1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Which Bike Fitting

    Im trying to determine to what extent I should get professionally fitted to my bike.

    A little history and why I think I need a bike fitting.
    I started doing 1/2 commutes last spring (drive half way pedal the rest) which led me to shelve my 20 year old schwinn bi-frame in favor of a new Jamis Cycloross bike (Nova race) back in June. Shortly after buying the new bike I started full commutes 3-4 times a week 14-15 miles each way. In late September I purchased my clipless SPD pedals. I was averaging about about 130mi a week on the bike at this point, and i was happy. But then my knee started to hurt, not during my ride but maybe a day or two after a ride, as the days and miles progressed the pain started coming the evening after a ride and the next morning was wretched. I Finally had to stop ridding go and see a ortho went through some PT/Medication/Eventually a shot in the knee to get the swelling out. After the shot and swelling subsided it had been almost 2 month. From what i have been able to read it was probably the clipless pedals that did me in, or at least that's what i think it was, Without having the float/angle/whatnot set on it properly led to my revolutions of awkward rotation.

    So I looked up my local bike shops, Where I bought my bike they want $50.00 for about an hour worth of fitting time, more of a touchy feely kind of thing for getting set with the pedals and what not. Another local shop has two different fittings they can do a measured saddle hieght, fore-aft positioning, handle bar reach, and shoe cleat placement for $75.00 or they offer all of that plus a Full 3D Fit, knee tracking adjustment, and leg length discrepancy check for $125.00

    There is a third shop in town which seems to do mix of measureing and touchy feely but its more geared to being done BEFORE you purchase your bike not after.

    I dont know which bike fitting to choose, my knee screams oh oh get the one with the full knee tracking and spend the money but my wallet screams to go with the cheapest place.

    Either way, I want to decide soon as its getting warming and I really did like all the gas savings from last years commuting.

  2. #2
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    If you're having knee problems/pain get the fitting you think will deal with that best. I guess there is no way of really knowing which is the best fitting just by price alone but if you pay the extra and get a great fitting I'm sure you'll be happy. If you got the cheaper one and it's not much good you'll regret wasting your money. I guess there's no guarantee that the price is a sure indicator of the best fitting but that's a decision/risk we take every day as consumers. Nobody regrets paying for quality. How much of a premium do you put on your knee health? I know I'd pay a few extra bucks to save my knees.

  3. #3
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    I've gotten Body Geometry Fit's (Specialized certified BG FIT) a couple times on different bikes and I've been 100% completely satisfied each time. I don't have experience with any other fits but I can't speak highly enough of my personal experiences with BG fit's.

  4. #4
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    1: Go for a long ride
    2: Wait until next morning when you are in great pain.
    3: While writhing in agony, ask yourself if the extra $50 might be worth it.

    If I were in pain like you, I wouldn't hesitate if I thought there was any likelihood it would make a difference.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  5. #5
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    I just looked on Specialized site and the BG Fit looks really good to me, but how much did it cost? Also the closest BG Fit shop to me is about 124 mi away.

    My local shop
    The Bicycle Shop -- State College and Penn State Biking and Fitness

    Says " Both Erik and Grant are certified bike fit technicians; each completed the Specialized Bike Fit School."

    But when I searched Specialized site for locations with BG Fit they didnt show up.
    Specialized: Choose Region + Language

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddprime View Post
    I just looked on Specialized site and the BG Fit looks really good to me, but how much did it cost? Also the closest BG Fit shop to me is about 124 mi away.

    My local shop
    The Bicycle Shop -- State College and Penn State Biking and Fitness

    Says " Both Erik and Grant are certified bike fit technicians; each completed the Specialized Bike Fit School."

    But when I searched Specialized site for locations with BG Fit they didnt show up.
    Specialized: Choose Region + Language
    I don't think I'd drive 124 miles for a bike fit, what options do you have closer to home?

    Don't underestimate the power of shoe insoles in addition to the cleat angle. Improperly supported feet can absolutely cause knee issues. Of course, you need someone who knows what they're doing to diagnose anything. Do you have any sports orthos that you can ask these questions to?
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  7. #7
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    I would avoid the one who advertised 'leg length discrepancy' as that sounds as bogus as a chiropractor who says that unless they are talking about someone who has had leg surgery for some serious reason. Different length legs are usually pseudoscience so I would avoid them.

