[Guide] Bike Fitting for Adult Beginner Road Cyclists

bike fit cover image

If you’re anything like me, buying your first (and maybe even second, and third) road bike was almost exclusively dictated by aesthetics. To heck with practicality, I wanted the nicest looking bike I could afford that had an appealing paint job and a brand name I had heard of. I know, vanity. The truth is that at the time, I had never even heard of a bike fit. I figured if I got on the bike whilst the sales rep held the bars, and it felt generally ‘good enough’, that it was the perfect bike for me.

Little did I know at the time, that process was bike sizing, not bike fitting.

The difference between the two, to a beginner cyclist, sounds superficial. But actually they are not the same at all.

This guide began as a way for me to keep notes on my investigations into what a bike fit is, and why I might want (or need) one. They are expensive, so it made sense to understand what I was getting for my money.

A big thing I’ve learned in this process is that, in an ideal world, a bike fit would come before you actually buy a bike. That way you can get the bike that is right for you from the start. In some ways it’s like buying a really nice pair of expensive shoes, only you had no idea what you were doing and bought the wrong size and both of them are for the left foot. Whoops.

But do not despair if you have already bought your bike, because – so long as the bike frame is correct for your size – the process of a bike fit is about dialling in your existing road bike to make it work best specifically for you.

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Demystifying Bike Fit

When I first heard of bike fitting, I pictured a service reserved for serious enthusiasts with a penchant for minute details. You know the type: their top end kit matches their paint job, right down to the colour coordinated socks. And let’s not forget the monthly bill for disposable razors. Got to keep the legs smooth.

However, a deeper dive into the cycling world revealed that bike fitting is far more fundamental.

Bike fitting is the process of adjusting your road bike to suit the rider’s unique physical dimensions, riding style, and goals. It’s not just about ensuring the bike frame is generally the right size; it’s about tailoring every aspect of your bike to enhance your riding comfort, efficiency, and performance while minimising the risk of injury.

Why does it matter, especially for adult beginners?

The answer lies in the unique biomechanics of each individual. Careful, here comes the science part.

An ill-fitted bike can lead to discomfort, pain, and inefficiency, deterring beginners from pursuing cycling further. Conversely, a well-fitted bike can make riding more enjoyable and help in achieving cycling goals, whether it’s fitness, leisure, or commuting.

From all my investigating on the subject, I would say bike fitting can be broadly categorised into basic and advanced methods:

  1. Basic Bike Fitting: This is often a good starting point for beginners. It involves adjustments based on the rider’s height, inseam length, and arm reach. Basic fitting is usually offered at bike shops and typically includes setting the saddle height, saddle fore/aft position, and handlebar height. This level of fitting is aimed at ensuring you’re not overstretched, too cramped, or improperly positioned on the bike.
  2. Advanced Bike Fitting: As the name suggests, this is a more comprehensive approach, often utilised by those who have specific performance goals or who have experienced discomfort on their current setup. Advanced fitting includes all aspects of basic fitting but adds a detailed analysis of the rider’s posture, pedalling style, and movements. It often uses technology like motion capture, pressure mapping, and dynamic analysis. The goal is to optimise every aspect of the bike-rider interface – from the position of the cleats on your cycling shoes to the exact angle and width of your handlebars. This level of fitting is ideal for us riders who spend considerable time on their bikes, or those who have specific biomechanical issues.
female bike fit

Bike Fit vs Bike Sizing

Before we go further we should quickly cover off the difference between bike fit, and bike sizing.

Bike Sizing: This is likely your first step into the cycling world. Bike sizing is fundamentally about finding the right frame size. It’s a straightforward process based on your height and inseam length.

Think of it as a broad stroke, ensuring you’re not on a bike too small that you’re cramped, or too large that you’re overreaching. It’s a bit like buying a new pair of trainers at a shop like JD Sports or Sports Direct. You find a pair you like, and rather than get measured, the shop assistant will ask you what size you are and then fetch you that size. It’s all rather rough and ready, and even if you ask the shop assistant to help, is it likely that they know much about the trainers you have selected, the sport they are designed for (if any), the arch type they best fit, and so on.

