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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,846
1/19/12 4:20 P

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Thanks! No it's your turn to explain it to the next person that ask that question.

It will get better and better as you adapt.

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BLUE3505's Photo BLUE3505 SparkPoints: (2,580)
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1/19/12 4:02 P

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I started this topic months ago, and I figured I'd follow up and say that I FINALLY went for a fitting earlier this month. I didn't spring for a long session complete with lasers and such, but opted for a more affordable and shorter fit session at the LBS. I must say it made a world of difference, even though the adjustments were fairly minor. I'm much more comfortable and stable on the bike now. Thanks for the advice everyone. I'd highly recommend getting fitted to any newbie such as me.

kojak6719@yahoo.com
IMSMILEY88's Photo IMSMILEY88 Posts: 1,883
10/23/11 8:15 A

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ZOE, thanks for the testimony! I need to make an appointment or I will never make my goal of a century.

Dana, Half Fanatic #1693

Completed 2013 Events:
Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles
Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles
Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles
Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon
Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles


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ZOEMCMAC's Photo ZOEMCMAC Posts: 251
10/23/11 12:00 A

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I found my bike fit for my used bicycle by looking up which Specialized dealers in my area could do it (I knew my handlebars were a MAJOR issue, and if we got into tweaky parts... I wanted a better bet on the LBS having the parts).
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCD
ealerLoc.jsp
and then pull down that you want someone who does BG fit.. (weird, today my LBS isn't showing up.)

It's the best investment I have ever made for the bike, and I learned SO MUCH in that 90 minute session.

(Even so much that when a spinning teacher tried to claim she was a former pro, and my seat was MUCH too high.... I had the confidence to blow her off - I know my body. 5 minutes later she was telling another spinning student knee pain is normal for high mileage. Nope, it just means your seat is too low. So the one pro I have heard from didn't know what she was talking about)


I love longer rides (70-100) and my century was pain free thanks to the suburb fit. I am really cheap and on a little 20 mile ride my arms were starting to hurt, and I mentally snapped with "this is ridiculous!" (I had already done a metric century & a 80 with the dodgy fit... the 80 my hands were totally numb) and went to the shop to book the appointment. I was amazed at the difference it made, and was sure to go back and tell Nick how pain free my century was thanks to him.

There is also a physical therapist in this area who does fits, that could be another route to find a pro.


-------
past accomplishments:
- cycled 101 miles! (11/2010)
-completed "Couch to 5k" training program 5/4/2010
- 5/8/2010: Willow Glen 5k/ (3 miles): 34:13! Average pace was 11:20!!!
- 5/2/2010: Na


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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,846
10/20/11 3:34 P

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This is the Key.

From Giant-Steps
"They complimented me on my flat back and said they wished they could bottle it and give it to all their riders."

If the back is flat you have power from the hips. This can only happen when all things are considered. Flexibility has a great influence on your position. Everyone can improve position with improved flexibility.

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10/20/11 3:20 P

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Some of the bike shops I worked at offered the Fit Kit. To me there was only one thing in the Fit Kit that was useful. That was the RAD or Rotational Adjustment Devices which allowed us to set up cleats quickly and accurately. Back in the day pedals didn't have float like today and getting the cleats set up wrong not could not only lead to a lot of pain but could blow out knees (had one teammate who never fully recovered from riding with misaligned cleats). One shop I worked at looked into just getting the RAD but at the time the whole Fit Kit was only a little more than just getting the RAD. Except for the RAD I considered the Fit Kit to be a sales tool. Before we had it we lost some sales because cyclists believed that our competitors who had a Fit Kit could serve them better and when we had a Fit Kit we used it as a selling point for customers who were shopping at stores that didn't have one.
The Fit Kit gave very good recommendations for for most cyclists who had fairly average characteristics, i.e. the folks who are easy to fit anyway. As I got to the edges of the charts the recommendations got farther and farther off. I found a lot of times that I would measure customers and tell them what the Fit Kit recommends with the caveat that I thought it was way off and what I recommended. I'm certainly no expert but eventually I realized that I could fit someone better by just going on a ride with them and watching them ride for an hour or two.
The most expert fit I got was when I conferred with coaches at the Olympic Training Center. They complimented me on my flat back and said they wished they could bottle it and give it to all their riders. They said that I obviously spent a lot of hours in the saddle since I looked very comfortable and natural on the bike. I asked if there was anything they could fine tune and they said that they basically get people in the ballpark and that the millimeter fine tuning only comes from hours in the saddle and trial and error which I had already done. I went in sure that their sage advice would raise my cycling to greater heights but since their advice was not to change anything I left a bit underwhelmed.
If you want someone to check your position another resource is custom frame builders. Custom frame builders are usually highly experienced at fitting difficult to fit cyclists and most of them are former competitive cyclists or randomeurs and know a lot about how to be comfortable and efficient on a bike.
As far as frames go there is a lot more to it than seat tube length or their numeric size. I can make almost any bike fit me. I like to get more over the pedals than most cyclists so I favor a steep seat tube angle and having a long torso for my height long top tubes fit me best. I can make a bike with a shallow seat tube and short top tube fit with a no-layback seatpost and a very long stem. I discovered that frames that are closer to my dimensions that don't require going to heroic measures to fit ride a lot better though. Both bikes with short top tubes and long stems and bikes with long top tubes and normal length stems locate the handlebars the right distance from the saddle but the later rides much better than the former.

BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,846
10/20/11 12:20 P

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BLUE3505,

Check into the bike club thing. Sometimes they bring in fitters to do talks and maybe you can be a Guinea Pig, that would be free. Often times they guys and gals will have boxes of stems and saddles to try.

HEATHERLAMB brought up the leg length issue. Where is the leg too long or different, Tibia fibula or Femur? It makes a difference where and how you adjust for it. The leg length thing is in the strength and flexibility section of a fit.

Do you have access to an indoor trainer? Video camera or phone? The good fitters will tape every session, give you a CD along with all the measurements and numbers. If your ever without a bike, you can be on the road in a few minutes right in your position.

Do it yourself? Trainer, little bright colored sticky dots, video camera, level, laser (cheap will do). Put the dots on the line of force from the, front, side, and rear. Dots on the shoulders, hips, all the important points. This is the key, you must be riding in the dynamic and video is captured here. The static, where you are just sitting on the bike and the fitter rotates the feet 0-90-180-270 is only good for a ballpark. You must be riding under some load in the dynamic mode to be truly fitted correctly. Look at yourself, freeze frame, hold a protractor to it. Be creative. I bet by next season you will know much about yourself and be more confident on the road.

I share this as I have been in more pain than you can imagine. I'm still on the bike and real good for the most part even with all kinds of spare parts. It's my goal to keep others from learning the hard and expensive way.

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BLUE3505's Photo BLUE3505 SparkPoints: (2,580)
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10/20/11 9:12 A

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Again, thanks all for the advice. It's not that I'm in any unbearable pain, it's just that I wonder if I couldn't be more comfortable with a few adjustments, and I don't know any cyclists personally who are qualified to help me out. I'll look into getting a fit soon, either from the LBS or a certified specialist if there is one nearby. I've also got to look into getting some cold weather clothing. It's very suddenly turned to Fall here in the Southeast.

kojak6719@yahoo.com
HEATHERLAMB's Photo HEATHERLAMB Posts: 1,702
10/20/11 8:37 A

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I 100% agree that a pro bike fit is worth the money. After getting my road bike, my LBS set me up with the 20 min fit. But during my first long ride on the bike, I had terrible pain in my left knee. I went back to the bike shop and got the 2 hr fitting, where we discovered that my left leg is shorter than my right. After adding a couple of shims under my clip and shoe inserts, the knee pain subsided.

That's not to say that I haven't had any "growing pains" with my bike...it took several rides for my body to adjust to the new body position. I did experience neck stiffness at first, but after a few rides my neck got used to the position.

Regarding the sore butt issue...a good LBS will even be able to measure the size of your sit-bones and recommend a saddle based on that. I have absolutely no saddle soreness anymore! :)

Edited by: HEATHERLAMB at: 10/20/2011 (08:39)
Picture: Cuddles with my son

SW: 240 (July, 2004)

GW: 165



BILL60's Photo BILL60 Posts: 228,543
10/20/11 7:51 A

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BARRONVC is a walking cycling encyclopedia. But more important, he's always willing to share what he knows. Super guy....

"Excellence is but for the few."


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IMSMILEY88's Photo IMSMILEY88 Posts: 1,883
10/19/11 5:20 P

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Wow, BARRONVC! You have a lot of great advice! Thank you!

Dana, Half Fanatic #1693

Completed 2013 Events:
Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles
Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles
Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles
Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon
Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles


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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,846
10/19/11 3:14 P

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BLUE3505,

No knock on your LBS guy, but being a pro cyclists doesn't make him a fitter. I know a lot of former Pros that set everybody up the same, in a race position. Maybe this guy might be good but it is not a guarantee.

