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View Full Version : Best place to get a professional fitting?



SteveTheTech
06-17-2011, 06:42 AM
Hey there folks,

My dear wife is having some fitment issues that made themselves present after about 30 miles of hills. To err on the side of caution she went to a sports medicine doctor who recommended a professional fitting and a few other modifications to her regiment.

Have any of the members here been fitted by a professional? If so were the results to your satisfaction?

Do any of the other riders out there also have knee caps that are off center? If so have you made any additional modifications that have proven to be a success in your riding or apparel?

Thanks,

CCrew
06-17-2011, 08:07 AM
Bonzai Sports for the fitting. Not cheap.. Expect a couple hundred $ but they know their stuff on fitting you to a bike.. http://tribonzai.com/

Tim Kelley
06-17-2011, 08:30 AM
Conte's, Revolution and CycleLifeUSA offer fancy laser/3d computer fitting, but I don't have personal experience with any of them.

Spokes on Quaker lane has some really experienced fitters who do a great job too.

RESTONTODC
06-17-2011, 09:40 AM
Like CCrew said "NOT Cheap". Since I bought the bike from Conte's, they gave a free fitting, not laser 3D stuff but it's was still good.

My recommendation is going there on week days so they can spend more time on your wife. You also need to call a head to book with the fitter.

Since most places have only one station setup and everyone wants to get fit on the weekend, they might not spend enough time with your wife.

Good luck

Greenbelt
06-17-2011, 10:32 AM
It's a long haul from Alexandria, but Proteus in Maryland does a great job in my opinion with special fit needs. Not sure how much it costs, since our pro-fits have always been included when we bought a new bike!

Mark Blacknell
06-17-2011, 06:21 PM
I've heard very good things about Proteus, too.

I went with Clovis Anderson at Conte's last year, and while it cost a pretty penny, it was absolutely worth it. I spent the better part of an afternoon with him, and have to admit to some trepidation about some of the changes he suggested. Decided to trust him, though, and I couldn't be happier with the result.

That said, the fitting that I got is probably overkill for Mrs. StevetheTech (and most people, really). I'd keep asking and seeing what names keep popping up. Also, not a bad idea to visit a store, ask about it, and see how much attention they give you (don't do this on a busy weekend, though). In my view, fittings are less about the fancy equipment involved and more about the experience and judgment of the fitter. If the doc advised a professional fit, you should see about getting your insurance to cover it (have him write a prescription?). I've heard of several people being successful with it.

SteveTheTech
06-19-2011, 12:08 AM
Thank you all, I am glad to see I am not asking for something completely out of the ordinary. Or beyond the things that should be asked about cycling.

Just when you think you have a slight grasp of what you are doing there is always something new to learn, lol I thought I was doing it right... It's always something with this hobby.

I am going to try the fitting guide provided in CCrews' link and assess the situation from there. My wife already has pretty shaky balance and some depth perception issues (damned ms) so we might end up with a Pro if a few basic movements either way do not effect her crippling knee pain after 30 miles.

I will update after the initial trial fitting.

SteveTheTech
06-19-2011, 03:03 PM
http://content.screencast.com/users/Stevethetech/folders/Jing/media/9983f20c-eded-4500-bcb1-dead356f74ab/2011-06-19_1417.png

By George I think we've got it!!!

Her left cleat was about 1.5mm off center and .5mm off center on the left right axis. Her fore/aft seating position was adjusted about 15 mm in the aft position based on the center of the knee to end of crank arm adjustment.

I also adjusted mine and found that my cleats were about .5mm off center on both vertical cleat lines. My left/right was about 6mm off the center line of the ball of my foot to the axle. I had not been having any discomfort recently but I will be keeping more of a conscious eye on the placement.

I has also thinking of making a small visual marker on my stem to imagine a plumb line 1" behind the handle bars. That position feels correct.

Again thanks everyone for the input. I will update after our next ride.

Dirt
06-20-2011, 07:45 AM
Professional fitting is expensive, as Mark said. It is usually designed for people who are pretty serious about cycling. A good professional fitting will cost in the $250-350 range. If you're purchasing a bicycle from the shop where you're being fit, they will often apply part or all of that fee toward the purchase of a bike. The process takes 1-3 hours depending on what you need. Try and set up an appointment for a weekday morning if you can. They're often fairly slow times in the shop and it gives you a bit more relaxed fitting experience.

Who: Clovis at Conte's is absolutely amazing. A few decades ago I was trained and did a bunch of fittings, so I know my way around the process a bit (even though it has evolved quite a bit). I didn't tell anyone this, but went in as though I was someone who was new to what it took to fit a bicycle. I listened, learned and completely left ego out of the process. That's hard for guys to do. It really paid off though. Clovis did an awesome job with me. His findings were in-line with what I already knew, with a few modifications.

