Selecting a fitter is just as important as the decision to get fitted.

Many fitters use the same or similar technology, making the matter of the operator the crucial difference. Like in any profession, there are service providers who are more experienced, more talented and better equipped or just willing to try harder. You have experienced this at many places of business. That's why you patronize some and not others.

Fitters are more common these days. Bike fitting is not something reserved for just the Pros anymore. As the price of technology has come down to affordable levels and the knowledge of bike fitting is no longer confined in the secretive circles of Pro teams, the benefits of a proper relationship with the bike are now available to the everyday cyclists. The number of bike fitting centers has grown and so did the numbers of those who call themselves bike fitters.

But that created in itself a set of problems: with so many individuals, how do you choose? How can you know one is better than the other - or if one is even qualified to fit you?

To help you make a good decision, here we share some guidelines for selecting your bike fitting service provider.

1) Technology of choice. The technology used in your fitting is crucial and speaks to the investment a fitting center has made into its customers. The quality of results and even the ability to address specific issues are directly related to the technology used. Retül 3D motion capture has established itself as the reference, state-of-the-art technology. This is the only motion capture system capable of fitting you while in live motion. It's expensive technology that requires a high level of knowledge to operate. It's not to say other technologies - even if less advanced- can't be used with varying degrees of success. But if the fitter uses old-school technology and charges Retül motion capture pricing, maybe you are better off looking elsewhere.

2) Fitter Certification. This is very important. A certificate from an accredited organization usually speaks to the basic skill set of a fitter. Just having a certificate is not enough to know if the fitter will be capable, but it's a starting point. Some fitters take all their certification courses at once, with little to no real-life experience. Book smarts are required, but not sufficient to attest to the ability of a fitter. So, while you want to look for the accreditation, the next point is even more important.

3) Experience. Like in anything in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it. For fitting this is even more true. The more individuals a fitter is exposed to - and their peculiar situations- the better the book of knowledge from which to build upon your fit. It is hard to judge experience. Some people can talk up a big game, but come short during the actual performance. The only way to evaluate the ability of a fitter to work with your individual situation is to ask around. Talk to people who might have your same situation and find how they resolved it. And this brings us to the next point.

4) Word of mouth. If people are talking about a fitter in positive terms, then it's likely the fitter is a good one. You know how to spot good word of mouth: in a casual conversation, people mention having been fitted and how that has improved some aspect of their cycling experience. The name of a fitter keeps coming up - and in different circles or from unrelated individuals. Beware of the well-meaning marketing friends of the fitter. Some people just push for their friend's business.  It's only when you overhear genuine conversations or ask someone for specific advise or they share their experience that the word-of-mouth works. And hearing it from more than one person is also a good indication - especially if from different environments.

5) Look up their web site. A web site can tell a lot about a fitter. If it's poorly done, chances are that this service provider cares about you just as much as its own image. There are exceptions, for sure. But a well-done web site with the right amount of information may be a good indication that the fitting service provider is solid. Just a Facebook page is not enough. Everyone can make a FB page. But a web site? It's an investment. It can also be a predictor of longevity. A well-done web site is a sign of someone who plans to stay in business for a while. You may need to return to your fitter over the years, so longevity is a good thing. However, beware of flashy-looking sites with little information and all the markings of a site-in-a-can.

6) Facebook page. Look up the fitter Facebook page and check out the reviews. If the main page is full of nothing but meaningless information (like re-posting of cycling news, or a ton of race results), it's likely that the fitter has nothing to say (or do). Does the main page show useful information? Does it show riders getting fitted? That could be a good sign. Facebook reviews can be a good guideline to get a feel for the fitter. But beware of reviews made by people with questionable profiles. Those could be paid bots or fakes to boost the business. Looking at the dates of the reviews and noticing a rapid succession of reviews usually is a sign of a fake. Look for a good spread of dates over months and years.

7) Accolades. Awards and recognition for accomplishments are always a good indication of a fitter's abilities. Does your prospective fitter publish articles or case studies? Being able to access the results of past activities may be what you need to see if the fitter fits you. Especially if you have specific needs. Has your situation been encountered before by your fitter? Check out what the fitter has to say and what people say about him/her.

7) Involvement. If the fitter is an active part of the local cycling community, chances are there is a genuinely solid and well-rounded cycling background. Some fitters are current or ex-racers. They are known in that environment only and they specialize in fast, skinny guys. That may or may not work for you. Involvement in local activities (from charity ride events, to trail maintenance, to volunteering at local bike collectives, etc.) speaks to the reach of a fitter and, usually, to the ability to handle a diversity of riders.

8) Reach out. Give the fitter a call. Get a feel for the person who will be working for you. Ask to speak with the fitter directly - not  the scheduling individual. Ask for the credentials and certifications. Some fitting centers operate without a certified fitter -it's all too common. Make sure you take the time to ask about your specific situation too. If the fitter takes the time to listen to you and your needs, it's a good indication. If the fitter pushes for you to schedule immediately or for upgrading to more expensive services (without cause), then walk away.

You are an experienced shopper. These guidelines will help you sharpen further your consumer skills in the bike fitting industry.

We hope they help you in your quest - and most certainly, we hope you choose us. And if you want to know more, read about:


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