Friday, August 8, 2014

LRC Tip: Oh-So-Confusing Handlebar Widths

From my experience in bike fitting, till date most issues related to arms and shoulders are directly affected by handlebar width. The effect is so great that 20mm width difference (basically 1-size up-or-down) can throw off a properly fitted posture, the strain on upper body and arms will not go away regardless how well a posture is fitted.

When a customer comes in, I would measure shoulder and handlebar widths first. If the handlebar width is not suitable for the rider, this information will be used as baseline to analyse customer’s feedback on discomfort for upper torso and arms for the rest of bike fitting session.

It is the bike fitter’s duty to inform customer on a suitable handlebar width, regardless whether the handlebar is to be supplied by bike fitter or sourced separately by customer.

NOW, here comes the confusing part for the customer. Time to pay great ATTENTION.

If your bike fitter says you’ll be fine with a 40cm handlebar, most probably you’ll end up NOT fine if you buy a handlebar on your own. Why? Main reason is different manufacturers designate handlebar widths differently.

It is important that we measure handlebar width based on ACTUAL DISTANCE between center-to-center (C-C) of the brake hoods. However, most manufacturers do not specify handlebar widths this way. Some do, but not all.

Here are a few examples: (samples from 2013-era)

Brand            Model                       Marking         Actual

Zipp              Service Course SL      40cm             40cm

3T                 Ergonova                  40cm             38cm

3T                 Rotundo                    40cm             40cm

FSA                K-Wing Compact       40cm             39cm

If you noticed, even 3T has different width designation for different models.

So what’s the safest way to protect your wallet when buying a handlebar?

Step 1: Do not guess. Bring a tape measure.

Step 2: Always refer to brake hoods center-to-center measurement.

Step 3: Buy from a local shop so you can measure it on the spot.

Step 4: Don’t be blinded by good deals. If the shop does not have the size you need, do NOT be tempted by handlebars of next size up/down. The handlebar goes onto your bike should be of correct width as recommended by bike fitter. 
If you’re in doubt, double check with bike fitter, make sure you get the right info from him/her.

*Disclaimer: I use brake hoods C-C as most riders spend most of their time there, if you're a drop rider, then measurement might take a different approach. I’m open to suggestions and opinions, but will not debate on this in comments section. However, contents of this article will be updated when reasonable suggestions are being put forward by readers.

To understand more about bike fitting, please visit:

For further information on pricing & contact, go here:

Contact: 012-232-4868 Chuah (Watsapp/SMS or call) .

Google/Waze Location: Jalan Hujan Bukit

Located in: Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (nearby Bukit Jalil & Sri Petaling)

Thanks very much. Ride safe and have fun..!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pricing and What to Bring Along

Pricelist (click on photo to zoom in)

What to prepare before bike fit session:
Do not cycle or workout heavily 1-2 days before bike fitting. Muscles need to be fresh.  
2. Bring bicycle, cycling shoes and pants, towel, gloves and water bottle.
4. Sense of humour and calm nerves are a must, need patience to get the perfect fit.
5. Bring along your favourite music, coffee mug, etc, you get the idea, right?
6. Try not to schedule on a busy day as the session might take longer than it should.

Step-by-step process of LRC Bike Fitting session:
  1. Review on customer's current dissatisfaction with their riding experience.
  2. Record current bicycle dimensions.
  3. Measure foot-tilt-angle (FTA), leg-length-difference (LLD), shoulder widths, etc.
  4. Install sloping wedges and/or shims to shoes to compensate FTA and LLD.
  5. Customer warms up on trainer.
  6. Power output observed using power wattage meter linked to trainer.
  7. Explanation on proper road biking posture and pedal stroke method. 
  8. Riding habits and posture observed and corrected if improper.
  9. Adjustments made to main contact points.
  10. Knee alignment measured with laser guides.
  11. Customer continues to ride and communicate on difficulties, discomfort, numbness, pain, etc. 
  12. Further adjustments made until customer is satisfied with improvement.
  13. Bike dimensions are recorded and compared to initial figures.
  14. Recommendations are recorded and informed to customer.

What happens after LRC Bike Fitting session?

  • Customer to cycle as per regular basis.
  • Feedback to LRC-Chuah on any immediate pain/discomfort.
  • 1-4 rides: Body taking in new muscle memory. Improvement might not be obvious.
  • 5-8 rides: New (better) muscle memory set in and rider will gain improvement.
  • Free follow-up update fitting within 3-months when rider improved and feels the current fit is outdated, e.g. cockpit feels cramp, saddle feels low.

To understand more about bike fitting, please visit:

Contact: 012-232-4868 Chuah (Watsapp/SMS or call) .

Google/Waze Location: Jalan Hujan Bukit

Located in: Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (nearby Bukit Jalil & Sri Petaling)

Thanks very much. Ride safe and have fun..!!