  8. #8
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    I have fancy insoles and have done a bike fitting. Both were helpful, I think.

    OP, do you ride off-road at all? That complicates things. But for a road-going bike, I think a fitting is about the best $100 I've spent on cycling. I don't think you need all the extra gizmos - those are just to impress overfunded Freds. But an hour with the bike on a trainer and a good discussion with someone who knows bike fitting can do wonders.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    AndrwSwitch I primarily ride on the road I would say 90% of the time the other 10% is on Rail To Trail type paths.

    I decided to go with the local shop for 125, They said they said the specialized website was wrong and that they do the Specialized BG Fit and they also have the butt meter (I don't know what to call it) to measure your sit bones to get the proper seat, and shoe measurements as well. which is all included in the price of course any other

    My appointment is this Saturday at 1 They said it can take between 1 to 3 hours to do and then there is typically a follow up appointment a couple of weeks later to see if any tweaks need to be done.

  10. #10
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    Nice. I'll be curious to hear what you think after you have a chance to go for a ride with the new setup.

    If you don't go home with some paperwork that will help you duplicate the fit or at least restore it, make your own record. The Park Tool web site has forms that can help.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Around here, $125 is a pretty good price for a BG fit. I wish i could get fitted. Maybe next Christmas. Hope it works out the kinks.

  12. #12
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    Got the fitting done on Saturday, the price on their website is wrong as they charged 150.00

    My seat is now considerably higher, about 1 3/4" higher it's also flatter and had the fore/aft adjustment. I also now have a new stem that has a greater angle and is shorter. I also ended up buying a new pair of shoes while I was there this was more about them being 40% off and being the correct size than anything with the bike fitting. They did say my left leg was longer than my right and put a shim under the cleat on my right shoe.

    I went for 2 rides yesterday. Sticking with the shops advice of only going on short rides until my body adjust to the big changes. My first ride was a 7mi ride over to my inlaws house that has a short (1.23)mi climb at a 3.4% avg grade. 6.91mi road cycling on 4/14/13 in Bellefonte, PA | MapMyRide

    I only averaged 12.2 mph on the ride, but I blame that on getting stuck at some railroad tracks waiting on train cars to go by. The climb was difficult, but this may be more about my winter unshape than it does with anything else. My legs stretch out a lot more than they did when pedaling, I don't feel like I have as much power and my stamina is off as well.

    Second ride was 4.84mi run down to CVS to return a redbox rental had a similar climb 1.11mi at a 3.4% Avg Grade and averaged the same 12.2mph.

    I'm really surprised by the reduction in speed probably about 1.5mph slower from earlier rides this month, and about 4mph slower than at my peak from last year. I'm hopeful that this is from using new muscle tissues and activating the muscles in a different way than it is a result from not being so stretched out on the bike.

  13. #13
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    UPDATE:

    Its now been 3 months and almost 1000 miles since I got the bike fitting done, and i couldn't be happier. No problems with my knees and the power weakness I can easily attribute to not ridding during the winter months. I'm stronger and faster than ever. Previously I was never able to spin out while in my top gear on flat sections. But now I can quickly ramp up and spin in my top gear, I definitely use more muscle groups than I had before, and I just feel all around a lot more efficient.

    If I were to do this again, which I probably will on every new bike i get, I would not get the 3D part of the BG fit done, unless it was being done with computers/video cameras. A guy standing in front of ya while you are spinning on a trainer trying to use his pencil to determine if your knees are tracking properly just didn't seem to justify the extra expense. For me the measuring my legs / joints and the aligning that up to my bike to adjust my seat height, Seat for and aft, and handlebar height is a must due if you plan on doing any significant time on your bike.

  14. #14
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    Glad it's working well for you.

    When you do get a future bike, give fitting it yourself a shot before you get out your wallet. There are some worksheets on parktool.com that can help, although to be honest I usually just do it by feel.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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