Cycling is a sport that attracts riders of all ages, regions, and skill levels. Some have loved and enjoyed the sport since they were kids, while others may have decided to take it up in the latter part of their life. Some do it for fun, some for exercise while some are professionals in the sport.
While the bikes and the way people ride may differ but there is one thing that all racing cyclists should be doing the same and that is getting a bike fitted.
For those not aware, bike fitting is the process of modifying a bicycle to optimize its performance, comfort, and efficiency.
Not only professional cyclists but also amateur ones who cycle regularly often face overuse injuries such as cyclist’s palsy, cyclist back, and anterior knee injury.
But how much does a professional bike fit Cost? There are three levels of bike fitting. The basic level that covers the basics costs around 60-80 USD. The moderate level which provides a moderate level of expertise costs anywhere from 150 to 300 USD. The top-notch professional fitting costs 500 to 800 USD. Therefore, a bike fit costs anywhere between 60 to 800 USD. The cost of a bike fit varies depending on the qualification and experience of the bike fitter.
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|Cyclist Level||Cost (USD)||Bike Fit Features involved|
|Basic||$60-$80||Minor alterations like height and angle.|
|Moderate||$150-300||Experts fitters with specific tools needed for fitting|
|Advanced||$500-$800||Professional fitters, use of modern technology and Softwares.|
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What Are The Different Bike Fitting Levels?
There are varying levels of bike fits that depend upon the fitter’s experience and expertise level. Bike fitters could get them certified from institutes such as the international bike fitting institute (Source).
Each level will go up in cost but also will have increasing value. Finding the right level of fit for your riding needs is key.
Basic level- Local bike shop
If you want to make only minor adjustments to your cycle then your local bicycle outlet will be the most accessible and cheapest option. You need to determine which outlet has the best and most experienced bike fitter. They can easily alter minor settings like the height and angle of your seat or the reach of your handlebars.
If you are purchasing a new cycle then some shops may do it for free as they include this general fit with the purchase of a new bike.
If you are looking to adjust an already purchased cycle then they might charge you around $60-$80 for this service. You will get a fit similar to the one shown in the video below,
This is your best option if you are an amateur and just a fun rider. However, if you do long rides or participate in racing events then this is not a good option as they demand a higher level of expertise.
Moderate level- Bike studio
The next level of bike fitters is the expert bike fitters who specialize in this task. They are not naive like the previous category.
They have been performing this task specifically for some time. They can more astutely assess your requirements and modify the bike accordingly.
They can better understand your problem areas and optimize the bike’s aerodynamics to suit you. They can perform modifications of the knee and hip angles or determine how your foot should be positioned on the pedal.
Some of them work independently while some work for a cycling institute. Typically these individuals or cycling institutes offer to coach cyclists as well. A good coach knows what they’re doing they can be a great valued option.
When it comes to the cost, they might offer you a discount on their fitting services since you are already paying for coaching.
They will charge you no less than $150. Some might even ask for a price of around $300 for this service. The reason is they possess abundant knowledge about the aerodynamics and biomechanics of cycling.
Further, they possess advanced tools and instruments that are needed for a higher level of bike fitting.
Advanced level- Professional bike fitter
At the apex level of cycle fitting, the fitter either has decades of experience or has taken courses to know the nitty-gritty of body anatomy and how to find the correct position for each cyclist.
They will be able to do what a local shop or coach can. They possess bike fitting skills to the highest degree of expertise and accuracy.
Furthermore, they will be able to assess you for flexibility and other potential discrepancies that can affect your biomechanics.
This includes rectifying problems like leg length discrepancies, knee tracking issues that can be corrected with shims under the cleat, and other specific issues that aren’t going to be properly corrected for anyone without the proper know-how.
They also use modern technology to determine the best bike fit for you. They have developed specialized computer software, applications, and exact measuring devices to measure your position on the bike as well as your bike’s exact measurements.
Also, they utilize the latest laser technology that projects a straight line to determine your knee tracking, foot movement, and hip alignment.
This level of expertise does not come for a mediocre price. You will certainly have to bear a burden of more than $500. The more experienced fitters of this level might even charge around $800 for this service.
How To DIY Bike Fit
You may also want to use some mobile apps to help you with the fitting such as Bike Fast Fit.
When To Get A Bike Fit?
If you are new to cycling, the best time to get your bike fitted is just when you start to cycle regularly. It will averṭ injuries right from the beginning and help you strengthen just the right muscles you need.
If these injuries get serious they might keep you away from your favorite sport for a substantial period of time may be in some cases, for the rest of your life. Hence you should get it done at the earliest.
If you are a professional biker, then altering the dynamics of your bike just before an event is definitely not a good idea.
You should wait for the period when you can give your body enough time to adjust according to the modified aerodynamics of your bike. It will help you prepare better for a race or an event.
What To Expect At A Bike Fit Shop?
- There are many outlets offering bike fit, and it can become quite a job to differentiate them and cherry-pick the best. An expert fitter is most likely to follow a certain pattern to be able to customize your bike perfectly for you.
- Good bike fitters will always begin with the rider. They will first and foremost want to know about the sort of cycling you are doing, any goals you have, and any discomfort you have encountered.
- After the interview, the professional fitter will most likely do an assessment. The assessment includes the rider’s off-bike structural assessment. Here the fitter will try to understand your biomechanics and movements such as your pedaling motion and body alignment.
- Next to the assessment comes the adjustment. You can expect a competent fitter will thoroughly examine and optimally adjust the 3 main contact points- feet, pelvis, and hands.
- Regardless of your goal, style of riding, or the reason for getting a fit, you can expect that a good fitter will adjust all the three primary contact points as most of the riders experience discomfort and pain in these three points. Hence it is necessary to get them fitted perfectly.
- The next step will be testing the newly modified bicycle as a fitter would like to know whether the changes made are beneficial or not. It should be noted however that you will not always feel the difference immediately. It may take some time for you to realize whether the changes have been successful or failed.
- It’s imperative that after the adjustments and modifications are complete, you test out the new aerodynamics outside of the environment of the fit studio. While riding outdoors, like on a hill you might feel odd at first. That doesn’t necessarily imply that the fit was a failure. Basically, the body and the muscles need time to adapt to the new bike fitting. However, for some riders, the benefits are immediately apparent, especially for those who were previously experiencing pain.
- If your body does not feel comfortable with the fit even after giving it the time to adapt, you should always go back to the fitter to inform them that there is an issue. Just like any other product or service, you would return if the results were like what you desired. Still, if the fitter is not able to comprehend the perfect fitting for you, it is recommended to look for a new bike fitting professional. (Source)
The cost of a bike fit depends on what level of expertise you would like to consult. Experience levels could be categorized into three levels of bike fitting.
The cost varies depending on the qualification and experience of the bike fitter.
The basic Bike Fit level that covers the basics costs around 60-80 USD. The moderate level which provides a moderate level of expertise costs anywhere from 150 to 300 USD. The top-notch professional fitting costs 500 to 800 USD. Therefore, a bike fit costs anywhere from 60 to 800 USD.