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When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them.
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I am curious how others deal with a client who has a bike frame they own, that is not right for their current physical situation. Most often the issue I see i the reach is too much for their level of fitness to be able support themselves in a stretched out position with their current core strength. Problem is they can not afford to get the frame they need so we have to come up some sort of compromise that will allow them to sit on this frame in a way that does not put too much weight onto their hands due to the fact they can not use other muscles and are not flexible enough to reach the bars comfortably. When you often get to this point they start to see the $ signs mount and can not go there.

Have you ever said to someone I can not fit you on that frame?

Ideally it would great to put them on a fit frame and size them up and say go buy one of these frames but many people are not at that level of understanding yet, they still walk into a shop and fit according to standover! Why do I see so many people on frames too big for them and virtually nobody with a frame that is too small. Then they expect that the fitter can do magic.
Last edited by: s5100e: Dec 30, 13 14:17
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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I have encountered this many times. The majority are too big, but I have had some on frames too small. On one occasion, the person had just purchased a bike from another retailer the day previously but came to me for the fitting. My recommendation was to take it back for a different frame size - they did and it was just fine. I have said to only a few people that "I can't fit this frame to you". On one occasion said to a gentleman "I will not sell this stock bike, nor have a custom bike made for you, to accommodate the dimensions that you are asking for in a bike".

You have to balance customer service and mechanical limits, but honesty is in everyone's best interest. The fitter and the rider must establish trust, and you have to take a leadership role in bringing that customer to a level of understanding. They learn what we are proponents of, the process of bike fitting. The bike is the commodity or end product, everything else is your purview.

In today's marketplace, it is not impossible to sell a frame/complete bike, in order to get a frame that fits properly to their needs. Plus, the fee for a proper fit prior to purchase is either refunded or no charge to begin with. So, I don't totally buy the "I can't afford it" argument. :)

Anne Barnes
ABBikefit, Ltd
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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Well actually in many cases they have either purchased the bike without consulting anyone, or bought used so they have no recourse to either a discount, return or anything else, they have a frame they have to sell and start over. It is a challenge when you have to take people's hard earned money to tell them bad news. In the case of a frame mismatch I will tell them if they plan to change bikes consult me and we can work out the fit on the new bike at no additional charge or if it is far in the future a greatly reduced charge. I do beliive they always leave understanding. I take considerable time to explain to them why things change and how it should feel if they are fitting their bike right. That does not change the feeling that I have that I was handcuffed from getting to the place I want where they have a bike that they enjoying riding pain free.
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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Honesty is the best policy.This is often the case with New cyclist or some one who sees a deal and figures bike fitter can fix it.Sometimes you are best recommending that they sell the bike. If its that bad you don't want to be responsible for an unsafe fit.You need to document these incidents .their is liability and reputation at stake. I once did a fit on some one that I could not release.they were so inflexible that they needed to sit upright. The top tube would have been so short the front wheel would have overlapped the chain ring. I recommended
Physical Therapy and a refit on completion.
Safety first
Happy Freedman

Happy
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [Happy] [ In reply to ]
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I agree totally with your comment Happy, that is always good advice. I think in general I am in the same camp as you on this one.
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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Just be honest. I told one client who came to me unsolicited and on her own with thoughts that her bike was too big. I got a call from the shop owner that afternoon yelling and cursing me out, and he hung up before I could respond. The client came back to me after buying somewhere else. Be honest and your clients will be happy.

That shop isn't doing so well...as you can imagine.


Brian Grasky
Grasky Endurance: World Championship Triathlon Coaching; Professional Training Camps
RETUL fitter, Biomechanist, USAT Level 3 Coach, USAC Level 2 Coach
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [seebritri] [ In reply to ]
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Some Times Shops make honest fit errors. Some times they are a little aggressive about moving inventory, Every now and then Its worse. I once did a fit on a cyclist who bought a custom road bike. It was so bad that I called the builder to make shure that they didn't ship the wrong frame, they told me the frame was stock. a sample over a year old and had been in invinntory at that dealer.what was most amazing is the shop made the buyer wait 6 weeks for . needless to say i got a call from the dealer and if my memory is correct his lawyer too



Happy Freedman
Orthotic Consultant
Bike Fitting Specialist
Prosthetics and Orthotics/DME
Hospital for Special Surgery
510 East 73rd Street, Suite 201
New York, NY 10021


Happy
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [s5100e] [ In reply to ]
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Its ironic reading this forum. I am looking to buy my first tri bike and have been to 2 different shops, one of which I have been very loyal to. I have asked at both placed to be fitted. One shop measure my inseam, which correlated to a 54 I guess - which I believe is a medium in most tri bikes? (I may be way off base though) and then put me on a small. (I am 5'7" with a 30" inseam and longish torso) My shop just looked at me and said you are a medium. No other measurement taken. No measurements taken on the bike at all. They seem almost aggravated I am asking questions. I know that lots of (wealthy?) people spend way more on a bike than I will but 4-5K is a BIG BIG investment for me. It has to be perfect and no one seems to care I have this sinking feeling I am gonna end up on the wrong bike. Also they have to order it so if it gets here and it doesn't fit then what? I am so frustrated. I had no idea buying a bike would be like buying a used car. It is taking all of the fun and excitement out of it :(
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [jockette21] [ In reply to ]
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If getting a new bike is seeming like a chore you're talking to the wrong people. Have a look at the fitter index (link in top bar) to see if you can find someone who cares about bike fit near you. And maybe ask for recommendations in the main forum.
Once you know your target position and have a list of bikes that suit (which is what a good fitter will provide) you take away the fear of purchasing and can focus on the fun bits. Your budget is plenty to get something really nice but it's well worth it to invest in fit first.

Speedtheory
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [jockette21] [ In reply to ]
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If You Want a good Fit Find some one who will take the time 1 to 3 hours is not uncomon, This should happrn befor you pick a bike . once you have done this its easy to fine tune with proper bars,stem saddle crank and pedals. Not after the sale.

Happy Freedman
Orthotic Consultant
Bike Fitting Specialist
Prosthetics and Orthotics/DME
Hospital for Special Surgery
510 East 73rd Street, Suite 201
New York, NY 10021


Happy
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Re: When fitting a customer who's bike if not right for them. [jockette21] [ In reply to ]
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Jockette you are one of my favorite customers to help.

willing to educate yourself on what you are shopping for and asking all the right questions.

I especially like people who are shopping this time of year. (Colorado in the winter)

I could spend a entire day working with you and my mangier would be stoked that i took great care of a customer.

one thing is you could ask the shop for a fit guarantee. if they do not offer a *real* fitting service then tell them if you do take it to a place for a professional fitting if the bike won't work they will take it back. Of course my shop offers a professional fitting service but If i mess up and order the wrong size for anyone I make it right.

I could get burned in town square for this but I don't believe a size cycle fitting is the only way to tell which tri bike you need.

I work at a Specialized Concept store so we only sell specialized tri bikes. Normally I do a Sizing with the customer before every test ride. Then when we do the full 3 hour fitting if i am wrong about size or the shiv will not work I will change out bike size or return your money.

hope that helps instead of confuses.

Erik

*real* fit - F.I.S.T., Body Geometry fit, S.I.C.I., Retul, new Trek program, and ect.
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