Do I really need to pay Signature $375 for a bike fitting???!!!

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Anonymous's picture

I just completed my 1st triathlon and love my bike but my orthopedic who took a look at my aching knee suggested I get a good bike fitting at Signature. I got my bike at Metro and they eyeballed my fit in about 10 mins. I know I can go back there and ask for a more complete fit for free but am I just banging my head against the wall and should I just cough up the $$ for a 'professional' fit? Also Jack Rabbit does fits for $200 - Anyone have experience with them?


Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)
If you want to be fitted correctly...

"Paul Levine @ Signature is the ""go to"" guy. It will be money well spent."

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
you can find cheaper qualified fitters

"search forum for ""happy freedman"".


Anonymous's picture
Christophe (not verified)

ask for jason Barcoff at Piermont bicycle connection. he's a superb fitter with a great amount of biomechanical knowledge (used to design ski bindings for Atomic, i believe, and is an EMT) i went to him for a fitting after a strained hamstring injury and he's fit me really well on two bikes.

best of all, his fitting is $75.

Anonymous's picture
J (not verified)

Signature is 375 with a 200 credit towards a bike you buy from them. So, it’s a 175 fit, period. They claim to give you templates that cover all bicycles … ???? Even if true, you have to get on the bike, in real time, and fit that bike and its size and geometry to your body and style at that time. Templates would not be determinative compared to the art of fitting - not just measuring, but molding the cockpit to you, your body and your style of riding.

I was fit by Mike Sherry for $200. Over 2 hours and his tweaks added more spring to my stroke, more power and more comfort. He’s a Cat 1 or 2 and a mechanic for Lipton or Saturn, I forget. He trains, races, wrenches and does fits. That is his world. He is on Ft Wash near the GWB – abut 174 St. Real nice guy, there for follow up and a solid rider who knows what’s up. He’ll work on your saddle, rails, stem, bars, cleats, pedals - not just cms, but angles.

Use Mike Sherry.

Anonymous's picture
Donald (not verified)

"I think you have a poor understanding of what a template, in this context, is. Perhaps it's not explained well on the website. Signature's template is a map of your ideal position - the points in space occupied by your hands, feet, butt, etc. Using the template, you can either get a custom bike set up that way or find out if your bike or another stock bike can be adjusted to make that work (by moving seat, seatpost, stem, swapping components, etc).

The template, which is unique to you, is arrived at after determining the type of fit (here we may be talking about an aggressive tt or tri style), riding style, injuries, comfort, etc as well as measuring your body dimensions and adjusting your position on a serotta fit bike using spin scan, camera, and however much institutional experience Paul has.

If your bike can be made to fit the ideal or a reasonable appoximation thereof Paul does it on the spot. I think that's what you were referring to in that ""real time"" sentence. In the short term, you can use this fit for your current bike and use the template to guide buying a new bike that doesn't have to be frankenbiked if you need/want to.

When you don't understand something, don't just make stuff up. I'm sure you had a great experience with Mike Sherry and at half the price, he sounds like quite a bargain.

To the original poster: Go to Paul - he's worth every cent."

Anonymous's picture
J (not verified)
WT Hell ?!

Rather rude of you to say I don't understand, etc.

I know what it is and it is not worth 375. That's why they give a 200 rebate. And, template or not, a particular rider has to sit on a particular bike and spin to get the right fit. And the parameters of the fit can change ... not only from bike to bike, depending on the bike, (the size, the geometry, the components), but also if the rider changes, from age, injury, improvement, style, etc.

You like it, fine. I disagree. But that is no reason to say I don't understand and am making stuff up.

Rude. I bet you wouldn't take such a cocky attitude in person. I wouldn't let you.

I await an apology, Donald.

I'm holding my breath. And crying from hurt feelings. :-P


PS - do you work at Signature?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I agree. Never ceases to amaze how rude and snippy (and possibly passive aggressive) people can be on these posts. If you think someone is wrong, just correct them.