"The hand pain and sore butt I figure are to be expected, but the neck issue leads be to believe my stem height or seat height or something is off. I'll make an appt. soon to get fitted."

This area should be able to be improved. Ask about the top tube/seat tube and the relationship/balance on the bike. You can do some corrections with sliding the seat fore/aft-up/down or changing stem length and height. Have the guy put you on a trainer and work on it this over the winter.

I see this problem with the hands and neck often. Starts with the hips being in the correct position, rotate foward-power position. If the seat is wrong or causing pressure in the wrong area your hips will be in the wrong position. You can do a lot with limited cash, just think outside the box. Look around for cycling clubs, some times people have resources to share.



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BLUE3505's Photo BLUE3505 SparkPoints: (2,580)
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10/19/11 2:36 P

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Points taken. I understand what you're saying. I suppose that for a cash strapped and casual rider such as myself, a LBS fit and "near enough" bike may have to suffice for now. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

kojak6719@yahoo.com
BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,846
10/19/11 1:53 P

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BLUE3505,

Good question. You are in your 30's. If you have some pain issues what will that be like when you near 60? I never had pain on the bike until I reached my early 50's and the years of hard work and age caused me issues. I fought the idea of somebody knowing how I should be fitted. I tried cameras, freeze frame, lasers, and used to fit a lot of people in the 70's and 80's. I could not fit myself and didn't realize how much my aging body and flexibility was affecting me. Flexibility and balance are a huge part of my program, I have greatly improved and my cycling position is constantly evolving.

CDNTRIGIRL said, "You are on and off the bike for measurements and pedalling for a good period of time. It should take about 1 1/2 hr to 2 hours."

It will take at least 2 hours and several follow ups. The first 20 minutes will be body flexibility, body measurement, physical issues, and strength testing before you even get in a bicycle.

"I've seen various videos and read plenty of tips about bike fit, but I'm wondering if it's worth it to have my LBS do a fit session for me."

Find the best certified fitter in the area. Make sure the fitter has experience with people like you. Some certified fitters are used to doing mostly elite road racers, some with elite ti-athletes, and then some are good at working with people that have had injuries. Find a good fit, if you are not an elite racer look for a fitter that matches your needs. Experience is a huge factor so do your research and ask questions, maybe even observe a fitting. You will learn a lot from watching others.

"My bike frame is the right size for me, but I can't seem to tweak all the minor adjustments to my liking. "

With all due respect, how do you know your bike is the right size for you? You are only assuming given the knowledge you have. It might be, but might not. Maybe it's a combination of your position and riding form. The bike fitting starts (bike part) with the central axis, bottom bracket as a datum and your feet (shoes-cleats) to establish a line of force. It will take time to adapt to any position change and the fitter will do check ups. Everybody has a different body.

"I have neck pain on longer rides, and my hands hurt too."

Probably this can be helped if your position is corrected and a fit. The fitter may also be a cycling coach and help with your cycling form. I had a multi level neck fusion, a custom fitting, custom frame, and now I can ride pretty much pain free for an old beat up man. It takes time in the gym, working on strength and flexibility, form, and position to attain a feel that you are one with the bike. Consider, everyday the body changes, some days we are fresh and loose, others sore and tight. If the body is hurting it will develop bad habits in form and position to over come and issue in one area and move it to another.

"Have any of you ever paid for a bike fit? "

Yes, twice. Once with the best fitter I could find. Once with John Howard and my fitter working together doing training on my physical issues. John Howard Fitte System was very good for finding my physical weakness after 2 spine surgeries and a hip replacement. I use many of his flexibility exercises in my training. I paid twice and it's worth it. Double Spine fusion $75,000, hip replacement $80,000, two fitting with the best under $500.

Good luck, it's a learning process and you are asking all the right questions.

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BLUE3505's Photo BLUE3505 SparkPoints: (2,580)
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10/19/11 1:43 P

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Thanks everyone. I bought the bike used, but had it checked out by my LBS to make sure it was the correct size for me. They do throw in a fit when you buy a bike, but I'd have to pay since this one wasn't purchased from them. As for a specialist, our LBS guy is a retired pro and has been a great help to me in the past. I trust him to do a proper job at the fit, but I guess I'm just being cheap!

