Fit Friday – A la Carte Fitting
AKA – Pedal and Cleat fitting for cycling.
Every so often the question comes up, why does Erik’s offer only one bike fit service. Often the conversation goes something like this, “I just purchased new shoes and pedals, the rest of my fit is great, but I just would like to have you check and make sure that the set up on the new pedals is correct.” Instead of shoes and pedals, a rider could insert saddle, handlebar or any other contact point on your bike. So today we wanted to address why we don’t support the idea of stand alone cleat fitting.
The challenge with changing shoes and pedals is that it will affect your entire fit. There can be up to 7mm variance in the stack height of modern road pedal systems, and shoe sole thickness can vary by at least that. Take for example the already thin Specialized S-Works road shoe, it got 4 mm thinner in 2010 vs the 2009 model.
So lets say that a rider switched from Look Keo to Speedplay pedals, and changed out their old (non-carbon) shoes for a new carbon soled road shoe. In order to maintain their current saddle to pedal position on the bike lets assume we need to lower the saddle 1 cm. To keep the saddle fore aft relationship to the bottom bracket the same it would also be necessary to slide the saddle back approximately 3.3mm. To keep the relationship to the handlebar the same the handlebars would also need to come down 1 cm. And at this point we still haven’t adjusted the cleats for placement and rotation.
So here’s where the real problem comes in. We often see riders that sit slightly twisted on their bike, have hip, knee, foot alignment issues, or find leg length discrepancies that affect how a rider needs their pedals and shoes set up. Ultimately when someone comes in for a fit with us we want them to know that they are truly 100% dialed, and their equipment is set up in a way that conforms to what their whole body needs.
If we have fit someone in the past we are happy to help make changes to that bike, but without that knowledge of what a rider needs, performing a la carte fit services is like not using all the ingredients your cake recipe calls for, in the end you probably won’t end up with cake.