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Old 04-05-2016, 11:11 PM
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Ti Designs Ti Designs is offline
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Fitting sucks.

I went for a ride with a guy who was just fitted on his bike. After just a few minutes I could see a half dozen things wrong with how he fit on his bike and how he was pedaling. I was thinking of telling him to go back to the shop that did the fitting and demand his money back, 'cept I did the fitting. On the trainer he looked great, on the road everything changed. This is nothing new, years back another one of the fitters at my shop said our job was "just to get them in the ball park". I'm probably the only fitter who's clients ride differently on the road than they do on the trainer, so you don't have to worry. I'm just a little shocked about how much baseball tickets are...
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:41 PM
nooneline nooneline is offline
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I always think of fitting as an iterative process: observe, then set a tweak, then observe, then tweak, etc etc. Sometimes the observations is fifteen minutes of pedaling. But sometimes the process of settling into a fit means that the observation needs to happen after a fit has a few hundred miles on it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:48 PM
Happy F Happy F is offline
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Not the first

This is why we do follow up phone calls and visits.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:55 PM
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William William is offline
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I don't know...

Had the person ever been on a trainer before? Do you think there is a difference between being "perched" and being balanced?

The first time I went through a fitting we started outside riding around, then went back to the shop and got on a trainer and went through some fitment process. The bottom line was I still ended up with a frame that was really too small for me.

A number of years later I met with a builder who had me get on my current ride in the shop, take a few measurements, and dialed me in with a sweet frame that fit just right.

Honestly though, I think all you can really do is get people in the ballpark. Even then, some are better than others at it.







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Old 04-06-2016, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by William View Post
The first time I went through a fitting we started outside riding around, then went back to the shop and got on a trainer and went through some fitment process. The bottom line was I still ended up with a frame that was really too small for me.
Yeh, but you could say the same thing for your house buying process...

It's not that they've never been on a trainer before, it's that how they pedal a bike on a trainer is different than how they pedal a bike on the road.

I'll use my friend Ian (Leftyfreak) as an example as I've seen him on the trainer, and we ride together on the road. On the trainer his position doesn't change, it's almost the same between his cross bike and his road bike. When we ride together on the road it doesn't take me long to notice that he's using more angle at the hips than he has in the past, and his stem needs to go lower and longer (probably just a change in stem angle).

I'm not really OK with just getting fit in the ball park. We're talking a sport where guys spend lots of money on go-fast bike parts to get a tiny advantage over their friends. How is "in the ball park" acceptable? As a result a whole fitting industry has formed, with computers and lasers, but it's not really dealing with the basic issue - what they're looking at during the fitting isn't an accurate representation of how they'll ride on the road.

As for the idea of riders tweeking their own fit, I'm having a hard time with it based on what I'm seeing. Making changes in position is easy, I'm sure most people can do it. Knowing what to look for is the issue. There are very clear signs when the body is fighting the pedal stroke, but people are happy to ignore them - it's just a little tug, what harm could it do?
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:52 PM
teleguy57 teleguy57 is offline
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Dang, Ed, I wish I lived near you!
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:15 PM
fuzzalow fuzzalow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti Designs View Post
As for the idea of riders tweeking their own fit, I'm having a hard time with it based on what I'm seeing. Making changes in position is easy, I'm sure most people can do it. Knowing what to look for is the issue.
I will tread carefully here as this is your thread and I respect the value you bring, unsolicited, towards helping make things better for the readership here.

In fairness, the difficulty in discerning "what to look for" is equally represented in both the rider-DIY and the Professional Fitter spheres concerning the topic at hand. What, how, when, where. Easy to ask but hard to know. Caveat emptor.

Comment topically addressed broadly speaking and, of course, not particular to you.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:43 PM
numbskull numbskull is offline
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So is there only one ideal position on a bike, or a range of positions that can produce a good result?

I am beginning to suspect the latter. If that is the case then what makes a fitter choose one over another?
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:50 PM
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false_Aest false_Aest is offline
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Originally Posted by numbskull View Post
If that is the case then what makes a fitter choose one over another?
experience and knowing the body.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:54 PM
11.4 11.4 is offline
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A discussion ongoing across the hall. Most of it applies generally.

But a good fitter is going to be his own harshest critic. He's going to see things the client and other riders may not.

I'd like to say that it's easy, but as addressed in the thread across the hall (on crank arm length), it's damned hard and complicated because every rider is unique and nobody really fits the preconceived model that a fitter wants to apply. It's an entirely new invention every time, and that's hard to do.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzalow View Post
In fairness, the difficulty in discerning "what to look for" is equally represented in both the rider-DIY and the Professional Fitter spheres concerning the topic at hand.
Both groups lack a well defined knowledge base. With professional fitters one would hope that there would be some attempt at raising the baseline of what they know, I'm just not sure how that's done. As an example, I learned about FAI (Femoroacetabular impingement) from a forum member a few years ago. I then spent some time learning about the two types of impingement, and what defines the range of motion of the femur. I've been to 6 fitting schools, none of this was ever covered, so I'm guessing that most fitters don't know what FAI is. Here's a little problem: Let's say a rider has a mild case of FAI where the femur gets angled out at one point as the pedal is going down. This can be mistaken as alignment or a valgus error and corrected for as such. Let's also say this rider is using a pedal system that has rotation but no lateral float. ITBS shows up in short order, the rider spends some quality time with a foam roller treating a symptom because they don't know what they're looking at. I've been a fitter for decades, I only know what to look for because I saw a post about it and one of my clients had a severe case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by numbskull
So is there only one ideal position on a bike, or a range of positions that can produce a good result?
Think about it this way: If the body is manipulating a machine, it's called exercise. If the machine is manipulating the body, and the body is fighting that movement, it's called injury. The most common case of the body being outside of it's range of motion on the bike is having the longest distance from hip to pedal (when the pedal is at 5:00) being too far. As the leg runs out of range, the pedal pulls down on the foot and the anterior tibialis has something called a pull reflex. The pull reflex is a defense for keeping your limbs from getting too far from your body, but in this case the foot is held by the pedal, the hip is held by the saddle, so that pull reflex is causing a spike in tension of all of the connective tissue between those two points. Most people just ignore that little tug...

