Road cycling comfort: Is bike fitting a waste of money?

May 09, 2019 BY Mark Pawlak

A bike that is the wrong size or is set up incorrectly for you can quickly ruin your day. Are you lacking road cycling comfort? Then you may have asked yourself is bike fitting a waste of money?

Galibier one of the highest climbs in the Tour de France Flickr CC image by joiseyshowaa

Getting the right riding position on your bike is very important. For beginners, who don’t quite know what a bike should feel like, it can often be helpful to get some advice. Having someone more experiences tell you how to position your bars and saddle can help you ride more efficiently.

Do you have chronic or nagging injuries due to riding? It could be because a poor position is putting strain on certain parts of the body. Are you a competition rider looking for marginal gains in your times? A change of position might help you achieve this.

Looking at it objectively, these all seem like pretty good reasons to employ the services of a bike fitter. Or is bike fitting a waste of money?

Bike fitting experience

A bike fit consultation should take a few hours. A good fitter will examine every aspect of your riding position, including your feet and footwear.

Road cycling comfort Flickr CC image by 2017 Canada Games - Jeux du Canada 2017

All bikes are not the same and neither are all people, so it seems like a good idea to ask a professional for some individually tailored advice, right? Wrong.

Let’s be totally honest here shall we? Paying £150+ for someone to tell you how to sit on a bike properly is a waste of time and money. For starters, even for someone who has never even seen a bike before, it’s pretty obvious how you’re supposed to ride it.

If you’re willing to pay good money for someone to show you how to adjust a saddle, it’s not a bike fitter you need, it’s a financial adviser.

Road cycling comfort

If you do suffer from a nagging injury due to riding, or are planning long distance cycling trips then try changing your riding position. Try out a few new ones and see what feels comfortable. And go and see your doctor about the injury…for FREE.

Road cycling comfort Is bike fitting a waste of money Flickr CC image by fat1024

There might be some need for those at the very top to use the services of a bike fitter. When you’re dealing with fractions of seconds in pro bike races, or ultra distances, then a small adjustment to your riding style might help.

But then the chances are, if you’re riding at that level you’ll have a coach or trainer to help you with your style anyway. Or a sponsor will pay for the bike fitting.

The bottom line about riding a bike is that you should do it the way you feel comfortable. Not the way some know-it-all, who has just pocketed your hard earned cash, tells you.

Coaches in all sports too often try to adjust natural technique to do it the way the manual says. How many sporting champions have we lost because bad coaches stifled natural ability? You and your body always know best.

Is bike fitting a waste of money Flickr CC image by frannyfish

Is bike fitting a waste of money?

Bike fitting is often little more than a crafty way of upselling you more goods from the store.

Isn’t it funny that the only way to improve your riding position is to buy the £100 pair of cleats or the custom-fitted insoles that only their shop happens to stock? What an almighty coincidence.

Unless you are competing at the highest level, spend the money on something else. Think how much bar tape you could get for that sort of cash…

Now you’ve found your road cycling comfort zone without paying a fitter, check out our cycling holidays discounts so save more cash!


Bike Fitting

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