I’ve ridden some bikes that didn’t fit me. I suppose that started with my first bike, which had been my brother’s. Kids bikes are needs must though, right? This pattern repeated itself with my brother’s bikes. He’s taller than I am, and always has been.
In high school, once he had gone off to the Army, I adopted his Panasonic Villager. At first, I’d ride it by stepping through the front triangle and bobbing in the pedals that way, like a small clown riding an over-sized egg beater.
I think the problem was that I was always shorter than I wanted to be, and when I started buying my own bikes I imagined myself taller than I am (5’9″). I’m also bow-legged enough that bike fitters have guessed that I was injured at some point to cause the dramatic curvature in my tibias.
Somehow my first proper road bike fit me for saddle height, which is easier to adjust, but not for reach, so I spent my formative road years looking like a ski jumper on a permanent personal best. Later bikes got better, but sometimes worse, as I tried to eyeball my way to an optimal position.
I once rode 110 miles on a Surly Crosscheck two sizes too large. A friend said I looked like a rolling question mark on that bike.
Now I ride custom bikes, and those problems are gone. Thankfully. But I remain curious about how people get on the bikes they’re riding, how many of them have had a fitting, and even how many know that fitting is even a thing.
This week’s Group Ride asks, how does your bike fit? How did you get to your current riding position? Have you ever had a formal fitting? And what’s the worst fitting bike you’ve ridden for any length of time?