Bike fitting requires a blend of science, art, and experience. Some tools come in handy too, but the primary tool of a bike fitter is how they use all of the above, which is their skill.
Choose a bike fitter based on their reputation, responsiveness and rapport. Don’t choose a bike fit based on their tools, choose them for their skills. A skilled fitter will have the relevant tools to perform the job. Some prefer to be hands on and hi-touch, while others prefer to gather data and pour over numbers, using hi-tech.
Choose a bike fitter for the level of service you need. The best bike fitter in town may not be the best bike fitter for your needs. If you have a head cold you don’t need a neurosurgeon.
Don’t select a fitter purely on the merits of a particular system, tool or technology that they use. For example, Retul and Guru are well marketed tools and technologies. The fact that a fitter has them does not guaranteed a good fitting experience and outcome. These don’t do the fitting, but they can add value to the fitting in the hands of an experienced technician/fitter.
Establish expected costs up front. The fitting service fee may be all you pay, or only a part of what you pay if you end up getting new shoes, insoles, cleats, and saddle as part of the fit process. Ask about next steps if you are not happy with the outcome. Follow ups may be included or charged for.
Most bike fitters are men. There are female bike fitters, but fewer and further between. If you are a female cyclist and would prefer a female fitter, you may have to travel further to find one. However experienced male bike fitters are typically used to discussing the intimacies of bike-body contact points. What is important is that you feel confident and trusting of your fitter, and can communicate freely about any concerns or issues.
Check out the articles on the BLOG page for more perspectives.