November 17, 2005

    Last summer you researched bike seats for me and this year I purchased the seat you suggested, The Seat. I put in on my Trek 950 mountain bike which I have turned into a cross trainer, and would highly recommend it to anyone who has problems with pressure on their pelvic floor muscles.
    Since the seat works so well I plan on replacing my cross trainer bike with a new, high-end cross trainer/hybrid. I was thinking of getting one built or especially fit for me. Do you have any recommendations as to brand or model, fit specialist, etc. that might help me accomplish this goal? Thanks.

Ed R.

    Glad that seat worked for you.
    I generally don’t recommend bike brands, and probably won’t until lots more bike manufacturers give me free samples. But I do have a couple of ideas about the question of fit.
    You wanna choose between getting a bike custom-built or getting an existing bike to fit you. I don’t have a preference, and I think price will end up as your main criterion; one option will cost much more than the other. I’ll let you guess which.
    I think you’ll find fewer sources locally for custom-made bikes. If you don’t already know a reliable source, try a simple Web search. I did one for “custom-built” and “bicycles” and “Illinois;” it yielded a pretty narrow field of merchants, and one cropped up repeatedly. How do you choose? Again, price—but, just as important, credentials. Ask prospective builders to give you references to satisfied customers (and ones that’d willingly talk with you).
    If you opt to get an existing bike that fits you properly: Who should you get to fit you? One way: Pick three to five bike shops and interview them. Because you live in the north, you’ll find they’ve more time for a chat this time of year than usual—and if they won’t find time (or tell you when to come back) you don’t wanna buy from them anyway.
    So what should you ask? Tell ‘em what kind of bike you want, say you must have it with the seat you’ve chosen, and ask how they’d fit you. Pay close attention to that last part, so you can compare different shops’ practices. I won’t recommend a particular fitting method—people have written books about that—but check that they have a method other than simply having you stand over the bike. After a couple of these conversations I believe you’ll get the drift, and you’ll ably judge who to use.

Mr Bike

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