Bike Fitting & Sizing

This is very important, in fact so important, that we refuse to sell you the wrong size bike.

Maybe you can remember your first 'real' bike, bought with hard-earned pocket money or by loving parents. You were at an age when you might suddenly grow, so the advice from the man in the bike shop was to go up a size: “you'll grow into it” The saddle and handlebars were set as low as they could go and you had to stretch to reach the brakes, teetering on tippy toes to balance when you stopped. Or maybe there was that irresistible bargain bought on-line that after a few rides gave you neck pains, knee pains, back pains and turned out to be such a pain it now languishes in the shed or garage.

Fortunately most modern bikes can be adjusted to fit you, providing that you have the correct frame size: it just takes some time, skill and knowledge. As part of our service, we make sure that you are measured correctly, either in the shop (preferable) or over the phone/email, and then we ensure that the bike is set up to fit you. If you are 'sized', but do not place an order for a bike on the day, a charge for the service is made that is refunded when you do place an order with us.

We use a Calfee “Sizer” (shown in the photo above of our sizing studio) which is a fully-adjustable bike to the exact millimetre and angle to replicate the frame geometry, and can also set the seat-post, saddle, handlebar stem and crank length. Even the right type of handle bars and pedals can be added. Once it is set up, you can feel what it is like to ride and we can fine tune anything to make sure that you get the perfect fit. And for tandems we do this for both riders.

If you have an existing bike that you feel isn't quite fitting you correctly, we can size and fit you to it. For this service we do charge a fee.

We offer three bike fits:

  1. The standard Bike-Fit which ensures that your existing saddle, handlebars and pedals are all in the correct position for you on your existing bike.  This takes around 20-40 minutes and costs £20.
  2. Semi-Pro-Fit is aimed at the sportive and touring rider or triathlete with an existing bike that needs to get a comfortable and efficient position. It extends the Bike-Fit to include adjusting your cleats, sti/ergo shifters, tri-bar position, a more detailed analysis of your riding style and advice on replacement equipment if needed.  This takes around 40 minutes to an hour and costs £40.
  3. The Pro-Fit is based around how we measure you for a custom bike either starting with a blank sheet of paper and our sizing jig as a custom sizing. Or by setting the jig to your existing frame geometry and working around that to get the best fit. Your existing bike can then be made to fit you by adjusting or changing stems, bars, saddle and even cranks if need be. We'll also ensure that your cleats are set up correctly. This takes between 1 and 2 hours and costs £95 and includes detailed drawings for you and as mentoned the fee is refunded when you place your order with us for an applicable bike or frame. If you order at the time of the fitting then no charge is made.

Bike Fit Information

  1. Each bike fit is a personal consultation with either Peter Bird or Robert Wade.  Your individual body proportions, flexibility, riding style, weight, fitness and, most importantly, the type of riding that you plan to do is all taken into consideration.  A Pro Fitting can take over 90 minutes - so please allow sufficient time for your consultation.
  2. It's much easier if you bring your usual riding clothes and shoes plus your pedals, but don't worry if you are new to cycling and don't have all these items yet.
  3. We do provide tea and coffee

Some sizing myths:

  • "Some shops offer computer aided sizing and fit sessions, surely this must be better?" - Reality: a lot of shops just do not have the experience that we have in making frame and bikes that fit real people and a computer programme can go some way to make up for that. Unless you are an elite rider or Cat 1 or 2 who may benefit from a full biomechanical and power output test, you can trust our combined 60 years of bike building experience to get you the right fit.
  • When positioned correctly in the saddle: the handle bars should be in a line with the front hub so that you cannot see it. - Reality: that just shows the relationship between your eyes, the handlebars and the front hub and has no bearing on if your hands, arms, back or neck/head or saddle are in the best position for riding and comfort.
  • Placing your elbow on the front tip of the saddle and extending your arm and fingers in line with top tube and where the tip of your middle finger is, will be where you should have your handlebars, give or take a bit. - Reality: This shows how long your forearm is compared to your top tube and obviously does not take into consideration, full arm and body dimensions.
  • “I've always ridden a 56cm road bike and they always fit me well, so that's the size I would like” - Reality: That's a good starting point. However, strange as it may seem, not all manufacturers 'size' their bikes the same and as quite a few frames are compact designs, the actual frame size you require may differ from what you have had in the past.


View the Bicycle by Design Gallery

Gallery

View More >

Video Workshop

View Now

Frame Building Courses

More Info >

Sizing and Fitting

More Info >

Ride Before you Buy

More Info >