This is one of the most essential reasons to visit your local bike shop and try out different bikes rather than buying online, just because it’s cheaper. Sizing charts can vary between manufacturers, and they don’t account for individual body proportions like torso length or arm length.

So, while bike sizing gets you in the right ballpark, it’s not the end of the story.

Bike Fitting: Going significantly beyond bike sizing, bike fitting is a both art and science. It’s about making that ‘right size’ bike feel like it’s a part of you. We’re talking about adjusting the saddle height and saddle type, its fore/aft position, the handlebar reach, width, and height, and even the pedal crank length and cleat positioning.

It’s a detailed process that considers not just your body dimensions, but also your riding style, flexibility, and any physical quirks or issues you might have. Wherever you come in contact with the bike, a bike fit aims to optimise specifically for you.

The positive side? A well-fitted bike can transform your riding experience – more comfort, more efficiency, and less risk of injury.

The downside? It can be a time-consuming process, and potentially costly if you’re seeking professional help. Plus, as your body adapts or your riding style evolves, you might need to re-fit.

Let’s carry on and find out what’s actually involved in a bike fit.

road bike handlebars

The Bike Fitting Process

As you can likely expect, bike fitting is not a “one size fits all” process. Much like with, heck, everything these days, there are tiers involved. Payment tiers, of course. What other kind would there be?

So, what we are going to do is look at the common elements found in most bike fits, and then look at what else there is available, as you pay more.

All of this comes from my previous investigation into what a bike fit costs, so this is really a distillation of looking at the bike fit process offered by many different bike fitters.

The Common Steps

There are generally three common steps in the bike fit process, regardless of the price you pay:

  1. Interview: A discussion about your personal cycling goals, injury history, discomfort areas, and any past fitting experiences.
  2. Assessment: Varies widely; but the sign of a good bike fitter is that they start with an off-bike assessment first, covering things like flexibility checks, shoe fit, any unreported problems from the interview. Only then should come the on-bike observations, done on a turbo trainer.
  3. Adjustments: Focusing on feet, hands, and pelvis for comfort and efficiency.

However, the more you pay, the more additional steps, or added depth to each step will be added.

The More Expensive Steps

On the higher, or more expensive end of the scale, the process might continue with the following:

  1. On The Road Testing: Trying out the adjustments in real riding scenarios, possibly as a group ride but could be riding solo and then feeding back to your fitter.
  2. Reporting/Measurement Sharing: It’s not always stated on the cheaper fits, but on the more expensive sites they will provide lots of documentation with all the measurements taken, feedback and suggestions, giving your a record for future reference.
  3. Post Fit: Follow-up session(s) to address any persisting issues or discomfort to give you the most optimal results.

As a heads up: the chances are, if you are going for a bike fit, there is going to be some aspect of your setup that could be improved. This will likely involve an additional cost. It might be a better fitting pair of shoes, different width handlebars, a better fitting saddle shape, and so on. It might even be that your bike frame is too small, or too large. All of these things add to the cost.

With that said, I think it’s worth covering each of the steps in a bit more depth, particularly the common steps.

bike fit interview

The Interview

Who doesn’t love an interview? Turning up to your local bike shop in a suit and tie, ready for a grilling.

No, it’s nothing like that.

The interview stage in the bike fitting process is essential, serving as the foundational step that significantly influences the rest of your fitting journey. It should be an in-depth exploration into your specific needs, habits, and concerns.

The purpose of this stage is to gather comprehensive information about you as a cyclist.

This stage should be conducted by a knowledgeable bike fitter – almost certainly the person who will be doing your fit – whose expertise is crucial in guiding the subsequent steps of the fitting process.

Key aspects of the interview include:

  • Understanding your cycling goals and objectives
  • Your current riding style, frequency, and physical fitness
  • Any injury history or medical conditions
  • Any known areas of discomfort
  • Experiences with previous bike fittings

This information is vital to tailoring the bike fit to your individual needs, requirements and goals. The idea here is that the detailed information gathered enables your fitter to make more accurate and effective adjustments.

The one piece of advice I would offer here is: much like a job interview, the interview process is a two way street. It’s worth having a pre-interview chat with your (potential) bike fitter, just to see if you get along.

You should ideally ask if they are a road bike fitter. If they mainly work with mountain bikers, they might not be a good fit for you. Excuse the pun.

