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  1. #1
    Stupid and Dangerous
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    Getting a mountain bike fit?

    Every few months I find myself thinking about getting a bike fit. I feel like my bike is fairly comfortable but occasionally a day or so after a big ride I'll find some soreness in the lower gluteus region of my leg.

    I've been online and have collected lots of info about bike fit and have spent a day getting my bike "setup" but I'm never quite sure that recommended setups apply to my ridding. Most of the setups I've found seem to apply more towards road riding and cross country ridding. Personally I'd like to have my bike setup to be an efficient climber but not to totally sacrifice its ability to comfortably descend.

    So my question is (yeah I'm sure I have a question somewhere) has any one had experience with bike fit and an "advanced" cross country / light free ride setup or will a good overall bike fit serve that purpose. Is a professional bike fit (some costing upwards of $100) worth the money keeping in mind that I have spent a fair amount of time setting up the basics (is the last 5% worth the $$$).

    I know this is all opinion and it's difficult to recommend without knowing me and my ridding style but what's the general consensus on a professional bike fit and who are the fitters you'd recommend for MTB.
    Last edited by mango; 12-07-2004 at 08:56 AM.

  2. #2
    rr
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    I wouldn't waste your $$, you can get all the info you need on the internet or here. If you were a prof. road racer or MB racer maybe, but otherwise just use the info you've already gained and fine tune it for your preference. Your saddle position might be too far back from what you described, but thats just a guess.

  3. #3
    Not just famous; infamous
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    Some free online stuff

    You can check out wrenchscience.com and check out their fit service. It'll tell you how to take measurements (you'll need an understanding friend to help you out) and you can input those numbers into their tables and get the top tube, saddle height and standover measurements. I think speedgoat.com does something like that, but you may have to pay for it.

    Of course, there's no guarantee that those numbers will be right for you. I tried it and the top tube length they recommended was way shorter than I like...and I ride fairly upright. I think the saddle height was a little short, too. hmmm....maybe I didn't measure right

    Anyway, fit systems can help, but ultimately, it's all about how the bike feels. It's better to experiment with saddle and stem adjustments rather than get fit. What works for someone else probably won't work for you.

  4. #4
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    If you keep asking yourself....then there is an issue.

    I would spend the 100 bucks. I got fit last year over at Wheatridge. Cost about 100 bucks and lasted about 1.5 hours. I thought that I had everything figured out but at the bottom of my pedal stoke I was at 23 degree bend. You want to be between 25-30. Doesn't sound like much of a difference but when your ride alot and put in significantly difficult days pain starts to become an issue. So they lowered it so I was around 29 degrees. Felt really really awkward at first and slowed me down quite considerably for a few weeks until my muscles adapted. Turns out I've got a much better spin and alot less pain in the joints.

    Think BigRing in golden does it for cheaper than wheatridge.

    As for the lower glutes...that sounds like a stretching issue. Someone said it best on these boards......"Strectching is worth 1 gear"

  5. #5
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    Great Use of Money...

    ...maybe the most important. Many MTB books call it the most important "upgrade". Sure there is a lot of expertise out there, but if you don't have 100% confidence in the advice of your riding partners then have it done professionally.

    I had mine done at Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, I think the cost was like $80, but it didn't matter because health insurance covered it! The guys told me that that is actually common as the insurance companies see a correlation between proper fit and reduced injury...

  6. #6
    jl
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    Do it. I did it this year and it saved me from buying a bike that was too big. Big savings if you look at buying the 'wrong' bike.

    www.thecycologist.com
    www.sportsgarage.net -- ask for chris.
    Ride On!

  7. #7
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    Have it done at least once!

    I thought a fit was a little more than I needed when I first started biking, but I did one anyway, as it was free (in those days) with the bike purchase.

    wow -- what a difference!

    I recently had it done at the Sports Garage in Boulder, and those folks are *really* good, but it costs a bunch. Again, it comes with a new bike purchase, which is how I got it. Some of the guys at SG used to work at Wheatridge, which I hear is also excellent for bike fits.

    Many of the "common sense" approaches to bike fit are just plain wrong. But be sure the person that fits you has been riding (and fitting) a while, as experience helps. (Fit is almost as much art as science IMHO.)

