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When we talk about bike fitting vs. bike sizing, there is a big difference. When you go into a bike shop you might get “sized” for your new bicycle. Bike sizing is the art of making sure that you can safely stand over the top tube of the bike and safely go on a test ride. Some shops may put you in a measurement device and take some quick body measurements and get the size of the bike based on a general formula. Some may put you on an indoor trainer and take a few measurements and ask you “How does it feel?” How do you know what it feels like? You might be new to cycling and not know what to look for, you could be a new triathlete coming from a road bike, or you could just be someone who has a lot of questions and wants some answers.
Not all bodies are the same and two people can fit differently on the same bike even though it might be the correct frame size. Why should a bike fit two people differently? The answer is very easy. Our bodies are different. We may be the same height but could have different shoulder width, arm length, hips, leg length, even different sized feet. With bike fitting, we focus on the touch point of the bicycle a.k.a. the Target Zones. If the Target Zones are taken care of, then you should enjoy a long and fun ride with no pain or soreness. The Target Zones are the Saddle, Pedals, and Handlebars. On a Triathlon bike we add in the Arm Pads. If you can get these points of contact happy, then you have a good bike fit.