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  1. #1
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    Fitting: When should a newbie get one?

    Question: When should I get an advanced fit? Something that hits the cleat placement and gives me optimal riding position?

    Im a returning rider and very much out of shape. Im on week 2 of my new bike and I think I have been having small fit issues from the basic shop fit I received once I received the bike. Im not sure if its small things or large enough to warrant a fit but everytime I go further... I feel pain in multiple places.

    1. Right toe. Not exactly the toe but right at the base of the toe. It practically feels like when I "push down" on the pedal... Im using that part of my foot and not the "top center" of my foot. So, the longer I ride... the more pain Im getting right at the base of my right big toe.
    2. I feel like Im "reaching" a little bit too much. I dont know how to explain it but when Im on the hoods... I just feel my arms are a bit straighter than the small bend.
    3. Saddle. While I think I solved my saddle issue with a Brooks C15 cutout... I still feel that I have to adjust alot and move back but when I move back I feel like Im reaching.

    When I was riding a lot, a few years ago, I was maxing at 40-50 miles but once I got a fit... I passed the 50 mile mark with ease. So, I know a fit is worth it but is it worth it even though Im 80 lbs over my "wanted weight?" Or should I get a 1000 miles on the bike before a fit? With only having the bike for 8 days... I have only hit the 150 mark as of this mornings ride.

  2. #2
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    If I were you, I'd go back to the bike shop and ask them if they could double check your fit now that you've have a couple weeks to ride the bike. I don't think they should charge you an additional fee. They are your local experts and want to have you as a returning customer.

    On our Saturday group ride, my LBS is great in providing me tips and advice to get me riding optimally; including adjustments to my fit. Last weekend he noticed my saddle needed to be slightly adjusted and I noticed an improvement afterwards.

    They do this for all their customers. I don't think it has anything to do with me purchasing three bikes from them either (3 mtn bikes for my teenage sons and my new Orbea Avant last month).

    I hope it works out well for you!

    Sent from my LG-K425 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    What aintskeered said. I just bought a new Roubaix, and like a dummy I forgot to bring my shoes with me. My LBS says no problem, he fit me in tennies and said after get a few miles on it come with shoes and we'll set you up. Any decent shop will re-adjust your fit
    Last edited by stogies4life; 05-09-2017 at 05:18 PM.

  4. #4
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    Yes, you should.

    One word of caution. I had a >$350 dollar fit done by a guy who was right on all points...except my cleat position. This caused extreme pain under my kneecaps (like wash down three Tylenols with beer type of pain) for days. I went back and he was unable to rectify the problem. I eventually did it myself with trial and error on very short rides. Turns out my cleats were set too far forward, moved them back and all that pain was gone, instantly. The rest of the fit (factoring for the 3mm cleat change) did have me riding faster and using more balanced muscle groups.

    Where I am trying to go is... cleat placement and hotspot issues on the foot can be difficult to trace since the fitter is usually asking for your feedback about where cleat should be (he can measure but there is still a certain level of subjectivity involved). Or, you can just be reaching to the pedals and rolling your ankle to compensate that little extra height.

    Don't hesitate to go back and ask. I did with my fit.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for your posts. Unfortunately, I tried talking to the shop and while they didnt outright say no... the comment was "there is only so much we can do unless you get a pro fit!" So, I didnt take that as a positive so this is where my question begins.

    Overall, I know that I will be getting a fit sooner or later but my main question is if I should pull the trigger on earlier? Or, should I wait until I get more acclimated with my bike and weight for a 1000 miles or something equivalent?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtiClydesdale View Post
    Question: When should I get an advanced fit? Something that hits the cleat placement and gives me optimal riding position?

    Im a returning rider and very much out of shape. Im on week 2 of my new bike and I think I have been having small fit issues from the basic shop fit I received once I received the bike. Im not sure if its small things or large enough to warrant a fit but everytime I go further... I feel pain in multiple places.

    1. Right toe. Not exactly the toe but right at the base of the toe. It practically feels like when I "push down" on the pedal... Im using that part of my foot and not the "top center" of my foot. So, the longer I ride... the more pain Im getting right at the base of my right big toe.
    2. I feel like Im "reaching" a little bit too much. I dont know how to explain it but when Im on the hoods... I just feel my arms are a bit straighter than the small bend.
    3. Saddle. While I think I solved my saddle issue with a Brooks C15 cutout... I still feel that I have to adjust alot and move back but when I move back I feel like Im reaching.

    When I was riding a lot, a few years ago, I was maxing at 40-50 miles but once I got a fit... I passed the 50 mile mark with ease. So, I know a fit is worth it but is it worth it even though Im 80 lbs over my "wanted weight?" Or should I get a 1000 miles on the bike before a fit? With only having the bike for 8 days... I have only hit the 150 mark as of this mornings ride.
    For your foot/right big toe, I would suggest moving the cleats back. For the "reaching feeling" you could get a shorter stem or you could work on flexibility - you're only two weeks back on the bike and still adapting to the bike so getting a new stem is probably not the wisest choice. You don't say what the saddle issue is, but it might also be an adaptation issue that will take time.

    As a general rule you can experiment all over the place without fear. Just mark the original position of everything before making a change. Ride AT LEAST 100 miles on any change unless you feel pain right away. You need to adapt to changes and it often takes a while before you feel the benefit of any change.

