Bicycle Fit

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Anonymous's picture

I am looking for information about getting my Specialized road bike refit. I broke my elbow last fall (I did not fall off my bicycle, I slipped on ice while hiking) and have started to ride again but my handlebars seem further away. Does anyone have a suggestion for a store or individual who could help me to be more comfortable on my road bike. Thanks, Nancy Maier

Anonymous's picture
Eloy Anzola (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Carol (not verified)

Alan, at Sid's bike shop (34th just west of 2nd Ave.) will do a very good fit and has the parts on hand to make the changes. Best to go mid-week, or call for an appointment so he can spend a little time with you.

Anonymous's picture
Mitchell (not verified)
Sid's - I'll second it

I just got a new road bike - Alan did the fitting, and the readjustments, and he was/is excellent. I am very happy. By all means, do it with an appointment.

Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
Reducing reach

WARNING: This is amateur advice.

I had a bike that where I had to reach too far to the handlebars. So I bought a shorter stem and a different seatpost that did not angle back. This brought my reach in about 1.5-2 inches.

So perhaps a store can find you a shorter stem and a seatpost that can bring your butt in a little closer to the handlebars.

Anonymous's picture
Marion Duignan (not verified)
Great timing!

I went to the message board tonight to ask if anyone knew anyone about bike fitting - and lo and behold - information before the asking!

is nycc amazing or what?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

"It is. And we can thank our hardworking Webmasters for this particular aspect of it.

I was pleased with my recent session on a fit bike by John at Conrad's, supplemented with a lot of useful advice from Christian. After riding the wrong sized bike for five years, I wanted to know what would actually be the correct size. I ended up buying a Terry bike through Bicycle Habitat, and had my first fitting on it last night.

Craig Upton is probably the guy to see if you want to reconfigure your existing bike.

If you do a search of this MB on fit, you will get 200 posts. Happy scrolling.


Anonymous's picture
martha (not verified)
do you still have pins?

I broke my elbow in a crash last fall and wasn't able to reach my bars until I got the pins and wire taken out. I think the ends of the pins were poking into my muscles/tendons, or something like that. If you still have hardware in, maybe you can talk to your doctor about getting it removed.

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Doesn't anyone do there own fit?

"I can see where a newbie might benefit from having a ""professional"" fit. But anyone who's been riding a while should be able to figure out how to set up their own bike.

It seems that ""getting fit"" has become almost a religious rite. Only some high priest or enlightened guru can do it properly. But depending on which fit guru you choose, you may end up with a very different position.

When I hear that fit guru #2 changed the seat height recommended by fit guru #1 by >2 inches, I really have to wonder what's going on.


Anonymous's picture
Tony Rentschler (not verified)
My guru is Peter
Anonymous's picture
David Regen (not verified)
if a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client...

It’s not just the measurements that count when getting fitted. If you took ten people who were all 6' tall with the same inseam, you’d probably find something different on all of them that would suggest a different approach to fitting each person to a bike. For example, merely taking body measurements doesn't account for things like flexibility.

It’s certainly useful to have someone with expert skills measure you and calculate the “ideal” dimensions of a frame for you, but that should really only be considered a starting point.

Based on my experience, the real benefit of going to a fitting expert is that bodily abnormalities can be uncovered, allowing you to compensate for them. For example, when I was fitted, I learned that my left leg is nearly a centimeter longer than my right leg. My cleats were place to compensate for this, and now there is less stain on my entire skeleton.

The real fitting comes when you get on a bike—either a bike on a trainer if you already have one, or something made for evaluating bike fit, like Serotta fitters use. Once on a stationary bike, your posture and range of motion can be analyzed objectively, and you can provide input regarding your comfort (no small factor).

If you’re perfectly normal and have no abnormalities, maybe you don’t need a fitting, but getting fitted is the only effective way to find out. Considering how much most of us pour (money and time) into this sport, I think the cost of an expert fitting is well worth it.

Anonymous's picture
Tony Rentschler (not verified)
Live vs. virtual fitters

"The ""fitting"" posts assume that the bike is the right size to begin with. It certainly doesn't hurt to get some expert help with this, because if the frame is really not a good size for you, no amount of tinkering with fit will make it quite right.

Also, getting yourself set on the bike, given that the frame is the correct size, can involve some trial and error, so you may need to experiment with different stem lengths and rises, seatpost setbacks, and so on. If one stem doesn't quite work, you may not want to lay out the cash to try another. At least at the bike shop you can, theoretically, only buy what you need to get set.


Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Not convinced

"""It’s not just the measurements that count when getting fitted.""

I never said it was. In fact, I strongly agree that taking measurements and plugging them into formulas is NOT the way to get a good fit. Yet there are lots of ""calculators"" on the web that do just that. And I suspect more than a few ""fitters"" do the same.

""The real fitting comes when you get on a bike—either a bike on a trainer...""


""If you’re perfectly normal and have no abnormalities, maybe you don’t need a fitting, but getting fitted is the only effective way to find out.""

As I said, getting a fit might be a good idea for a newbie (or perhaps someone with a special situation). But I see lots of people saying that they've moved up to a new bike and need to get re-fitted. If you've been riding for a few years, and know what works for you, it's not that hard to choose and set up a new bike.

""I think the cost of an expert fitting is well worth it.""

I'm not so sure. I've read reports on this board of people who were fitted by one professional fitter, and later went to another who raised their saddle MORE THAN TWO INCHES! Both fitters can't be right. I read recently on an internet newsgroup of someone who paid for a fitting based on the Serotta Fit Cycle. He wanted advice from the fitter about what bikes (other than Serotta) would be right for him, and was told they couldn't help him with that. And it's not uncommon now to see fees of $150-200 and up for a fitting.

Yet many people seem convinced that they NEED one or more fitting sessions just like they're convinced they need a Ti frame, boutique wheels, an 30 speed gearing. I think personal experience and a willingness to experiment (combined with the excellent information provided on sites like Peter White's and Sheldon Brown's) should be enough for most riders.


Anonymous's picture
christian (not verified)

"Add to all that, that there's not a ""fit"" that works for all bikes, either. All three of my bikes fit differently, because they're used for different purposes.

You can't get that from a calculator. The important part is determining _what_ you're going to use the bike for. PJW does a good job discussing that.

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
self-selected group

">Doesn't anyone do there own fit?<

If the ""self fit"" works, they wouldn't be asking that question here any more. The very small number of such question you see here is perhaps the indication MOST people still fit themselves.


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