Bicycle Fit Session

This is the beginning of my 6th year of cycling; I’ve always been interested in getting a proper bicycle “fit”, but always talked myself out of it. I haven’t had any major issues while riding my bike, just little annoyances that flair up from time to time…but have always wondered if a professional fit would fix these issues. I’ve also always wondered if anything could be tweaked for a little more added efficiency, power or comfort.

2012 ended, being my 3rd year in a row to ride over 5,000 miles….2013 will no doubt be another 5,000+ mile year, with this in mind, I decided to research bike fitters in the Houston area to see what’s available. I spent a few days researching using Google reviews, Yelp, bicycle forums, etc…several people on different sites were all talking about Tad Hughes Custom Fit Studio. Tad Hughes has been in the bicycle industry for several years and has tons of experience, his full-time job is bicycle fitting, so he knows what’s going on.

After reading the great reviews and watching several of Tad’s YouTube videos, I made an appointment.

My current road bicycle is a 2012 Cannondale CAAD10, 60cm frame. This is my “do-it-all” bike…crits, road races, time trials, centuries, etc.

Tad’s fit studio is inside Spring Valley Bicycles, just south of I-10 on the northwest side of Houston. I was greeted by Tad when I walked in, then we went straight to work. Tad placed my bike on the trainer and measured the “before” geometry while I got into my cycling clothes. I started out by getting warmed up on the trainer while Tad studied my current fit, we talked about what I use the bike for and where my problem areas are. My main issue was foot discomfort during long rides or intense workouts.

During my warm-up, Tad placed a pressure sensor on my saddle to check where the majority of my weight was placed, he also placed a pressure sensor inside each shoe to check for inconsistencies between each foot.

Based on the findings, Tad recommended new insoles for my cycling shoes to better support my arch, also, my cleats needed shimmed slightly to correct an angle issue. Tad set me up with Superfeet Yellow insoles, these immediately felt fantastic; the added cleat shims also helped keep my knees more inline vertically during the pedal stroke. Once my feet were dialed, we moved onto the higher contact points of the bike.

Tad next recommended moving my saddle forward slightly and going with a longer stem, my bike previously had a 110mm stem installed…Tad had an awesome Salsa Cycles Size-O-Matic adjustable fitters stem to let me try several different configurations on-the-fly, I ended up feeling great with a 130mm stem.

Tad took the final measurements once I gave it my blessing, all measurements are documented nicely for future reference when I go to setup a new bike, or make adjustments to the CAAD10.

I’ve ridden over 100 miles since the bike fit and things feel great, the shoe adjustments are by far the best improvement I’ve noticed, comfortable feet make the miles pass by with ease. The longer stem feels great as well, it could be in my head, but it seems that the longer stem helps my shoulders to stay relaxed better, which should help with upper body fatigue during long distance rides….we’ll see.

Anyway…Tad Hughes…great guy, I highly recommend him, definitely check him out if you’re in the Houston area looking for a great fit.

– E


Below shows before on the top-left & after on top-right and foot pressure sensor readings in the bottom pic.



One Response to “Bicycle Fit Session”
  1. Caron Leader says:

    Really interesting. I think we should all get refitted every year. The body changes. I am shrinking.

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