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Update for pooks (and others) on the fit dilemma from last week.
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OK, I promised you guys an update on how we handled the fit dilemma from last week. With your input and advice, this is how we handled it: I phoned the frame manufacturer and asked some general questions about their sizing philosophy. I then told them about the specific problem. They explained their position and mentioned specific reasons why they put the customer on that bike. It was different than what I would have done, but I acknowledge the thinking behind their position. I explained our thoughts and concerns to the customer when he picked up his bike and he listened and seemed receptive, even mentioning he had similar concerns. Then he told me nearly exactly what the factory had told him- indicating (to me) that he has spoken with them too and they gave him similar information. I think the bottom line on this is my fit philosophy and methodology is very different from the factory that made this bike. I still maintain the frame was unnecessarily large for the customer. But the guys who made it did not. I hesistate to chalk this up to a differenece of "opinion", becasue I feel so strongly the customer's fit could have been better. I think his fit was wrong. He consulted with me, we made some improvements and told him the truth about what we thought. He has now incorporated our perspective into his opinion of his fit.

Now, my take on this- Speaking totally candidly (maybe too candidly). People buy shit that doesn't work for them all the time, for a lot of money. They buy it becasue of looks, becasue their buddies reinforced the buying decision (peer pressure) or because a certain pro rides the equipment or all of the above. Once the purchase is made they try to further validate by seeking the approval of others. In my mind this guy KNOWS there is something up, but he is in denial to some degree. He looks at how other look on their bikes and knows he looks different, buthe just spent $4K and is not ready to admit the possibility (reality!) of an error. He did a lot of reasearch before he purchased and drove to the factory for sizing. I think he put a lot of faith in that process, but he still blew it. So, my question to you guys- what is the lesson learned here? For me and for everyone out there buying I bike. I am almost afraid of the answers.........

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Update for pooks (and others) on the fit dilemma from last week. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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one very large problem in our sport is the lack of consensus on technology. we sort of have a consensus on training: periodization, the frequency of low v high intensity efforts, amount of mileage necessary, and so on. the best coaches are quite in line with one another. but that's not the case with technology. we're not there yet in triathlon.

we are there for road bikes, but not for tri bikes. fit is an issue, as is the need for round v aero tubing, frame materials, type of saddle, handlebars and accessories, and so forth. since we have no consensus, there is nothing to keep a kook shop or kook manufacturer from foisting its kooky solutions onto the unsuspecting customer.

this is, i guess, the overriding mission of this site, to separate the kooks from the authentic people who know what they're doing. but there must be a critical mass of the best shops and manufacturers agreeing on a set of axioms that govern tri bike fit, manufacture, etc.

i think we're getting there. obviously i think FIST is a part of that process. but there probably ought to be a set of printed guidelines that shops and manufacturers can ascribe to, sort of a manifesto. that might help. then, if you become a signatory to that manifesto and you make the bike not in accordance with it, you've got to explain that to the customer that's just been swindled, or else you've got to unswindle him by taking your shit frame back and refunding the customer his money.

if you're a manufacturer or retailer and you just don't agree with the manifesto, fine, make and/or retail your kook frame and sell it to whomever wants to buy it. but i think end-users might be served if they understood the differences in philosophies, and then if they buy kook framesets they have no one to blame but themselves.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Update for pooks (and others) on the fit dilemma from last week. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Tom, people will ,despite everyones best input buy what they "want" and there is nothing you can do about it. What you did do was be honest and upfront about your concerns to both the customer and the factory, that rocks. Hopefully the guy will have fun with his bike but hell he made the final decision.....

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"on your Left"
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Re: Update for pooks (and others) on the fit dilemma from last week. [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan makes a good point and that is why I'm going to FIST to learn more. I think I can fit bikes now but I know we have room to learn much more and get better and be part of developing a standard. I've already learned a little more from Ves at Yaqui in about 20 e-mails. I'm looking forward to FIST and will, of course, report back on my expereinces there..

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Update for pooks (and others) on the fit dilemma from last week. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Tom, You've gone a few ultra-miles farther than most shops would. Bravo. Integrity and purpose are hard to come by these days. You've obviously got it in spades (with a little help from your Forum friends).

Lesson learned? I like Dan's idea on the kookiness rampant in our sport. I don't know if I'm prepared for the first time I see a SpongyWonder mounted on a whizbang carbon post.... I'm even less prepared to answer the owner as to why in the hell he can't get comfortable on his bike. The lesson is that people will succumb to marketing and bells and whistles despite the most compelling evidence or even common sense to the contrary. Education is the responsibility of the student as well as the teacher.

1st Place, 50-55 2018 USAT Duathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships, National Champion; 2nd Place Overall, 2018 Virginia Duathlon; 3rd Place, 50-54, 9th overall, USAT Long Course Duathlon (Miamiman); 4th Place Masters, 10th overall, 2018 Kiawah Island 1/2 Marathon
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Re: Update for pooks (and others) on the fit dilemma from last week. [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Bravo, Dude I wish your bike shop was about 1000 miles closer to me.
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