Smiley is the best bike fitter in the area, hands down. He may be the best fitter in the region. He will take as much time as it takes to get it right -- I have seen him several times over the past year and a half for both my TT and road bikes and he has done an excellent job with both bikes. He really does want you to let him know how things are working out after the fit, and he expects you to come back and see him (free of charge) to make further adjustments as necessary to get it dialed in perflectly for you. I've referred friends to him in the past, and those who have gone to see him have had their riding experience transformed (for the better). As others have noted, Smiley keeps a supply of stems, saddles, base bars, and aero bars on hand so he can swap parts out as necessary during the fit. If he doesn't have the part he thinks you need, he will tell you where to buy it as inexpensively as possible and will then mount it for you during a follow up for less money than you would pay your local bike shop. He is extremely detail oriented (he keeps a file on all of his clients with measurements from past fittings) and it has been a pleasure to work with him.
Bottom line: if you spend more than a couple hours a week riding your bike, you should go see Smiley to get your fit dialed in perfectly!
Just finished my initial fit for Smiley, and man does he know what he's doing! All the pains and aches I've had are gone! Smiley was very patient, teaches you what he's doing and how he's doing it.
Very fair man, and after a few days, weeks, or months you can go back to him and tweak your fit.. for FREE!
I had to get some parts but Smiley provides links for where to buy. He has a stockpile of equipment that also help with the fit.
I'd recommend Smiley to anyone who ever asks.
You'll be more comfortable, be able to put down more power (and go faster!)
As others have posted here, I wanted to highly recommend getting a bike fitting(s) with Smiley. I got in touch with Smiley this winter to dial in my road bike AND help me with a pre-fitting for a triathlon bike, and have been amazed and grateful at the amount of support and attention to detail Smiley offered throughout the purchase and fitting process. Smiley has a unique ability to balance engineering-grade precision (each iteration involved video analysis and testing/re-testing small adjustments) with a deep openness for feedback and listening to how small changes affect the overall feel on the bike.
After we did the pre-fitting, Smiley interacted with me throughout the tri bike search to offer guidance on which bikes would fit well or not, also helping me sort through all the other component variables, and at one point he even spoke with one of the local shops to help sort out some conflicting geometry info we were getting on one of the BMC bikes. I was originally planning to buy a new bike, but Smiley suggested that the right used bike could be a way better value and helped point me to a couple of bikes for sale through the club. I'm very happy with the bike we found, and after I bought the bike, he met with me several times again to tune the fit, swap out the stem and aero bars, and get the cleats on my racing shoes perfectly dialed in.
Thanks to Smiley, I went into my first half Ironman last weekend (St. George) with confidence knowing that my bike would handle well and was set up to optimize both comfort and power. The bike was GREAT and very comfortable on a hilly course (over 4000ft of climbing) with lots of shifting and various road conditions.
Bottom line - if you want to be more comfortable and faster on your bike, go see Smiley. And if you have any questions about my experience with the pre-fitting with Smiley and buying a used bike, feel free to message me.
Yet another good review for smiley. He's a really personable and knowledgeable guy. Getting your bike fit with him will be the best investment you've ever made for your bike. I just had my roadbike fit and it feels great, i rode 65miles today with virtually no back or neck pain, which used to be almost debilitating for me.
Hes now sizing me for a TT frame and helping me decide which to purchase.
Go see him!
Smiley has a slick new website up:
I was planning to post the link Smiley's new website, but turns out Nate was faster. :) Here are a few additional words from me anyway: I bought my very first road bike in Finland a year ago after riding my whole life with 3-gear grandma bikes. I survived my first triathlons with my Focus and loved the speed, but I also found road biking extremely frightening. Before moving to DC, I never had a bike fit. Being so new to the sport, I assumed it would not make any sense for me to have a bike fit before getting more practise with the bike.
