The F.I.S.T Bikefit Protocol

There are two ways a bike fit can be executed. It can be imposed on the athlete by the fitter, or the fitter can artfully enable a process by which the rider self-selects his position. The FIST system endorses the latter methodology, for a pair of reasons.


The Optimized Position

First, there is utility in performing several trials, at different seat angles, optimizing one's position at east seat angle. An athlete might enjoy a trial at, say, 75° of seat angle, then again at 77°, at 79°, and at 81°.

In this case it's important that the rider's body's levers and muscle groups fire at one's best efficiency. The important components of this nexus of power are detailed below, in the discussion of "seat height" and "hip angle."

This, combined with an attention to comfort, result in what we term an "optimized" position.


The Perfect Position

Once these rider positions at various successively steeper seat angles have been optimized, the rider must choose a seat angle among them.

It is common for a rider to indicate a preference to two adjacent seat angles, and this may require repositioning the rider in both of these "finalist" positions before the rider can clearly determine a preference.


Confidence is Important

There is a second reason why the self-selected fit is preferred. When a fitter invests this extra bit of time and executes the fit in this way, he equips his subject with the confidence that his instincts that can be trusted.

Yes, there is a set of predetermined data upon which a good fitter will rely, to make sure that the subject is not leading himself awry (outlined in chapters below).

Yet the experience a subject gleans from discovering, on his own, the same position ridden by the majority of triathlon's greatest athletes is invaluable.


Go back to the bikefit, or read more about the F.I.S.T technique.