On Thursday, I headed to Wheatridge Cyclery in Denver for a bike fit. Myself and Ergon as a company have a great relationship with the shop and a lot of the employees. Although it’s the biggest single shop in Colorado, the staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. The snooty attitude that some bike shops carry around is something Wheatridge knows nothing about. I also like them because they really give back to the cycling community and promote a ton of events.
Anyway, I love trying new fits. I’ve had BCSM, Retul, Wobblenaught, and now the BG fit (body geometry). My fitter was Adam De La Pena. He’s been doing fits for many years and I asked him more information about the fit. Based on all the different experience amount fitters, they have combined a lot of different fit technologies into one.
He started with a general assessment – asking about riding style, duration, other activities, etc. Then, he check my range of motion for all my joints and took a few measurements.
I had originally set up my bike based on what felt kinda right, but I still couldn’t get it right. You can’t really transfer measurements from another bike because the geometry and how the bike fits you in space is different.
He watched me pedal and used some cameras and a software program to measure relative angles of my joints. They didn’t use lasers like some of the other fits, but the assessment seemed accurate to me and I actually think my fit this year is much better than last year. Jeff even commented on our ride yesterday that I look better on my bike, and I’m more over the pedals instead of behind them.
Ok, some of you beat me to the punch and watched this on vimeo already, but here is a short video about what we did at the bike fit. I think the video is more explanatory than trying to type it all out.
I think having a good fit is very important. You can argue over has the best bike fit, and each fitter will tell you their technology is the best. My opinion is that if you ride a lot, then you should probably invest in a more in depth bike fit (other than having your buddy drop a plumb bob from your tibial tuberosity down to the pedal spindle). An in depth bike fit will run you about 200-300 bucks. If you ride once or twice a week, you’re probably fine with a simple fit, but the more you ride, the more you are straining your joints. Hence, the more imperative it is to have a more precise fit. The cost is a beast up front, but if you start having knee pain, it can put you off the bike and/or cost you in physical therapy.
As far as the different computer programs and methods between fits, I really think what matters is that the fitter you are with has a lot of experience. A dumbed down example is putting an inexperienced driver in a high performance car. They can drive, but they will not be able to drive the car anywhere near its full potential because they don’t have experience. Same goes for fitters… every body on a bike is different. It doesn’t matter how great your software or equipment is if you don’t have a lot of experience using it. The crazy thing is one of the best fits I’ve ever had was very simple without all the complex software, but the guy who fit me had been doing it for many many years so he knew exactly what he was doing. Also find a fitter who you can follow up with after the fit, and who cares about the follow-up.
I’ve had a couple good rides on my bike since my fit and I am very happy with the results of my fit at Wheatridge Cyclery, and I will be getting my full suspension fit done there too!