured me, tweaked my bike a little, watched me ride some more, put me on the Serotta machine, measured some more and at the end I had a prescription for a bike that would fit me properly. I then shopped around and found a Coppi Foco frame with custom drawn tubing with dimensions almost identical to those on my "prescription". I saved $500 over other frames I looked at that were much heavier and didn't fit me as well.

During that two hour fit I learned more about bikes, geometry, riding position and general bike history than I ever could have on the Internet or anywhere else. For a new rider, I think it’s important to know that the "ideal" positions on the bike are so you know what to work toward. This allows you to pick a bike you will grow into. As a direct consequence of this fit, I got a better bike for less money, my position is more efficient and I am completely comfortable even on long rides.

Hope this helps. Good luck on the selection!
 

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I think we're in agreement

The key is finding a better shop. My previoius favorite LBS was run by one guy in a small town, he was also a roadie and raced weekends when he could. His focus was more alongs the lines of customer serivce, and the locals appreciated it. He also carried Colnagos before he finally sold his shop. He would take the time to ensure customers got fit to their new bikes properly, and he did this even for the people buying a $300 Trek or Fisher.

I've been in some shops where they see the fitting fee as a profit maker and they try to push people into it as though it's the only way to buy a bike. Then those money-shops will end up making concessions and force-fit people to what they have in stock backtracking and saying the fit system is just a general guide. I don't shop at those types of shops.

Most better decent shops I've been in will work to ensure a customer is reasonably fitted to a new bicycle, and will often offer a free 90-day tuneup and adjustment period for purchasers.

Basically what I'm saying, depending on where one lives, is it should be possible to get a good fit at a decent shop without having to pay $100+ for a fitting. If someone is going to order a frameset, or have one built custom for them, then by all means do the full zoot fitting, but in my opinion below that level one shouldn't have to pay for a basic decent fit-up.
 

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goloso said:
as written on a web site supported by Internet retailers...

If the shop spends a lot of time fitting and working with you for no charge then buying from them seems only fair.

However, if you pay for a fitting, then feel free to purchase your bike where ever you find the right one and best deal for you. It may save you a lot more than the cost of the fit in the end.

I was fit by Terry at Shaw's in Santa Clara. The session lasted two hours. He watched me ride my current bike, measured me, tweaked my bike a little, watched me ride some more, put me on the Serotta machine, measured some more and at the end I had a prescription for a bike that would fit me properly. I then shopped around and found a Coppi Foco frame with custom drawn tubing with dimensions almost identical to those on my "prescription". I saved $500 over other frames I looked at that were much heavier and didn't fit me as well.

During that two hour fit I learned more about bikes, geometry, riding position and general bike history than I ever could have on the Internet or anywhere else. For a new rider, I think it’s important to know that the "ideal" positions on the bike are so you know what to work toward. This allows you to pick a bike you will grow into. As a direct consequence of this fit, I got a better bike for less money, my position is more efficient and I am completely comfortable even on long rides.

Hope this helps. Good luck on the selection!
I agree! I agree! If you are getting fit for free...get your bike there. If you are paying, then get it where ever.

The one nice thing about getting a bike at a GOOD roadie shop, is that they are willing to do the follow-up...tweaks, etc. etc.
 

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flach said:
I have little riding experience and want to get into roadbiking. I currently lift and run marathons and am looking for a new cardiovascular workout and eventually participate in 5-7 day road bike tours. Would anyone recommend paying a professional to size and fit me appropriately or is that not necessary. The Spin Cycle company fits for $125...is that worth it. Any advice???
It is a good idea, if you never ridden bike professional fitting will save you alot of headache. $125 seems a bit high I'd shop around and ask for references. Some bike shops do decent job and refund fitting fee if you purchase bike from them.
 

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I think it is a good idea, and $125 is tiddlywinks compared to what so many people are spending on bikes.

I don't buy the idea of a good fitting not being worth it until you are an accomplished rider. I got "fit" when I bought my first bike, they didn't do a terribly good job. As a new rider who was agressive and eager I hurt myself a few times on the bike and I didn't have the knowledge to fix the problem myself. I bought tons of books, etc.. on bikes, training, etc.. trying to figure out how to fix the positioning but I never really was able to figure it out on my own.

My positioning has changed slightly over the last 4 years as my flexibility and strength increased but getting the really good fitting would have made a significant difference in my learning curve.

I just got a new bike, with a much, much better fitting than last time. They then adjusted my old bike to be the same as the new one. That change gave me a big enough power boost that I bet I'd be faster on the old bike which is >20lbs with the new fit vs. the old fit on the new bike which is completely tricked out, and in the 16lb range, etc..

Think of it this way, if you think getting Dura Ace or Record over Ultegra or 105 is more important than paying $125 for an absolute top notch fitting job, you are on crack IMO.

Ben
 

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goloso said:
as written on a web site supported by Internet retailers...

