RETUL bike fitment, is it worth it?

I’m relatively new to cycling and decided to race XC this past spring to have more time with my son. We had a lot of fun together but my sons running obligations and competitions have us running in different directions most of the time, he is a very talented HS runner 800m, Mile, and XC. I on the other hand fell in love with cycling and racing.

I made some big plans this year in regards to racing and what I want to achieve in 2019, I went from a Very nice hardtail to a full suspension XC race bike, and have went through a few fit issues with the new ride. I want to get the most out of it and be able to ride as economical as possible because my major goals are 24hr endurance races. From what I’m told we have one of the nations best bike fitment experts here locally, is a pro bike fitment really worth it?

I dont have any experience with getting fit on a mountain bike, but I did get a RETUL fit on my road bike about 2 months ago and it was totally worth it. I was really skeptical on it, but at the end of it, and after a couple good rides outside with the new fit, it was worth every penny.

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Bike fit is worth it.
Retul is just a tool, but it certainly aids in the process. Like anything, tools are only half the equation, the person using the tool is also important.

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As @Spots has already said, I had my road bike fitted using this system two years ago. I haven’t changed a thing since. Totally work it.

That said, the kit is only as good as the person using it. Get some feedback if you can.

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Is your question about RETUL or getting a professional bike fit in general? There are many bike fit systems; RETUL, Precision Fit (Trek), Body Geometry (Specialized), Guru and many others. They all do fairly similar things, so I wouldn’t pick a fit based on the system. I would pick a system based on the fitter though. They are a tool, but it’s the fitter that will make the difference.

If you’ve never had a professional fit before. Yes, 100% worth it to get one done. Ask around and go to the fitter with the best reputation, regardless of system. I get refitted every 12 months to account for changes to my body.

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Well said to all above. As a fitter myself, I hold off a bit as it can be biased.

But the most important tool in the process is the fitter. They must listen, understand and work with YOU to find the fit that best suits YOUR NEEDS (not their opinion, current fashion, etc.)

Try to get some referrals from prior customers to see if they were happy with the fitter and overall results.

I have seen some great feedback from mine and other fits. Some people benefit more than others depending on how much fiddling they have done and how close they may already be to their optimal fit.

But it can be especially beneficial if you are struggling with fit related issues and can’t solve them yourself. It’s funny how common sense some solutions are, but you don’t know them and can’t diagnose them without the external perspective and one that is able to spot the necessary flags to make the best corrections.

Good luck with your fit, if you choose to go that way.

I would bet there is an 80/20 principle or something close to it when it comes to which riders should have the highest tech fit available vs an hour with an experienced fitter with a level, a plumb line and a couple other simple tools. I usually try the simpler solution first and see where it lands me. The cost difference can be significant at some shops for the bells-and-whistles fit systems. Special cases (injury history, substantial body asymmetry, odd proportions) may need more sophisticated analysis. I bet for most people most of the time the highest tech fit isn’t necessary. A good bike fitter will know when it is needed and should help guide that choice.

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Thanks everyone, I know quite a few people that have used Craig Fulk and his fitment services and have nothing but great things to say about him. My Hardtail set up was pretty much what I would believe to be spot on, so when my new bike arrived (same frame size) I measured everything out and hit the trainer. I rode a MTB marathon a few weeks ago and realized quickly that it needed some major tweeking, I caught myself continually pushing myself back onto the seat because I was to far forward on it.

I did move the seat forward and that made things so much better but I want this thing dialed in by mid Feb.

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I know Craig personally. Great guy, very knowledgeable and well worth the investment. He’s been my fitter for 2 years and not a regret. It’s quite the commitment but it’ll pay dividends for your performance as you’ll stay healthy, reduce injury risk, and make efficient the means of riding the best position for you. Do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment.

www.dynamicbikefit.com

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One of the keys if finding someone who is used to fitting mountain bikes and not just road bikes. Mountain bikes have a lot of other considerations to take into account and some of the things that may be done to optimize fit could have major impacts on how the bike handles (think stem length and handlebar width).

One of the other big things I’ve learned over the years is all the factors that influence hand pressure and pain. As you tweak things like saddle height, is can have a big impact on your hands and you shift weight. Bar width is also a factor, and although the trend is to wider bars there comes a point where you can introduce issues by going too wide. Plus things like sweep vs riser, stack height, etc

So if you can find someone experiences with MTB bikes and has good references, it would likely be well worth getting the fit done. Having them continue to work with you after the fit is also important to get things really dialed in.

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 :stuck_out_tongue: . 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!

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“Long story short, …”

:no_mouth:

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Funny seeing Craig and DynamicBikeFit here. I’m in DFW and scheduled a bike fit at Dynamic as my X-mas gift to myself. Glad to see the recommendations here align with my own research.

My rationale in justifying the cost of a bike fit - despite not suffering any injuries to date - is that I noticed I sometimes shift into a position that increases my power by 10-30 without a noticeable increase in effort, but it’s a position I can’t hold with current setup. I could of course tinker with the seat height/positioning, but having a pro give his recommendation and having those measurements clearly quantified (so that I can more easily adjust my future bikes) is worth the $ IMO.

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I know, I know, you preferred the long version :smile:

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I spoke with Craig about my goals and my current set up on the bike, looks like after the first of the year I will be taking the plunge and getting a fitment…

Thank you all for the advice.

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