No, you don’t have to go to Madison to get a bike that fits

There are shops closer to home

Susan and I went to Madison the other day for a bike fitting. Our choice.

We go there often just because we like Madison, despite all the Badgers fans. (Actually, I respect the Badgers and their fans. I even have a Wisconsin spare tire cover for my red Wrangler. It’s hidden away in the basement.)

Our trip did leave me wondering who are the best bike fitters in Iowa. I asked this on the Bike Iowa forum and warn you, of course, that there is absolutely nothing scientific about the results. I won’t even share them just yet; maybe I’ll get a little more feedback.

Then I hope to get some of these Iowa experts’ thoughts on fitting by asking them to answer two or three questions.

Meantime, a couple of generalizations I’ll throw out there:

One generalization: Most bike shops that have well-trained, experienced personnel will do at least a fair job of getting you on the right bicycle.

Another one: That’s plenty good for most recreational cyclists and casual pedalers. If you’re in the habit of riding long distances, you probably want and need to pay more attention to fit. If you’re a competitive cyclist or triathlete, you already know this stuff.

But what should a novice look for? What questions should she ask?

Someone who is in the market for a new bike asked me about this just yesterday. I could use some help answering her.

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2 Responses to “No, you don’t have to go to Madison to get a bike that fits”


  1. 1 Michelle Wiese February 10, 2009 at 9:06 am

    How about best customer service overall? Not to bash one bike shop over another, but from my experiences there are some definite differences in the ones in the Cedar Rapids area.

  2. 2 bjsmith February 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    You stated that very diplomatically, which I think is great. From my POV, I think it would be interesting to do a survey that somehow rates bike shops in the state on a number of characteristics, but it’s way beyond my capabilities in this sort of venue.

    Focusing on positive experiences might be the most useful approach here, if anyone cares to share those.

    If someone gets in a “bashing” mood, I’d suggest putting them on a club forum or something like that instead. Better yet, complain to the shop’s owner.

    Thanks for using your real name.


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