Monday, April 5, 2010

I finally rode a tri bike. Now I have questions

So I was having my third fit adjustment to my road bike today ( I am having some cleat positioning issues ) when I started talking to the bike fit guy about tri bikes. To make a long story short, I ended up riding a Specialized Transition Pro (they didn't have a less expensive bike in my size) and enjoyed it. I was very nervous about taking a $4500 bike on a test ride in 30 mile an hour wind gusts but I was able to get a feel for the bike and found the transition from a road bike with clip on aero bars to a tri bike quite easy.  So here is my question for all of you great people.  I am always reading about bike fit, how important it is to get a bike fit before you purchase a bike. That you should ride numerous bikes and see which one feels best. How can you get a real bike fit when the geometry of the bikes are different? I can't imagine finding any bike store that is going to spend hour(s) fitting someone  for a test ride.  before I purchased my road bike, I road numerous brands before I picked the one that felt the best to me. I later found out that the bike is a bit long for me and adjustments have been made to make it fit me better.  So, when I read comments from people saying to "purchase the bike that feels/fits the best" how do you know which one that is?
I have no idea if I would ever purchase another bike but if I do, I want to make sure that it is one that "fits"
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
And for you viewing pleasure... here is the bike that I rode today.


  1. I ride a Specialized Transition SWorks so you chose well for your experiement :)

    I get "measured" before I buy a bike to see how far off it will be for my body geometry and then do a real fitting afterwards. The test ride is really only to get a feel for the frame since you may swap out the bars, seat, etc.

    Finding a good fitter is key.

  2. The biggest thing about buying a bike is the fit. It has to fit right. A good bike shop will let you test ride several different bikes, so you can make your decision on what feels right. Yes, you should be fitted to the bike before they send you out. Most shops will start prepping another bike while you are out on the road. Once you make your decision, then they will fine tune and dial you into the bike exactly.

    Thank you for the links for the water mp3 players, I am going to get one.

  3. What a beautiful bike! I am with the guys. With the right bike store they will dial you in to the bike the best they can and then do an extensive fit with you once you buy it.

  4. I have the Transition Pro too!!!! and LOVE IT!!! Congrats! I had the bike fit done before riding it outdoors, because we had the first snowfall of the year the day I went to get it :( He changed the crank arm, cut down the seat tube, moved the seat forward slightly, all based on just riding the trainer. He told me to bring it back in once I'd ridden outside if I felt any adjustments were necessary. Any good bike shop will be more than happy to help. Congrats!!

  5. I had a really hard time figuring out what tri bike I wanted to get b/c practically no bike store had any in my size. But, there were a few, and they fit me on the bike before I took it out for a test ride. Like others have said, a good bike store will make sure the bike fits you before you go out on it. It's quite smart on their part actually. If you ride something that doesn't fit you, you'll be uncomfortable, and won't like/buy the bike. If they fit you first, then you ride it, it will be comfortable to ride, and then you have to decide whether you want to go for it and buy it or not. They bike guys are banking on the fact that you'll fall in love with the bike and want to buy it! :)

    FWIW: I went to Colorado Multisport in Boulder and got fitted there because I just couldn't test ride as many bikes as I wanted. They put you on a psuedo bike, take lots of measurements, do lots of adjusting, then match you up to the bikes that would in theory fit you best. It was a little pricey, but I ended up getting a bike from them b/c of their great service and I put the cost of the fit towards the bike. Plus, the other perks of the fit far outweigh the initial cost.

    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!!

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments and advice. Maybe this weekend I will head out to try another one or two.
    Aimee, I will check out Colorado Multisport. The only worry I have about purchasing a bike so far away (I didn't say I was buying a bike did I ? :) ) is that any maintenance or adjustments would require a long trip to Boulder. I will check out their website tonight.