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Do I go to the more expensive or less expensive bike shop for a fitting?
#1
I need a fitting on my bike and it's really expensive some places. One place said they'd do a fitting for $80, another said $60, another said $1 a minute, but then another place said $25. But the problem is, I was asking around, and the guy who charges the $1 a minute said
"how do you know what kind of service you are getting for the $25? There could be a lot of work required or not very much -- without looking at it I wouldn't be able to estimate. It is like if you got a dent in your car and the guy said "I'll fix it for $100" without even seeing it, it might end up being a really bad job done, and you're $100 out and no farther ahead. Charging by the minute could take five minutes or it could take an hour, you never know, it depends on the job"

So now I am thinking, is the guy who charges between 1/2 and 1/3 the price of the other guys going to do a good job? I'm not sure if this guy is just giving me a line or not -- what if it just 'happens' to take an hour and I'm paying $60 plus tax? That is exactly what I wanted to avoid.

What should I do?
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#2
The answer would of course be to go to the bike shop that is most knowledgable. Unfortunately unless you are a fitter yourself or have been to several fitting sessions you probably would not spot this. I got fitted once (well, twice if you count the "measure and fill out table and the computer does the rest" procedure that was... actually not that good), and the fitting was for cleats only and took about 45 minutes (well, there was some trouble with the materials - shims for the cleats - that some colleague of him misplaced) during which we talked a lot about how I ride, how much I ride, knee issues plus he acutally slightly changed my posture on the bike. I paid... dunno... $75 or so (flat for cleat fitting if you buy shoes or pedals from them).

The guy saying "I don't know how long it takes before I have seen you" is right about this, though I guess $1/minute is... well... a bit stressful for you. Every minute you pedal to get a feel for the position is going to feel like you are "wasting" money, even if it makes sense to do it. Search forums, find online reviews, find out if they fit semi professional riders (or even pros). The $25 (for the whole fit?) sounds like a bargain, though a road bike fit should not be too difficult. When comparing prices you have to keep in mind that labour cost is actually (one of) the biggest items on most shops list - charging you $25 for the fit only makes sense economically if it is the shop owner doing it... otherwise he wants to take a cut of that and some of the money also has to go to the employee doing the fitting (hope that makes sense...). Avoid places that only punch your numbers into the computer and let it do the fitting. Be aware that you might need to buy parts (well, most likely a stem, maybe a handlebar) in order to achieve the optimal position. Did any of the fitters mention this?
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#3
Yeah, deciding based on price is pretty much useless. I'd ask each what they do for a fitting, see if they'll let you talk to the guy who does it before you agree to go forward, even ask if they'll give you references of past fitting clients (I don't know that they would, but it can't hurt to ask.) Mostly you're trying to gauge if it's the kind of place that cares or if it's the kind that wants to push you through something as quick as possible and get your money. This doesn't really answer the question either, but it indicates more than what they charge.
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#4
Where are you? Here in S. Cal we have bikerowave do it yourself places with staff that could give you some guidance and suggest knowledgeable persons. Check out local bike clubs, they may have a fitting seminar. Do some research on the different type of fit systems and see which type of riding you do. REI shops have some fitting systems.

I prefer getting stretched out on my bike so I ride technically oversize frames, in fit one size does not fit all..You want comfort, not speed....

Check this site, lots of info.


http://sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
Never Give Up!!!
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