which of the three styles of fit are you?

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which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby ftssjk » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:18 am

I did the comprehensive fitting test on competitive cycling
( http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CC ... ATOR_INTRO )

The site mentions the '3 styles', that is competitive, eddie, and french.


The Traditions of Road Riding and Our Three Styles of Fit

When we look at the bikes we sell we recognize that most of them descend from the traditions of road racing and long distance riding. There are also bikes for time trialing, cyclocross, and other cycling "disciplines" and each of these has its own traditions and optimal fit options. Very few of us actually race and many of us don't ride as long as we might like, but the bikes we sell can all be fit to suit your preferred riding.

We see three basic styles of road riding fit, each designed to meet clear goals and expectations. We believe that a bicycle that fits your riding style is the one that creates the best experience. We need first to determine what style of fit (or combination of styles) matches you best before we go about achieving a precise, personal fit for you.

The three styles of fit work with the sometimes complementary and sometimes competing objectives of comfort, speed, efficiency, and power. Creating a great fit involves creating priorities among these objectives and knowing yourself. All bikes should fit comfortably, but this priority can be weighed against other objectives. Every choice we make about fit and the bike we choose (frame, fork, model, material, size, parts, etc.) has consequences for our cycling experience. We can explain either by e-mail or telephone how different choices will change your experience and what the advantages and relative compromises will likely be.

For example, the more aerodynamic and "aggressive" Competitive Fit emphasizes speed and efficiency but favors those who can adjust to positions that others will find difficult to maintain over long days in the saddle. In other words, the Competitive Fit may for some become uncomfortable over longer distances or it may not suit those for whom the priority of greater comfort actually increases speed. The slightly more relaxed Eddy Fit adds comfort but compromises some aerodynamic and power efficiency in order to gain endurance and ease. The exceptionally comfortable French Fit understands speed as a feature of comfort and puts power and efficiency in terms of longer endurance goals.

Each of the three styles of fit can be achieved on the same model bicycle, though perhaps not the same size or parts set up. Knowing how you want to ride will help determine what you want to ride.

The Competitive Fit.
It's called the Competitive Fit because it's our signature fit. We've found that this is the look and the feel that most of our customers expect out of their new bike. This is the most "aggressive" fit and suits those with an interest in racing, fast club riding, as well as those with a greater measure of body flexibility to work within the racer's comfort zones. Most modern road bikes, like the majority we offer at Competitive Cyclist, are usually pictured in sales catalogues with the Competitive Fit. But this doesn't mean that you should ride a bike that looks or fits like this.

Wanna look like a pro? This is the fit. It features a low, aerodynamic bar position that places slightly more weight on the hands than on the pedals and saddle, a close knee to pedal spindle ratio that emphasizes power and efficiency, and it puts the rider low in the handlebar drops. Typically the frame chosen will be the smallest that is appropriate. In fact, since the heyday of mountain bikes in the 1990s and more recent studies of professionals looking for an aerodynamic advantage, the Competitive Fit has become most bike shop's conventional wisdom.

After all, who doesn't want to look and ride like a pro? This fit is easy to sell but may not work for you since it actually best suits those who are willing to accept its clear emphasis on speed over comfort. For most of us, the pure Competitive Fit is too extreme even if it is still viable for young riders and racers, for those who love shorter, faster rides, and for those who just find this comfortable. Expect to be rather low even on the tops of the bars where you will spend the majority of your cruising time on the brake hoods, expect too to be lifting your neck slightly to see ahead of you with a rather "short and deep" reach into the bars as you push back on the saddle to stretch out.

The Competitive Fit creates a more compact body position with the chest low and the back as flat as is necessary to get down into the drops. The saddle to handlebar drop is sometimes as much 10cm or more.
The Eddy Fit.
Lots of folks find the Competitive Fit to be ideal. But for those who find its aerodynamic emphasis to be overly aggressive and uncomfortable, the Eddy Fit is almost certain to be ideal for you. It's a position that reminds us of the way Eddy Merckx looked on his bike in the early 1970s, and it dates from well before Eddy's time and continued in the pro peloton well into the 1980s.

There is nothing "dated" about this style of riding. We all know that Eddy, Bernard, and Guiseppe were all very, very fast riders! Bike design has not, in fact, changed that radically since their time---only the look, the fashion, and the style of riding. The Eddy Fit is simply no longer the "fashion" among pros who keep pressing the envelope of comfort to create more efficiency and power.