Since that time, I have had 10 or 12 friends get their fitting through Conte's.... most with Clovis, but a few with Paul. Both have received rave reviews from everyone that I've sent.

CCrew's Bonzai recommendation is also probably a very good one. While I haven't been fit there, they have impressed me with their staff and facilities. Amazing shop. I'm so fortunate that both Conte's and Bonzai are local for me.

I've had knee trouble in the past. For my issues, it is VERY important to have the seat in the exact right place... both height-wise and also the fore-aft adjustment. Having pedals with lots of rotational float also makes a big difference. Speedplay pedals do that perfectly for me. They make many different models that fit different styles of riding.

I hope some of that helps.

Happy Monday.

Pete

RESTONTODC
06-20-2011, 09:35 AM
Who: Clovis at Conte's is absolutely amazing.

Yes, Clovis fitted me too when I bought my R3 Cervelo. He is a great guy. If it doesn't work after the first time, you can come back and Clovis will make it right for you.

Since I haven't got fitted anywhere else, so I can't really make a comparison.

americancyclo
07-21-2011, 11:18 AM
I'm going to put in a plug for Josh Frick at CycleLifeUSA in Georgetown. Mostly because I used to work at the store every once in a while and I got a fit done there. They did a pretty thorough physical evaluation of my body alignment, flexibility, and range of motion before we even got near a bike. He's a knowledgeable guy, and won't rest until you're really happy with the setup. I'm sure the folks at Contes and Bonzai also do excellent jobs, they wouldn't have reputations as such great shops otherwise.

http://www.cyclelifeusa.com/BikeFit.aspx

SteveTheTech
07-21-2011, 01:06 PM
That's a great heads up. Thanks. :)

We are currently at the point of making adjustments from the Bonzi link. Although as we log more miles she finds the newer seating position just a little top uncomfortable. Her forward/aft adjustment has made a difference in her fatigue over time but proper clear alignment to decrease ligament strain is an on going battle. But we appear to be making headway.

We are very lucky to have many great shops in this area. I made my first trip tip an upper level shop this week fire a post crash evaluation. although my wallet wasn't a fan I was impressed. I didn't know gloves could be so nice.

Bill on Capitol Hill
09-06-2011, 06:09 PM
Perhaps a stupid question, but what if I'm looking to buy a brand not carried by the shop doing the fitting? Would they go over the geometry specs of the bikes I have in mind and help me narrow down my choice and choose sizes? Adjust the handlebars and seat on a later visit?

I'm sort of in between deciding whether my current bike can be made to work and buying a new one, so I might want a consultation in that regard as part of this, too.

Greenbelt
09-06-2011, 08:30 PM
My shop is pretty flexible about this sort of thing. When I need advice, I just show up with my bike on a slow weekday time (like 11am-2pm) or show up at "happy hour" when they have late evening hours (and beer and chips), and start asking questions. I've done this all the time and got unofficial consults, usually for no charge. Of course, I'll usually end up buying some new lights, or some shop supplies or some gloves or something to show my appreciation for the unofficial consulting time! (And we've probably bought 5 bikes there among family members over the last several years!) The shop also does scheduled pro-fits if you want to finetune your fit on an existing or new bike. I think the pro-fits are totally worth the cost.

Dirt
09-07-2011, 06:04 AM
Perhaps a stupid question, but what if I'm looking to buy a brand not carried by the shop doing the fitting? Would they go over the geometry specs of the bikes I have in mind and help me narrow down my choice and choose sizes? Adjust the handlebars and seat on a later visit?

I'm sort of in between deciding whether my current bike can be made to work and buying a new one, so I might want a consultation in that regard as part of this, too.
The best way to find out is to ask them. Conte's has helped with friends' bikes that were not purchased from Conte's.

CCrew
09-07-2011, 06:22 AM
I've never had a shop turn down work or fitting because it wasn't a bike they sold. Just my experience, others may vary.

americancyclo
09-07-2011, 06:47 AM
Perhaps a stupid question, but what if I'm looking to buy a brand not carried by the shop doing the fitting? Would they go over the geometry specs of the bikes I have in mind and help me narrow down my choice and choose sizes? Adjust the handlebars and seat on a later visit?

I'm sort of in between deciding whether my current bike can be made to work and buying a new one, so I might want a consultation in that regard as part of this, too.

I think that most decent shops should be able to look at you and maybe check out the geometry of the bike on the internet and get you on the proper size frame, although odds are someone in the shop has some experience on whatever bike you're looking at. the fit is really to fine tune all your bike's components to get the optimum setup for your riding style, and I've seen plenty of folks bring in a bike that isn't sold in the shop. Fitting is a service and shouldn't be tied to sales. Also, it never hurts to ask, I've found most places to be very open to conversation. If not, find a better shop.