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Fit First: Bike Sizing

Fit First Bike Sizing

Think Fit First

Don't buy a bike and then buy a bike fit. Buy a bike that fits.

Bike sizing is, at best, inconsistent, and at worst, misleading. Don't gamble. Get the most value for your investment and experience a better way to buy a bike. Get Fit First at Hart's Cyclery.

When shopping for bikes, the first question to answer is which size bike should you buy. Bikes will have sizes such as Small, Medium, and Large, like a t-shirt, or a more specific measurements like 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, and so on.

Unfortunately, from brand to brand, or even when comparing bikes within the same brand, bikes that claim to be the same size can actually be very, very different. Using only one measure when sizing a bike just doesn't provide enough detail to make decisions on what works best.

A Better Way to Measure: Stack and Reach

So if the bike sizes can't be trusted, how do we know what size works best? At Hart's Cyclery, we use measurements that provide better accuracy: stack and reach. Frame Stack, as seen in the image below, is the vertical distance from the center of the bottom bracket, the circle you pedal around, to the top of the frame at the headtube, or front of the bike. The Frame Reach, on the other hand, is the horizontal distance between the same two points - the center of the bottom bracket and the headtube top.

What this gives us is the ability to compare bikes, frame to frame, and really understand how one bike size compares to another. Think of it like buying jeans - you'd never buy a pair of jeans that were sized with a single measurement, like a Small or Medium. You'd demand more fidelity, with, at minimum, inseam length and waist size. But yet, with bicycles, which is typically a significantly larger investment than a pair of jeans, shops will try to sell you bikes with less analysis than you'd use to buy jeans.

A Better Way to Measure: Stack

A Better Way to Measure: Reach

The Fit First Bike Sizing Process at Hart's Bike Shop

Now we know how to compare bikes, but now we need a way to match the right bike size with you. Some shops will size you from a glance, others will break out the tape measure. At Hart's, we demand more precision especially where Performance is a consideration.

We perform a thorough bike sizing process on the GURU machine, this is different than a detailed bike fit session in that once the new bike arrives we dial the set up in precisely to you during a more thourough fit session. TThe initial sizing process takes approximately 30 minutes and centers around what position works best for you, not how we can sell a bike on the showroom floor. The GURU bike has unlimited adjustability, no biases, and can be moved to the best position for your body, your riding style, and your comfort.

Once we've identified your ideal position, we digitally measure the fit bike to identify your fit coordinates (including Frame Stack and Frame Reach), and go shopping based on your ideal frame geometry.

The end result is a detailed report that includes fit photos, your captured body geometry, and most important, your ideal bike configuration including frame geometry, saddle position, and handlebar/armpad position. When appropriate, you'll also get a Best Fit Bikes report, a custom tool with GURU that compares your ideal bike configuration against an extensive bike database. An example report can be seen below:

If you're buying a bike from Hart's, this process is completely free. If you're still shopping or looking to buy a bike from elsewhere, no problem. There is a $75 charge for a Fitting Session for a New Bike and we'll be happy to set up any bike you purchase to the fit coordinates in the report.

If you go through our sizing process and decide later to buy a bike from us, the $75 you paid will apply to the purchase of the bike (as long as it's within 6 months of the fit). There are no hidden fees or intent - we just want to make sure you're riding in the best position to meet your needs.

My Shop Does Something Similar - Why Trust Hart's Cyclery?

Very few people in the State have the expertise, and experience that we have when it comes to road bike fitting and doing a bicycle fits for a triathlon bike. Hart's Cyclery is the only shop within 100 miles that is GURU Certified and F.I.S.T. (Fit Institute - SlowTwitch) Advanced Certified.

GURU Certified and F.I.S.T. (Fit Institute - SlowTwitch) Advanced CertifiedWhether your budget is $800 or $8000, it's still too much to pay to gamble and get the wrong bike. No matter what your budget happens to be, getting your new bike Fit First makes sure you are maximizing your investment with the highest value bike you can get for your budget.
No more "we can make it fit." No more guesswork. You get the precision to make sure you're on the right bike and it's set up in the right position. We guarantee it.

Other Shops Don't Do This - Can I Just Test Ride?

That prompts the question, test ride what? Why are other shops selecting the bikes you're test riding, and are you sure those options are sized and fit correctly? That question is exactly what getting Fit First answers.

That said, if you're still skeptical about getting your bike Fit First or would like to just test ride a few options, we can accomodate. We have an extensive inventory of road and triathlon bike options ready for you to test at a wide range of prices and configurations.

Call if you have questions or want to schedule a bike fit