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Bike fit options - what are they worth?
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Chrace




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:07 am    Post subject: Bike fit options - what are they worth? Reply with quote

I'm spoiled for choice in that I have at least 4 different options for bike fits where I live.

These range from:
- Shop 1: Being set up by visual approximation: 40 mins / 35 quid
- Shop 2: PowerFit Bike Fitting (Wattbike): ~1 hour, 99 quid
- Shop 3: Retul bike fit: 2 hours, 150 quid
- Shop 4: Trek Precision Bike Fit: Unknown time, 175 quid

Question is, how much is the extra spend worth? Does it realistically make any difference how "precise" a fit is considering how much variability there is in the human body?

As for my own perception of shop competency it is exactly equal to the order they are arranged in and the value associated. The word "physio" is also used proportionally more in their ads as the price increases.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having now had a fit on a GURU machine, I would never go back. I don't know the specifics of all the ones you list, but the GURU fit was easily worth 3-4 times more than the Retul fits I had had before. And it was nowhere near that much more.
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Chrace




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Worth more" in which way stenard?

Precision? Data you got out? Or was it more to do with the person who actually did the fit (which I suspect would be a major factor in any fit)?
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iwaters




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Chrace says who does the fit is the most important. I paid about £250 for Retul fit but that was because it was with the person everyone recommended.

£250 didn't seem that bad when you are spending £6K+ on a bike to ensure you get the right one and its set up properly.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chrace wrote:
"Worth more" in which way stenard?

Precision? Data you got out? Or was it more to do with the person who actually did the fit (which I suspect would be a major factor in any fit)?

So the GURU machine is an evolution of the Dan Empfield (slowtwitch guy) F.I.S.T. model. The game changing thing on this one is that all adjustments are done electronically whilst you are pedalling, and at the same time the fitting rig is hooked up to a computrainer, so you are set at a particular power number in ERG mode (so something a little below threshold), and then all the fitting tweaks take place whilst you are pedalling.

So it's not a case of what should be a good fit. It's a case of what is a good fit, and what is comfortable. You iterate through saddle height, bar position, and then for TT fits, they then rotate you around the BB keeping the saddle height and bar position the same relative to one another.

It was amazing how this process allowed you to just know when you were in the right spot. Taking saddle height for example, he started off really low and then just start cranking it up 5mm at a time. It get's progressively more and more comfortable, and say 200W feels more and more easy to hold, until you suddenly hit a tipping point. And then the fitter can just iterate back and forth between a couple of marginally different heights until you make a decision on which feels better.

It's a fit that you are actively involved in. With Retul, adjustments were made and I was asked if that "felt better?", but given I'd been stood off the bike for 5mins whilst the fitter made the adjustments, in reality I had no idea if it felt better or not. Ultimately, they were just fitting me to something that looked half decent and that should work for most people. With GURU, I am significantly more confident the fit I end up in is actually the best one for me, at that point in time.

So when I say "worth more", I mean I consider it's actually a process worth paying for. I wouldn't spend any money on a Retul fit again.

Oh, and the data out is pretty good too. You get full geometry numbers, as you do with most. And I think the GURU machine is synced up with the main bike databases, so you can also get an idea of what bikes fit you best if you're also looking for a new one.

As you say, the fitter no doubt plays a part. But whereas with Retul, and those style, I think that level of skill is probably the most important factor, the interactivity of GURU means I feel a lot more in control of my own destiny(/comfort/power transference).
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Chrace




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like that's what the Trek Precision Fit thingie uses as well. They mention "no on-and-off and stop-start" so must be motor driven, and yes, it's hooked up to a CompuTrainer. I can see your point there.

http://www.yorkcycleworks.com/bike-fit/

And of course someone had to pick the most expensive. What else to expect on a triathlon forum. Smile
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stenard




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chrace wrote:
Looks like that's what the Trek Precision Fit thingie uses as well. They mention "no on-and-off and stop-start" so must be motor driven, and yes, it's hooked up to a CompuTrainer. I can see your point there.

http://www.yorkcycleworks.com/bike-fit/

And of course someone had to pick the most expensive. What else to expect on a triathlon forum. Smile
Similar maybe. But this video implies it's still a manual adjustment process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUGlZNUZh3Q Seems the same as the F.I.S.T. rig.

Also not sure how easily they adjust your rotation around the BB. I think that was one of the best things about GURU. Once you have saddle height and bar stack/reach dialled in, with the press of a button, both can rotate in synchronisation around the BB keeping the relative positions exactly the same. With the above system, they'd have to do it manually one at a time, and potentially do the maths themselves to keep the relative positions precisely the same.

The automation of the GURU system is one of it's biggest selling points for me.

Price wise, we get a club discount that one of our members negotiated. With that discount, it is way cheaper (and in London) than what iwaters stated above was paid for a Retul fit.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a video showing the automation of the GURU machine. Hopefully what I was describing makes more sense when you can put it in context: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7tf_oYKTMI
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultimately, Retul is basically 'fit by numbers' is it not? I've had a couple of them. Really you need someone very experienced doing whichever type of fit you choose - more so with the prescriptive systems, so they don't just become dogmatic solutions.
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awildt




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expressing a vested interest here. OH is a fitter for Trek.

