What’s the most important part of buying a new bike? Saving money? Getting the right color? Choosing carbon fiber?

Nope – the most important part of buying a new bike is getting it fit properly. But most people don’t realize this until it’s too late. They either don’t ride as powerfully or comfortably as they could, or they get injured thanks to poor fit.

Or riders might know they should get a professional fitting, but they don’t want to shell out $350-550 for it, so they just ride a poor-fitting bike. Perhaps “The Bike Fitting Kit” from CycleTime can change that.

This is a bike fitting “kit” for you to use at home to fit your new bike yourself. Tools and an instructional DVD are included.

I saw the list price was $44.95, but it was on sale for $29.95 ($38.20 with shipping) when I purchased it a couple years ago, so I couldn’t pass it up. It’s still on sale for $29.95 today actually.

There are three things I need to cover in this review – the DVD, the tool kit, and the shopping experience.

The DVD

Well, you can tell this DVD was made in Windows Movie Maker. But nevertheless, it presents important information, and the video quality is good enough to see what is going on, so that’s what matters.

Here’s an example clip from Youtube:

The content only covers the basics, so this is best for someone who just bought their first bicycle. It’s not for a triathlete dialing in their most aerodynamic position.

If you follow the instructions, you’ll actually end up with a pretty good fit. A stationary trainer and someone to help you out with measurements will make things infinitely easier and lead to a much better fit, though.

(For more advanced bike fitting advice, look to Arnie Baker.)

The Tools

I was excited about this tool kit, but once I saw it, I was really disappointed. The so-called “tools” are more like toys!

The goniometer is flimsy plastic, like a kindergarten ruler. The plumb bob is as good as a house key tied to some string. The measuring tape is junk, like it will rip apart. And who doesn’t have hex keys already? Every cyclist should own a quality set of hex keys.

So, DO NOT buy this kit for the tools! Either buy real tools or make your own tools at home for free.

Personally I’d buy the tools from a real store and just get the information free online somewhere, but if you’re strapped for time and want to put down the money, I guess you could get this.

(For the fancy tools, check out BikeFit.com.)

The Shopping Experience

Back when I got this, the shopping cart was terrible. You couldn’t even tab to the next box when entering your information. There were also too many steps, and it always said “continue” but never “place order.” Before you knew it (or had a chance to review,) your order was placed!

I think some of this has been fixed now, luckily. So hopefully your shopping experience would be better today, but don’t expect it to be super slick like some retailers.

My final verdict is…

If you already know the basics of a proper bike fit and are looking for an in-depth guide to the principles of bike fitting, or you want nice tools, this kit would be a total waste of money.

But even though the information is fairly basic and the tools are more like toys, this kit is a better value than a typical $50 bike fit (which in my experience is nothing more than a quick check of seat height and fore/aft position.) So if you have poor-fitting bikes and no knowledge of proper bike fit, this kit would be a good way to get yourself a better setup.

Official website: www.BikeFittingKit.com

Product Review Details
Company: Cycle Time
Product: Bike Fitting Kit
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2011-05-04
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. So for 38.20 you get a DVD, but you can buy that PDF bike fit book for only 19.99 which you say has more advanced bike fitting advice. Which do you recommend?

    BTW – I really enjoyed the cyclist’s training bible which I bought on your recommendation. Thanks!

  2. @Bryant

    It’s hard to say for sure. If you feel comfortable with text and images, you’ll probably be fine with the book. The book would also be better if you plan to ride a lot and continue to tweak your position over the years.

    Take a look at the free preview of the book and you’ll see how high quality it is!

    Whereas if you want to watch exactly how the fitting is done, the DVD is great for that. (You can find free bike fitting video clips on Youtube if you are so inclined, you just have to make sure the video creator knows what they are doing!)

    In the end, I’m happier with the money I spent on Arnie Baker’s ebook. But I think the Bike Fitting Kit is better for complete newbies who want to spend less time and energy on fitting and would rather just go out and enjoy riding.

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