These days purchasing a new bike that fits your needs and budget can be quite a challenge. So many brands and models exist, different geometries, various components groups, etc,. Add to that all the ever changing technology, wheel choices, and most importantly, making sure the bike fits you properly, and you’ve got a buying experience that can be very complicated.
Over the past 8 years, we have helped countless cyclists and triathletes specifically with this process utilizing our New Bike Fitting service. Athleticamps takes pride in being your “bike consultant” or “bike concierge”, helping you find the right choice to fit all of your needs. Here is a brief summary of this valuable three step process:
Frame identification (1.5-2 hours) - Finding the right size bike is more than just determining small, medium or large or 52, 54 or 56cm. It is understanding your needs and finding the right frame geometry that works for you. Each manufacturer has different models. As an example - Trek has the Domane, Emonda, and Madone models, each one with a different geometry (defined simply as different lengths of tubes and different angles within the same “size” bike). So in Trek’s case, their Madone 54cm is drastically different than their Domane 54cm.
By using our fully adjustable bike and 3D motion capture system (see video below), we take the guess work out of this process by being able to quickly create any bike’s dimensions to “pre-fit” and determine if a particular frame will work for you. We can then add in any stem length, saddle, handlebar width, and stack height and get an accurate assessment of the overall fit on that particular brand/model. The ultimate goal of Step 1 is to determine a specific list of bikes that will work and not work for you.
Purchase the bike and additional consulting (as long as you want) - After we come up with the specifics, you go purchase the bike (with our assistance). We help guide you through a variety of options: what components to buy (Shimano, SRAM or Campy), electronic vs mechanical shifting, carbon or alloy wheels, disc vs rim brakes, etc. We may also come across a bike not assessed and we can run the numbers to verify whether or not it will work.
We highly recommend, if possible, to test ride the bike options. Prior to the test ride, we supply the shop with measurements (from step 1) to ensure the bike is setup according to your specifications. This will give you a good idea as to how that bike will feel on the road and also give us a basis to discuss the pros and cons of each bike. When bikes are not available to test ride (e.g. some of the Italian brands) our new bike fitting service becomes more valuable.
Final Fit (~1.5 hours) - You have now bought the bike of your dreams and you feel good about the money you just spent. It’s time to do the final fitting! This step doesn’t take too long because all the research has been done upfront. But there are still some details and fit refinement that have to be addressed (based on the bike you have chosen). Some of the common adjustments during this step are a stem change, grip angle adjustment and stack height, and possibly choosing a different saddle.
In summary, buying a bike can be a challenging experience. The primary value of going through this process is knowing that you are getting the right bike for your needs and taking control of the purchasing process. You can go through the purchase with confidence knowing you bought the ride bike for your needs and budget.