After seeing this thread, however, I booked a time with Smiley out of a whim. I could not be more grateful for that decision. I do not have a car, so I biked to Smiley's garage through Rock Creek Park (pretty handy actually). I was still quite skeptical if a bike fit could make a difference for someone as insecure as me. On my ride home I was all but skeptical. It made a HUGE difference! After Smiley's life-changing adjustments to the bike (and to the girl - I had never realized how important the core is in cycling!), I felt great on the bike all of a sudden. I was significantly faster, and I felt about a million times more comfortable, relaxed, and confident. Road cycling is no longer scary!
Following Smiley's detailed instructions, I ordered a number of new parts for my bike. Smiley offered that I can order the parts directly to his address - again something much appreciated with someone who does not have a car. I went back just before Peasantman to get these parts assembled. At Lake Anna I enjoyed the biking so much that my smile was probably way too wide to be aerodynamic. ;)
I would like to encourage especially all beginners to contact Smiley early on. Please note that you can visit him already BEFORE you buy a new bike to get one that fits. More information on the pre-fit on the website: http://bikefitbysmiley.com/services-pricing.html
FINALLY getting around to writing this review and raving about Smiley. The man is a pro, plain and simple. He knows basically all there is to know about bikes and will either ensure that the bike you currently have fits you as well as possible, or will work with you to find the best possible bike for you.
I went through NTP this year, so while I had some general experience with bikes coming into the program, I wasn't as versed as I am today. I was able to find a good deal in February on a tri bike that (I thought) fit me well. Though I was decently fast, after a couple of months I started to feel like something was off--I rode around Haines a lot, so was able to see a number of other riders, and knew that I didn't look like they did when I rode. I decided to reach out to Smiley and went for my initial fitting in early April.
From the moment I walked in, Smiley knew exactly what was wrong with my set up. However, instead of just fixing it and sending me on my way, he took the time to go through every little step, explain everything he was doing, and really teach me about my bike. When the first thing he did--adjust the cleats on my bike shoes--had nothing to do with the bike itself, I knew I was in the right place. He had me get on my bike and videoed me spinning, and explained to me why I was feeling pain in the places I was. After making a number of adjustments, Smiley videoed me again, and you could immediately see the difference in my form. But he wasn't completely satisfied. I ended up being at Smiley's place for over two hours and walked out with my bike changed enough that I could immediately tell the difference on my next long ride. Before I got home, I had an email from Smiley detailing the parameters of my bike and giving me a list of components that I needed to purchase before our next fit. It was awesome.
For the final fit, Smiley not only installed the parts I had purchased, but also made a few other adjustments to parts of the bike that he thought needed a little tweaking. He videoed me again, and the difference between my first video and the last one was like night and day. It's this kind of attention to detail that really sets Smiley apart. For example, when he reinstalled my brake cables, he had issues tightening it to the rear brake caliper and commented that the brakes were after-market brakes that I should consider upgrading. I trust Smiley's opinion so much that I purchased new calipers the next day; lo and behold, two days later I receive an email from Smiley telling me to double check the rear caliper to make sure it isn't still loose--needless to say he was happy to hear I had upgraded the calipers already.
While the fit has helped improve my speed, the thing that I've noticed most is how much easier my rides are now. Instead of feeling tied or starting to feel sore 3/4 of the way into my ride, I'm able to keep going and going without any discomfort. It's made riding so much more enjoyable, and I have no one but Smiley to thank for that.
Hello I got my initial fits from Smiley about 2 years ago. It has been bothering me a bit in the past few months, and Smiley kindly (and for only a minimal fee) readjusted the brakes and the handlebars to make it more comfortable on my hands. The ride home was much more comfortable than the ride out ... I can't recommend Smiley strongly enough.
Just wanted chime in and share my praise for Smiley as I recently had him fit me on 2 road bikes. Everything that has already been posted is true – getting fit by Smiley is definitely worth the money and time. It took me a while to make the decision to shell out the cash for a fit, but I am glad I finally did. I did some initial research and consulted friends (MANY have seen Smiley) before deciding to make the trip up to his conveniently located garage for my fit.
I won’t go into all the technical details, but Smiley took care of fitting everything from my cleats to my stem, handlebars, and saddle. He took measurements and tested everything along the way to make sure that things felt comfortable as he made adjustments. If something wasn’t just right for me, he asked questions, helped me figure out what felt wrong, and then corrected it. Further, Smiley was very communicative with me throughout the entire process (verbally and by email) and explained the more technical aspects of my fit in a way that I could comprehend (I'm not terribly mechanically inclined).
