The Bike Fitting Mega-Thread

Hard to make any suggestions with the limited info shared.

First and foremost would be to follow up with your fitter again. They should be familiar with where you started and ended in the fit, and importantly ‘why’ you got the changes you did.

We’d have to discuss the before and after, along with your current issues to make anything more than pure guesses that are not ideal, without far more info.

Sure thing! Thanks for the quick response really appreciate it. I’ll follow up with the fitter and see what they suggest.

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Has someone had a MTB bike fit or can recommend a good fitter in Colorado?

I have performed a handful of MTB fits (for those other than just myself) over the years. Focus tends to differ a bit from a drop bar fit. Clipless pedal setup may be part of it, but not always. I tend to look at suspension setup with sag check and damper settings too. I add those since there are potentially less overall adjustments compared to a roadie. But, nailing things like bar rotation and lever position are still valuable considerations, beyond the necessary saddle setup.

Regarding fore/aft and knee health, I’ve never understood the reasoning. If your hip angle remains the same and you’re rotating around the bottom bracket, fore/aft doesn’t matter for your knees. If you alter the hip angle or change your effective saddle height, it matters.

Lately I was wondering the same. Starting situation: I have two bikes.

  • One Allrounder (Canyon Ultimate)
  • One Aero bike (Canyon Aeroad)
  • Both have same frame size, same pedals, same saddle, same brake levers, same handlebar/stem.
  • Handlebars both slammed without spacers below the stem.

So, the only difference is the frame geometry.

In the past, when trying to make the fit as identical as possible, I always determined setback and saddle height. That´s it. So my decisive factor was the relation of setback and saddle height. The difference in longer reach of the Aerobike (+6mm) was not made up by putting the saddle forward.

Of course, the aero bike being lower and longer, my hip angle decreased (noticeably). Now I am thinking, if it would be better to “rotate forward around the bottom bracket” in order to get a more open hip angle (similar to the position on the Ultimate, which I like). For this, I would have to push the saddle forward a bit and lose the identical setback positions.

I am not trying to get 100% identical position (then I would not buy an aero bike) but I would like to know what will be the better option. Same setback, same hip angle or a compromise of those? Of course the goal for the aero bike is pure speed! I often heard that setback and sadle height were the most important things, but I wondered if this may be irrelevant (like the KOPS method) and just an oldschool misbelief!?

Are there any thoughts/experiences on this matter?

The two frames may have different stack, so your handlebars on one may be lower than the other.

One thing that is often not considered is weight distribution. Sure you can rotate your whole position around the bottom bracket and have the same angles on your hip, knees, arms, whatever but the more you rotate forward the more weight you put over your arms which can potentially cause pain, and or affect the bike handling. (Gravity does not rotate along with your position…)

About your situation, if your hip angle is too “closed” and causes issues you can solve this either by rotating the whole position as you describe or by raising and bringing the bars closer. Try to do whatever leads to a pain free and at the same time balanced position.

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Yeah, Sure. There is a limit for everything. But as long as there is not too much Strain on my hands…

Why not? The same, aero position on both bikes is a desirable outcome (assuming it is comfortable). You’ll just be faster on the aerobike because of the frame…but getting aero on both bikes should absolutely be a goal, IMO.

Nor should you…you should make up any difference by having a shorter stem. Obviously it won’t be 100% perfect in this case since no one makes stems in 6mm increments, but going with a 10mm shorter stem is reasonable.

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Sorry if this has been covered but it’s a big thread!!

I was recently fit on my gravel bike and have since bought a road bike. I’d planned to match the positions, but the the fit was a bit towards the aggressive side on my gravel bike. I was happy riding in that position but was 95% on the road. I’ve got some gravel events and more proper gravel riding coming up - I’m not racing but want to finish and be comfy at the same time.

Does anyone set up their gravel bike a bit more upright? I was thinking of matching my previous slightly more aggressive fit to the road bike, and raising the gravel bike stem maybe 1 cm and shortening by 1 cm.

I’d asked about reach and stack at my bike fit, and the fitter said I was comfortably in a range he though was good for my type for riding and flexibility with the longer/lower set up.

If it helps too, the gravel bike has Enve gravel bars (44 cm at hoods) and I’m going to go narrower on the road bike…probably 40 cm at the hoods with a bit of flare.

Thanks!!

Yes, most people do…especially if they are doing more dirt than road on it. How much more upright is a matter of personal preference. I try and keep mine very similar however…that said, my upper back / neck is still stiff from holding my head up for over 9 hours last Saturday doing The Rift.

