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  • John Pescatore

    After 20 years of riding a Trek 520 I decided it was time to join the 21st century and get a carbon bike with disc brakes and I went with a Trek Domane SL6 disc. The bike shop gave a discount on a Retul fitting (the fancy version with laser dots and video cameras on both sides) and despite being very skeptical of the value I decided to do it, since the geometry of the Domane was different from the 520. I waited until I had a few hundred miles of riding the new bike, which actually felt pretty good.

    I’m not sure the technology added all that much value, but the adjustments made definitely did. The biggest was probably major change in my cleat position, which I hadn’t even been thinking about. Essentially, moved them all the way back on my shoes and changed the angle of the cleats a bit. And the fitter gave me a good way of making sure I could get that position back when I put cleats on new shoes.

    He ended up moving my seat up a significant amount, an inch or so. The only upsell was custom molded insoles (seemingly now called “foot beds”) which I had never done before, but since there was a discount on those, I went for them. After buying a pretty high end bike, these further expenses didn’t seem so shocking! There was no attempt to sell me a new stem or bars or seat or anything else.

    The next week I redid some of the same rides I’d done with the previous positioning. It could be physiological, but it really made a difference. On a 50 mile, very hilly ride I do often, my rear end and leg fatigue hit much later in the ride and much lower than normally (on either bike). A 20 mile training ride with only a few short climbs that I do from my house I was able to increase my speed/decrease my time from the new bike with the old settings.

    I put the 520 on the indoor trainer for a Zwift ride after checking the 520 seat height/positioning. That seat was a bit low so I raised it to the same distance as the new setting for the Domane. Couldn’t tell much difference on a Zwift ride on the trainer.

    All in all, it turned me into a believer but I’m not sure all the technology and added expense added anything over a skilled fitter. The cleat fitting was probably the most important part – changing that drove the seat position change. The original “sit on the bike in your shoes” fit that came for free might have set the seat in a better position if I had just done a cleat fitting before buying the new bike. When the custom insoles wear out I’ll try some off the shelf ones, though I noticed many of those are equal or more expensive!

  • lauren o’keefe

    You may need revisions so it’s important to find someone you actually like and don’t have a problem with them being in your personal space and touching you. I’ve been the guy who did my bike fit a few times now as I’ve had changes that require a reassessment of how I was sitting on the bike. Latest one was only a few weeks ago when I bought new shoes and I wanted to be sure the cletes were in the right spot.

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