Many retailers offer a bike fit service, but Evans Cycles is making bike fit more accessible by offering a free fit with its Hoy range of bikes. There’s even the option to swap between components such as stems, handlebars and saddles as part of the process.
- Best bike: what type of bike should I buy?
- Best road bike 2016 – how to choose the right one for you
Bike seller Evans Cycles already offers a bike fit service which is open to anyone for £45 – but if you buy a Hoy bike from the store, the fit is free. This is because Sir Chris Hoy, with whom the range has been developed, is keen to ensure all riders get a bike that fits them. Since getting the right frame size is only the first part of the process, a fit is done to determine the correct saddle height, fore/aft position, reach, handlebar and stem length, and more.
The bikes themselves are also available in a bigger range of sizes than most equivalent bikes, allowing smaller incremental changes between frame sizes which allows for a much better fit of frame to rider. There are seven adult sizes, from XXS to XXL.
To this end, the range also includes a selection of seat posts, stems and handlebars of varying sizes. If the bike fitter determines that the customer would benefit from narrower bars or a different stem length, these parts are swapped over, without any additional cost on top of the price of the bike.
The downside, however, is that to make use of the fit service you’ll need to visit one of the stores that offer the service. Currently, that’s just Waterloo Cut, Wimbledon, Guildford and Mortimer Street, with Manchester Deansgate, Chester and Cambridge following shortly.
About Hoy bikes
Developed with the close involvement of Sir Chris Hoy, the multiple Olympic Gold medallist, the Hoy range of bikes at Evans Cycles consists of road, track and hybrid models for adults, and an extensive junior and children’s bike range including junior cyclocross and track bikes. There’s even a balance bike for smaller kids. However, the bike fit only applies to the adult models.
“The range not only has my name on it, but it also my time and attention to detail as part of its DNA.” Hoy states on his website. “I’ve experienced bike development and have ridden more prototypes than I care to mention – but testing and trialling to reach the perfect design harmony is something I feel strongly about.”
Hoy hasn’t simply put his name to the bikes; he’s worked closely with bike retailer to develop a range of products he is happy with. “I’ve designed and chosen the specifications along with Evans Cycles, drawing on my experience and their knowhow.” He says. “I have road tested all of the adults models over and over again.
“Cycling has been and will always be my world – I just love to ride. In truth it wasn’t medals that really inspired me to cycle. Its my love of riding that inspired me to win medals.”
How the Hoy bike fit process works
The bike fit process that Evans Cycles use has been developed in conjunction with a professional bike fit company, and consists of a nine-step programme. I was taken through the process by Lee at the Wimbledon store, one of 4 branches that currently offer the service, with plans for it to be rolled out wider in the near future.
The whole fit process is designed to take in the region of an hour, and you will be riding so wear appropriate clothing and bring your cycling shoes. However, it can take longer, so be preprepared to spend more time if necessary, and it’s also probably best to go at a quiet time of day where possible.
Step 1 – Interview
Lee talked to me about my riding level, experience and what I’d like to achieve from the bike fit. In my case, long rides with many hours in the saddle is my preferred road cycling style, so comfort is key. For others, it may be achieving an aerodynamic position, working with an injury, or getting the right set up for their first road bike.
Step 2 – Measurement and Flexibility
The usual toe-touch test is used to determine the riders flexibility – in my case, very good – which will influence the riders position on the bike.
Measurements are taken to determine the correct size bike frame to be used including inside leg measurements. In my case, at 5”8, I sat between a medium and large size, but with my preference for riding in the drops and flexible hips, a size large was settled on.
Step 3 – Shoe set up
Once the bike size has been settled on, the rest of the fit goes more or less from toes to finger tips, starting with resetting the cleat to a neutral position, placing the centre of the cleat 1 cm back from the ball of the foot.
The bike fitter will also measure your foot size, and if you don’t already have cycling shoes they’ll help you select some and get them set up for you.
Step 4 – Bike set up in turbo trainer
To get the best fit possible, the rest of the process takes place with the bike set onto a turbo trainer. Expect to pedal off and on for the rest of the fit process.
As the saddle is a major contact point, getting a well-fitting one is crucial. The bike fitter will measure the distance between your sit bones using a gel pad on which you sit. There are both women’s specific and unisex Hoy saddles available, or you may wish to opt for a women’s specific saddle from another brand based on your riding style and position, though you would have to pay for the cost of these saddles.
Step 5 – Video capture
After pedalling for a few minutes, to allow the rider to settle into a natural position on the bike, the bike fitter films a few seconds of footage. Still are used from this and combined with angle-plotting software to ensure various key
To help with the video capture, white dots are applied to the widest part of the food, the centre of the knee, and the hip bone.
Step 6 – Lower body setup
First, the heel-drop test where the pedal is placed in the 6 O’Clock position and the heel dropped is used to determine whether the saddle height is correct and adjusted accordingly. The fore/aft position of the saddle is determined using KOPS – Knee Over Pedal Spindle, using a combination of video footage and a laser light beam. Ensuring the centre of the knee is directly over the spindle of the pedal when the pedals are in the 3 O’Clock position is the aim, which is achieved by adjusting the setback of the saddle.
Step 7 – Upper body setup
Partly determined from the flexibility assessment (the toe touch test) conducted earlier, the handlebar height and reach is set. This includes more riding and video footage to asses the body position when riding on the hoods, drops and bars. At this point, it’s also possible to have a different stem length swapped in, or wider or narrower bars changed over to suit shoulder width. The bike fitter can also adjust the reach of the brakes to ensure you can
Step 8 – Position assessment
A final video is taken and used to check the body position to ensure everything fits and is comfortable.