I brought with me both my road bike on which I do about 60-65% of my training and my Tri bike. I had talked to Tom when I scheduled the fit, but was fit by Mike who is also FIST certified. My primary goals on both bikes was to find a position that would be least likely to cause lower leg and joint pain. Secondary to this was to try and improve power and aerodynamics on the tri bike.
Mike set me up on the trainer on the road bike first. He took a few angle measurements and determined that my seat height was quite a bit lower than it should have been. He also made minor adjustments to my seat and cleats.
On to the tri bike. After taking all the standard measurements: inseam, torso length, shoulder width, etc., Mike had me ride the tri bike. He makes a few angle measurements and stands back to watch me ride. After watching for awhile he says, "I wouldn't change anything." This was surprising. I was hoping to get some positioning insight and tweak my fit to eek out a little more power and comfort (although those two generally don't go together). In the end, the only thing we did to my tri bike was bump the seat up 2-3 millimeters.
It was sort of disheartening to not make any changes to my position after the long drive and cost, but it was also an affirmation that I had done everything right in getting myself fitted to the bike. Another friend brought his bike to Bikesport and the only adjustment made was to one of his cleats. Is this because Bikesport fitters are not doing their jobs? No, not at all, I think it is because both my friend and I had spent a lot of time poring over Dan's fitting articles. We therefore shared a common basis of knowledge with the fitters at Bikesport.
I think that's the point I'm trying to make here. Good bike fitting is an art, but it is not an exclusive art. From my experiences, I would assume that all, or most, of the technical foundation taught at the FIST clinic is already available on these pages. The art then comes through experience. Another benefit of fitting yourself is greater control over the subjective element. Only you know how a particular adjustment feels. I personally tried to set myself up within FIST parameter and then adjust from there by feel.
I think there is a little bit of mystique surrounding bike fitters. Triathletes (such as myself) are willing to make long pilgrimmages to seek the wisdom of fit gurus such as Dan, John Cobb, Tom Demmerly, etc. When the pilgrimage is complete we realize that the knowledge was with us all along. Of course, a second opinion is always worthwhile. So big-time kudos to Dan for his bike fit articles and his work towards some consensus in the art of bike fit.
USAT Certified Coach