You will then almost certainly want to use a shorter stem or increase your stack. Increased bar width has the effect of lowering you, so if you want to be more upright, you’ll want to tweak something else.

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Why not? The same, aero position on both bikes is a desirable outcome (assuming it is comfortable). You’ll just be faster on the aerobike because of the frame…but getting aero on both bikes should absolutely be a goal, IMO.

I would not agree in this case. If you take both extremes (an Endurance bike and an aero bike) I am definitely willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort for more speed. The biggest factor for aerodynamics (by far!) is the human body, so your position on the bike. I would even say the frame is almost the least important part. So making my position a bit more stretched out/lower without going too much into the extremes is desirable for me.

Does anyone find they have different fits inside and outside?

I’ve moved down to a 90mm stem on my Bianchi (yes I know I prob needed a smaller bike) as my arms feel too stretched on the turbo but as soon as I head outside it feels like the saddle could be a wee bit higher and the 100mm I had before is the better option.

Yes, exactly the same for me. I’ll keeping my 100mm stem though, as I spent more time outdoors than indoors.

Well, I’m back to 100mm. Guess it’ll last about 6 months before I think I’ve got it wrong again! Only thing left to try is a -17 90mm which would be a bit lower with the 5mm space below instead of above and a bit longer than -6 90mm with no spacer.

I really need to stick to a stem!

In short, there are real differences between riding inside and outside, that can lead to a bike having a very different feel and comfort level between both locations. So fit may well need some tweaks, or other things can be done to mitigate those differences. The items below are a couple of points I have found over the years, but people have had success with other changes in saddle and bar position as well.

  • Below is stolen from my Rocker Plate topic:

When you have a bike that is perfectly comfortable outside, and then leads to problems when ridden inside, I feel it is important to look at what is different. When you do, there are two key differences.

  1. Lack of wind resistance on the body riding inside. That is a difference that I find because you end up with slightly more weight on the hands and arms, because you don’t have the wind pushing your upper body back.

    • To compensate for that, I recommend that people raise the front axle about 1"-2" [25mm-50mm] higher than the rear axle. This shifts the weight slightly back onto the saddle and off the hands and arms.
  2. A bike mounted into a typical trainer ends up being very fixed and rigid in position. This can lead to excessive loading on the sit bones on the saddle because there is no shift in the demand on the muscles and tissue around them.

    • The non-equipment solution is to introduce standing breaks into your riding. Anything from every 5 to 10 minutes is common. These breaks can be for anything from 10 seconds or pedal strokes, up to minutes at a time if desired (for saddle relief directly or other training reasons).

    • The equipment solution I recommend is adding motion to the trainer setup. The Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer was my inspiration. But I made a simple double plate stand with a hinge that allowed me to mount a rigid trainer and turn it into a rocking trainer. These are called “Rocker Plates”.

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Absolutely…for me, it is much more prevalent in my TT position, but my inside road position is not as comfortable as my outside road position 9keeping all points the same).

I think it was 2014, in anticipation of my first IM, that I decided i was going to spend the winter on my trainer in my TT position. Ended up having to make several tweaks to get comfortable…IIRC, I moved the saddle forward and also lowered it (my HB set-up was pretty locked and not easy to adjust).

Fast forward to Spring Break and I brought my bike with me to log a bunch of outdoor miles…get it built up and start to roll out of the parking lot. Didn’t even make it 100m before I knew that my indoor position was completely unrideable outside, despite many long hours over the winter in the position. Immediately pulled over and moved everything back to it’s original positions and it fit just fine.

@mcneese.chad, as usual re: issues of bike fit, hits the nail on the head.

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What are people’s experiences with using the same saddle across different fits, for example a relaxed gravel fit vs aggressive road fit? I was prescribed a saddle at a gravel bike fit (Pro Turnix) and like it on the gravel bike, would it be wise to buy one for my racy road bike too where I’m lower and longer? Or impossible to say without trying?

I use a Specialized Power saddle on both my road and gravel bikes (Specialize Sitero on my TT bike).

If a saddle works for you in one discipline, try it in others…but it is not a guarantee it will work in other applications.

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Agreed, worth a try and may work, but it may not with a different pelvis tilt and weight distribution that likely accompanies the different position.

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After so long!

Finally got the bike fit…

I think it turned out pretty good…
The lower the post and moved the saddle a bit…
Then they moved the aero bars backwards and cut the excess…

She also told me to add a 1cm spacer to rise the headset…

So far so good… Will be riding in the trainer tomorrow for 2hrs

Will see…

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