Anonymous's picture
Donald (not verified)

"I suppose then it's even more rude of me to say that you still don't understand. But that doesn't make it not true.

I will try again. Paul will do a ""fit"" (which sounds very much like the fit offered by Mike Sherry). After fitting you and setting you up in his version of the ideal position, he measures the distances and angles between points. This fit is universal. If it is correct, that is the position you should be in. The parameters of the fit do not change from bike to bike, as you claim.

The bike may not work with the fit. For example, the top tube may simply be too long and you would need a tiny stem to acheive the fit as shown in the template. But this does not mean the fit is wrong, it means the bike is. Oh oh! I just said something likely to stir you or others up. But this is what you are buying when you get Paul's fit. His version of the perfect fit.

Now, you can adjust most stock bikes that are the right size for you to a reasonable approximation of the fit (as I said above). It may allow you to acheive the fit, it may simply bring you close enough. Or you may have an ill-fitting bike that requires dangerous amounts of seatpost to extend or 50mm stem or whatever.

If the fit has been acheived with a spin scan, etc, as I described, there is no need ""to sit on a particular bike and spin to get the right fit"" as you say. Spin to where? For what purpose? If crank length is the same and your feet are the same distance apart and your cleats are in the same position and your body is positioned the same distances away (all components of the fit), won't your legs spin the same way on any bike? Yes! Because the geometry of the fit is universal.

You can pay someone to take the bike and components you have and get them into the best possible position given their limitations (assuming there are some). Paul will do that too, but the fit for all those bills includes the universal template.

Your tangent about fit changing because of age and other factors is really beside the point. Of course. That's a new fit.

""They claim to give you templates that cover all bicycles … ????"" They do. As I explained and re-explained. You didn't understand. I hope you do now.

If you don't and you'd like to see if my attitude is the same in person, please do. You may ask for me by name; I am around.

PS No, I don't work there."

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
wow...what a sales pitch!

"i usually run from hype like that. :) not worth $375...the original poster is not looking to buy a bike from the person doing the fit - or from a shop specified by the person doing the fit (so the ""$200 rebate"" is moot).


Anonymous's picture
Donald (not verified)

It's not a sales pitch. It's an explanation. I swallowed hard when I paid for my fit. But it was right (or at least worked very very well for me) and Signature has been very good to me.

Some people don't buy what I just explained. And that's fine. I'm not even sure I buy into the idea that there's a perfect fit. But if you don't know what you're forking over nearly 400 dollars for...

I may be wrong, but I think that just setting up your current bike is much less than $375.

I won't pitch Jackrabbit, but I hear they do a great job too, and at half the price.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
"""I'm not even sure I buy into the idea..."""

"...that there's a perfect fit.""

it's just a starting point.


Anonymous's picture
Donald (not verified)

I believe the idea of Signature is that it's not just a starting point. Or at the very least you're paying a lot of money to get that starting point awfully darn close.

A triathlon postion is typically more taxing on the body than a road position. There's a trade off between comfort, power, and aerodynamics. Signature's feeling is that their experience and plan will get you closest to the nexus of those.

I think it's built into the price - that is, when Signature charges double what the competition charges, the customer has twice the expectation of getting it right.

Essentially they're saying: If you want to get in the ballpark, pay $75. If you want to get it in the glove, pay $375.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
what a crock...

"...but then, someone has to pay for signature's luxurious manhattan studio.

> Essentially they're saying: If you want to get in the ballpark,
> pay $75. If you want to get it in the glove, pay $375.


Anonymous's picture
PLee (not verified)
Someone has to pay . . .

There's a lot of truth in that, I think.

I got a fitting from Paul Levine back in 2002 when he was operating out of his garage in Orange County (?) and I was looking for a custom built bike. I'd have to check my checkbook to be absolutely sure, but I seem to recall the fitting costing no more than $150 or so. Even then, you got some of it back if you bought a bike from him.

