Name: Paul Montgomery
Position: Owner of Skiis & Biikes
Store location: Everywhere
Years at S&B: All 35 years
What bike(s) do you ride:
I ride a Trek Domane 6.9, Devinci Caribou touring bike, and an old Trek 930 that has been to the bottom of the ocean...I dropped it off a boat once without the front wheel and had to fish it out.
Certifications: (Where did you learn the finer points of bike fitting)
Specialized BG fitting course, Trek bike fitting course, and lots of trial and error.
What is your favorite part about being a bike fitter?
It’s an art, It’s like creating a painting. There’s this huge challenge to solving the customer’s issues. You have to combine the science of bike fitting and the unique challenges of connecting that to a person. The greatest reward is when the customer comes back and says “it’s the best ever, riding is so much more comfortable.”
How long have you been riding bikes?
56 years. Since I was 2, like most people.
Why would the average cyclist want to undergo a proper bike fitting?
Because they can ride longer, farther, faster without any pain. They can do it without damaging their body, without damaging their hips or knees or ankles. It’s just more comfortable. When you get to the end of your 100k ride, you hurt because of fatigue, not a painful seat, or handlebars being too low. It just makes the biking experience a more enjoyable thing. You fatigue nicely, so at the end of the ride you feel like you had a nice workout, not like you can’t get out of bed the next morning.
In your opinion, how important is it to have a bike fit done? Can’t somebody just set it up how they think it feels best?
It’s the most important thing to purchase when you have a bike. You can have the wrong tires/wheels/pedals, you can ride with the wrong clothes, but if your bike isn’t set up right, it’s not going to be a great experience. Setting it up on feel is pretty good, but it’s not perfect. If you’re spending money on a bike because you want to ride a fair bit, spend the money on making it fit perfect. Your experience will be utilized to the max.
What small change in fitting do you think makes the biggest difference in ride quality?
That’s a tuffy, I would say the saddle is number one. You get the right saddle, that is important, and then the positioning of the saddle is important. The correct saddle and saddle positioning work together and I’d say they are number one and number two.
What can you tell us about saddle fitting and how it affects performance?
Your pelvis position on the saddle is paramount. If you’re off to one side because your pelvis is too wide, you won’t sit on the right bones, so as a result you will bring your ass either left or right and will use one leg more than the other. Some riders do this on one side then switch to the other. You should be resting evenly on your saddle, so the width is the most important. If you are shifting back and forth it will affect performance. Next it’s important to get the angle right and make sure it’s level.
Top 3 tips for a better fit and ride:
1. Find a great bike fitter and believe in them.
2. Invest in the bike fit and get it done right. That way, even if you have to go to a cheaper bike, a cheaper bike with a better fit is better than the most expensive bike with the wrong bike fit.
3. Stay in shape, because you got a full on bike fit. Also, make sure that you go back and have it checked and adjusted now and then. For us that is included in the price, you can come back and check it and readjust it.
You will have more fun riding if you:
Do it more often. If you ride more often, you’ll have more fun.
What are some signs of an ill fitting bike?
Pain. Pain, pain and pain. If your bike doesn’t fit, it’s going to hurt somewhere, and you need to address that before it becomes too bad.
What are some adjustments cyclists can make on their own?
We’re talking road bikes mostly, so not a whole lot. Even myself, somebody else fits my bike because you have to be able to see what’s going on and you can’t see these measurements on yourself very well. If something doesn’t feel right, you can make those adjustments and make it through the weekend, but still come in and see the fitter.
Any concluding thoughts on bike fitting?
Hmmm, just believe that it’s going to be amazing for you. Take the time, get it done and it will be worth while.