By Rick Schultz, MBA, DBA
Here are several questions I get asked quite often related to bike fitting.
1) “Should I get a bike fit when I get… “
a. New Shoes?
If you are getting the same shoes and the bike fitter marked your cleats, and the cleats are in the correct position, then probably not. But, if these are different shoes, then YES. Different shoes have different ‘stack’ heights as well as different bolt hole positioning so, at a minimum, cleats will need to be adjusted as well as potentially saddle height, fore-aft. Remember, new shoes imply new cleats.
b. New Cleats?
c. New Saddle?
Again, if same saddle, then probably not, if you have marked where the previous saddle was. But, if it’s a different saddle, then probably yes. Different saddles have different seat heights above the rails, different amounts of foam, different shapes, etc., so you will need a bike fit.
2) “I got a new bike and I sized it against my old bike making sure all of the measurements are the same. They feel completely different from each other and I don’t like the way the new bike feels. What did I do wrong?”
To get the new bike to be in the same exact position as the old bike, you will need to use this $300 X/Y tool. Frames are now measured in STACK & REACH and this tool measures the touch points (handlebars & saddle) as STACK & REACH so it is very easy to duplicate one bike to the next.
What I have found out is that when you get clients close to ideal position, even moving something 1mm, the client can feel this difference and respond with yes or no. So, by ‘eye-balling’ the bike sizing, you are probably off at least 5mm which will make the new bike feel like a completely different bike.
If you don’t have this tool, see if you can borrow one from your local bike shop. You might have to bring some bagels, chips and or coffee with you to “grease the skids!”
3) What shoes do you recommend?
My preference is Lake Cycling Shoes. They offer the best bang for the buck. I am a Lake dealer and I get nothing but positive feedback from clients. The LAKE road cycling shoes I recommend are (most expensive to least expensive)
CX 402 – kangaroo and fully heat moldable
CX 332 – kangaroo and heat moldable
CX 241 – new endurance/gran fondo shoes
CX 301 – the lightest cycling shoe made. Period
CX 237 – the best seller
One recent client bought the CX 237 and stated that LAKE’s bottom of the line shoe is higher quality than most other manufacturers top of the line shoes.
Another client bought the CX 332 and said that they felt like slippers and that he might wear them to bed!
Lake offers custom colors on their two top shoes and offers custom orders like swapping out the cowhide upper for kangaroo on some models. Lake offers the widest full-carbon sole (last) of any cycling shoe.
Coach Rick Schultz is an avid cyclist who trains, races and coaches in Southern California. Rick is an engineer by trade, and in addition to being a coach, he's a bike fitter and prolific product reviewer. He's the author of Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist and Bike Fit 101: Your Toolset for a Great Bike Fit in the RBR eBookstore. Check his product reviews website, www.biketestreviews.com, and his coaching site, www.bikefitnesscoaching.com. Click to read Rick's full bio.