Trek developed their system with Cyclefit. www.cyclefit.com - given their experience, these guys are pretty good. My partner also worked for them for a while until they shut their additional studios around Manchester and went back to only having London.

It depends what you want. Mixed reviews from the Cycleworks guys from all levels. Matt in Trek Manchester also used to work for Cyclefit and has a great reputation. (My other half is the Wilmslow store). Matt now trains fitters for Trek.

The guys really invest time with clients. I've not had a precision fit yet Rolling Eyes but when my partner was starting out, on his own originally, he did the bike on a trainer setup and learnt from there.

Unfortunately it's the "new" thing in bikes now and we know there are some fly-by-nights out there that haven't cycled nearly enough themselves to know what they're talking about. There's no regulation in the industry so it's a tough one.

Go with budget and the person offering the service. A full fit is 2 hours long (or more), you've got to be able to talk to and trust the person that's helping you.
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awildt




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also the cyclefit website has a retul v cyclefit blog, comparing the 2.

Precision fit is almost Cyclefit (slightly cut back version)
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tin pot




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, what are they worth...well the problem with this cost/benefit calculation is that the outcome of the fitting session is not the benefit, the fitting session is just step 1, then your bike has to be setup which may not exactly match, and then you have to train the position and race it to actually see what the benefit has been - the improved race outcome.

Certainly my £200 guru based fit was higher quality, but my bike is unable to accept the pad width recommended, and on a good day Iíd say 50% of my race was in aero, and all three of my race results in 2017 were worse than 2018. Largely due to overtraining it seems.

So how do I perform the cost/benefit of that fitting session? Iím not criticising the fitter, but I canít see a measurable value for benefit from the £200 spent.
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mattsurf




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a bike fit with a company in Switzerland called Cyclometry. The guy who runs is it an ex professional triathlete called Kai Sikorski, and his clients include a number of current professional triathletes

The bike fit took 5 hours for 2 bikes and used 4D Analysis, it considered the whole body position.

My TT bike required no changes, in the past, I used an app on my phone called Bike Fast Fit, and I had set my TT bike up using this. My TT bike as also on the Turbo Trainer over the winter, and over several thousand KMs I had made some small adjustments.

However, I learned a lot about cycling dynamics, and identified some improvements that I could make in order to cycle more efficiently, for instance my left knee pushes out by 2cm at the top of the stroke, by bringing my knee in towards the frame I generate more power on downstroke, my right heel is not low enough at the bottom of the stroke, so I lose a bit of efficiency here. Also when riding, the tail of my aero helmet is too high, and creating drag. By addressing these issues, I have seen an noticeable improvement in my speed.

My road bike was relatively new, and I had not set it up with Bike Fast Fit. Using Kai's experience of how I ride my TT bike and the data he made a lot of changes to the fit of my bike. It was really amazing to see how the saddle being just a few mm too high translates to a significant increase in movement in my upper body.

I was also really fortunate as Kai often joins our club rides, before and after the bike fit, he spend some time observing me riding my bike, and made some really good suggestions.

I have never done a Retul fit, so cannot comment, however, I don't see how I would have gained the insights I did on a "bike fit by numbers", and it appears that using Bike Fast Fit app, I got the rights setup myself.

The value in the fit was the experience of the guy doing the fit. It wasn't cheap, around £300 for first bike and £150 for second one (but this is Switzerland and everything costs more)

Was it worth it? I smashed my 40km TT time, on the same course from 59min to 54m30s, undoubtedly some of this was due to training and fitness and some down to the bike fit and changes made to my riding style and change of helmet.... But for me, yes it was worth it
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stenard




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin Pot wrote:
Hmm, what are they worth...well the problem with this cost/benefit calculation is that the outcome of the fitting session is not the benefit, the fitting session is just step 1, then your bike has to be setup which may not exactly match, and then you have to train the position and race it to actually see what the benefit has been - the improved race outcome.

Certainly my £200 guru based fit was higher quality, but my bike is unable to accept the pad width recommended, and on a good day Iíd say 50% of my race was in aero, and all three of my race results in 2017 were worse than 2018. Largely due to overtraining it seems.

So how do I perform the cost/benefit of that fitting session? Iím not criticising the fitter, but I canít see a measurable value for benefit from the £200 spent.
I'd somewhat agree in terms of the fit being step 1, but would challenge that that your bike not being able to match that position probably implies an incorrect bike choice.

I couldn't fully replicate my GURU numbers on my old TT either, so when the opportunity of a different one came up, I was able to contact my fitter and he was able to confirm this would be a better, and more adjustable size frame. He even set it up for me for free.

As for training the position, that's true of any position. I wouldn't personally think a tweak to your aero position needs that much adaption, compared to say getting a TT bike for the first time and not being able to hold aero at all for prolonged periods. In your example, you say a "good day" is only 50% aero? That's a really low percentage, no?

I'd also say a fit is not all about aero / power transference. Comfort is surely a crucial factor at long distance, and so sacrificing a bit of cda to be able to get in a position you know is most comfortable for you, is important. That's very different to if your racing standard distance and shorter where clearly being as aero as possible is worth discomfort, given the relatively short amount of time on the bike.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My fit hardly changed, as I had it dialled-in pretty well. So you could argue not much value for me. I don't even have that set-up on my Trek nowadays; I just use The Force.

Could probably be a tad lower, but I'm getting old.

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