  7. #7
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    Yes, First step should be to go back to the bike shop that sold you and set up your bike

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtiClydesdale View Post
    Thank you all for your posts. Unfortunately, I tried talking to the shop and while they didnt outright say no... the comment was "there is only so much we can do unless you get a pro fit!" So, I didnt take that as a positive so this is where my question begins.

    Overall, I know that I will be getting a fit sooner or later but my main question is if I should pull the trigger on earlier? Or, should I wait until I get more acclimated with my bike and weight for a 1000 miles or something equivalent?
    Other guys will agree with me that fit changes slightly as your fitness/flexibility does. Normally, this happens with some sort of regular riding. No hard numbers but generally the more you're out there, the more you stretch (okay, once in a blue moon or more) the lower and longer you'll be able to go. You don't have to...but you can. The issue is that if you get a fit now, you may want to have a more aggressive one in the future. Conversely, if you get a fit when you're palms on the floor flexible and all around jacked....and you pull the bike out a year later and 10lbs heavier...and you realize you can barely reach the hoods comfortably.

    It's a balance.

    If I were you... I'd lower the seat 3mm's and go out there and ride. My internet armchair quarterback guess - and that's all it is - is that you'll stop rolling that foot to compensate for a tall saddle, and lowering the saddle will increase the amount you can reach quite a bit. If it's a seat height issue, both of those things should resolve instantly. It's a single change you can make today. If it feels worse, get that metric ruler out and go back to where it was.

    Oh first rule of playing/tinkering/changing bike fit: ALWAYS make ONLY ONE change a time. Once you make more than one you won't know which of the many changes is responsible for the new feeling on the bike.

    Do you own a carbon bike? Does the clamp have a torque spec? You'll need a $50 torque wrench from Amazon. Don't ham fist that bolt.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  9. #9
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    I would do some research and find a good fitter. I had 4 fits done in the first year with my first and only bike.
    I had my first fit (3yrs ago) from the shop I bought from and I couldn't ride 5 miles without my Hands falling asleep.
    Next was a RETUL fit. They put me in a more upright position which was slightly better and I could ride a little longer.
    I drove 3 hrs for fit #3 which was prob a 3-4hr fit. He sat and watched me spin on a computrainer. The seat went up, stem longer and lower, and shorter cranks, cleat position and seat angle. Longer and lower stem made no sense to me at the time since my hands went numb when upright (newbie), but it was amazing. I could ride 50 miles no problem and made a more power. Now that I could do 50 miles....my IT band would irritate me at the 50-60 mile mark and I could not continue. It was enough that I couldn't bend my leg at all for 3hrs afterwards.
    Last fit I drove 16hrs to TX to a fitter who has a great rep and good with 'issues'. He did a fitness test and watched me spin. He said the 3rd fit I had was very very good. He made some small tweaks. The main issue was insoles were needed (G8s ftw), wedges in both feet and a 3mm shim on left shoe for a short left leg. Cleat position was moved ever so slightly. I went out immediately and did 50, 65, 70, and then 90 miles without any issues.
    I was going to try and fit myself but chose to spend a little to see a pro and have less down time. I now enjoy every minute in the bike.

  10. #10
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    Before you go for ANY fitting, I think you should educate yourself on the various fit parameters and experiment yourself, or with the help of a friend.

    An educated consumer (of a fitting) is a smart consumer.

    Two good reference books are Andy Pruitt's Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists, and Bike Fit, by Dr. Arnie Baker.

    I'm a firm believer that most cyclists can solve most of their own fit issues or if they have no issues, set themselves up just fine by following either of these or any of the other books on the market.

  11. #11
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    I agree with Peter. As a matter of fact, I have never had a professional fit in my life, and I am riding competitively. Certainly with the resources Peter gave you should be able to find an adequate fit yourself, with no guarantee that a professional fit would improve things for you beyond that. As 9W9W said, there is a certain amount of subjectivity involved that only the rider him/herself can judge.

    Oh, and yes, giving yourself a bit more time to get adjusted to riding is a good idea. It's really a two-way street, not only do you fit your bike to your body, but you also adapt your body to riding the bike to some degree.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt D View Post
    I would do some research and find a good fitter. I had 4 fits done in the first year with my first and only bike.
    I had my first fit (3yrs ago) from the shop I bought from and I couldn't ride 5 miles without my Hands falling asleep.
    Next was a RETUL fit. They put me in a more upright position which was slightly better and I could ride a little longer.
    I drove 3 hrs for fit #3 which was prob a 3-4hr fit. He sat and watched me spin on a computrainer. The seat went up, stem longer and lower, and shorter cranks, cleat position and seat angle. Longer and lower stem made no sense to me at the time since my hands went numb when upright (newbie), but it was amazing. I could ride 50 miles no problem and made a more power. Now that I could do 50 miles....my IT band would irritate me at the 50-60 mile mark and I could not continue. It was enough that I couldn't bend my leg at all for 3hrs afterwards.
    Last fit I drove 16hrs to TX to a fitter who has a great rep and good with 'issues'. He did a fitness test and watched me spin. He said the 3rd fit I had was very very good. He made some small tweaks. The main issue was insoles were needed (G8s ftw), wedges in both feet and a 3mm shim on left shoe for a short left leg. Cleat position was moved ever so slightly. I went out immediately and did 50, 65, 70, and then 90 miles without any issues.
    I was going to try and fit myself but chose to spend a little to see a pro and have less down time. I now enjoy every minute in the bike.
    Curt D... would you mind sharing which fitter you went to in TX? Or at least what part of TX did you go?

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