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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been looking into building a road bike for my girlfriend, and feeling around on other forums for info. Basically all I've gotten from the other forum is that I should go to the local bike shop, because I won't be able to size/fit any bike that I purchase correctly otherwise. :rolleyes:


I always build my bikes from the frame up with components I already have, or a mix of custom stuff that I like. I find I always get a better bike for the money that way, especially if I take my time and shop around for bargains, which I happen to enjoy :D


Anyway, it made me realize that maybe the road riding world seems to love the local shops moreso than us mountain guys. What do you guys think? Oh yeah, and what size road frame should I buy for a 5'5 girlfriend with a 30" inseam? :p
 

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Jim311 said:
Been looking into building a road bike for my girlfriend, and feeling around on other forums for info. Basically all I've gotten from the other forum is that I should go to the local bike shop, because I won't be able to size/fit any bike that I purchase correctly otherwise. :rolleyes:


I always build my bikes from the frame up with components I already have, or a mix of custom stuff that I like. I find I always get a better bike for the money that way, especially if I take my time and shop around for bargains, which I happen to enjoy :D


Anyway, it made me realize that maybe the road riding world seems to love the local shops moreso than us mountain guys. What do you guys think? Oh yeah, and what size road frame should I buy for a 5'5 girlfriend with a 30" inseam? :p
The reason they tell you to go to the LBS is because road bike fit needs to be more precise than mountain bike fit. That's because you spend way more time in one basic position, seated with hands on the hoods, for more hours on a road bike than a mountain bike. Fit is more important and more difficult. In the mountain world you basically have S, M, L, & XL. Some road companies are similar but many offer more sizes, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm is typical. It's certainly possible to go to a web site like Wrench Science and do your own fit. You'll probably be pointed to a size that would work but you also might have to do some tweaking. Road guys have no more or less love for their LBS than mountain bike guys. They all have one thing in common. They all ride bikes.
 

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As much as a hate going to the bike shop now. Any one thats looking to get a first road bike needs to have a real fit dun. You can ether let a local shop fit you and get a bike from them. Or see some one that can do a full fit and give you all the measurements you will need to get a basic fit. But its going to be like $100. And once the bike is built you will still need to go back and have the fit checked.
 

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Sort of off topic, but I went to one of my LBS here in Denver looking to ride/buy a new bike. They asked if I had time for a complete fit. I was just wondering around town looking at bikes so I said sure. They took about 8 measurements including my height, inseam, torso length, arm length, shoe size, and more. They then plugged each measurement into a computer. It took about fifteen minutes and seemed really thorough. I was going to ride this Giant so they grabbed the bike and then based on the computer model adjusted the seat post, that was all. The really funny part was the seat was about 2 inches too high (my legs were totally straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke) So just because they take a lot of measurements doesn't mean that they will put you on anything close to what fits.
 

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yea one of the shops I use to work for had a program like that. But its not perfect. Once we figured out what bike fit the customer we would then put them on a computraner. And check every thing. The computraner would even tell us if one leg put out more power then the other. It helped allot with shimming cleats.
 

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pulser said:
As much as a hate going to the bike shop now. Any one thats looking to get a first road bike needs to have a real fit dun. You can ether let a local shop fit you and get a bike from them. Or see some one that can do a full fit and give you all the measurements you will need to get a basic fit. But its going to be like $100. And once the bike is built you will still need to go back and have the fit checked.
I'm not against getting a good fitting or spending money on fitting. However, there are a lot of people in this world that have good fitting bikes and have never been truly fit. I'm one of them but I wouldn't be a good example. I've developed my fit over 38 years of riding. When I started there wasn't really such a thing as being "fit". You started with KOPS and went from there pretty much on your own. Of course, there are many fit systems today but no sure way to get a perfect fit. Even folks who spend the big bucks end up tweaking stuff down the road. It's inevitable. As you ride your fit changes because you get stronger or more flexible or get injured or etc.

You can learn the basics of a good fit. Many people do and are very happy. You have to start out by understanding two things, bike geometry and your body. Certainly not as easy as it sounds but still very doable. There are a bunch of web sites that provide fitting programs and most require careful measurements of your body. You can learn how bike geometry affects fit and the type of riding you do. Your fit will be different depending on how you intend to ride and what you ride. Racing, more aggressive, touring, more upright, rec riding, inbetween and there are more choices.

By all means get fit if you've got the bucks and don't want to bother learning but fit is very doable on your own, too.
 

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meloh1 said:
I'm not against getting a good fitting or spending money on fitting. However, there are a lot of people in this world that have good fitting bikes and have never been truly fit. I'm one of them but I wouldn't be a good example. I've developed my fit over 38 years of riding. When I started there wasn't really such a thing as being "fit". You started with KOPS and went from there pretty much on your own. Of course, there are many fit systems today but no sure way to get a perfect fit. Even folks who spend the big bucks end up tweaking stuff down the road. It's inevitable. As you ride your fit changes because you get stronger or more flexible or get injured or etc.

You can learn the basics of a good fit. Many people do and are very happy. You have to start out by understanding two things, bike geometry and your body. Certainly not as easy as it sounds but still very doable. There are a bunch of web sites that provide fitting programs and most require careful measurements of your body. You can learn how bike geometry affects fit and the type of riding you do. Your fit will be different depending on how you intend to ride and what you ride. Racing, more aggressive, touring, more upright, rec riding, inbetween and there are more choices.