This is an expensive process, both in terms of time commitment, and money. A “pre-salesy” phone call could save you a lot of wasted effort. Make sure you like your bike fitter!

Expected time for this step: 20 minutes and upwards.

The Assessment

When you think about a bike fit, it’s almost certainly this part, and the next part (adjustment), of the process that you’re thinking about.

As above, a good bike fitter should split “the assessment” into two phases:

  • The on-bike assessment (the obvious one)
  • The off-bike assessment (the not-so-obvious but equally important one)

We’re going to cover both, starting with where a good bike fitter should start: off the bike.

The Off Bike Assessment

The off-bike assessment phase in bike fitting delves deeper into understanding your physical attributes and capabilities.

The purpose of this phase is to evaluate your unique physical make up such as flexibility, structural symmetry, and any physical limitations or strengths that you may have.

At this stage your bike fitter should be taking detailed body measurements like height and inseam length, which are essential for a precise fit. The off-bike assessment should involve analysing your stance and foot-arch height, which helps in understanding your natural foot positioning and potential need for supportive wedging. For instance, identifying pronation in one foot or differences in leg length can lead to specific adjustments that greatly improve your cycling experience

A key component of the off-bike assessment should be your flexibility test.

This evaluates the range of motion in various joints, which directly influences your riding position and comfort on the bike. The more expensive the bike fit, the more likely to find additional technology is involved here. Usually this tech will be mentioned prominently on the bike fitters website.

Shoes & Feet

God knows there’s a whole world of cycling shoes to choose from. And much like buying a bike, if you’re anything like me you almost certainly picked a pair that looked nice, had boa straps, and were within your budget. Fit probably wasn’t priority number one – so long as you got the correct size, right?

Yet a properly fitting shoe is a critical, yet often underestimated element, essential for both comfort and performance. It involves much more than just selecting the right shoe size; it’s about ensuring that every aspect of the shoe contributes positively to your riding experience.

The importance of shoe fitting lies in its direct impact on power transfer, comfort, and alignment. Properly fitted shoes enable efficient transfer of power to the pedals. Comfort is paramount, as ill-fitting shoes can lead to rubbing or clawing, discomfort, blisters, or more serious foot issues. Additionally, correct shoe fitting ensures proper alignment, crucial for preventing strain or injury to the foot, ankle, and knee.

lake shoes cleat position

Key components of shoe fitting include assessing the size and shape of the foot, positioning the cleats correctly, and potentially using footbeds or insoles for additional arch support. The heel cup and ankle support are also crucial for stability during pedalling.

However, shoe fitting can be challenging due to the variety of foot shapes and sizes, the potential for feet to swell during long rides, and the need to match the shoes with the pedal and cleat system. Getting this right is a balancing act of several factors.

I’d say go to your first bike fit expecting to be pulled up on some aspect of your cycling shoes.

All that said, the off-bike assessment requires a high level of expertise from the fitter which can impact the accuracy and effectiveness of the bike fit. Also this phase can be time-intensive, requiring patience to get it right before moving on to your riding position on the bike itself.

Expected time for this step: 1 hour or more.

the bike fit process

The On Bike Assessment

The on-bike assessment phase in bike fitting is where the rubber meets the road… or virtual road, as you will almost certainly be doing this phase on a stationary trainer or their fitting-specific apparatus.

We’re only at the assessment stage here, where your bike fitter is watching and learning. Much like any other type of riding, you will need to warm up and settle in.

Key Aspects of the On-Bike Assessment
  1. Riding Position Analysis: This involves the fitter observing your posture and alignment while pedalling. The focus is on aspects such as the alignment of the knees, the angle of the back, and the positioning of the arms, wrists, and hands.
  2. Pedalling Dynamics: The fitter examines your pedalling style, looking for any inefficiencies or asymmetries in the stroke. High-speed camera analysis is often employed for more detailed observation.
  3. Real-Time Feedback: One of the most significant benefits of this phase is the ability for you, the cyclist, to provide immediate feedback. As you ride, you can communicate how comfortable you feel, allowing the fitter to understand how the bike’s current setup is working in real-time.
  4. Dynamic vs Static Assessment: Unlike static assessments carried out off the bike, the on-bike assessment evaluates your position and comfort in an actual riding scenario. This method provides more relevant and accurate data as it takes into account the unique dynamics of your individual riding style and body mechanics.

