So about a year ago I revisited my bike fit. The fitter is a fan of Steve Hoggs methods and we started a journey (there is no better way to describe it) to increase my comfort on the bike. The great thing was that most of my fit was still pretty spot on but some of the changes he made were:
- Added 6mm of shims to one leg to balance out a leg length discrepancy
- We added pedal extenders (big ole honking 17mm to each side) to help address my Q factor (I have duck feet and now my knee tracking is infinitely better)
- Changed my saddle after a saddle session (I went from a 143 to a 168 power saddle). The reason was where my hips sat when I roll forward was simply more comfortable (even though by my sit bone measurements I should be a 143).
- Increased my saddle height by another 5mm over what the normal “preferred” height to allow my hips to roll over more
It’s been an interesting journey (and we aren’t done yet) but I thought it would be interesting to hear some others stories about what they have done to create a greater synergy between yourselves and your bike
I live less than a mile from Specialized world HQ. There was a former LBS owner who worked as a fitter for them for many years. He was a hybrid old school fit by intuition with all the electronic measuring device tools and tricks.
So I take my new Orbea in for fitting. It comes with multiple bike stems, all that rotate up and down to the angle you like. But as you rotate up, it moves a little closer to you.
So he starts with me sitting on the bike, does some quick adjustments and then turns on the computers. Then we do the big adjustments, I ride again, more computer work, a few fine tunes, and then the real work begins.
At this point the computers are off and it is all his decades of experience, gut feel and knowledge. He switched stems at least five time, each one at multiple angles. We tweaked anything and everything that moved on the bike … FOR FIVE HOURS! At one point I asked him if he was going to start charging me rent.
However, I have never ridden a bike that was more comfortable, even for multiple imperial centuries. I ended up taking my tri bike in for a fitting. Not quite as long but identical results.
A good bike fitter is worth every bit of the investment of time and money. Unfortunately my guy retired and moved away.
That sounds amazing. My guys has spent at least 7 hours tweaking my fit over the past year. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. I feel like we are really close to nailing it
Over the years I have had several bike fits, from experienced eyeball methods to Retul. Most of those took anywhere from a lot of time to a whole lot of time, but got my fit sorted out after a few returns to the shop. I think the key is generally finding a good fitter, as their experience is supplemented by technology rather than replaced by it.
A couple of months ago a local shop got the Idmatch machine so I decided to give it a whirl. It was fantastic!! Total time in the shop was under an hour and the fit from the machine, slightly modified by the fitter (experience as mentioned previously) was perfect. They also line up shims and other adjustments to your shoes, recommend handlebar widths and drops, stem lengths etc. When I asked the fitter what he liked best about the machine, he said he can now easily do 5-6 fits a day rather than 2-3 and that people rarely come back for follow on adjustments. I did go back a few weeks later to get my other shoes adjusted to the new parameters but that was it. Really cool.
Wow that sounds really slick! My fitter is a really great guy but I feel like I’m a tough case. I think it’s getting close just needs a little work
I was just watching a video on saddle adjustments as my indoor bike is so off. Don’t think I have enough time before ToS to get it adjusted. It sounds like it’s so worth it to get this done soon. Thanks for the posts.
I have always struggled with a sore bum after about an hour in the saddle, and bike fits have not helped . I have wide hips that narrow sharply. A wide saddle has me rubbing my inner thighs , so I ride with a saddle designed for women, which works to a point. The specialised big fit had me stretched out with my chin just above the stem. I went somewhere else because the fitter used a saddle pressure map. He changed my position to sit up and beg, which was his interpretation of a slightly more comfortable position, but I do not equate angle of torso with comfort very well, I am happy stretched out.