I took a lot of research before my first bike fit an obviously stumbled across bike fit James on Francis Cade‘s Youtube channel. I think a lot of it is very relevant but you can get hung up on watching all the videos.
My final selection was easy because almost nobody had a jig to do a pre-buy bike fit. Concerning the LBS, I am critical since they often use „tools“ from a certain brand and these are often not good and made to make it feel more scientific. As an example, the bike fitter I finally visited told me that I had a very high foot arch but „fleshy feet“ with a lot of soft tissue around. This made the thermal foil device at the LBS read that I have a low arch.
My advice would be making a decision based on the person/experience. Phone a few up and ask them your questions. You will find out which one is good for you.
I think Chris is right in that it very much depends on the individual and it needs to be someone you feel comfortable with. I
My first bike fit was a Retul and it was ok, but felt very much “bike fit by numbers”.
Since then I’ve gone to a fitter who is a physiotherapist as well as bike fitter, and it feels much more that he looks at you as a human being, with all of the inconsistencies, peculiarities and asymmetry that goes with that.
Hi madman, there is lots of good advice here. I lucked out on bike fitting a few years ago. The guy I went to see was brilliant. Unfortunately, we have moved since then and I don’t have anyone within a 2 hour drive who can do a dynamic fit. I am coming back from injury and apparantly, I have a different body. I have been guided by myvelofit.com and partly also on feel. My set up has changed significantly but I am nearly there. If you have experience and lack the tools, this may be an option worth looking at.
A LBS could be very setup and focused on what they sell which is something to think about. They also might not have years of experience to help evaluate what a machine tells them and this is just the same as someone using retul.
For me seeing someone who is a fitter and physio is probably best. They can asses you as you are that day and also make suggestions on exercises you should be looking to do to help support you on the bike.
Also be carful of a fitter who doesn’t ask what you want to achieve from the fit. The fit can be aggressive and really aero but if you can’t ride all day in that position it isn’t perhaps the correct fit for you for doing sportives. Equally if you only doing crits or time trails it might be a better fit for that end purpose.
Also it is important to remember that a fit isn’t a one off your body changes and it is recommended to revise the fitter annually or at least every other year to get it checked.
Bike Fit James (James Thomas) is actually a really good mate of mine. Worked with him while he was at Sigma and when I lived in the UK. He will set you up with something more personalised, whereas Retul (and others) are system based and follow certain rules etc…
For our CA members, I recommend Nate Loyal. Really great guy and fitter
As has been repeatedly said, avoid LBS fits if they are just a sales tech with a turbo trainer!
Physio (physical therapy in the US) experience is good. Bianca Broadbent is another who I know in the UK. I’ve not used her personally, but I’ve known her for years too.
Wanted to throw in my 2 cents. I had soo negative experiences with bike fitting, and one really, really stellar posititive one.
Started off with Retul (in their early years) and the local “walks on water, and might give you an audience” fit guru. Plus 2 fits at local bike stores. They all had in common that they focused on some basic weight distribution numbers game (50/50) and age (if you are over 50, you better sit more upright). Just did not work for me at all. Hence DYI for a while, figure out what works and what does not. Got a good selection of stems to prove that.
Now then there was this day when I picked up a new bike (got a good deal, but that implied a rather long drive). In the store they realized that the rear shifting had a problem, so the groupset needed to be changed, hence I had time to kill. The shop had a Guru fit system, and a youngster with nothing to do … Basic motion capture, thew on my favourite saddle, and handlebar that was comparable to what was on the bike, and then we literrlay played around for an hour. Different drops, different reaches, different seat height, saddle setback … at the end we nailed 2 setups, an agressive race setup, and a more relaxed setup for climbing. The youngster listened very carefully what I like to ride and how I preferred the handling. That was an eye opener.
4 years ago, and I am still riding those settings. 5mm up/down and it does not feel good anymore.