I’ve recently purchased a CX rig and am completely new to this riding style. My intention is to ride fun and on all-day epics; I am not an aspiring racer. I would like the peace of mind to know that I am properly fit on the bike, but am seeing prices ranging from $100-$400 depending on what technologies/fit strategy a shop offers.
Is it truly worth the extra ~$200-300 bucks for a modern bike fit? Wondering what everyones thoughts are regarding these different tiers of fit and their respective price points. Does anyone suggest one system/fit over another?
How does the bike feel to ride? Seems like it’s worth logging a bunch of hours on the bike first before you get any fit. That way you’ll be able to identify if there are specific things you are looking to address with the fit.
As far as spending $, I think reputation of the fitter is probably more important than how much the fit costs.
Basically what @DaveWh said, the expensive tools can help the fit but ultimately the fitter makes the most difference. Finding one that is really good is going to be much more important that how much it costs overall.
I think it’s worth it to spend an extra few bucks to have access to something like a Retul or Guru Fit, where the fitter can make micro adjustments without making you get off the bike.
Also, it helps if you’ve already spent a good amount on an indoor trainer. I’m guessing you have, since you’re posting on the TR forum. Many years ago when I last got fitted, I hadn’t spent much time riding indoors, so when the fitter asked me how things felt, all I could think was that everything felt terrible.
I have a shop that does both. The owner is a former world tour pro team mechanic, and about once a month a bike fitter from Shimano is in his shop. The gear that the two use is very different. The Shimano fitter uses a special fit bike and tools like a laser-guided cleat positioner.
I’m getting a new bike next month, and I treat the cheaper fit as a pre-fit. Should any issues arise, then I’d consider a more expensive fit.
If possible, I would suggest looking for someone that offers some ongoing dialogue. See lots of people recommending bike fits, but also lots of posts from people still having problems after a bike fit (and sometimes adamant that the “professional” bike cannot possibly be wrong).
Any good bike fit IMO should include a ‘check in’ 4 weeks after the initial fit. One of the problems with bike fitting is that problems often don’t make themselves apparent until 60 min+ into a ride, and you’re not going to be riding continuously for that long during any fit.
The adage of conservative fit, ride aggressive, is also worth remembering.
Nb - TT fitting is a whole other thread
Yeah - and ask about the price of the follow up before doing your first. A $400 fit and then being unexpectedly charged $300 for the follow up is not a pleasant surprise.
It’s hard to tell because bike fitter is more important than technology he’s using. Good bike fit is worth it if bike fitter doesn’t just read formulas from measurements but instead knows how body works on a bike and can try to optimize your specific body. Follow up with feedback after a week/month (can be just verbally if everything is fine) is also a must so if you see a fitter who thinks he can measure you with some tools, give you specific position and that’s it → run away.
So basically try to get some reviews from other people and see which fitter works most with feedback that you give him, and not what “fit system” gives him.
Recommendation is the way to decide as others have said.
The 4 week check in that @RecoveryRide and @bLah suggested is key as what feels comfy in the shop on the trainer or round the car park may not feel that comfy after a few hours. So that should be on the list of have to have iro the fitter.
There’s also some good threads on here about fitting which may help - the bike fitting mega thread for one. And there are videos on GCN youtube to help dial in a fit and so on…
No doubt a fitter/shop will have access to stems, saddles etc - that can be good.
Sorry - question - if it’s a new style of bike - did you buy in a shop? on line? and how did you determine the correct size? If you got it from a shop they should have helped you get there or there abouts - just a thought… See if you can follow some vids to get it set up to be as comfy as you can get it…maybe?
Edit - to answer your question the difference in price is usually down to what they think they can charge for whatever system of fitting they may be using…
Well if the guy is only charging $100 he either doesn’t know what he is doing or has undervalued himself. I good fit will take 2-4 hours to do right, coming from a physical assessment and seeing your limitations, and how he can work that into the bike to give you the best fit possible.
Considering this is a bike fit thread, I’m curious to know how tall you are. I think the joke may have gone right over your head.
When I first started riding I got a basic ~$100 bike fit. It was KOPS (knee over pedal spindle) and some basic angle measurements for hip extension and knee extension. I’m still friends with the guy and he’s great, but he isn’t steeped in cycling biomechanics. I would say it was a 90-95% solution. I did another follow up 5 years later and made some minor adjustments. Each of those sessions was probably 60-90min and I don’t regret having them done.
About 1.5 years ago I went to a get a ~$300 fit with a guy who is really a practitioner of the fitting ‘arts’. My first session was about 3hrs and I had 2 follow up sessions that ended up being 90min each, but could have gone longer. There was much more evaluation of my body off the bike, and more sophisticated on the bike analysis with motion capture and saddle pressure mapping. In retrospect, I would be happy to have payed $1000+. It seems silly to say that I payed $300 to move my saddle 1cm up and 1.5cm back, along with some minor handlebar adjustments, but the comfort benefits were huge. I had just accepted dealing with on-going ischial bursitis flareups (I didn’t even realize what it was called until last summer) and some shoulder discomfort, and those were pretty much eliminated. Its crazy that in 3hrs I learned more about my body than I had learned in 15 years of riding and 40 years of living.
My general advise to people getting bike fits is:
- This whole process is to make you comfortable, not to make your position fit the parameters of their fit system. You are the customer and if your comfort isn’t the end result of your fit there is a problem.
- Communication is very important. If you feel discomfort or aren’t happy with the adjustments or position you are in, you need to make sure the fitter understands that. And your fitter should try to address those issues. They can’t read your mind.
I’m going to give you credit and assume that was deliberate. LOL
And ideally the fitter will also ride with you outside, as part of the follow up / fine tuning visit.