As people go further and longer on their bikes they realize that your bike should fit you, just like your favorite running shoes. With a proper fitting bike (and very basic fitness) a 20 mile rides could feel like a drop in the bucket, and your daily commute will leave you wanting more instead of laying sore in bed from your numb hands or tight shoulders. I’ve become very impressed with the brand FitWell Bicycle Company. It’s pretty gutsy to put build your company on the words fit and well. They are backing it up with education, and really focusing on the rider instead of the latest product. Today we will be talking about how do you ensure you are buying a bike that fits you, and what the order process is like with FitWell Bicycle Company.
Fitting a FitWell Bike
FitWell has done something very unique with their bicycles, and are focused on finding you the right bike that fits your unique body and needs instead of selling you a bike based on it’s bottom bracket stiffness. As humans we are all shaped and made differently. Our bodies change depending on our lifestyles and with that our needs for our bikes also change.
FitWell’s approach is to find your Fit Index based on your overall height and inseam length, then adding in three very important questions for you to guide yourself to the right fitting bike. The questions on their survey are as follows:
1. Why Do You Ride?
2. How Flexible are You?
3. What is Your Fit Index
The first two questions can change with time so the bike you end up may also change.
My Personal Results
1. Why Do You Ride? I like to mix some longer rides into your regular routine. I keep a good pace but, my comfort on the bike is ultimately more important than outright speed. I enjoy the sights as much as the ride.
2. How Flexible are You? I can easily put my hands on my knees with straight legs
3. What is Your Fit Index 2.9 with long legs for my body length
Results: Riley Fit
Ordering a FitWell Bike
Currently FitWell has two key models that are both considered road bikes. The deGroot which is a true road bike, and the Farhlander which is an everyday adventure bike with fatter tires and disc brakes. You can learn about each of the available models here. Based on my personal results I was drawn to the Fahrlander as it fit me well with the Riley fit, and it was more getting out to enjoy the ride then being as aggressive as possible.
After figuring out what fit I was, and narrowing down to the model I simply went to their online store to pick out the model. They do have brick and mortar bike dealers that carry their bikes but there were none in my area. 3 days later a bike showed up at my front door. Personally I have the experience to build my own bike (and if yours if you need!) but FitWell has a great program where they will credit you up to $150 to pay for a professional mechanic to build your bike. The program is called BuiltWell and you can read about it here.
Thus far my experience with FitWell has been very positive. This is a young company really operating as a startup in the bicycle space. They don’t have fanciest website but it does the job, and their customer service has been spot on. When my bikes showed up for review I was impressed with the build and packing quality. A full review of the bikes will be coming, and while they have their short comings the price and ability to buy based on fitting is a unique value proposition. I have personally recommended them to a few friends, especially as I write this they have bikes at 40-50% off making their bikes an even greater deal. Time will only tell on the quality of their build and frame construction, but what I have seen so far is a great company trying a different angle at selling (and fitting) bikes.
Disclaimer: We were provided two bikes for review at no-charge. The featured photo was stolen from FitWellBikes.com.