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Help your bike fitter help you with these three steps to ensure you get the right fit.
Companies are constantly devising new fit methodologies and tools dedicated to your comfort and performance on a bike. But when you sign up for a fit, how do you know what you’re getting? Here are three steps to ensure you find the best fit.
Step 1: Evaluate your needs
Your pre-fit process starts by paying attention to how you feel on your bike. Do your feet go numb? Is the saddle causing you issues? Take notes after rides and bring them to your fit.
Step 2: Do the research
Certifications: Familiarize yourself with the various bike fit certifications. Specialized BodyGeometry Fit, F.I.S.T. Fit, Retül Fit and Serotta Fit are some of the most prominent. Use each database of certified fitters to find someone in your area, or an area you are willing to travel to (often an overlooked option). The certifications will ensure a level of quality control from your fitter, but the person is ultimately most important.
Fit technology: Generally, better fitters invest in better technology to enhance their fit skills. A basic understanding of the various fit technology options allows you to make an educated choice about which is right for you and draw greater benefit from the process.
Triathlon knowledge: Even though all fit curricula teach triathlon fit, make sure your potential fitter understands triathlon bikes and triathletes.
Fitter reputation: Use local or regional tri groups and their forums to get feedback on fitters they like and why.
Step 3: Ask some questions
To ensure the fitter is qualified and correct for you, ask these questions before booking your appointment:
• Does the fitter use techniques to address any specific injury or medical concerns?
• Is the fitter familiar with your bike model? Do they have the tools/parts necessary to make any modifications?
• How long have they been fitting triathletes? Although the value of years spent fitting can’t be replaced, experience in the sport is also important.
Now you are ready to book your appointment. During the fit appointment, make sure you communicate honestly what you are feeling and experiencing when changes are made. After the fit, listen to your body. If your body is not adapting well to a change after a few rides, book a follow-up appointment to address any issues. The fitter’s job is to pinpoint your optimum setup, so don’t be shy about achieving that shared objective.
No two fits are equal, nor are two fitters exactly the same. Even though you can sign up for the same service at a store or the same branded fit style, the position you leave with ultimately comes down to the fitter and the feedback you give them. With a little research and time spent listening to your body, you should walk away from your next fit more empowered to tackle your goals.
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Ryan Ignatz is the fit manager at Boulder, Colo.’s Colorado Multisport.