John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Importance of a Proper Bike Fit (1 of 2)

Everyone, who is EVERYONE... you know, YOU, my readers/followers - knows that I was in love with Athena... my HUGE purchase, even though I feared her - MY FIRST ROAD BIKE.

Yes, you read that correctly, (in case you missed yesterday's post) my "first" road bike - in that I now have a second one.

Wait... slow down... hold your horses... I will get to that.

Remember, Athena.  She's beautiful, huh? Well, I have had Athena since December 2011. I bought her at a local bike shop (LBS) and was sure she was THE ONE. Many people, tri people, friends, even my MOM, suggested that the bike was too big. And when they said too big, I thought they meant the bike needed to be fitted. And getting a proper fit is expensive... starts at $150... starts.

Well, I delayed... over a year and finally decided after my first 54 mile ride where my seat was actually lowered half way through the ride by two friends who insisted that the bike was too big.

I made the appointment with an exclusive and illusive fitter - a very sweet Brazilian guy. As soon as I brought the bike in he said, "The bike is too big!" I thought... well, duh... that's why I am here. But NOOOOO, he meant... TOO BIG! Huh?

So I was educated as to what that meant. In his broken English which was quite endearing, he educated me about my bike. I'm petite... they don't call me Pixie Green for no reason. I'm 5'2" when I stand very tall. I was sold (by a very reputable LBS) a size 54. My new Brazilian Fitter (BF) told me that I needed a 44 or 46 in a Felt... And then I was stunned. What? Why would they sell me a bike too big. After another 30 minutes of my BF explaining everything to me he says, "What size shoe do you wear?" I said 6.5. He proceeded: "This bike is too big. Way too big. It is like a size 10 shoe. I can sell you better shoelaces, but the bike will ALWAYS be too big. The parts you would need would cost at least $500 - this bike no good!"

After some more research with BF, I learned that my woman's specific bike was actually a size LARGE... (it comes in Petite, Small, Medium and Large). BF said: "No offense, but there is nothing large about you!" And then BF said: "I not sure why they even sold you a Felt... you are too small for a Felt."

And that is where I started to cry in this other LBS and they actually offered me a stiff drink. A million questions ran through my mind. I started texting all of my Tri friends (BTW: who all knew it was my big day of my fitting) about what was going down. Why would the other shop, that I highly recommended, sell me a bike that was too big... and not just a little too big... WAY TOO BIG! I had referred tons of people to this shop; I had taken a Parks Tool class there to learn how to fix my bike and essentially filled their second class with my referrals... what in the world. BF offered several reasons:

1. That was the size they had in stock.
2. The salesman didn't know what he was doing (the store manager sold it to me)
3. Just trying to sell stock

I was so angry and sad. I packed my bike into my car and headed back to the LBS that I bought the bike from....


Cat said...

They sold you a 54" frame?!?!? Where is this store so I can avoid them like the plague. My LBS only carried one XS frame which I bought - and my fitter told me that it's still a bit too big but was most likely the best out there for a starter road bike. :(

I'm also 5'2. I am totally going to test ride your new sweet ride then next time I see you!


coach dion said...

My mountain bike is to big for me, but I only use it to get around, and with a low seat I can sit right...

That said I see a lot of people here out on the road with big bikes, and I just want to yell at them, "your saddle is to high!"

New bike, so that means you need a new name!!! good luck