By all means get fit if you've got the bucks and don't want to bother learning but fit is very doable on your own, too.

I agree if you know what your doing. For most people its easyer to let a shop do a fit and then use that as a baseline. But there are places that can do fits from a medical standpoint that will be a much better fit then can be dun at home. They can really get the fit as close to perfect as can be had. But as fitness and flexibility change. the rider would have to be fit agen and changes would need to be made. If your a Pro or a really fast armature it might be worth it. My point is if some one is getting a first road bike and dosn't really know much about fit getting one is the best option. I find that most people are happy with a basic fit that makes them comfortable on the bike and they don't suffer any pain after they ride.
 

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people literally spend hundreds to get fit on a road bike.

all the shops i went to here (maybe 5 or 6) when shopping for road bikes all had the same deal, ride for a week and come back to swap components out until the bike fits, free. this is basically unheard of for mtbs, and expected for roadbikes. even a few online road bike retailers (neuvation cycles comes to mind) swaps stuff out for free until you're happy.

you gotta remember you're not moving around, and tucking and standing and getting behind/in front of the seat on a road bike. you're sitting in basically the same position for hours and grinding out miles.. the fits gotta be as close to perfect for you to enjoy the ride!

for road bikes, i suggest either doing the lbs thing and getting properly fit, or buy a windsor sora equipped road bike off ebay for 350 bucks. its an insanely good deal for a reasonable bike. if you hate it or it doesnt fit, its easy to sell. i got mine for 320 shipped and sold it for 325 used when it didnt fit, and it helped me get an idea of what i like and dont like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I guess I just don't subscribe to the notion that I can't fit a bike on my own. When it comes down to it there are still only a few sizes that are going to be within her size range. All other adjustments will be saddle height, stem height, length, etc. Also I should mention we are talking about a CHEAP bike here, and a bike ridden by somebody who thinks a Roadmaster with slicks was a nice ride. A 100 dollar fitment at the LBS or wherever would be a third of the price of what bike! This bike is not at all for a gear junkie or somebody who is much interested in fitment. In fact she likes riding my dirt jump bike because she says it rolls fast. Sooooo.. if I find a bike that fits better than that, and rolls even faster, I'll be a million steps ahead. If she decides she likes riding, maybe we'll go get fitted and buy a nicer bike. From this thread it's sounding to me like many road riders think it just isn't possible to get a good fit without going to the LBS...
 

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I'm some one that took a long time to get a good fit. And I mean years of playing with things myself. You can do it but its not easy. Just keep in mind when your looking at bikes and thinking about doing a fit for her. That if you want her to enjoy riding fit is going to be important. I find that people that are thinking about the sport can get turned off vary quickly when there only experience is a bike that doesn't fit. How Tall is she? I have found that shorter girls tend to fit WSD bikes more. If that helps at all.
 

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Jim311 said:
I guess I just don't subscribe to the notion that I can't fit a bike on my own.
i felt the same way until i actually got one.. in which i quickly realized its absolutely nothing like fitting a mountain bike, and that i really had no baseline to even start getting fit. since i had no lbs support to try different parts, i just haphazardly bought stuff until i sort of got comfortable. you might feel too stretched and get a shorter stem, only to realize your stem was just fine but your seat orientation was wrong.. or you spend more on components trying to get balanced only to finally get it and realize the whole bike rides like crap because the frame never fit you to begin with! or a quick trip to the lbs to get measured and paired to a few frames gets you at least a strong baseline to start fitting yourself.

where do you even start? sure you can fit your own bike, and many many people do.. its a process though, and you're not going to get it right on your first try. actually count on doing it wrong!

if she isnt really serious about riding and wont be riding often enough for a proper fit to matter (riding 5 miles around town isnt going to cause comfort issues), just get whatever bike she falls within the recommended height for.

its not an lbs snob thing. get it right, or get it cheap enough that its not a huge loss when it doesnt fit.

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ALUMINUM-RO...dZViewItemQQptZRoad_Bikes?hash=item1e5995c09a

something like that, in a small..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am definitely thinking about a "Bikes Direct" kind of thing. I don't know for sure if she's going to like riding or not, so I don't want to spend a ton just to have it collect dust. There's no way I'd find a decent bike for 300 bucks or so from the LBS, much less with any sort of custom fit. The longest she has ever ridden with me was maybe 3-4 miles, and she primarily just likes to ride with the dog. Certainly not any long distance or competitive stuff. There's a Kona Dew Deluxe on Ebay for 499 in 52CM size that looks ideal...
 

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I've been riding for over 10 years now and have no problem fitting myself for a mountain bike, but after years and thousands of miles I'm still not where I want to be on my road bike the problem is that you don't notice the pain until our 50 or 60 miles into a ride. If you really don't want to buy from a LBS get a cheap bike from bikes direct let her ride it and upgrade if she likes it, but if your going to spend 500 bucks on a road bike just go to a bike shop and get a properly sized female specific bike for her, with women its even more important because most women won't fit on a standard mens bike without a lot of tweaking.

The bikes direct route should work for you getting her started, but don't waste your money on something nice. Just get one of the 300 dollar bikes and let her get started.
 
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