Let me confirm that Smiley is awesome!!! I got my first tri bike this year. The third time I rode it, I ended up crying in a parking lot because I thought I'd never learn to ride this thing. After Smiley fit my bike, I went from crying to a 50 mile ride in aero position the whole time. Everything everyone else on the thread said is true--he explains every action, is committed to getting your fit right, and will let you visit multiple times until you're happy with your bike.
Truly the best fit I ever had, and I've had fits at just about every bike shop in the area.
Another plug here for Smiley! I just finished my fit with him and the entire experience was fantastic. He started the session asking about my goals, how I ride, what my issues/concerns are. And then he systematically worked through my bike and cleats from A to Z. The result has been am amazingly comfortable ride with no more knee pain, numbing feet, pinched nerves. Oh ... and without even trying ... my speed has increased.
I appreciated the fact that time wasn't an issue. Smiley was incredibly thorough and knowledgeable. He clearly enjoys helping people have an amazing bike experience.
The fitting has been the best money I've spent in a long time and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a more comfortable experience or a competitive edge. I just wish I didn't put off contacting him as long as I did.
Contact him. He's fast to respond, affordable considering the time, attention and knowledge he offers and taking new clients.
After all the great reviews, I'm making an appointment with him too. Though, I should add, that his prices have increased, and he no longer does free adjustments.
"Fee payable by check is $275.00 with second bike done at time of first bike fitting add $60.00, second
bike done at a separate fitting session is $75.00
I will perform any tweaks required for these bikes for no charge for 6 months after our sessions have
concluded and $50 per tweak for the next 6 months."
When I went a few months ago, I did notice that he charged after 6 months. I thought I'd have issues with this, but really... 6 months is a lot of time! You should be fully fitted to your bike in 6 months time if you listen to what needs to be done, are good about responding and going to see him.
In other words, don't get fitted right at the end of the season, not get on your bike during the winter, then complain in spring time that he's charging your $50 for additional tweaks :)
I agree. I'm getting it done asap, because I have a half ironman in October, and should be ready to go by then!
I, too, have had a bike fit from Smiley. I am a new triathlete (this is my first season) and I bought my bike back in December. I did not have a bike fit then, but I was mostly training for Olys for the first part of the season, so my mileage wasn't high enough for there to be a problem. Once I started training for my HIM, though, and my mileage got a lot higher, I started to notice shoulder and back problems (including my arm going numb and my fingers tingling) as well as my toes going numb on long rides. I could also tell that I wasn't getting the full power out of my legs, and I didn't think it was all technique. I finally bit the bullet and called Smiley, and he is worth EVERY penny (and I am a, shall we say, "poor man's" triathlete). He spent two-three hours with me that first day, and completely changed my drop, handlebars, cleats, even recommended different shoes. Everything he did made a difference- my shoulder problems eased, I have been going faster, and my feet feel SO much better. Also (if not more) important, he follows up regularly to see how your fit is, and you can come back for adjustments for free. He truly cares about making your riding experience a joyful one instead of frustrating and/or painful. Do yourself a favor and get a fit from Smiley!!
Im overdue for this 1 I has been working with smiley for the last 5 month has been doing tweaks here and there and is worth every penny if you have an early season race 1/2 or full iron distance this is a great time to go and see him as is off season so he is not that busy ... he has been really good and patient with me and is just a great guy, you will get educated on bike fit
So if you are due for a bike fit don't hesitate and go
I wanted to wait to post anything about my bike fitting until I raced in Ironman Miami 70.3 this past weekend. Before the race, I had been working with Smiley for a couple months setting up my triathlon and road bikes. After several tweaks and some new parts he set me up one last time before Miami on my tribike. I took it for a spin the weekend before and it felt great, owever I wouldn't have any real sense of things until I raced it. Needless to say, I had my fastest bike split ever in any distance race and I felt great the entire ride! And of course after the race, Smiley checked in to see how I did and how things felt with the final changes that he did. He is the type of guy that wants to make sure that you are happy with all of the tweaks and if you are not, he wants to make sure that things become correct. I will always take my business to him going forward for my bike fits. He is a great guy and the best bike fitter in the area.
I went to Smiley a month ago after reading such wonderful recommendations in this forum. Smiley is a master of his craft. The fitting service was outstanding. My bike feels a lot better now and more important, I got rid of my lower back pain that use to kick in at mile 20 or so.