This is an interactive process that combines the science of bike fitting with the art of understanding your individual needs.

The phase tends to blend into the next, which is probably the most visually intuitive and easily understood (from a high level, at least) part of your bike fit, which is…

The Adjustment

This phase is likely exactly what you were thinking about when you started exploring the whole bike fitting process. It certainly was for me.

The adjustment phase is the heart of a bike fit. It’s the key process where the bike fit specialist makes precise alterations to your bike setup based on the previous assessments. This may include adjusting the saddle height and angle, handlebar position, and even the type of components like pedals and shoes.

One key element often overlooked is the cleat positioning. It’s not just about slapping them onto your shoes; it’s a fine-tuning process that can significantly impact your comfort and efficiency. Misaligned cleats can lead to discomfort or even injury over time. Personally I find cleat positioning to be a massively time consuming process of trial and error… and a big off-putting thought when having to buy new cycling shoes.

During the adjustment phase, your fitter will also focus on the three main contact points:

  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Pelvis

Each of these points plays a vital role in your overall riding experience. For instance, the wrong saddle can be a literal pain, while incorrect handlebar positioning can lead to numbness or strain in your hands and arms.

Now adjustment is a process of trial and error.

It’s a process of tweaking, testing, and re-tweaking.

All of the measurements, setup angles, and position data should be being recorded such that you end up with a permanent record of your ideal position.

Expected time for this step: 1 hour or more.

What Happens Next?

As I mentioned earlier, there are three common steps found on pretty much any bike fit. We’ve just looked at them – the interview, the assessment, and the adjustment.

What happens after the adjustment appears to largely depend on how much money you are spending.

Regardless, you should leave your first bike fitting session with your bike that now better fits you.

After this process you will need time to test out your new setup. To put into practice any changes, and to accumulate real world data on how the changes have impacted your cycling. This takes a while, a little like putting into practice any training recommendations made by your cycling coach.

Because there is a gap between that first bike fitting session, and any follow up work, this is reflected in the cost of your bike fit, and this is why these extra steps are not included in every fit offered.

further bike adjustments and changes

From this point on we will work on the assumption that you are buying, or thinking about buying, one of the higher tier / more expensive bike fit packages. At this point the next step becomes the refinement and feedback stage. This phase involves fine-tuning the adjustments made during the first fit, and assessing their impact on your riding experience.

Here’s what typically happens:

Testing and Real-World Feedback

Once the initial adjustments are made, it’s time to test them in a real-world setting. This involves you taking your bike out for at least one ride, preferably in conditions that mimic your usual cycling environment, ride duration and style. Whether it’s a long endurance ride, a quick sprint, or a challenging climb, the aim is to see how the adjustments hold up under typical riding scenarios.

During this testing period, you should be attentive to how your body feels on the bike. Are there any new discomforts? Do you feel an improvement in power output or efficiency? It’s essential to note both the positives and the negatives. A power meter and cycling computer can quantifiably help here.

It may be that your bike fitter will come for a ride with you. Again, it’s all price dependant.

Follow-Up Consultation

After testing your bike post-adjustments, for the more expensive packages you’ll typically have a follow-up session with your bike fitter.

Some of the expensive packages do not include this, but will happily charge you a further fee – albeit reduced – for a follow up session.

This is an opportunity to provide feedback on your experience with the adjustments.

Honest and detailed feedback is vital here; even small discomforts or observations can be crucial for further refinements. This isn’t being negative or critical of the changes they suggested.

This may lead to…

Further Adjustments (if necessary)

Based on your feedback, the bike fitter may need to make additional adjustments. This could involve fine-tuning the earlier changes or addressing any new issues that have arisen.

This is an iterative process, aiming to ensure that the fit is as close to perfect as possible for your specific needs.

Again, this is refinement – so it may be that you go back and forth a few times between consultation and adjustment.

example of a bike fit report

Written Documentation

I mentioned this earlier under the “adjustment” phase. Depending on your bike fitter, they may provide this as part of the service, or they may only provide this on the more expensive packages.

