How well your bicycle fits you determines a lot. It can mean the difference between comfort and pain, fast and slow, safe and unsafe.
Proper fitting starts with selecting the right size bike frame. Most of our bikes are not one-size-fits-all, but rather, come in different frame measurements to help you obtain the best overall fit. Frame size is traditionally measured along the length of the seat tube (the tube which supports a bike’s seat and seat post), however, most modern bicycle manufacturers have adapted new measurement standards, and frame size no longer has a direct correlation to the physical measurement of the seat tube. While measurement standards vary between different manufacturers, we can help you determine the ideal range of sizes that would offer you your best match for your body type and riding style. While everybody can typically fit two sizes or sometimes more, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the right size, and then create the perfect fit for your individual style and discipline of riding.
What does body type have to do with fit? Well, have you ever heard someone say, “He’s a tall drink of water” or “She’s all legs”? The point is: Each of us has a different body style. And this has to be taken into account when fitting for a bike. All of these proportions can make a drastic change to your level of comfort, the power you can exude, and your overall happiness on your bike.
How does your riding style relate to proper fit? Let’s say you want to cruise the bike paths on a bike that lets you sit upright where you get a good view of the scenery. That calls for a different frame size, bike type and fit approach than, say, a time-trial racer who needs to be positioned for optimum aerodynamics and speed. A cross-country mountain biker will want a drastically different riding position than an all-mountain rider, and with our riding experience through the shop combined with our fitting technologies and training we can find the best position for you and your ride.
As a registered Specialized Body Geometry Fitting shop, we have invested in several technologies that allow us to fit quicker, more accurately, and with more flexibility. We start our fits with a fully adjustable fitting bike that will be preset to the same dimensions as your bike. As we progress through the fit, we can make changes to your body positioning on this bike while you pedal to get the perfect geometry for your body. There will be a sensor bar set up along with several sensors strapped to strategic points near your contact points with the bike, and various points on your body to allow our computer system to track your positioning through your pedal strokes, and to perform hundreds of precise measurements every second. We will then take the changes that we made to the fitting bike, and transfer those to your personal bike.
Our full 3-dimensional bicycle fit is an involved process that leaves no stone unturned. We have a pre-fit interview to better understand the type of excursions you enjoy, the terrain you will be riding, and much more about you, your bike, and your rides. We will then go through a 22 step flexibility and limitations assessment in order to bring to light any unique physical traits that will impact the fit. Finally, after we have collected all of the necessary data and set up our equipment properly, we can proceed with our 15 step fit. This will include geometry changes, modifications to your touchpoints (ie: your saddle, grips, gloves, and most importantly; your shoes!) We will take lots of readings and measurements as we go, and note all of our professional observations. We will examine the support you are getting from your shoes and your footbeds, your cleat positioning, and even the socks you are wearing when riding your bike.
We have 5 certified fit technicians fitting through our shop, and over 25 years of fitting experience. Come see us for a fit with the pros.
Another huge benefit to getting your fit done at Freedom Bike Shop is our Body Geometry Custom Fütbed machine and training. Using sophisticated heat forming technologies and a vacuum-powered forming machine, we can create the perfect support in a cycling footbed to remedy any foot problems you may be experiencing, and the best part... they are re-moldable if they need a modification down the road.
Finding the correct frame size is the just the first step to a perfect fit. Beyond that, other components of the bike also contribute greatly to a good fit. Take saddles, for instance. What's the best height for your saddle? How far forward or how far back is your correct saddle position? The tilt of the saddle is also adjustable. Other factors to consider include: stem length and height; crankarm length; what width and shape of handlebars work best for you and much, much more. Our fits will sometimes involve replacing bicycle components that are not suited to your body. This ensures that we can provide you with the best cycling experience possible, whether you are racing in a world championship, exploring the forests and mountains or simply riding across town.
We love helping our customers get the right fit. And if you didn’t buy your bike from us, worry not. Just bring your bike in for a complimentary review of the fit basics so you know what changes, if any, you might want to consider. We have several levels of fit for all riders and all budgets. We look forward to seeing you!