The Eddy Fit emphasizes less saddle to bar drop. You will notice less exposed seat post on traditional frames and a lower saddle to bar ratio on all fits, including compact designs. Typically it requires a size up of about 2-3cm in frame size from what is today usually offered by in current aero professional look of today. But make no mistake about it, this fit will get you down the road with speed, efficiency, and power.

A few differences from the Competitive Fit in addition to a taller front end and less saddle/bar drop is a less craned neck and easier forward-looking position, slightly less weight on the hands and more on the saddle and pedals, and a knee position that usually moves a bit behind the spindle (rather than a knee-over-the-spindle position, thus adding a bit of power). Bikes set up for the Eddy Fit change their look only subtly in comparison to the Competitive Fit though the results are dramatic in terms of greater comfort. This fit is easier on the neck and shoulders but no less suited for racing or fast solo or club riding.

We adjust this fit by "sizing up" the frame and adjusting the stem lengths to create proper balance, proportion, and to maximize the frame's potential. This position lets you into the drops with less stress on the neck and back and so encourages you to go low into the bars for longer periods. The Eddy Fit typically features a saddle/bar drop of only a few centimeters.
The French Fit.
This fit is so named because of its legacy in the traditions of endurance road riding such as brevet rides and randonneuring. However, the French Fit isn't merely about touring, riding long, or even sitting more upright. It is about getting the most out of a bike that fits larger and provides much more comfort to the neck, back, and saddle position.

While the Competitive Fit generally puts you on the smallest appropriate frame and the Eddy Fit sizes up a bit or raises the bars, the French Fit puts you on the largest appropriate frame. While this bucks some current conventional wisdom - and is, in fact, the least commonly used position of the three we espouse - it is still the position advocated by some of cycling's wisest and most experienced designers, who also happened to be riders who like to go fast and far with an ideal amount of comfort.

This fit features a taller front end (with a larger frame and/or head tube extension and stem), handlebar to saddle drops that are much closer to level, and favors riders who are looking to ease stress on the neck and back, ride as long and as far as they like, and are not concerned with the looking like an aggressive professional. In comparison to the Eddy Fit, the rider has even more weight rearward and a slightly more upright position such that "hands in the drops position" is close to the Competitive Fit's "hands on the hoods position." Some may say that this was not how modern race bikes were "meant" to fit but we have learned that the French Fit's size up tradition works great on the most modern bikes.

By increasing the frame size we raise the bars without radical riser stems and still create balance and proportion with respect to the important knee-to-pedal dynamic. It is important to remember that as frames get larger the top tube effectively shortens. This means that the longer top tube on a larger frame is appropriate because as the bars come "up" and the ratio of saddle to bar drop lessens, the rider achieves a "reach" from the saddle to the handlebars that is just right!

We recommend this fit for riders who really want to be comfortable and fast over longer distances. Please note that the French Fit disregards all emphasis on stand over height (standing with the bike between your legs and your shoes flat on the ground) because the French Fit school believes that this measurement has little actual value regarding fit. An ideal compromise for those who can't shed their concern regarding stand over height is the choice of a "sized up" compact design to achieve a higher relative handlebar position.

Nevertheless, a French Fit can work with traditional, non-sloping frames as well. As an example, a person who might ride a 55cm or 56cm frame to achieve the Competitive Fit, might ride as much as a 59cm or 60cm in the French Fit. While bikes in the French Fit are not the racer's fashion they tend to look elegant, well proportioned, and ride like a dream.

Our Three Styles of Fit are dynamic and flexible programs that are molded to suit your needs and expectations. Elements of one style can be worked into another precisely because there is more than one perfect fit for everyone.

Our promise is to listen carefully to you, work closely with you to provide the confidence and expertise you should expect from a professional bicycle shop, and create an outcome that exceeds your expectations---we want you to have a bike that rides even better than you had dreamt it would. We are happy to discuss our fit philosophy and work out the specifics and details with you.

Buying a great bike starts with great products---and we are committed to brands that have long proven their value and quality. But having the right bike also means buying the one that best suits your riding goals. We work with people using all the resources of our experience, not just fixed formulas or dogmatic notions. If you know what works for you, we are happy to oblige. If you seek our professional advice, we are here to help.

Our aim is to offer you the competitive prices that you deserve, the personal touch of a local bike shop, and the experience of bicycle professionals who are committed to your satisfaction.

