Bike fitting service - No measuring involved?

by Bom W   March 10, 2011  


I'm fairly new to road cycling and have been making do since last year with an old vintage frame, albeit with great Campag gear, but I decided I needed something new.

I visited my LBS and spoke to them about potential bikes and arranged to return to have a bike fitting.
I was told that the guy who was qualified to use the equipment would measure me up and tell me what size bike I'd need. This would cost me £40 but be taken off the price of the bike.

When I went in he sat me on a 57cm frame and got me pedalling on a turbo trainer. It felt ok on the 57, but after a while I felt that there was a bit of tension below my shoulders and after a bit of chat he decided I probably needed a 60cm frame. The sizing of the particular bike goes from 57 to 60cm.

His rational, was that on a 60cm frame I'd have more range of adjustment whereas I was at the maximum limit on the 57cm.

I asked him if I needed to be measured, but he said he could do a better job visually.

My concern is that I've ordered a 60cm bike (should pick it up next week)but never actually sat on one that size and I'm relying totally on the guy's expertise.

I'd appreciate some advice as to if this is normal or not. Bottom line is that if I'm not happy when I collect it I'll be demanding they get me the 57cm but it'll mean another two to three weeks waiting.


6 user comments

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Seems a bit odd that they'd charge for something this basic. Did he do any analysis of the length of crank arm, position of your knee relative to the pedals, length of stem, width of bars etc?

It's tricky to comment without actually seeing what he did. Frame size is generally (huge generalisation, but for these purposes bear with me) a description of the length of the seat tube. The fact that you are getting tension in the shoulders might be more to do with the 'reach' of the bike. A 57cm frame with a slightly longer stem might be all you need.

Anecdotally, having chatted with the Garmin-Cervelo team mechanic, I know that the pros often have a frame one size too small so that they can get the aggressive position they favour with a higher seatpost and low handlebars. Not for the average punter though!

Have you actually paid for the 60cm one or are they just getting it in for you to try?

Check out this Leonard Zinn article:

That said, getting a proper fitting would usually cost slightly north of £100 and in most shops it is not charged if you buy the bike, so the £40 seems a bit low.

If you are concerned, I'd definitely recommend getting a proper fitting done. Lots of places do them and a quick search on Google - "bike fitting london" (if you live in London) will come up with the top people in the trade there.

posted by suffolkcycles [2 posts]
10th March 2011 - 12:48


out of interest, what's your:

a) height
b) inseam measurement


Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7783 posts]
10th March 2011 - 14:14

1 Like


My height is 6'2" and inseam is 33" or 84cm.

posted by Bom W [30 posts]
10th March 2011 - 14:44


hm, difficult to say. given that you're quite tall and proportionally your legs aren't that long, given the choice of a 57 or 60, on paper i'd say 60 to give yourself the reach. but if it was 58 or 60 i'd probably say 58 Smile

I'm a 59. it's hard being a 59. No-one makes a 59 Plain Face

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7783 posts]
10th March 2011 - 16:15


Well a 60 is only 3cm longer and prob only 1cm higher at the headtube? so if you felt tension (cramped?) on a 57 then a 60 might be better. Im 6ft4 and my bike measures 57cm toptube (60cm seattube tho) and i used a 140mm stem!

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [446 posts]
10th March 2011 - 16:31


Thanks Dave and Stato, that sort of goes with what the guy was saying.

Because I've got a long back he was suggesting that the 60 would allow raising the stem if I was uncomfortable, whereas the 57 wouldn't go any higher.

You've put my mind at rest and I'm looking forward to picking the bike up. Just struck me as odd that he didn't use the measuring kit and charge me?

posted by Bom W [30 posts]
10th March 2011 - 16:41