Bike Fit FAQ

Our Most Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I don’t race bikes and I don’t intend to so what is the point of getting such a detailed fitting?

Cycling isn’t about racing. Racing represents one tiny corner of what cycling is about. At 3D Bikefit we realize that cycling is about enjoying cycling and everything is has to offer, no matter if you race or not. You should love the way you feel on your bike and it should disappear beneath you so that you can focus on enjoying the ride.

Q: I race and I feel pretty close to optimal what can you really do for me?

Competitive athletes often have a higher tolerance for a poor position simply because they can fall back on their natural ability and draw conclusions about their position based on the quality of their results. We have taken professional and recreational competitive cyclists alike and transformed their positions to be more efficient so that they produce more power, are more comfortable, and recover faster. The real proof is in the feedback and reactions we see out of these riders a few months down the road. As an aside, check out the feature of the 2009 fitting of Fabian Cancellara and Frank Schleck and their experience with Andy Pruitt and Specialized as a good example of the Pro often not being fit optimally.

Q: Lots of bike shops offer fitting why should I come to 3D Bikefit?

It is true that many bike shops offer some kind of fitting, but this isn’t the primary function of a bike shop. Bike shops have to manage accessory sales, mechanical service, bike sales, bike fittings, and clothing sales. It is a classic “jack of all trades” situation in the truest sense. In most bike shops the owner is the same person who will fit you. This isn’t to say that bike shops don’t care or don’t try; they just don’t have the time to immerse themselves in a fitting process that is designed to give the rider the best position possible.

Q: I’m not happy with some of the contact points on my bike can I get these from you or should I get them before or after my fitting?

At 3D Bikefit we are mindful that the right contact points in the right place make all the difference. We carry all the contact point components to complete the fitting so you aren’t guessing before or after you come in. We are also very picky about the products we carry to make sure that they deliver the absolute best results for our customers. We aren’t brand driven and we are always looking for the best products to improve connection to the bike and that we feel simply make the bike fit work with enough choice for any customer’s budget.


Q: Do I need to buy shoes before a fit?

A professional fit will always address the principal contact points of the rider and the bike and this incorporates the saddle, shoe and pedal/cleat and handlebar/stem pairing. If you are seriously considering the purchase of shoes, and they do form one of the more important elements of a successful fit, then it is best to wait until the fit at least to find out what will be necessary for the foot to be optimized with regard arch support and correct sizing. The sizing of the foot and it’s assessment is a crucial starting point in any professional bike fit and it is something that 3D Bike fit tends to offer very specialized knowledge.

Q: Why don’t you sell bikes?

Simply put, we aren’t in the business of selling bikes. We are in the business of providing the best fitting possible. Fit comes first in cycling, selling new bikes should never eclipse that priority. If you are looking for a new bike we can help you find the right geometry for your body and refer you to a caring and experienced bicycle dealer but we’ll stick to what we do best and let bike shops stick to what they do best.

Q: Should I get a fit before I buy a bike?

This question does seem to be case of putting the cart before the horse, but if you are seriously considering the purchase of a new bike be it a custom frame build or a local bike shop carbon steed you should consider a handful of points when purchasing. First, that you are buying a size that will accomodate your physical parameters such as height, torso length and leg length (also relatively, the ratio of the two). The choice of brands and variation in geometry across the brands for the same published sized bike do not coincide uniformly. For example, in 2012 a Cervelo R3 Team bike when compared to a Giant TCR Advanced 0 produces a quite different selection of available frame sizes. Of course one frame size in the Giant should have an equivalent fit in the Cervelo. However, this is not necessarily true for everyone. It is primarily frame geometry that causes this mismatch of sizes made by each manufacturer. At 3D Bike Fit we have our Standard Sizing and Pro Fit Sizing services to allow you to make an informed purchasing decision.

Q: Do you fit mountain, road and other types of bike?

We have extensive experience fitting cyclists to all variety of road and off-road bikes whether, racing, TT, Triatlon, track, cyclocross, touring, hybrid, or city/street/recreational flat bar bikes. We fit mountain bikes whether XC, 29er’s, downhill, trail or freeride. Alas, we do not fit recumbents.

Q: You offer several “levels” of fitting, what one is for me?

This really depends on how deep you want us to go but if you select anything other than our 3D Advanced Video Fit or 3D Sizing fittings we have the ability to adjust based on our best judgement when you arrive.

Q: I have a custom frame why don’t I feel right?

Custom frames are great, and in many cases they offer beautiful detail and craftsmanship that can’t be found in a production bike but the key to a great fitting rarely comes down to the frame. A great fitting comes down to great contact points. If you do need a custom frame, we can get you the proper measurements and refer you to an appropriate builder who will build to these specs.

Q: I had a “Retul Fitting” but I’m not comfortable. How is what you are offering any different?

When we use Retul in a fitting at 3D Bikefit we capture both sides of the body at the same time and we do 20-30 captures in the same amount of time it takes most people using Retul to do 6 captures. This way we have a graduated profile of where a rider started and how we have changed and improved their position step by step. As a note: There are many, “Retul Certified Fitters” this title implies a level of fitting knowledge and core competence, in reality it means that a person has been trained to use the Retul system. We are “Retul Certified” but this has very little to do with the level of fitting we aim to provide.

Q: I got my fitting from you but something doesn’t feel right.

As much as we try to be perfect, there are lots of variables in cycling that occur outside of our controlled environment that we can’t always adjust for, and human beings go through changes in weight, flexibility, strength, and fitness. If you have an issue with your comfort or position please get after us within the first 30 days of experiencing your new position. We guarantee our work within this period and it makes addressing physiological changes much easier.

Q: Can we do the Buddy fit at the same time?


Q: If I bring two bikes can we fit them both?

The way we do this depends on what kind of bikes you wish to fit. If you bring two road bikes for example, we will fit you on the first bike and then match measurements to the second bike for $120. The key to this though is that the saddle, and handlebar profile, must be the same, otherwise the position is drastically off and we can’t stand behind the bike we “matched.” If you bring two different bicycle types, for example a mountain bike and a road bike or a TT bike you will be charged the price of the fit for the first bike and $150.00 for the second bike fit. This provides a greater effective discount depending upon the fit you select.

Q: How much in advance of my appointment should I show up?

Always try to show up 5 minutes before your appointment. If you show up earlier you’ll be waiting for us and if you show up late we run the risk of running into someone else’s appointment time.

Q: Where is the parking?

Parking is at 1399 Bush Street, the entrance is on the south side of Bush Street off of Polk Street as you’re heading down town.

Q: Should I park or drop my bike off first?

For your convenience we recommend dropping your bike off first and then driving around the block to get back to the parking garage.