© 2010 Competitive Cyclist [email protected] 888-276-7130


and here were my results

The Competitive Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 53.4 - 53.9
Seat tube range c-t: 55.1 - 55.6
Top tube length: 53.8 - 54.2
Stem Length: 11.2 - 11.8
BB-Saddle Position: 70.6 - 72.6
Saddle-Handlebar: 52.8 - 53.4
Saddle Setback: 5.4 - 5.8


The Eddy Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 54.6 - 55.1
Seat tube range c-t: 56.3 - 56.8
Top tube length: 53.8 - 54.2
Stem Length: 10.1 - 10.7
BB-Saddle Position: 69.8 - 71.8
Saddle-Handlebar: 53.6 - 54.2
Saddle Setback: 6.6 - 7.0


The French Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 56.3 - 56.8
Seat tube range c-t: 58.0 - 58.5
Top tube length: 55.0 - 55.4
Stem Length: 10.3 - 10.9
BB-Saddle Position: 68.1 - 70.1
Saddle-Handlebar: 55.3 - 55.9
Saddle Setback: 6.1 - 6.5


Ideally I'd be doing 50-100km a day, maybe twice a week, or perhaps 3x 25km trips a week.
I figured the 'eddie fit' or the 'french fit' would be what i'm after.

For those who ride those sort of distances, which do you prefer?
I do like the idea of 'comfort'..
I was advised to go with the smaller frame, and then if i wish, i could get a longer stem in the future if that didn't suit.
It seems based off the calculations i'd be best going with the 54cm?

I admit this does overlap with the forum 'what bike/part' should I buy, but I wanted to hear my fellow road bikers thoughts and opinions of the '3 forms'. :)
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by BNA » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:45 am

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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:45 am

None of them are any good if your legs and torso don't conform to their measurements! :wink:

That's why you need to be fitted individually so as to fit your body sizes and how you can sit on the bike ie; flexibility. Some may require a combo of what you describe. :idea:
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby Nobody » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:54 am

I got the recommended size of 53cm ETT for Competitive and Eddy fits. Set it up as Eddy fit. The top of the bar is about the same as the saddle height and the dip in the hoods are about 2cm lower than the saddle height. The position has been very natural for me. Did 56Km yesterday. I'm middle aged, not racing and ride individually. Haven't tried the French fit although I did have a 55.5cm ETT frame before and didn't like it. Too much of a stretch. Have had a competitive bike shop fit 18 years ago (the guy was also a trainer) but I found craning my neck back to see where I was going more of a battle.

foo on patrol wrote:None of them are any good if your legs and torso don't conform to their measurements! :wink:

That's why you need to be fitted individually so as to fit your body sizes and how you can sit on the bike ie; flexibility. Some may require a combo of what you describe. :idea:
Yes an individual fit by a specialist would be better, but many have found doing the online calculator beneficial. If the measurements are correct, the system appears to work OK. Obviously it is very general in nature as it doesn't account for different leg lengths or individual problems, but should put you "in the ball park" so to speak.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby ftssjk » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:48 am

Thanks for your comments all.

I found the fitment system at competitive cyclist to be quite comprehensive.
In fact more comprehensive then when I walked in to my LBS which just measured my inseam and my height. (I guess the 'proper' fitment would have occured after I bought the bike, and that those were just preliminary testings so that i could test ride the right sized bike).

The other LBS I went to, the owner just looked at me and my legs and guessed that I was a 'medium', which was a 53.5cm frame which was pretty much correct.

here were my measurements from the test.

Inseam: 82.5
Trunk: 65
Forearm: 33.25
Arm: 66.3
Thigh: 59.3
Lower Leg: 52.7
Sternal Notch: 144
Total Body Height: 178

I followed the guide on here, which was very helpful
http://www.youtube.com/user/competitive ... kaH7g7YVvI
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby Nobody » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:10 pm

Here are mine for comparison:
Inseam: 81
Trunk: 62.5
Forearm: 33
Arm: 60.5
Thigh: 59.5
Lower Leg: 53
Sternal Notch: 138
Total Body Height: 172

The Eddy Fit (cm)
-------------------------------------------
Seat tube range c-c: 53.6 - 54.1
Seat tube range c-t: 55.3 - 55.8
Top tube length: 52.2 - 52.6
Stem Length: 9.5 - 10.1
BB-Saddle Position: 68.5 - 70.5
Saddle-Handlebar: 51.1 - 51.7
Saddle Setback: 6.0 - 6.4

As can be seen, compared to you I'm all legs and no arms/body, therefore my results in having a small ETT.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby sogood » Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:38 pm

Just goes to say that bike fitting is an art. The specific sizing requirement is partly dependent on your usage needs, body condition and personal preferences.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby mianos » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:33 pm

sogood wrote:Just goes to say that bike fitting is an art. The specific sizing requirement is partly dependent on your usage needs, body condition and personal preferences.