It took about two hours and I think it was worth every penny. The interview was extensive and he measured me, my flexibility and my bike. He set up his size cycle with the handlebars, levers, peddles and saddle I wanted to use and then worked on getting the right angles and dimensions for a proper riding position.

His work product is a spreadsheet that lays out everything, and more, that you need to know about setting up the right riding position AND the proper dimensions for a bike that would generate the proper weight distribution and handling characteristics for my style of riding.

Count me as a happy customer. Would I pay $375 today? That would have to be an unqualified . . . maybe . . .!

Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)
here's how Signature describes it

"Mostly becase *I* was interested in how Signature Cycles justifies their $375 fit, I read their description of the process. While I'm sure it's chock full of as much marketing hype & hyperbole as every other commercial product/service out there, it makes for an interesting read.

I hope I haven't transgressed some NYCC message board ethics by quoting it verbatim here (and if I have, moderator please accept my apology & feel free to delete this...I want to save my ethics transgressions for a much juicier discussion!)

This might make more sense if you stand on a tall box & read it aloud in a booming declamatory voice:

""The Level One Fit allows us to make changes to your current bike by adjusting or changing components and putting you in the best desired position within the limits of your existing frame. It is a 2-2.5 hour process that begins with an extensive interview and physical assessment. You will leave with all the components assembled and located properly on your frame, to insure the final fitting target coordinates are accurately met and maintained. You will be provided with a marked up CAD drawing of your bicycle’s critical dimensions and coordinates. This information can then be used to compare any other bike to your new positional coordinates of your current bike.

The Level One Fit uses the Computrainer in the Spin Scan pedal stroke analysis mode along with Dartfish Video Motion Analysis. The Computrainer Spin Scan pedal stroke analysis monitors your power output at every 15 degrees of your pedal stroke, left leg and right leg power output balance, overall pedaling efficiency, average torque angle for each leg, wattage, cadence, speed, and heart rate. This data allows us to fine tune your fit while monitoring the effects of the changes as they relate to power, efficiency and metabolic cost. Small changes in position or posture have proven to sometimes show large improvements in performance. Only the Computrainer can accurately illustrate what is the output of your efforts in to the bike. Our fitting adjustments will be based on a performance oriented goal when using the Computrainer.

The Dartfish Video Motion Analysis software allows us to capture accurate measurements which are unobtainable
when you are in a static position. This degree of accuracy proves to be invaluable in setting you up in the perfect
position to work within your body’s limiters. In addition, the Motion Analysis is used as a tool to let you visualize
your pedaling technique in slow motion and understand the proper techniques necessary to produce power, be
biomechanically efficient and avoid injury.

Our fitting methodology starts at the cleat placement and work its way up the body from the Foot to Knee to Pelvis
to Lumbar spine to Thoracic spine to Scapula to Cervical spine to Elbow to Wrist, Hand and Fingers. All along we are checking and rechecking any adjustments and the resulting effect from your body’s kinetic chain of responses. We use the Computrainer to monitor and control wattage and speed, allowing real world efforts to be simulated during the fitting process. The Motion Analysis is then used to accurately align the critical biomechanical and mechanical land marks to insure proper and efficient alignment to maximize power transfer and avoid potential injurious joint loading.

The Level One Fit is the best process to maximize your power, efficiency, comfort, and control on your bike."""

Anonymous's picture
J (not verified)
In conclusion ...

"Donald said:

""But this is what you are buying when you get Paul's fit. His version of the perfect fit.""

There you go - HIS version.

Just 2 points - anyway you cook it, Signature's is a 175 fit. The 375 is just an inducement to buy from Signature and get the rebate. I bet Signature wish more riders had your attitude ... and discretionary cash.

