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 usually measured along the length of the seat tube (the tube which supports a bike’s seat and seatpost). While measurement standards vary a bit between different manufacturers, we can help you determine the ideal range of sizes that would offer you your best match to your body type and riding style.
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.
Another alternative is to have a custom bike created specifically for you. Our trained and certified staff can take your measurements and have a bike built exactly to your specifications and riding style. We can have a custom built frame manufactured by either Seven Cycles or Guru that will match your exact body proportions and ensure that your bike is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
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.
Beyond frame size, other components of a bike also contribute greatly to a good fit. Take seats, for instance. What's the best height for your bike seat? How far forward or back of center is your correct seat position? The tilt of the seat is also adjustable. Other factors to know more about include: stem length and height; crankarm length; and, what width and shape of handlebars work best for you.
It is true that there is no correct position, nor even a correct range, for every multisport customer. But yes, in fact there is a specific, measurable, precise way to ride a tri bike. It is not a universal position, but it is the typical position chosen by the best athletes, just like there is a typical position for road racing.
The difference is that the typical tri position is aggressive, and requires a degree of athleticism above that which is required for standard road riding. Almost everyone can achieve a typical road position. A smaller percentage can achieve the typical tri position. Because of this, and since triathletes as a group span a wider range of athletic abilities, tri-specific positions can vary greatly.
The trick is to be able to qualify each individual and discover where along that gradient he or she lies; then to properly position each individual according to his or her degree of athleticism; and finally to suggest the appropriate bike(s), aerobars, etc., for each person. And, yes, we absolutely do believe in the concept of steep seat angles for the appropriate individual.
Our Certified F.I.S.T. Fit Technician was trained by Dan Empfield, the founder of Quintana Roo Bicycles.
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 look forward to seeing you.