What might be included in the written documentation varies, of course, but here’s a rough guideline:

  1. Personal and Bike Details: Information about the rider, including your name, age, and contact details, along with specific details about your bike, such as make, model, size, year, and type.
  2. Session Summary: Details of the fitting session, including the location, the fitter’s details, and an assessment report.
  3. Physical Assessment: Evaluation of your physical attributes, including standing posture, foot type, and flexibility. This section would assess various aspects like lateral and frontal posture, foot arch, walking posture, and squat performance.
  4. Specific Measurements and Angles: Detailed measurements related to your bike’s components and your riding positioning on the bike, such as stem size, spacer stack, crank length, saddle height, and handlebar reach and drop.
  5. Fit Angles and Alignment: Analysis of your alignment and angles while cycling, covering aspects like ankle, hip, and knee angles, as well as back alignment and elbow angles.
  6. Movement Analysis: Observation of your movement during cycling, including foot, knee, and hip movements.
  7. Workload and Anthropometrics: Data on the rider’s cycling performance, such as cadence, and body measurements like thigh and shin length.
  8. Comparative Views: Before and after adjustment views to show changes made during the fitting session.
  9. Bicycle Measurement Definitions: Detailed explanations of the various measurements taken and their significance.

The documentation will vary depending on the bike fitter, with some following a formal template and others providing more, shall we say, ad-hoc notes. It’s worth asking if this sort of thing is included, and to see an example of what they provide.

Long-Term Monitoring and Adjustment

In some ways a bike fit is not a one-off event but rather an ongoing process. Your body and riding style may change over time due to factors like fitness levels, flexibility, age, or injury. And let’s not forget buying new gear, parts, and kit.

Therefore, it’s recommended to have periodic check-ins with your fitter to ensure your bike continues to match your needs, especially after any significant changes to your setup.

How frequently you do this is up to you, and I haven’t seen any package that includes ‘long term support’. It would almost certainly be considered a new fit, with the original price.

Learning and Self-Adjustment

Part of the post-adjustment phase involves becoming more in tune with your body and your bike.

Unless you went in with your eyes closed and wearing ear defenders, you likely picked up a few new things along the way.

You may have learned to better recognise when something feels off and may even learn to make minor adjustments yourself.

This self-awareness is a valuable skill for any cyclist, allowing for quick tweaks as needed between professional fittings. Also it is kinder to your wallet.

Is A Bike Fit Worth It?

The upfront cost of a bike fit can be a bit of a sticker shock. You can see my investigation into the cost of a bike fit over on this page.

As a quick summary, expect to be paying £150 up to £350 on average here in the UK. There are cheaper, and more expensive services, and location is a factor. Read that other post for more depth.

But, let’s not just focus on the monetary aspect. Consider the time commitment too – a comprehensive fit can take several hours, plus any additional time for follow-up adjustments.


Let’s break it down, weigh the pros and cons, and see if we can find some middle ground with this cost-benefit analysis.

Enhanced Comfort and Reduced Pain

The most immediate benefit of a bike fit is comfort. Aligning the bike to your body can significantly reduce, or even eliminate, those nagging aches and pains common in cycling, like sore backs, numb hands, or knee pain. Comfort equates to longer, more enjoyable rides.

Improved Performance

A properly fitted bike can lead to noticeable improvements in your cycling performance. By optimising your position, you can pedal more efficiently, conserve energy, and potentially increase your speed and power output. For those who race or have specific performance goals, this benefit alone might justify the cost.

Injury Prevention

Long-term, a good fit can help prevent injuries associated with poor posture or repetitive strain. This aspect is especially crucial if you’re clocking serious mileage. There’s nothing worse than being injured and off the bike, and then losing (or feeling like you are losing) your fitness.

Customised to Your Needs

Every cyclist is unique – in body shape, riding style, and goals. A professional bike fit caters to these individual needs, something off-the-rack setups or DIY adjustments can’t quite match.


I think it’s fair to say, from most perspectives getting a good bike fit would be worth it for most of us. However, there are some downsides to consider, not least of which is …


The most obvious downside is the cost. Not everyone can or wants to shell out hundreds for a bike fit, especially casual riders or those on a tight budget. When a bike is costing your £1,000, and all the extra kit is bumping that closer to two grand, splunking for a fit can seem like an easy ‘extra’ to skip.