Next and lastly, fit is part science and part art. The art - if that is an apt term - is in the experience and eye of the fitter, the abililty to see through numbers and make a living person glide into a bike's ""cockpit."" And like art, and unlike numbers, it changes. If I gain 30 pounds in my gut and also become less flexible, my fit changes. It has to. Minimally, the bars have to come up so that my kness/thighs don't hit my belly, and so my back doesn't snap (I hope this scenario never plays out). If I want to do a TT or tri on my road bike, I get aero bars and alter my fit to have me more forward in the cockpit - and maybe I get a saddle with a longer and padded nose to protect my ""furniture."" Cleat position??? To do all this, no template will be final. I have to get on the bike, spin and see if it works and if it works comfortably.

So, we have a parting of philosophies on fit. I think I'm correct ... and $175 heavier. Hey that's it - you have less $$ to carry and can climb better :-P

Bottom line - you're satisfied, I am too. And we ride and smile!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

"Let me try. Sounds like a language issue. The connotation of the word ""fit"" is that that you're fitting something specific, like bike, for instance, to the body. It's very easy to understand why someone would think that. However, in your view, fit is just your optimal body geometry when riding. Whether a bike can be adjusted to let you achieve that depends on the limits of the bike. See? Very easy to explain without being condescending. :-)"

Anonymous's picture
Paul Weiss (not verified)
Paul Levine

As with any premium service, Paul Levine's (Signature cycles) bike fitting is expensive. However, there is not a single educator or professional bike-fitter who has amassed Paul's years of experience, breadth of knowledge about the bike industry and bike mythology, and has a keener understanding of the physiological and mechanical keys to proper bike position. It's very easy to cast aspersions at any expensive service, but in Paul's case he brings a level of professionalism, individual customer care and customization, and high standards...his bike fits cost more because they are simply a superior product. If you have not had a chance to sit down and talk with Paul Levine, Grant Salter, or any of the other Levine-trained fitters, do so before you pass judgement.

Anonymous's picture
Ken (not verified)
Worth every cent

I had a similar experience with Paul Levine years ago when he made house calls. Can also vouch for Happy Freedman. Very thorough, knowledgeable. Made my existing bike even better.

Anonymous's picture
Danny (not verified)

"Interesting. I posted a similar topic a few weeks ago and signature cycles came up as the place to go as well, but I hadn't had a chance to look into pricing. My vote...not a chance in hell. Sorry, but as others have mentioned, there are plenty of qualified fitters who will do it in the $200 range.

And as for the fitting ""actually costing $175"", that's a crock as well IMO. A lot of shops have you pay for the fitting and then credit the entire cost toward a new bike from them. But you shouldn't be strong-armed into buying from that shop just to make the price reasonable. For that same $175 (or a touch more), I could go get fitted and then buy a bike whereever I want just by getting fitted somewhere else."

Anonymous's picture
DvB (not verified)

"I'm enjoying these ""I just spent the per-capita income of East Timor on a bike fitting and I need to justify it to myself and to the world"" anecdotes. Please continue!


(I kid because I love)

Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)

"As in all things, you do reach a point of diminishing returns. You are paying the rent when you patronize any business, and the more lavish their digs, the more you pay.

I don't care how ""precise"" the template, you'll have to play around when setting up a new bike oradjusting an old one. For instance, there is no ""standard"" saddle shape. Exactly where your sit bones will contact one saddle as opposed to another will vary.

Anybody can get you in the ball park. If you want it in your glove, you have to move around."

Anonymous's picture
Regina (not verified)

"Don't fall for the Joe Levine and Sig. Cycles hefty pricetag. Definitely look around at the racers who live here and tweak their bikes day in and out.

I was fit by Bill Peterson (orthotic guy)in RI years ago, and had been riding with a think shim under my shoe for a ""leg length"" issue for four years, that come to find out was on the wrong leg! JackRabitt spent a lot of time with me and listened to my anal tweaks and sensitivities, and i am finally riding and engaging BOTH legs."

Anonymous's picture
William (not verified)
Paying up

As others have noted on this thread, there are quite a few people who offer high end bike fitting. Some cost more than others.

Ever hired a lawyer or a surgeon (or for that matter any expert offering some service)? If the quality of the service is important, I've found that most people are willing to 'pay up' for the best possible service available. I don't think that this behavior is stupid or unreasonable.