Yet when you go to some of the fitters, no names mentioned but I've been to him, when you say you prefer a more competitive position they say "no that's not for, your body you must be comfortable to be efficient". Don't believe the hype I say. I agree with sogood and the article, it's *way* more art and adaptation then science,
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby sogood » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:25 pm

mianos wrote:Yet when you go to some of the fitters, no names mentioned but I've been to him, when you say you prefer a more competitive position they say "no that's not for, your body you must be comfortable to be efficient". Don't believe the hype I say. I agree with sogood and the article, it's *way* more art and adaptation then science,

I agree that "comfort" and "efficient" should be the primary objective. And to get more aggressive it's just a case of lowering the bar. And if one doesn't have the flexibility, then there's nothing to be aggressive about. :mrgreen:
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby fringe_dweller » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:54 pm

sogood wrote:if one doesn't have the flexibility, then there's nothing to be aggressive about. :mrgreen:


+1

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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby mianos » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:26 pm

If one does not have the flexibility to get low and you want to be low then do some pilates or something like that that improves your flexibility and core. Sure, if you are 48 and expect the same position as a 20 year old you might be dreaming but when the bike fit person says 'this is how you must sit to be efficient because I know' it may be time to ignore the hype.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby fringe_dweller » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:09 am

mianos wrote:If one does not have the flexibility to get low and you want to be low then do some pilates or something like that that improves your flexibility and core. Sure, if you are 48 and expect the same position as a 20 year old you might be dreaming but when the bike fit person says 'this is how you must sit to be efficient because I know' it may be time to ignore the hype.


I don't disagree that in order to become a more "complete" cyclist we need to develop certain levels of flexibility to achieve a reasonable position, and enough core strength to hold ourselves in said position for the length of our intended rides. I just don't think necessarily that an online form, or even a quick LBS fit necessarily achieves a fit that suits our bodies.

While not all people have the luxury of a more complete fit, someone like Steve Hogg actually takes the time to look at your physiology and get you into a position on your bike which allows you to ride hard without discomfort, all while developing flexibility and core strength so that you can then get into a more aggressive position (if that's what you're after). Simply saying "I want to race, therefore I need an aggressive position" may result in knee pain, back pain or neck pain - all of which will discourage you from getting onto the bike and may have long term consequences.

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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby sogood » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:53 am

mianos wrote:...but when the bike fit person says 'this is how you must sit to be efficient because I know' it may be time to ignore the hype.

I think that's reasonable because a highly experienced fitter know what position works for any particular rider. Further, bike fit is a dynamic condition. In due course, depending on flexibility improvements and other physical alterations, the fit can and often needs to be adjusted. If an experienced fitters tells his customer this is the fit, then that most likely means it's the preferred starting point based on his best judgement. It doesn't mean you can't get more aggressive, but it's a case of you haven't demonstrated that you have the physical attributes to get more aggressive. Putting you in a more aggressive posture will just compromise your endurance, power output and other real performance parameters.

Patience, work on flexibility and review in 6 months I'd say.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:16 pm

I believe that you should start out to get a comfortable position on the bike because, you won't have much desire to do the hard yards to get better. so long as the frame is the correct size, then you can lift,lower, tilt, push out or move back, all of the bolt on components. :wink:

I never wanted a bike that I was uncomfortable on, I preferred to inflict pain on others, not my self. :twisted:
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby ftssjk » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:07 pm

Thanks for the update guys

I think ill go for the 'eddie fit',
though with the bike i'm getting a (54cm frame size with a 55.5cm tt length) it might be a french fit.

This would be my first road bike so I'd want a relaxed sort of riding posture for the start.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby mianos » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:11 am

+1 on the concept of going for comfort when you start. It's much better to start comfortable. You will enjoy riding more at the start. After some time you may find you yearn for easy speed, particularly in groups.
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Re: which of the three styles of fit are you?

Postby ValleyForge » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:48 am

It's also a bit of history too. When I got my custom frame made in 1981, it wasn't called the "Eddy Fit"; it was just the way it was. Comparing that bike now to my new CF Tommasini, my reach is 4cm further forward on the old bike. I notice that I can breathe better, my hips are more flexed and I'm sitting rocked further forward on the saddle on the 1981 frame.

Have a look at some images of Eddy racing - it looks a pretty extreme position now. I do think the shorter reach makes the bike more lively (occasional toe-strike not withstanding) and is definately more responsive and better in the hills.
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