I had high hopes for my RETUL bike fit. I suffered through tons of TR workouts with butt pain (as in after 10-15 mins, my butt just hurt and sometimes I could barely walk after a ride…) Then, after I went on a 60 mile road ride with some buddies and some more serious suffering, I set up a bike fit with a local guy.
I let him know what I had done to try to get comfortable on my bike. I’d done the plumb bob/KOPS, tried 5 different seats based on other people’s recommendations, set seat height based on my inseam… all kinds of pro stuff I found on YouTube . Things got better, and worse, and better but things never got good.
My assumption of how he would work with me was that he would try to get me in the best position possible so I wasn’t in pain any longer. With me being a complete newb on the bike, I was hoping he would just go through the steps without my input to get me into what is considered the ideal position based on all the RETUL measurements and we could tweek from there.
First thing he does is grab a new seat (100+) and put it on (I already tried 5! Why put another variable in there!!??)... He ended up going through a couple other seats, doing some more RETUL measuring, added shims and insoles (30… or 60… I don’t remember now) and changed my cleat position and angulation. He eventually changed my stem from a 125 to a 100 ($60ish?) with an extreme rise and seriously shortened my cockpit.
I wanted to give it the best chance possible, so I went home and rode with that fit for about 3 weeks. Now I had foot/arch pain, ass pain and my FTP had dropped by 11%…
We ended up over the next several months emailing back and forth about potential changes. I’d make a small change, ride on it for a few weeks to see if I’d adjust to it… I eventually went back in for another check and some more changes.
I gave it several more weeks with decreased power and increased pain in areas where I’d originally had none before I eventually just removed the seat, stem and insoles he’d put on there for me and went back to experimenting on my own.
I’m definitely an N=1 and I think more people than not can benefit from a good bike fit, but it wasn’t me. I still struggle with a lot of discomfort, but it’s not anywhere near where I was in the past or during my bike fit experiment.
Long story short, a $300 bike fit went to 500 with new, unnecessary (in my opinion) gear. I tried to give it the time to tweek and adjust to get me somewhere in the ballpark, but we never got there. I got frustrated with new pain and decreased power and went back to making changes on my own. YMMV!