I really doubt that two people offering the same type of fitting services are necessarily equivalent, any more than two doctors with same specialty and the same equipment are equivalent. Essentially bike fitting (though rather specialized) and orthopedic medicine have much in common. People in both fields with good reputations (hard earned through years of work in the field) tend to command a premium. This is totally justified.

If you can't afford a premium service, or don't ride enough to justify the expense, or just don't think it is worth it, fine. But knocking the pricing of a service and the people who use it just because you can get it cheaper somewhere is nonsense.

Incidentally, I've never used any bike fitting service, so I hope my comments won't be construed as a self justification.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
smart shopping is a good thing

> But knocking the pricing of a service and the people who use
> it just because you can get it cheaper somewhere is nonsense.

paying a higher price doesn't guarantee a better fit. paying less does not mean you're getting a lousy fit. some people like spending more so they get the feeling they're getting more. most people don't and would rather research the alternatives. given the alternative qualified fitters in the area, signature cycles is waaayyy overpriced.


Anonymous's picture
Raúl García De Mateo (not verified)

You will be blown away.

It is impossible to understimate how important a good fit is. It will have a superb impact on your performance, comfort and health.

Levine is supposed to be awesome.

I have used and highly recommend Mike Sherry:

My perception going in was that it was a bit expensive, while I was there, it became clear that this service was worth dramatically more than what they charge (just don't tell them so).

Compare to a custom made $4000 frame.

hope this helps.

Anonymous's picture
Raúl García De Mateo (not verified)

btw, Kristin Armstrong just won the TT world championship!!!!!

Guess who fitted her...

It is worth it.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
awesome...i'll go to michael sherry right away...

"...i always wanted to win the worlds! :) just kidding...what does he charge?'s the pricelist:


Anonymous's picture
AnnaKat (not verified)
Thank you!

Wow - thanks for all the great input.

Anonymous's picture
tony (not verified)
$75 fitting

Larry and Jeffs does fittings for about $75 also. 2nd ave and 87th/88th.

Anonymous's picture
Ryan R. (not verified)
Bike Fit

Don't mean all the great input and the extemporaneous fighting that usually goes along with a post on this board...ha, just kidding.

But no really.

Anonymous's picture
Perry Roubaix (not verified)

Get the guy who fitted Coppi.
Or Anquetil.
Or Merckx.
Or Binda.

Obviously I think there's a whole lot of voodoo in the bike fitting game. But it's your money and if it makes you feel better on your bike, it's well spent.

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
don't forget to pick up some...

"...bottled water and some jelly beans.

all jokes aside, proper fitting is important. i don't see proper bike fitting as worth $375...that's insanely high given the number of qualified folks (who have with fit-kits and who coach or race themselves) who do it for a fraction of the price.


Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Pain in the Knee


It really depends on your financial situation and priorities, how invested are you in the sport with your Time and Money?

A good fit is very important, getting a bike that’s the right size helps.

Can you get a better fit than the guys from Metro, –most likely. Does it have to be top of the line Spa treatment costing hundreds of dollars? As you can see, that’s debatable. I’m guessing there are a number of people on this MB who can give you a good road-bike fit for a 6 pack of imported beer.

Did your Orthopedist see you on your bike? Running can also cause aches and pains, so I’ve heard. As a general rule, pain in front of knee, –seat too low. Pain in the back of the knee, –seat too high. Use ice and Ibuprofen after long events.

Good Luck

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)

"""Running can also cause aches and pains, so I’ve heard. ""

Understatement of the month?

Just about every triathlets I talk to think running put way more stress on the knee than biking!

Funny thing is, a lot of my biking buddies came to biking because their knees can't handle the running...

This got nothing to do with bike fitting. Just a thought though, where does one go for a ""shoe fit"" for runners?"

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
this makes me wonder...