The hand pain and sore butt I figure are to be expected, but the neck issue leads be to believe my stem height or seat height or something is off. I'll make an appt. soon to get fitted.

kojak6719@yahoo.com
CDNTRIGIRL's Photo CDNTRIGIRL Posts: 136
10/19/11 1:30 P

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I had to drive an hour to get my bike fit. I live in a fairly small town and there are 2 specialists about an hour away. I would google "bike fit specialists" for your area and see what comes up. My guys live here in Canada but were trained in California. You could also work from the bike specialist training site to see if they will let you locate a specialist in your area.

I should also clarify I ride for fitness and have a road/tri bike. I usually put around 3500 kms + on my bike a year. If you are looking for an hour ride around your block on a regular bike then the bike fit may not be worthwhile. I have found my bike fit to be a great tool to ensure I am riding the right type of bike for my frame. Yes, I would still like to be the one sporting the shinest and newest ride next session but in the meantime I know that my current bike is paid for and I am getting the most comfortable ride possible.

IMSMILEY88's Photo IMSMILEY88 Posts: 1,883
10/19/11 1:13 P

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Follow up question, how do you find a place to get a good fit? I don't belong to a bike club & I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) that my local store would think their 'fit' is good enough.

Dana, Half Fanatic #1693

Completed 2013 Events:
Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles
Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles
Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles
Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon
Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles


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CDNTRIGIRL's Photo CDNTRIGIRL Posts: 136
10/19/11 1:12 P

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Hey Blue,

Great question... hands down I think a professional bike fit is a good investment. I ride a Cannondale Ironman 600. It's getting to be an older ride but I've got it customized to fit me with a great saddle and a new type of aerobars.

A "real" bike fit (no disrespect to the 20 mins from a LBS) is from a certified bike fit specialist. You are wearing your actual bike gear and it's a workout. You are on and off the bike for measurements and pedalling for a good period of time. It should take about 1 1/2 hr to 2 hours. In the end you learn where you want to be on the bike and it feels natural. I can ride for several hours now without my legs tiring. Hands are a combination of good gloves, the tilt of your bars and overall good fit.

I'd get a pro fit and you'll be amazed at the difference. Well worth the investment.



QNOFHARTS's Photo QNOFHARTS SparkPoints: (6,104)
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10/19/11 1:10 P

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my feet tingle and fall asleep too! I'd love to hear any tips and insight on that as well...

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IMSMILEY88's Photo IMSMILEY88 Posts: 1,883
10/19/11 1:08 P

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I've been riding off & on for almost a year now (hard for me to believe!). I got a free bike fit when I got the bike & have had it adjusted a few other times. However, I still continue to have neck pain (even after just a couple of miles) & I have a ganglion on one wrist that hurts. Oh, and my feet tingle & kind of fall asleep! So, I've been thinking about a professional fit, too. I think/hope it'd go into a lot more detail than the free ones you get at the shop.

And, I'd love to hear some more on this topic, too!

Dana, Half Fanatic #1693

Completed 2013 Events:
Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles
Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles
Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles
Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon
Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles


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SARACYCLE's Photo SARACYCLE Posts: 328
10/19/11 12:08 P

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When I bought my road bike, I was fitted for it. I had neck/shoulder pain, and it was noticed by club members who road with me, that my shoulder blades seemed to pinch in the back and was recommended to get a wider handlebar. I did, that was thrown in for the fit. Well worth being fitted. Hand pain may happen on long rides and I just switch to better fitting gloves, or know its time for new ones! I try not to put too much pressure on the palms and switch positions all over the bars. Now, my mountain bike was given to me and just happened to fit great. It's an older specimen but sure gives me a great ride on the trail!

Sarah


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QNOFHARTS's Photo QNOFHARTS SparkPoints: (6,104)
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10/19/11 11:07 A

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When we bought our bikes, the BS did the fitting for us before we ever left. Anything that makes the rides more comfortable is completely worth it! I would go back to where you bought the bike and they may do a fitting for free.

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BLUE3505's Photo BLUE3505 SparkPoints: (2,580)
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10/19/11 11:05 A

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I've seen various videos and read plenty of tips about bike fit, but I'm wondering if it's worth it to have my LBS do a fit session for me. My bike frame is the right size for me, but I can't seem to tweak all the minor adjustments to my liking. I have neck pain on longer rides, and my hands hurt too. Some of this is normal, but I'm wondering if it could be helped. What do you folks think? Have any of you ever paid for a bike fit? If so, do you feel it was worth it? Thanks guys.

kojak6719@yahoo.com
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