Is a bike fitting worth it?

Stef 1

Senior Member
Location
Cotswolds, UK
Regualr rider for 4 years on the same bike. Currently avereage around 5 to 6 hours per week in the saddle.

I spent a lot of time in the first year adjusting things like saddle height, fore / aft, cleat position etc. Also read up a lot on positioning etc. Never quite been 100% satisfied and sometimes wonder is by bike is a smidge small (top tube length) as I feel a little 'compressed' at times, or if saddle should be further forwards for optimim leg/knee position, but then I'd feel even more compressed...

Generally I'm comfy enough up to an hour and a half... after that lower back pain gradually increases. After 2 hours its quite uncomfy... haven't managed to ride much more than 2.5 hours becuase of it. Other than that I'd have the stamina to keep going. I also used to get knee pain but seem to have over come that okay.

Maybe it's a fitness / core thing. I consider myself reasonably fit, but perhaps if I keep plugging away things will improve?

It's always been in the back of my mind though that paying for a bike fit might be worth it.

What do you think?
Anyone who's ridden for a while, then had a fitting notice much difference?
They're not cheap from what i've seen, but if gains are to be had it might be worth it....
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I seem able to get the fit close enough myself after decades of mucking about, but the guide on www.wheel-easy.org.uk left sidebar matches most of what I think. I've also compared my road bike setup with the various calculators online - I think it's close to one called "the Eddy fit". Any idea how yours compares?

I'd consider paying for a fit if I was suffering pain like that and was unable to resolve it with DIY but I suspect I might be dissatisfied.
 
OP
Stef 1

Stef 1

Senior Member
Location
Cotswolds, UK
Thanks for that, I'll print out that guide and have a look tonight. Will report back. I remember checking some stuff in there, like the plumb-line knee to peddal pivot, but will give it a good read through.
 

Kajjal

Veteran
Location
Wheely World
If you don’t have time, are struggling to do it yourself or have injuries etc. then a bike fit can be useful. Just be clear what you want from it as not everyone wants a very head down racing position.

For most you can get very good results yourself. Start with the saddle position and remember it is just to get your legs in the right position not to adjust reach etc. Then see where you hands fall naturally and aim to get the bars in that position. Moving spacers and flipping the stem are easy free adjustments. A bike being a little small is no problem.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
The Oval Office
I had one, caused me slight problems. I was previously very comfy, it caused me slight gripes in my titanium filled arm.

There are several big systems, many niche ones, and most contradict each other, at least in some small part, as to how a rider biomechanically interfaces with a bike. That being the case, it's not really possible to give a blanket yes or no answer. Some may give you excellent results, some may not - they can't all be right.
 

Slick

Veteran
I had one after 40 years of cycling, I considered it money well spent.
I think it probably does depend on who you go to as there is good and bad at every job but if after 40 years riding and still get benefit from it should really tell you all you need to know. Especially if you aren't convinced you have ever been in the optimum position.

I got one pretty much at the start of my riding and tried to replicate it on every bike since. I pretty much know that I could go back and learn something new. In fact I may book an appointment.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I think it probably does depend on who you go to as there is good and bad at every job but if after 40 years riding and still get benefit from it should really tell you all you need to know. Especially if you aren't convinced you have ever been in the optimum position.

I got one pretty much at the start of my riding and tried to replicate it on every bike since. I pretty much know that I could go back and learn something new. In fact I may book an appointment.
Adrian Timmis, worked for my fit.
 
OP
Stef 1

Stef 1

Senior Member
Location
Cotswolds, UK
Lots of useful stuff - thanks.

I think over the next month or so I’m going to fiddle and tweak a little - saddle height, stem length, that kind of thing. I’ll measure and mark everything first so it’s easy enough to revert back. i guess any adjustment needs enough time and miles to allow my body to ‘bed in’ to really tell if there’s any improvement. If no improvement after a few weeks I’ll look at paying someone reputable. Enough of you seem to have benefitted from bike fits you’ve had, so that’s enough convincing for me.

After reading through from a few of the links posted above, I’m wondering if my saddle could be a smidge higher. I also wonder if I’m fuelling myself enough.. after 2hrs for example, I guess I may run out of energy a bit or fatigue, change my peddling style to accommodate and maybe start rocking my pelvis. I’ll keep an eye on that.

I haven’t seen it mentioned in any links but wonder if changing to a more forgiving saddle might help too... fabric scoop, brooks etc... I still have the relatively cheap saddle that came with bike.

I’ll let you know how I get on but alway greatful for any advice!
 

Kajjal

Veteran
Location
Wheely World
Typical symptoms of a saddle being too high are rocking on the saddle, moving forward on the saddle, feet pointing down at bottom of pedal stroke etc. Also you will tend to get injuries related to over stretching and being too tense on the bike. If in doubt go a little low.
 

Slick

Veteran
Lots of useful stuff - thanks.

I think over the next month or so I’m going to fiddle and tweak a little - saddle height, stem length, that kind of thing. I’ll measure and mark everything first so it’s easy enough to revert back. i guess any adjustment needs enough time and miles to allow my body to ‘bed in’ to really tell if there’s any improvement. If no improvement after a few weeks I’ll look at paying someone reputable. Enough of you seem to have benefitted from bike fits you’ve had, so that’s enough convincing for me.

After reading through from a few of the links posted above, I’m wondering if my saddle could be a smidge higher. I also wonder if I’m fuelling myself enough.. after 2hrs for example, I guess I may run out of energy a bit or fatigue, change my peddling style to accommodate and maybe start rocking my pelvis. I’ll keep an eye on that.

I haven’t seen it mentioned in any links but wonder if changing to a more forgiving saddle might help too... fabric scoop, brooks etc... I still have the relatively cheap saddle that came with bike.

I’ll let you know how I get on but alway greatful for any advice!
Probably the biggest improvement on my fit was the change in saddle.
 
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