...why the doctor would recommend to the original poster that she pay signature cycles for a fit? how does the doctor know it's cycling related if the pain came after a triathelon? why recommend a specific (high priced) fitter?


from original post:

> my orthopedic who took a look at my aching knee
> suggested I get a good bike fitting at Signature

Anonymous's picture
Raúl García De Mateo (not verified)

"If you are really interested in a ""shoe fit""... Jack Rabitt is the place to go. They have a locale in Manhattan and in Park Slope Brooklyn.

They'll set you up in a treadmill and record video from a bunch of angles, helping you find the best shoe for you.

It is awesome, and as oppose to bike fits, you only pay for the new shoes, if you decide to buy.

To be clear, pain and aches do have a lot to do with fit (both for shoes and bikes)."

Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
Aches and pains

"There are hundreds of reasons why an athlete would have pains in various places. On the bike, seat position (as Yogi has learned intuitively) impacts the knees. In general, any repetitive knee motion should be limited to a range of motion between zero degrees (straight but NOT hyperextended) and 90 degrees to reduce the chances of overuse injury.

As an orthopedist, I tell my patients to consult a trainer or a physical therapist whenever they start a new exercise program. These people can make sure they employ proper technique and reduce the chances of injury. A proper fit does the same job. You want to be able to enjoy your sport and avoid injury. As a competitor, you also want to maximize your results.

It's important for you to have a good fit on your bike. However, the paradox of ""draw with a crayon, measure with a micrometer"" applies here. Unless you are an elite time trial racer, it's unlikely that two degrees or two millimeters will impact your performance. So the ""super double deluxe"" $375 fit, despite it's allowing you to feel like you have ""the best,"" may not be necessary.

But hell, if you are lucky enough to have that money to spend, then by all means treat yourself.


Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Slight adjustments

>“In general, any repetitive knee motion should be limited to a range of motion between zero degrees (straight but NOT hyperextended) and 90 degrees to reduce the chances of overuse injury.”

This is sound advice if you’re training with weights (like squats) or running stairs...etc.

But as it pertains to the pedal stroke and seat height– your leg (knee) should NOT be fully extended (0/180 degrees) at any part of the circle. In general, a 6-degree bend at the bottom (6 o’clock) is a good place to start.

Near the top of the stroke, your knee is flexed at MORE than 90 degrees. That’s why if you like to stomp on the pedals when climbing, your knees will complain after a ride.

You can still hurt yourself even if you have the “perfect” fit on your “perfect” bike.

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
doh! my first double post. (nm)
Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)
Signature Cycle Experience

"I think some might be missing what Signature Cycles and Paul Levine are about.

'll call it ""Our Signature Story""

After completing the 2005 C-Sig, my wife and I were hooked on cycling. We learned how to ""ride our bikes"" not just pedal them. The more we rode, the more we realized that our stock bikes were not quite right. We had seen Happy Freedman give a talk and demonstration on bike fit (I believe it was part of the Sig program)we were impressed and decided to have Happy fit us. (Paul also gave a talk and demo at a club meeting, we were equally impressed, but at the time Paul only had fittings in his upstate location.) This was a couple of weeks before '05 ENY.

Mind you Happy wasn't cheap. His charged us $150.00 each. The fit was done at Larry & Jeff's since Happy doesn't have his own place. It was cramped, hot and uncomfortable. Based on Happy's fit, we made some changes to the bikes (steerer tube extension, new handlebars and saddle adjustment)and received a printout of a custom frame. This was all well and good but not good enough. Since our riding was getting better, we decided on custom bikes for ourselves.

This is where Paul Levine and Signature Cycles comes into play. So when Signature opened its NY studio I gave them a call just to ask some simple questions about his fit services. Paul wasn't in, and I didn't leave a message. About an hour later he calls me from his mobile phone while on his way up to Serotta. His assistant put caller ID to good use. We had a nice chat for about 10 minutes or so. I made an appointment to see him. We went up to his studio and he showed us around, we talked bikes, his method of bike fit, etc...
I thought the fact that he called me back almost immediately, and spent over an hour with us cinched the deal. We would go with Signature.