    BTW, when my seat is too high I get lower-glute pain ...
    The Lee-Man

    A witty saying proves nothing. -- Voltaire

  8. #8
    icegeek is hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by preparation_h
    I would spend the 100 bucks. I got fit last year over at Wheatridge. Cost about 100 bucks and lasted about 1.5 hours. I thought that I had everything figured out but at the bottom of my pedal stoke I was at 23 degree bend. You want to be between 25-30. Doesn't sound like much of a difference but when your ride alot and put in significantly difficult days pain starts to become an issue. So they lowered it so I was around 29 degrees. Felt really really awkward at first and slowed me down quite considerably for a few weeks until my muscles adapted. Turns out I've got a much better spin and alot less pain in the joints.

    Think BigRing in golden does it for cheaper than wheatridge.

    As for the lower glutes...that sounds like a stretching issue. Someone said it best on these boards......"Strectching is worth 1 gear"
    Agreed. Get it done. Wheatridge has an excellent staff. Personally, Chris Russam does my fits. He's a master.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by preparation_h
    As for the lower glutes...that sounds like a stretching issue. Someone said it best on these boards......"Strectching is worth 1 gear"
    I have always been suspicious of stretching ... recent "science"
    suggests it leads to more injury. "Warming up" is more beneficial,
    and if you want to stretch afterwards for the endorphin kick that is
    ok. In particular it appears stretching leads to more ACL tears in
    woman (not a common cycling injury). Soreness and stretching both
    apparently involve micro-tears in the muscle and the release of
    various chemicals .... take everything I have said with a lot of
    reservations ... best as I can remember ...

    -r

  10. #10
    A Guy Who is Going Places
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    At Wheat Ridge we charge $89.00 for an existing bike fit. As mentioneed, it is pretty comprehensive. We look at cleat placement, shoe fit, stem height/reach, seatpost height, saddle fore/aft, and (most importantly) you.

    Right now we are running a special that gives you a free shop jersey with any bike fit.

    Even though i work at Wheat Ridge, and i am a fitter there, I'll speak through the bias and say that getting a bike fit done is a good idea. And even though there's a bunch of good information out there, having it done professionally, with the right tools isn't such a bad thing.
    http://www.anthonysloan.com

    Isaiah 15:5

    There are many good bike companies out there, and I work for one of them.

  11. #11
    Stupid and Dangerous
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    Thanks everyone for the responses, I was really interested to hear about peoples experiences that had been fit and if they thought it was worth the money spent... looks like most people who have been fit recommend it.

    The "pain" I occasionally receive isn't really the motivation for the fit as much as getting the maximum pleasure from a bike I've spent a good deal of $$$ to build.

    As a follow-up for those who have been fitted, what did you see as the biggest benefit of the bike fit?

    Thanks again,

    < as an aside I called Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and their bike fits cost $180 and $400 (for a computer assisted 3-D fit) >

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=mango]
    As a follow-up for those who have been fitted, what did you see as the biggest benefit of the bike fit?
    QUOTE]

    Would you do it if it allowed you to spend more time in the saddle? thats what it did for me.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    The "pain" I occasionally receive isn't really the motivation for the fit as much as getting the maximum pleasure from a bike I've spent a good deal of $$$ to build.

    As a follow-up for those who have been fitted, what did you see as the biggest benefit of the bike fit?
    In my case I found out that I had the legs and arms of someone who is 6'3 and I'm only 5'11. The good news was that with adjustments my mountain bikes could be dialed in quite easily. The bad news was that there is not a production cross (or probably road) bike that fits me correctly. So I had to suffer and have a custom Gunnar Cross Hairs built for me that was worth every dime BTW. Nick and Chirs owners of the Sports Garage (mentioned before) do an excellent job with this.

    A fit was the best bike money I have spent, but my Maverick fork runs a very close second!

  14. #14
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    mmm, mango



    Hmm, at first sight I think you need to lower your saddle and get a longer stem. If that doesn't help take a look at this article.

    Mango Bike Fit

    As far as trusting your riding partners, I wouldn't trust myself with Kraft Mac & Cheese, so you should prob. get a fit from the pros.

    Graeson

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango
    < as an aside I called Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and their bike fits cost $180 and $400 (for a computer assisted 3-D fit) >
    I thought it was $80, but it could have been $180 for me, I just don't remember, especially because insurance paid for it.

    In any case don't start with the 3-D bike fit...I'm not saying it's not worthwhile, but I think start more simply if you need the fine tuning later on, go for it.
    Friends don't let friends give their money to NORBA.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live. - Mark Twain

  16. #16
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    SG Better?

    I don't want to give BCSM a bad name, having never went there myself, but a good friend of mine got a bike fit there, and they were turned off to bike fits forever. :-)

    Maybe it depends largely on who you have do it?

    It's hard to beat the espresso you get with your fit at SG. :-) IMHO
    The Lee-Man

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