The process can be time-consuming, and not just the fitting session itself. Post-fit, there’s a period of adjustment and potentially more visits (and costs) for tweaks.

Not a One-Time Solution

Bodies and goals change, meaning what works today might not be ideal in a few years, leading to additional costs down the line.

Overreliance on Technology

There’s a risk of overreliance on technology in some high-end fits, where the art of personal intuition and experience may play second fiddle to data and metrics. Each to their own on this one. Personally I love data and numbers… the more the merrier! Not that I understand half of them, but that’s a different story.

Is It Worth It?

For the avid cyclist, the long-term benefits of a bike fit – comfort, performance enhancement, injury prevention – can far outweigh the initial cost. It’s an investment in your cycling future, akin to choosing a higher quality bike over a more budget model.

On the flip side, casual riders or those with less demanding cycling needs might find the cost hard to justify. If you’re not experiencing discomfort and are happy with your ride, a full-scale bike fit might not be essential.

What to Wear To Your Bike Fit

Don’t overthink this one. Wear what you would normally wear on your bike rides.

If you’re uncomfortable arriving in your kit, be sure to ask if there is somewhere for you to change. However wearing your bibs under loosely fitting clothing is usually no bother. Be sure to take something to change into for the drive home, unless you are riding there and back, of course.

As always, if in doubt, ask!

Here’s what you would typically wear to a bike fit:

1. Cycling Kit

  • Cycling Shorts or Bibs: Wear the shorts or bibs you normally use. All bibs have different padding and thickness, which can affect saddle height and comfort.
  • Cycling Jersey or Top: Choose a form-fitting jersey or top. Baggy clothing can obscure your body’s outline and posture, making it harder for the fitter to assess your position accurately. I assume we are all Lycra clad at this point.

2. Cycling Shoes

  • Bring the shoes you usually ride in. The sole thickness and cleat position are crucial for proper alignment during the fit.
what to wear to your bike fit?

3. Socks

  • Wear the socks you typically cycle in, as sock thickness can slightly alter how your shoes fit.

4. Sports Bra (if applicable)

  • Women should wear a sports bra or the undergarment they usually cycle in for a more accurate fit.

Equipment to Take

If you would take it on a ride, take it to your fit.

Here’s what to bring, but again, if unsure (or if not told on the initial contact call), ask!

1. Your Bicycle

  • The most obvious, but essential. Ensure it’s clean and in good working order. A dirty or poorly maintained bike can make the fitting process more challenging.

2. Helmet

  • Although not always necessary, some fitters might want to see your helmet position, especially if you’re into racing or time trials.

3. Pedals

  • The type of pedal can influence your foot position and cleat adjustment.

4. Any Orthotics or Custom Insoles

  • If you use custom orthotics or specific insoles in your cycling shoes, bring them to ensure they’re integrated into the fitting process.

Road Bikes vs TT Bikes: Do I Need A Second Fit?

When it comes to different types of cycling, such as road cycling versus time trialling, the need for a distinct bike fit for each is not just beneficial but often necessary. This is most prominent when choosing your bike fit package – typically TT specific bike fits will be offered alongside ‘regular’ road fits.

The dynamics of your body’s interaction with the bike vary significantly depending on the style of riding and the bike’s geometry.

Road Bikes vs TT Bikes: Do I Need A Second bike Fit?

Time Trial Bikes vs. Road Bikes

Let’s quickly cover why a different bike fit is crucial for different types of bikes or riding styles:

1. Riding Position

  • Time Trial (TT) Bikes: They require a more aggressive, aerodynamic position. The rider is leaned forward, with a flatter back to reduce wind resistance. This position shifts more weight onto the arms and requires a different saddle and handlebar setup.
  • Road Bikes: These bikes are designed for a more upright and versatile riding position, prioritising comfort and endurance over aerodynamics.

2. Saddle Position

  • TT Bikes: Often, the saddle is positioned further forward to facilitate a more aerodynamic position. This requires a different adjustment of saddle height and angle.
  • Road Bikes: The saddle position is more rearward to balance the rider’s weight between the handlebars, saddle, and pedals.