The level 3 fit was amazing. Paul did a complete intake interview to get a feeling the type of riding we do, and the type of riding we would like to do. He also did a basic test of our flexibility.Then it was onto the fit cycle. Paul uses a Racermate CompuTrainer, along with a video camera. Everything was checked and double checked. Both fittings took about 5 hours.
9 weeks later we picked up the bikes, Paul and Jason spent another 1/2 hour or so setting up our new rides. Paul had spec'd out a Deda bar for me, but I wanted a 31.8 bars, the Deda bar wasn't available in that size, so he installed EC90 Equipe carbon bars with no upcharge. A nice surprise.

The long and the short of it all is that Signature Cycles offers services, and service that I don't think that any shop in Manhattan can come close to. If you are going to buy a custom frame, or just a level 1 fit Signature Cycles is the place to go. Our experience there was incredible. Overall money well spent.

Everytime we ride our bikes, we smile. And ain't that what it's all about.

Thanks Paul.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Leaving off the questions about who/how much, etc.

"Before engaging ""expert"" services, I'd suggest:

1) Googling the subject matter and educating yourself on the topic -- what is common wisdom, glossary of terms, concepts on frame design, non-traditional thinking, etc.

Some useful links:

2) Bearing in mind that ""a proper fit"" is fluid concept. That which worked perfectly at the end of the season, will be screamingly painful after a six month layoff.

3) There are conflicting theories and criteria about what constitutes ""a proper fit"". Certainly, freedom from pain and injury has to up there.

4) The most common reason for having a fit done is when you are having a frame custom built -- so it may be worth your while to visit the sites of bike builders to get their take:

That site as well as his ""Next Wave"" links

While I would not recommend Metro for high-end fit advice, hopefully they sold you a frame that was ""in the ball park"" and, if not already correct, will require only modification through seatpost/stem/handlebars to achieve a satisfactory result.


Anonymous's picture
beth (not verified)
wish I'd gone to Signature first

"I've been cycling with the club for several years and have had my bike fit 3 times during that period. It's been a learning procees for me, figuring out this whole bike fit thing.

The first was at my local bike shop, when I bought my bike. The fit was ""free"" with my bike purchase: it took about 20 minutes and it was perfunctory, but I didn't know any better.

Six months later, when my aching back & shoulder were driving me crazy, I got fit a second time, by an ex-pro cyclist who charged $200. This fit was more thorough; it took over an hour, and he made several adjustments to my position on the bike.

However, I continued to have a lot of discomfort late in long rides and the days after. I also wasn't happy about my power on the bike. I had signed up to do a long one-day ride in the mountains in Europe, and I didn't want to end up on the side of the road.

I had heard some positive things about Paul Levine & Signature Cycles by then, so I made an appointment. I remember gulping at the price, but I was really worried about making it up those mountains.

The fit session with Paul was unlike the other experiences -- we discussed my training, medical history, my goals on the bike, what I wanted to do better, in addition to all the technical stuff. As a result of the fit, we made some major changes to my bike -- new handle bars, stem, seat position, posture, etc. Afterwards, I rode pain-free for the first time, and I could have kicked myself for all the wasted time & effort, and the days of discomfort. I was so relieved when I did my race well and without pain -- and that credit goes to Paul. Bike fit is one area where you get what you pay for, and I regret I didn't go to Paul sooner.

My husband & I now ride Serrottas from Signature, and the level of customer service that we get from Paul & his guys -- it goes way beyond what any bike shop in NYC will do for their customers -- combined with their expertise -- makes them the gold standard for me.

Hope this helps you with your decision.


Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Is bicycle fit an art or a science?

"Interesting thread on the subject:"

Anonymous's picture
J (not verified)

"The point here is not a ctitique of Signature. We all know they do expert fits.

The point is others do expert fits too ... and much cheaper.

