What About Brand Based Fittings?

If the only tool you have in your tool box is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

As cyclists demand their right to be comfortable and efficient while enjoying their favorite pastime, the sea of fit schools, fitting tools, fitting rules and fitting products is getting deeper.  One way the bicycle industry is responding to these demands is by offering possible solutions to cyclists’ issues in the form of ergonomically friendly components.  Another way is that some bike companies have followed SICI’s lead by creating schools to help educate the fit technician in understanding a protocol for analyzing the body to the bike interaction.  However, unlike SICI, which is an independent fit school open to virtually anyone interested in learning more about bicycle fitting and cycling science, many bike brand operated fit schools are product driven and funded and limit their attendance to their dealer networks.  These brand based fit schools can contain a curriculum heavily weighted towards increasing sales of their products through fit;  the risk with this approach is that the focus becomes more on selling you a “solution” out of a single product line in order to address the symptom of a problem rather than discovering what is the root of the problem.

While choosing the correct bike and component combination is the goal of all cyclists, limiting yourself to the offerings of one manufacturer in terms of product selection for solutions is unnecessary and unwise.  The best possible choice in finding cycling nirvana is to work with an unbiased independent retailer who is educated in all things relative to cycling – especially bike fit.  Such an independent professional will understand how your body functions, how a bike frame interacts with your specific body attributes, how component selection can enhance the body-bike interaction, and how modifying the frame geometry can add to the ride quality – they can take you through the fitting journey without being limited to a single manufacturer’s product offerings.

It is always best to work with technicians in any field with the most experience and the largest tool box for solutions.  When selecting a bike fitter, it is wise to find someone with a broad base of knowledge and an unlimited supply of tools. You need to ask yourself if you want to get “nailed” into your fitting because your fitter only has the hammer of allegiance to a single brand, or work with a fitter who can analyze, diagnose, and recommend a clear path to comfort and efficiency without limitations.

To find a verified independent “Fit First” bicycle dealer, find a MBFA member dealer.

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