I have kept in touch with him regarding recommendations for a new TT bike, and he has been very responsive. If you are planning on doing a bike fitting in the DC area, go to Smiley.
I wish to add to the positive feedback on my bike fit with Smiley. He fit me on a Trek road bike, which I’ve owned for almost two years, and a Cervelo P2 that I recently purchased. I can attest he did a fantastic job with both. Prior to the bike fit, I experienced intermittent back pain in my road bike. I should have gone to Smiley much earlier. The comfort level of each bike significantly improved. And my Trek feels like a completely different bike, with improvements on speed and handling. I can tell he really cares about his clients. While I was shopping for a TT bike, he even offered to meet me at a bike shop. Additionally, his prices are very competitive to anything else I’ve found. So give him a shot!
Still well worth the deal! Price is not out of line with what others are charging and weighing the superior service and less trips to DR office - well worth the time & money.
Initial report, full report to follow later:
I sat in for an initial fitting with Smiley for both my TT and my road bike. He took the time to break down the science behind the fitting, and why some things are the way they are with relation to your body and geometry of the bike. He used video on his iPad to show how my position changed as we made adjustments to the saddle, bars, and stack to visually show me where I was using bad position, and how he fixed it.
After my initial fitting I needed to get some new parts (new elbow pads for my TT bars with new clamps, and a shallower handlebar for my road bike). Before I came back to him I installed them myself to try to get it right, and the adjustments he recommended increased my comfort tremendously. I just finished the dialing-in fit with him yesterday and will be putting his work to the test so that I can provide feedback to this thread as well as to Smiley.
I feel confident that I'll be riding with more comfort, more power, and with a lower risk of injury/soreness from bad position. Soon I will post a bit more with my final results after I've gotten some more time on the bikes.
I'll echo some earlier posts - your fit is always a work in progress; as you become more/less flexible you fit might change. Smiley will be happy to make tweaks to keep you always riding comfortably and safely.
I also have to echo the praise for Smiley! I got my first tri bike in January and have been struggling with lower back and shoulder pain. I could not get comfortable so a visit to Kensington, MD was in order.
In a nutshell, Smiley was shocked that I was able to ride week after week with the fit that I had. The position was THAT BAD.
After a lot of adjustments to my saddle, cleats, bars, and aero pads, I feel so much more comfortable on the bike. Though there are a few minor adjustments that still need to be made, I am very pleased with my decision to give Smiley a call.
I'm pretty excited as I have my fit this weekend!
I will definitely let you know how it turns out.
Smiley isn’t as good as everyone says he is – he’s way better!
If you read this thread, you already know Smiley comes highly recommended at the go-to for bike fitting. I’d like to add my review, although I’m sure I won’t do justice to how helpful these last few weeks have been.
I did my first Ironman in Louisville on my Trek 5000, but since I registered for Ironman Kalmar this year, and it’s a flat, fast course, I decided to upgrade to a tri bike. I got on the Cervelo P3 bandwagon. After a couple weeks of miserably uncomfortable rides on the trainer, I decided to contact Smiley for a proper fitting.
Smiley’s studio is well equipped, in the garage of a lovely home in a nice neighborhood in Maryland. I live in Dupont Circle and sold my Jeep when I moved to DC, so I don’t have a car. Luckily, it’s only about a 13 mile ride up Beach Drive to Smiley’s studio, so in less than an hour from when I clipped in, I was knocking on his door. The studio is also less than a mile from the Grosvenor Metro station, so if it starts pouring rain in 37 degree weather, you can take the Metro home (can you tell I’m speaking from experience?).
The Fit Sessions
Smiley advertises a custom fit, and that’s exactly what he gives. I rolled in on my P3, he took one look and said, “Wow, you must be really uncomfortable on that bike.” Bingo. We started with my shoes – the cleats were completely off from where they should have been – and worked up from there. As we went through the fit he explained everything so I could understand what we were doing, why we were making the changes, and how it would impact my ride. In addition to getting a more comfortable, efficient bike fit, I also learned a lot about the discipline I’ve always considered to be my weakest.
Smiley took videos of me riding during various stages of the fit modifications, and then played them back for me so I could see the difference in my aero position as he made the improvements. The saddle I had was all wrong for my body and putting too much pressure on, oh, let’s call them delicate places, and per Smiley’s recommendation I ordered a new saddle (it was only $75) that I absolutely love. After it arrived I rode my bike back up to the studio for a second fit, and we made a few small changes.
