A Brief Discussion on Bicycle Size & Fit
A Brief Discussion On Size and Fit
More than twenty years ago, we bought this Italian “fitting” cycle that allowed us to kind of mock-up a bicycle and check top tube and stem lengths. It was a blue-green thing, very rickety, without pedals. At the time, we used it to determine correct stem length, thus preventing customers from needing to return over and over with incorrectly sized stems. And, it began to show us how to resolve issues such as stiff necks, numb hands, and sore backs.
We quickly learned that very few customers really “fit” on a stock bike with factory supplied saddle, handlebar, or stem. Often the top tube or seat angle just didn’t allow for optimum comfort and performance. We knew even then that the 4′ 10″ dancer or 6′ 11″ ball player would never find a “stock” bike small or large enough; or, that the customer who had repeated back surgeries or severe arthritis needed special attention paid to top tubes and handlebar/stem combinations. We found that chronic genital numbness, for example, was a condition which we were able to resolve – and still do with considerable success.
We also recognized that many of the problems took time to work out – results were, and still are, sometimes trial and error. That’s when the idea of a custom-only-shop began to take shape. And, in February, 1997, it became a realiity. We don’t stock hundreds of bikes; we don’t sell anything from a production manufacturer. Every bike is custom from start to finish. And, because we offer just that kind of service, our time is your time. And, that investment in time and patience pays off in your satisfaction with and commitment to your riding.
Most importantly, our customers are not necessarily Paris-Brest-Paris riders or Ironman triathletes – although, we’ve worked with both – but they are riders just like you. They ride for fun, exercise, self-expression, competition, and transportation. What they want is the best possible combination of frame, components, fit, and performance.
Today, we use a Serotta SizeCycle mounted with the Salsa Size-O-Matic stem for more accurate height and extension data. Our goal is to continually add useful tools and increase our expertise.
In addition to start-to-finish fitting for new singles and tandems, we also offer the service of working with you and your existing bike to enhance your riding comfort and performance. From pedals and cleats to handlebars and stems, everything will be checked and considered. A typical re-fitting on your bike takes between 30 and 90 minutes. A complete new-bike fitting ordinarily takes somewhat longer. But, plan to spend at least an extra half-hour to an hour with us. We will take ample time asking you questions pertinent to your riding techniques and goals. Once again however, our time is your time – we want to work with you until we are BOTH satisfied with the results.
©2000, Diane Lees & Brian Jenks