3. Handlebar and Armrest Setup

  • TT Bikes: They typically have aero bars with armrests. The armrest position is crucial for comfort and aerodynamics and differs significantly from the setup on a road bike.
  • Road Bikes: Handlebars on road bikes are designed for multiple hand positions, allowing for changes in posture during longer rides.

4. Pedal and Cleat Position

  • TT Bikes: Cleat position might be adjusted to optimise power in the forward-leaning posture.
  • Road Bikes: Cleat position is generally set for a more balanced distribution of power across different riding positions.

Can I Do My Own Bike Fit?

Certainly, you can attempt a DIY bike fit, and many cyclists do, especially when starting out or when professional fitting services are not accessible or within budget.

Here’s where I am going to refer you elsewhere, however, as I am in no way qualified to advise you on how to do your own bike fit.

There are several other resources typically recommended on forums and social media for a DIY bike fit.

bike fitting videos youtube playlist

There’s a highly rated video by Grant Ritchie from YouTube called “Do a pro bike fit at home (for free)”:

Likewise, this one from Road.cc is recommended by cyclists far more knowledgeable than me:

Where To Find A Quality Bike Fitter?

Finding a qualified and experienced bike fitter, especially if you are new to the sport, can be daunting. It’s a bit like trying to find any good trades person…

Here’s some tips to help you locate the right bike fitter for your needs:

1. Local Bike Shops

Obviously if your Local Bike Shop offers bike fitting (not bike sizing!) then they will suggest themselves 🙂

  • Start Local: Many bike shops offer fitting services, ranging from basic adjustments to comprehensive fits using advanced technology.
  • Online Shops: For example, Sigma Sports offer a bike fitting service – it’s in their store, but they are widely respected and their service is highly rated.
  • Ask Around: Inquire at your local cycling shop or shops where you frequently purchase gear. They might have an in-house fitter or can recommend someone.
rapha cycling club group ride

2. Cycling Clubs and Communities

  • Connect with Local Cyclists: Members of cycling clubs or groups in your area are often a wealth of information. They can share their experiences and recommend fitters they’ve used.
  • Online Forums and Social Media: Join local cycling forums, Facebook groups, or Reddit communities. They’re great resources for unfiltered recommendations. I know not everyone wants to use Facebook, but for cycling it’s hard to avoid.

3. Certification and Accreditation Bodies

  • Research Certified Fitters: Look for fitters with certifications from recognised bodies like Retül, BG Fit, or the International Bike Fitting Institute (IBFI). Certification indicates a level of training and expertise.
  • Check Online Directories: Organisations like IBFI have directories on their websites where you can search for certified fitters in your area.

4. Online Reviews and Testimonials

  • Check Reviews: Google for your bike fitter of choice and look for feedback and reviews. Again, Facebook can be invaluable here.
  • Testimonials: Some fitters or fitting services have testimonials on their websites, which can give you an idea of what to expect. They aren’t going to put up bad testimonials, and you have no way to validate them… maybe I’m too cynical.
  • YouTube Comments: Find a recently posted video on a roughly related topic to bike fitting, and ask there for recommendations.

5. Ask at Events or Races

  • Local Events: If you attend cycling events, races, or expos, ask around. These events often attract a network of cyclists and professionals knowledgeable about local services.

6. Training and Coaching Services

  • Coaches and Trainers: If you’re working with a cycling coach or trainer, they often have connections to reputable bike fitters and can provide recommendations based on your specific needs.

7. Check for Specialisation

  • Type of Riding: If you’re into a specific type of cycling (e.g., road racing, triathlons, mountain biking), look for a fitter who specialises in that area. They’ll have more nuanced knowledge of the demands of that discipline. Google is your best friend here.

8. Call and Ask Questions

  • Initial Contact: When you find a potential fitter, don’t hesitate to call and ask questions about their experience, methods, tools, and what to expect from their fitting session. Use everything in this guide to help you through.

Wrapping Up

Thank you for joining me on this deep dive into the world of bike fitting. I hope this guide has shed light on the subject and perhaps inspired you to take the plunge. The right fit isn’t just about the bike; it’s about creating the best possible interaction between you and your bike.

Happy cycling!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please do check out the rest of the site. Also I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with bike fitting, so do please leave a comment with any feedback and suggestions.

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