I know my ride is going to improve tremendously as a result of this fitting. In less than 2 hours, my attitude about my tri bike changed 180 degrees. Contrary to what many people say, a tri bike does not have to be an uncomfortable or painful to ride!
The Man Smiley
Smiley knows his stuff. He’s wicked smart and has more knowledge than I ever will about the physics of cycling, power output, body position, knee over pedal, gear, weather, etc. He also has excellent recommendations for places that have great deals on cycling apparel – what can I say, except the man really knows cycling fashion? ? He’s also been very good about checking in to see how my rides have been going since the set-up, and has even followed up with a couple of helpful articles on some of the cycling areas in which I struggle.
I rode this morning for about 3.5 hours, and it’s the first time I’ve EVER ridden that long and not had any neck or shoulder tension at all during or after the ride. Also, and very noteworthy, I was not at all uncomfortable on the saddle. Usually I get off the bike and my first thought is, “I need a massage.” Or, sometimes I think, “I absolutely HATE being on the seat that long.” Neither of those thoughts entered my mind today. I can’t tell you how happy I am that members of our club recommend Smiley – I feel so fortunate to have found him, and benefited from his knowledge and assistance. You must go and see for yourself!
I saw Smiley's legend growing on the forum and, ready to start my second tri season and put in some serious distance on the bike, decided to take other club members' advice rather than head to a bike shop. It was absolutely the right decision!
Smiley was quick to respond to my initial email and set up an appointment. As I had just run a marathon the day before the appointment (and not really in the mood to cycle) and don't drive he kindly picked me up from the metro and took me to his house where he did the fit.
I'm a complete novice, and don't have a mechanical bone in my body. Smiley is a PhD engineer. Yet he took the time to explain exactly what he was thinking and doing in detail. He filmed me on the bike to show me my current riding position and explained the changes that he wanted to make to make it more comfortable.
After taking lots of measurements (he spent a lot of time getting my cleats in the right place) and adjusting the seat height and handlebars height Smiley switched out my handlebars for some much smaller ones. I had never thought about the handlebars before but him doing this made me realize how huge my old ones were - I'm 5'1 and 110llbs with tiny hands and I had ridden hundreds of miles with absolutely giant handlebars. The smaller ones were infinitely more comfortable. We agreed that if I was going to spend any money on my bike this year that should be the priority.
However, to replace the handlebars with a similar system I'd have to replace the whole gear/brake system, and that was going to cost about half the value of my bike which I wasn't ready to spend. Smiley came up with a compromise solution which meant that I kept the old break system but replaced the gears with a different kind of gears attached to the end of the drops (I'm not a mechanic, doing my best tp explain here!) and spent about half what I would spend replacing the whole system.
Smiley sent me links to buy the parts online and I had them delivered to his house. He had a mechanic fit them. It took a week. I picked the bike up the following week and Smiley took me out on a ride to see how it went. I felt much more comfortable generally on the bike - my lower back was fine and my upper body was relaxed because I wasn't straining to reach the handlebars. My hands rested easily on the smaller handlebars. Smiley showed me the safest way to get in and out of the cleats - it was my first time using them (it was way easier than I thought it was going to be). And the new gears were absolutely brilliant - easier to reach and easier to manage. On a hilly ride I didn't get caught between gears once (apparently getting stuck between gears isn't possible with these types of gears).
So, in summary, Smiley was responsive, thorough, informative, listened to my goals, had respect for my budget, and genuinely cared that I have a good experience on the bike. The price of the fit covers as much time as it needs to get it right (and I believe he will fit subsequent bikes for a fraction of the cost of fitting the first bike). I plan to check in after a few weeks of riding and maybe pop by for some further adjustments once I have adapted to the first set of changes.
I don't believe I would have received such personalized service anywhere else and I look forward to working with smiley again in the future.
Mechanical work: $75
Feel free to message me for Smiley's contact details or if you have any questions.
Nice story. Thanks.
