About a decade ago, Isaac Denham had a realization.
After spending a few years wrenching at a local bike shop, Denham started doing “light” bike fits on the showroom floor. You know the type. Customer gets on a bike, employee eyeballs the fit, and makes a few small adjustments until it passes the “Yeah, that looks about right” test. But what caught Denham is something that most of us take for granted: riding a bicycle should be a harmony of human anatomy and machined geometry. The bicycle, Denham realized, should work to fit the rider, not the other way around.
With a newfound interest in how our bodies work, Denham attended Specialized Body Geometry fit program, where he fell in love with bike fitting. “It came down to using the anatomy to determine bike fit position,” says Denham. “To delve deeper into our understanding of how the body works and apply it to the bike was really intriguing.”
And then about a year ago, Denham had another realization: He should start his own shop. And so Befitting Bicycles in Wayne, Pennsylvania was born.
Unlike other shops, and as the name suggests, Befitting Bicycles specializes in bike fits. With nearly a decade of experience under his belt, Denham has combined his understanding of human anatomy with the modern technology of multiple fit systems like Retul, Trek’s Precision Fit and Specialized Body Geometry, into a craft of its own right.
A full 3-hour fit with Denham involves a pre-fit consultation to discuss a rider’s goals and current fit issues, a full anatomical assessment of that rider’s body off the bike, and then a comprehensive fit session that uses real-time position data, rider feedback and Denham’s own knowledge to provide a wholly custom bike fit. Denham also offers saddle pressure mapping, custom Retul footbeds as well as in-home fits for spin or Peloton stationary bikes.
While bike fits might seem like something only professionals gets, Denham believes that the people who stand to benefit most from professional fit are your everyday cyclist. “The pros might be trying to capture that extra 1% with a fit,” he says. “But with the average person there’s way more room to benefit with a solid fit.”
Denham’s fitting philosophy isn’t so much to use the bike fit to make you faster — though that’s certainly a nice side-effect — but rather to help people ride the bikes that they love without pain.
A lot of that is done by just undoing the complications of trying to fit the rider to the bike. A popular example that Denham points out is people trying to emulate “pro” fits. Slamming your stem might look cool, but if your body doesn’t need a slammed stem on the bike you’re riding, well, that’s when you start to run into issues. The bike should fit the rider, not the other way around.
“One thing I hear a lot from people is that they’re not good enough for a bike fit,” he says. “Or that somehow their fitness level isn’t at a place where they feel ready.” As Denham sees it, bike fits are a lot like planting trees or buying Amazon stock. The best time to do it was 6 months ago, the second best time is now. Because if you get off your bike, and you’re not in pain, well, that’s just going to make it that much easier to get back on tomorrow.