Signature offers a $175 fit for $375 - as a penalty for not buying the bike from Signature. It is, simply, a $175 fit, with a $200 rebate for allowing Signature to earn its profit on the bike. This is just fine - if you buy from them. If not, you are ""giving"" them $200.

Signature is a commercial enterprise and takes expert care of it's customers - for a price. That's the bottom line. It is a business and the $375 is an big incentive to market you into buying your bike from them. Nothing bad about a creative approach to selling.


Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Advertising dollars

As people in advertising will tell you– “there’s no such thing as bad press.”

So this thread established that SC is the place to go to if you have lots of cash, –not a bad reputation to have in Manhattan. 10% off if we bring in this Ad?

So what does one do if you don’t have a boatload of money?
Here is MY system of how much you should spend on a bike fit.

Homeless or students with no income-$ 0, –educate yourself or join a team and get one for free.

Club riders and Competitive Tourists, depending on your net worth and number of dependents you have, –2 to 3 times the cost of your most expensive pair of shorts. At no time should it cost more than 50% of your bicycle.

Amateur racers and twice every weekend people, –spend as much as you want to make yourself happy and support the country’s economy.

Elite racers, – you should get endorsement $ to have their services associated with your success. You need the extra cash for your doctors and hush money.

–The one who has the most FUN wins!

Anonymous's picture
spectator (not verified)
Kudos to Yogi (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
Comparing apples and apples

Lets look at what you pay and what you get.

I've had 2 fits (on different bikes) from Craig Upton (Upton Performance/Mike Sherry). Both involved measurements (Wobblenaught system) and some laser on the bike. First fit was 150 dollars, second was 60 as they didn't have to repeat the measurements. I don't recall any significant performance/comfort enhancements from either fit. As far as I know, their procedures haven't changed and their current price is either 150 or 200.

The new Altheus shop downtown offers a fit for 250 dollars which includes the use of Dartfish video analysis allowing a dynamic look at leg angles, etc. They told me that if you want the Computrainer Spin Scan which looks at wattage output in each leg that would cost an additional 100-125 dollars.

Signature's 375 dollar fit appears to include both Dartfish video analysis as well as Spin Scan wattage output.

Seems like if you want the comprehensiveness of a dynamic video analysis as well as seeing the power changes associated with position changes (Spin Scan), the only places to get that charge about 375 dollars.

Anonymous's picture
John Edwards (not verified)
$375 is less than the cost of a haircut
Anonymous's picture
David Schlichting (not verified)
Not Enough Hair to Bother with, So Why Not a Fitting?

"Just did the Paul Levine fitting thing 2 weeks ago and ordered a Serotta Legend Ti ST, to replace the 1991 Serotta Colorado II in my, uh, fleet.
At 6'2"", 36"" inseam and 220 pounds, stock frames are not really suited to me. I had seen Paul Levine do a fitting demo at Interbike 2 years ago, and many of you SIG folks had a similar experience locally.
This was my third custom fitting: That 1991 Serotta was fitted by a guy at Serotta in Saratoga Springs (used to be able to do that) and my Spectrum touring bike was done by Tom Kellog in 1996.
Both of these guys did this with a measuring tape and experienced eyeballs.
I thought both of these bikes fit me very well, albeit each somewhat differently, after all, one is a touring bike and the other is more a racing bike.
In the end, my new Serotta will fit more like my Spectrum.
In my view, Paul has attempted to translate into numbers what the old masters did by instinct.
Is it worth it? Each must answer this question for him/herself. Even cycling gods and godesses such as ourselves age. That stock frame you fell into 6 years ago, may still feel OK, but that does not mean it is still optimal on what has become of your body.
Like an episode of CSI: you must be prepared follow the evidence: if you don't feel you'll get anything out of it, you won't. If you're not open to a detached observation that suggests another fit option/adjustment, then you waste your time.
Everyone of us knows a story of someone who got a bad fit. In my opinion, Paul's processes are on sound ground and worth every penny.

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