As a NTPer, bike fit was one thing my mentor recommended strongly. After initial fitting with Smiley, I couldn't agree more. I am riding faster (at least a mile or two on casual and 20mph is a lot more easily achieved), and feel more comfortable during and after the ride. I can wish my handling skills can catch up with the new found speed. In addition to working with the bike, he pointed out posture improvements, and critiqued my pedaling during the session. He also fit the bike a forward looking for me to drop a couple lbs in the core, work on flexibility and core strength to see him back in 6 mo checkup/tweak. With someone who is knowledgeable, and caring about delivering value, you can expect a short and precise but thoughtful list of things to improve your ride; and you should see the results for your self. I can't define the best especially without a lot of experience to back it up. I could sense a depth of understanding in the subject applied to my riding . If anything he can be an honest (slightly unfiltered if I may add :)) and knowledgeable teammate or a coach should you choose to go with him, especially if you are a newbie like me. I would recommend him because it is simply not worth the risk if you know what works.
GET FITTED FROM SMILEY BEFORE YOU LOOK AT BIKES
I'm a huge believer of doing things right the first time. Before you do anything get fitted by Smiley.You'll save yourself time, money and your less likely to get injured if you bike fits you perfectly. Buying a road bike can be a bit intimidating the first time out – at least it was for me. Smiley takes that intimidation factor out. He will write up specifically what you need to look for in a bike and will give you an unbiased opinion on what bike to select based on your body geometry. Smiley is not just going to fit you for a bike but he Is also going to educate you on cycling and act as an consultant giving you an unbiased opinion on what bike/parts to purchase (Plus he's hilarious).
I'll start from the beginning.
I decided that I was going to get into Triathlons and obviously that meant purchasing a road bike. The last bike I had was a huffy (10 speed baby!). Since that wasn't going to cut it, I started doing research on road bikes. I went to a local store (which shall remain nameless) to get a feel for the process and of course I was hit with the "Hard Sell". I'm 195lbs and 6'2 1/2 with long femurs (all legs) - meaning I need a tall bike. I was in the store 10 mins and they told me I had only one option for a road bike (no measurements, just the eye test) - they prescribed a long bike. Ironically they had this bike in stock and they were going to give it to me for a "special price" if I put down a deposit immediately – go figure. Since the deposit was refundable, I figured there would be no harm in reserving it for a couple of days.
I went to see Smiley two days later. Smiley had me purchase shoes, shorts and pedals prior to the fit. My bike fit consisted of two sessions (Pre/Post).
The initial session lasted 4 hrs. Smiley was extremely thorough. He measured me with my shoes on so we could determine the best ratio to maximize my pedal stroke and prevent injury. We then spent 2 hours on determining the perfect saddle to stem ratio. Smiley then video taped me pedaling on the trainer once he determined the best bike measurement. It turned out that the bike the "unnamed shop" recommended would have been terrible for me – I definitely would have gotten injured. Not only was the size completely wrong but as I said earlier, I need a tall bike. Smiley searched online (All the major brands) to determine which stock bike I could get based on my specific geometry. I was worried that the only option would be a custom bike. However it turned out that I had multiple options. I decided to go with the Specialized Roubaix. After the session, Smiley sent me a comprehensive review of our session.
The second session took place after I had purchased the bike. Smiley spent about an hour and a half fine tuning the bike (He's an engineer who wants everything to be as precise as possible). He also video taped me again, just to confirm that I was in the perfect body position. He even took the extra step in going to a parking lot with me to make sure I was confirmable clipping in and out of pedals off of the trainer.
In closing a bike fit with Smiley was WELL worth it. $275 Is a drop in the bucket when you consider your health and the amount of time he spends on a fit. Not only was I able to purchase a bike in confidence but I am sure that I have significantly minimized the chance of getting injured. Smiley still follows up with me to see how I am riding and enjoying the sport. Smiley does this on the side and truly loves cycling. I couldn't have asked for a better scenario in getting ushered into the sport.
I Highly recommend Smiley for a Fit!
Let me know if you have problems getting in touch with him.
As a follow-up to my earlier review, after experiencing success on my tri bike, I took my road bike to Smiley as well. (In case you're wondering, yes, this is the same road bike that was stolen last fall, and recovered through a miraculous sting operation in conjunction with the MontCo police. Also, it's the same bike on which I was riding when I got doored by a cab 2 weeks ago. We've been through a lot together. Ha!)
After a custom fit, a couple small and inexpensive component changes, and some wicked sweet new bar tape, I'm having a total blast on my Trek 5000. I just rode a very hilly ride in SEPA over the weekend, and was comfortable and happy the whole time (despite that it was 32 degrees and windy in the mountains!).
Smiley's done it again. :)