The first goal of fitting is to get the rider within their range of motion in every direction - that's the ball park of which I speak.

Being within range of motion still covers a lot of ground. At that point we talk about position being about better muscle usage and better performance. That's where it's become clear to me that working with the rider on how they use their body is as important as the fit of the bike - it doesn't make sense to work on one, but not the other...
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:52 AM
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William William is offline
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Originally Posted by Ti Designs View Post
Yeh, but you could say the same thing for your house buying process...
Touche!


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It's not that they've never been on a trainer before, it's that how they pedal a bike on a trainer is different than how they pedal a bike on the road.
That's what I was getting at between being perched and being balanced. On a bike locked into a trainer you don't really have to balance. You are sitting on something that is for the most part locked in place. Out on the road you are balancing and more a part of the bike as you move down the road. Seems to me that a large percentage of people will sit on and pedal differently between the two. If a fitting is done solely on a trainer in the studio it seems to me that a large part of the picture is going to be missing?









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Old 04-07-2016, 07:54 AM
Burnette Burnette is offline
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It Takes Two

I’ve had three fits on the same bike that I’ve had for over ten years. The first fit a year after purchase was a good ballpark measure that I tweaked some afterwards to make right. The second fit (reason for new fit- new saddle, new shoes, got a new fit) was atrocious.

And I put that one down on me. A fitter can use his/her experience and eyes, but much of the onus to get a good fit falls squarely on the shoulder of the rider. You have to know your body well and have enough seat time to understand what you really need. Even though I had those two things on the second fit, I didn’t work well with the fitter. He was very confident in his beliefs and it definitely felt different, so I left the shop and rode. My seat was too far forward and the bars were too high. I eventually reverted back to my earlier set up to get back right.

Last fit I was prepared (reason for fit, fitter with good rep and I knew I was a bit off somewhere) and was very vocal. I knew what worked and what didn’t for me and when a change was made, I rode longer to get a feel for what he was after. We talked about being fresh and being fatigued, core strength, real time spent on the hoods versus drops, we talked about everything.

In the end, we got the butt and legs where they needed to be (I wasn’t really off much there), the biggest change was the bars. By riding longer during the fit, I loosened up and got into my normal position, as if I were riding into the wind and feeling good. He found that my bars needed to go down and that I needed a longer stem. Being locked into a trainer, it would have been easy to sit more upright and disengage my core, thereby giving the wrong feedback.

Last fit was the best fit because I knew more and gave better feedback. As a fitter, don’t beat yourself up about a miss. It takes two to really get it right.

I bought a set of rollers many years ago and really like them. If I ever get a new bike (looks like next year), I will try and get the fitter to let me use my rollers for set up. I believe that riding on the road and using rollers ingrained in me to engage my core at all times and angle my hips/back, so even when I got on the trainer the fit, I was reverting to my normal riding position.

IMO, I believe the optimal fitment technique would be to use rollers and have the rider do intervals on them while you tweak the fit. In this mode, you could examine the rider cruising, while under power, when he/she is fresh and when he/she relaxes and gets fatigued and see how they change position.
What feels right when you’re cold and locked into a trainer will feel different from what feels right when you're warm and riiding like your head is in the wind and when you’re using your whole body to propel the bike forward.

There was a blurb in an old article about a Tour De France director sportif that said that he could tell which riders rode trainers during their off times by their wobbly riding when they came back to camp. Trainers are great and have their place, but they don’t truly replicate riding.

Last edited by Burnette; 04-07-2016 at 07:57 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2016, 10:56 AM
Happy F Happy F is offline
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Let's start with a basic premise A bike fit is a snapshot in time. The body is perpetually changing. If you were to measure someone in the morning you would get different results in the evening. You have the change in height of between 1.5 and 2.5 centimeters over the course of the day .We talked about numbers like they were chiseled in stone. At best they're made of jello. What we need to do this and group is to find posture is and positions that are sustainable to our clients. That they can learn to self adjust over the course of a long ride. The more precise our ability to measure the less accurate we will be.When you are fitting you need to figure out what works for your client not what looks cool at the start line. Looking for what will make them come over the finish line looking and feeling good. An emphasis on the feeling good. And if we are really good feeling like doing it again tomorrow.


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Old 04-07-2016, 11:02 AM
Mzilliox Mzilliox is offline
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what an interesting topic. we are often our own worst critics eh?
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