If the shop spends a lot of time fitting and working with you for no charge then buying from them seems only fair.

However, if you pay for a fitting, then feel free to purchase your bike where ever you find the right one and best deal for you. It may save you a lot more than the cost of the fit in the end.

I was fit by Terry at Shaw's in Santa Clara. The session lasted two hours. He watched me ride my current bike, measured me, tweaked my bike a little, watched me ride some more, put me on the Serotta machine, measured some more and at the end I had a prescription for a bike that would fit me properly. I then shopped around and found a Coppi Foco frame with custom drawn tubing with dimensions almost identical to those on my "prescription". I saved $500 over other frames I looked at that were much heavier and didn't fit me as well.

During that two hour fit I learned more about bikes, geometry, riding position and general bike history than I ever could have on the Internet or anywhere else. For a new rider, I think it’s important to know that the "ideal" positions on the bike are so you know what to work toward. This allows you to pick a bike you will grow into. As a direct consequence of this fit, I got a better bike for less money, my position is more efficient and I am completely comfortable even on long rides.

Hope this helps. Good luck on the selection!
The problem here is we're talking about a complete newbie. He don't know squat about riding bicycles. A fitting for someone that is not used to the position is close to a waste of money.

I'd say get a shop fitting to get yourself close.
Ride for a while till you adapt to the position, bicycling for long periods of time, etc.
THEN go get a more comprehensive fit session done.

In the meantime, as your body gets used to the position, tweak things a little at a time till things are better: lower bars, longer stem, etc.. This is where the shop fit comes in handy. In about 6-8mos, you can probably wander in and ask them to take a quick look at you to make sure that you're not doing something wrong.

That help?

Mike
 

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My point exactly

MShaw said:
The problem here is we're talking about a complete newbie. He don't know squat about riding bicycles. A fitting for someone that is not used to the position is close to a waste of money.

I'd say get a shop fitting to get yourself close.
Ride for a while till you adapt to the position, bicycling for long periods of time, etc.
THEN go get a more comprehensive fit session done.

In the meantime, as your body gets used to the position, tweak things a little at a time till things are better: lower bars, longer stem, etc.. This is where the shop fit comes in handy. In about 6-8mos, you can probably wander in and ask them to take a quick look at you to make sure that you're not doing something wrong.

That help?

Mike
When I got my fitting, I was riding a bike I fit myself when I knew nothing about how a road bikes. Fortunately, I'm a good guesser and got some good advice so I was pretty close. Terry gave me invaluable tips on what my position should be on the bike and then fit the bike to that position. I would advise anyone new to road cycling to see someone like Terry. At the very least to learn that hands on the hoods with elbows locked is neither the most efficient nor comfortable way to ride.

Regards,
G
 

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Did you have it done?

Dave Hickey said:
I wish I had a professional fit when I started riding. I spend hundreds of dollars on frames, stems, handle bars, and other items trying to get the correct fit. The $125 fit would have been much cheaper in the long run........
Dave. did you ever end up having a fit at any of the shops in this area? I've been thinking about doing that myself. The new Lemond just never seems quite dialed in, though it's getting closer, but I've never actually been properly fit and all four of my bikes are slightly different setups. But I've not met that many guys at the shops I go to the most that I'd pay $125 for a fitting. Any good experiences to share?
 

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The best money I ever spent...

...though I had the luxury of a great fitter working at my LBS. If you live in or near Seattle, Dan Watanabe at Aurora Cycle is outstanding. (Full disclosure: I recently picked up some part time work there during my layoff, so my long-time customer status has changed).

Best,

Michael

flach said:
I have little riding experience and want to get into roadbiking. I currently lift and run marathons and am looking for a new cardiovascular workout and eventually participate in 5-7 day road bike tours. Would anyone recommend paying a professional to size and fit me appropriately or is that not necessary. The Spin Cycle company fits for $125...is that worth it. Any advice???
 

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633 said:
Dave. did you ever end up having a fit at any of the shops in this area? I've been thinking about doing that myself. The new Lemond just never seems quite dialed in, though it's getting closer, but I've never actually been properly fit and all four of my bikes are slightly different setups. But I've not met that many guys at the shops I go to the most that I'd pay $125 for a fitting. Any good experiences to share?
I've thought about it but I never had it done. After about the 10th LOOK frame, I've got a pretty good idea what fits :) If I ever went to another manufacturer, I'd porbably go for a fitting. The Bikes Inc Bedford guys are pretty good as is Rick at the Keller store. If I was having one done, I'd go to Keller only because I've known Rick for years.
 

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No need to plug anybody

The Great Northwest is loaded with good technical bike fit types.
Make a list of the fitting nuances you can read about on this board or other web based resources. Take them to your LBS and if a fit person can't address your list or down plays the importance of any line item then cut and run! You will know good service and experience when you see it.
 
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