Fitting the bicycle to you
What does it mean to have a bike that “fits?”
If you've read anything about cycling lately, You know that getting a bike that “fits” is very important. What does that mean? Simply, a bike that fits will support your body at 3 contact points (hands, feet and seat) in a way that can be comfortably sustained over time while allowing your body to power the bike efficiently and steer it confidently.
At FitWell, we take fit seriously. Everybody rides for different reasons, but universally, being comfortable on the bike is critical to enjoyment. To help you get the most out of your riding experience, we match you to a fit profile and then apply that fit to the style of bike. This ensures the bike is maximized for you, regardless of the discipline.
THAT’S GREAT, BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE BIKE?
Here is a breakdown of how we at FitWell relate frame design to rider fit
Earlier, We mentioned 3 contact points: hands, feet and seat. Each of those contacts occupies a point in space. Our goal for the frame is to connect those points in a way that balances the need to fit you and to give you a bike that handles confidently and predictably in the discipline for which it was designed.
To do this effectively, we design our frames using the same methodology a trained bike fitter uses to fit you to your bike at the shop.
These are all medium frames for the same height rider. Note how they vary based upon rider proportions and requirements.
DEFINE THE RIDER
First, we consider your riding goals, flexibility and body type. Once we have a dossier for the fit profile we create the geometry for the bike in question.
LOCATE THE FOOT
More precisely, we locate the Bottom Bracket. Just like a fitter we start at the feet. We decide on how low of a bottom bracket can we get away with and what length cranks we’ll use on each size. The whole bike is designed from this reference point.
LOCATE THE SADDLE
From the bottom bracket we’ll establish a seat angle that will allow for optimal positioning on the saddle under your seat. Crank length and saddle position are all about maximizing your efficiency on the bike.
LOCATE THE GRIP POSITION
Referencing the saddle and bottom bracket, we look at where the handlebars and brake hoods need to be to support your hands. This position is a blend of comfort and efficiency and the reason for considering your motivations and abilities. Based on where your seat ends up and other considerations, we create an algorithm to determine the Stack and Reach of the frame. We take a range of height and Leg length Ratio information and run it through our algorithm and use that data to create a range of Stack and Reach measurements.
STACK AND REACH
Stack and Reach is the basis of our frame sizing and is really the truest way to compare one frame to the next. Everything else is essentially dependent on this position. You can look at the bike in two halves as far as fit. All of the adjustments behind the BB shell are for efficiency and have a narrow acceptable range of adjustment. Using saddle fore and aft adjustments to allow you to reach the bars comfortably can have dire effects on pedaling efficiency and your knee health. So that means that everything in front of the BB shell, hand position, is what determines the position of your upper body over the bike. The right stack and reach will allow you to ride in your optimal position while keeping your steering radius in balance with the rest of the bike.
We’ve found that based on your body type and flexibility, Stack and reach requirements can vary substantially for riders of the same height
Now Let’s Find out what fit is right for you