Bike First vs. Fit First Bike Buying

Even though cycling is a rider-centric sport, the vast majority of bikes bought today are selected first and then the rider is “fit” to the needs of the bike (and sometimes the needs of the bike dealer) after the selection. Even though this “Bike First” approach is significantly flawed, as it leads to lower long-term consumer satisfaction, diminished cycling performance and an increase in injuries and comfort issues on bikes, it is still used by the vast majority of bicycle manufacturers and bicycle dealers. Why? It is easier to take demand based orders than it is to retain and pay quality bike fitters and staff who are well educated and up-to-date on bicycle fit.

Buying a bike without initial regard to how it fits you as an individual is the cycling equivalent to buying the cabinets and fixtures for a kitchen or bathroom renovation before creating a design that helps you understand the needs of the space and your lifestyle first – it is not a good way to get the desired end result.  With more high quality bike options on the market than ever before, the risk is low that you will buy a poor quality bike; however, the risk is much higher that you will buy a product that simply is not a good match for your needs. The good news is that there is a very simple way to avoid this costly error that the majority of bike buyers make – Get Professionally Fit at a Qualified “Fit First” Dealer Before Choosing Your Bike.

A “Fit First” buying approach recognizes that you are an individual and that there are no universally well-matched products that serve the needs of all riders well. An unbiased professional fitting with an independent fitter eliminates the guesswork as to which products will fit you properly and will clarify exactly which bikes are worth further consideration and which are not. By putting your needs as a rider first, you will simply eliminate those bikes that are not a good fit for your body and the best options will immediately highlight themselves. This will make your bike decision a lot easier while all but eliminating the risk. The results are not only a bike that performs better and is more comfortable, but also a bike that saves you time and money down the road by eliminating the need to replace parts that were not good matches for your needs to begin with.

For a listing of verified independent “Fit First” bicycle dealers who offer a rider-centric approach to bike fitting and selection, look for a MBFA Dealer.

Additional Related Links and Resources:

What is the Difference Between a Bike Sizing and a Bike Fitting

Achieving an Optimal Position through Training & Goals

The Problem with Fit Formulas

Common Fitting Misconceptions

A Guaranteed Approach to Bike Fit and Bike Buying