For a quick link to Guru Road Fitting for new bike purchases, click here. To skip ahead to Guru Tri and TT fitting, click here. Learn more about refitting services here. Lastly, to find out what you need to bring to your fitting, click here.
Send an email or give us a buzz to set up a fit appointment. bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (dot) com or 301.620.8868
Here’s the thing with bike fit: it’s everything. If your bike doesn’t fit well, you won’t want to ride it. Even if you do want to ride it, it can be uncomfortable, or even painful. Or maybe it feels good, but you don’t feel like you are getting the most of out of your legs. There are millions of bikes out there. Maybe 1% are properly fitted. I’d guess less, actually. Fitting takes a few things: time, knowledge, proper tools, and experience. At Bike Doctor, last year alone we did over 300 fittings. We’ll do a fitting for every bike we sell, but some bikes don’t need a full fit. Bikes like comfort bikes, or hybrids can get by with what we call a quick fit. Those bikes are great because they encourage you to ride slow and take it easy, both good things, for a certain time and place. But because of this, absolute rider efficiency isn’t a big deal, comfort is. We make sure you are comfortable on those bikes, and send you out the door. So that ‘300 fits’ number basically signifies how many road fittings or tri bike fittings we have done, just in the past year. A number of those were for fully custom bikes, built from the a raw tubeset. Many were done for bikes under 1500 bucks. It doesn’t matter.
We approach all fits the same, using the best tools, procedures, charts, and background knowledge to get you comfortable. Here’s the fitting breakdown: There are three levels of fits that we perform here at the shop. Developmental fitting is the older, analogue way to fit a bike using the Fit Kit. This fitting technique, although it has been in use for years, only can go so far in the quest for rider/bike harmony. Developmental fitting is prescriptive: we set the bike up according to a host of physical static measurements like arm length, shoulder width and foot length. We ask you what feels good, and we prescribe a fit to you based on your feed back. Using tons of experience, we take static measurements and figure out the best possible set up using a basic set of fit tools.
We recommend this fit technique for Hybrids, Commuter bikes, Basic mountain bikes, and Comfort bikes. It was the best, but now we know how limited it is, as far as achieving a comfortable and efficient fit. Let’s call this the educated guess fitting technique. It’s based in science, but it’s a science with lots of wiggle room.
You are not going to get a road bike or tri bike from us without a fitting. We won’t do it. What if I already know my frame size? Or my bar width? Lots of people have been riding this size or that size for years, successfully. That’s a whole bundle of bias going into the bike buying process. We seek to eliminate the bias by getting you on a machine called the Guru. The Guru is a real time bike mock up machine. We get you on board, and help you sketch out your ideal bike. The Guru doesn’t know or care what you rode for the past 3 years or the past 30. We ask you basic comparative questions: does A feel better, or B, much like an eye doctor dials in your prescription. You are figuring your best fit, and we are just operating the machine that lets it happen.
If you have an older bike, you can bring it in, tell us what you liked about it and what wasn’t working. We gather the ‘fit coordinates’ from your old bike, plug them into the machine, and allow you to compare your old fit to your new one, under power. In real time. No getting off the bike to make adjustments, the Guru just moves to the old position, and suddenly you see how scrunched up you were, or how little you could use your quads, or how bad your back felt. After you discover your new fit, the machine takes your new fit coordinates and compares them to a bike geometry database. You find your new fit and the machine finds the bike that matches it. Sometimes there are thirty bikes. Sometimes two. Sometimes you have to go custom! Not usually though.
The Guru is the simplest yet most advanced fit tool on the planet. But it costs money. We have to pay every time we use it, and it takes lots of time to set up, and then time to have you ride it. So it’s not cheap. Road bike fittings start at $150 and Time Trial and Tri bikes start at $325. Woah, you say, $150 bucks on top of what I am already paying? Well, yes, but no. We apply 10% of the purchase of the bike to the Guru fitting. Most road bikes start around $1500, so there is no net loss, unless you end up not getting a bike from us. Even if you don’t get a bike with us, you can take those numbers to a different shop, and tell them, ‘I want a bike that matches those numbers’. If they look at them, and can’t make sense of it, find a new shop. A developmental fit, which is what all of our fits are, works like this: we set you up so you are comfortable, physically and psychologically, as possible. After that, you have a month to come back in and work on the fit. Basically all you have to do is call us up, make an appointment, and get there on time. You already paid, and we’ll keep helping you out for 30 days. If changes need to made after that 30 day window, no problem, it’s just a new fit charge. We can’t give it away for free forever!