He also sent me my measurements and I cannot stress how important this was to me. My brother spent a lot of money on a fit that unfortunately only resulted in a proper fit for his cleats, and, the guy didn’t even give him his measurements.
I went out and rode 100 miles this past weekend following the fit and had no pain or complaints to speak of. The most noticeable difference was that my handlebars were appropriately fit for my body size (I had an 11cm stem when I need an 8cm - how that happened is another story) and it made a world of difference for me, both in terms of comfort and safety. The ride was comfortable and I observed my riding form improving (unlocked arms, straighter back, etc).
Peripherally related, Smiley also stressed the importance of a strong core – an important message my swim coaches have been trying to drive home to me for many months. I do think this is the piece that is missing from my training, so having another person hammer that part home has motivated me to spend more time stretching and doing core exercises.
I highly recommend going to see Smiley if you are looking to get fit. He’s conveniently located and he’s also an all-around good, fair, and trustworthy guy. I come from a family of cyclists and I would send them all to Smiley in a heartbeat if they lived in the area.
Yet another Smiley recommendation - this time with an exciting NTP grad twist!
I was a member of the 2014 NTP class with absolutely no bike knowledge whatsoever when I first arrived at Smiley's. My only bike experience was as a child, I'd never clipped in, I had no idea what component levels were, and I certainly had no idea how a bike should fit. I brought him a bike (shout out to Misha's awesome brother, referenced above, for helping me pick it!) that I knew nothing about and Smiley was SO helpful.
I decided to go to Smiley after taking my brand new bike into City Bikes to see if they had any recommendations. The City Bikes guy looked at me, looked at my bike, and said, "Yeah, you need a shorter stem. The one I'd ideally give you is out of stock, but you should be fine on the one I do have in stock. And that one is $80." That wasn't particularly confidence instilling, so I decided to spend the money on a real fit, and GOOD LAWD, it was worth it!
Smiley was INCREDIBLY patient (even as I wobbled around on his trainer) and never made me feel silly or dumb. He was careful, starting at the shoes, explaining why he was measuring from certain points, and giving me newbie tips. The first time I ever rode clipped in was from his house down Beach Drive, and he was such a cheerleader about it! (Not to mention that everything Smiley changed on my bike - handlebars, tape and a stem added up to the $80 I would have paid for the wrong stem at City Bikes...)
Now, I own two bikes (second shout out to Misha's brother, who really should own his own bike consulting business), a Bianchi beater bike to ride around town, and my race bike. I can ALWAYS tell the difference in comfort between the bike I paid Smiley to fit, and the bike I just tool around on. It makes a huge difference when riding anything more than 10 miles.
All said, Smiley is a super helpful guy, I'm absolutely lucky to have him on my "team", and I'll be a loyal customer for life! Highly recommend to the NTPers of the future (and anyone else looking for a good fit).
Washington Post article about Smiley and his bike fits - Washington’s bike whisperer fixes cyclists’ woes. Great seeing Katrina and David sporting their DC Triathlon Club shirts for the photo shoot! Thanks for the representation!
Smiley is terrific! As a learn-as-you-go triathlete attempting to complete my first ironman I decided to finally treat myself to a bike fit for my birthday. I'm a girl on a budget and in triathlons it seems there's an endless list of things to buy that will "make the difference". I tend to see most of it as smoke & mirrors for those of us just trying to finish. This turned out to be one of the more valuable things I spent money on. There were so many things I learned from smiley in addition to getting my bike fit that helped me get through. In my experience the best thing about smiley is the ongoing relationship. He wants you to go ride your bike and report back. I still have loads to learn so this back and forth really helped me improve and become a more aware & knowledgable biker. Smiley is super straightforward and helped me out a few times with minor injuries & saddle adjustments in the months following our initial fit. His patience and flexibility to work within a budget was so appreciated. I can officially call myself an ironman and have to credit smiley with his help in getting me there. I'd refer smiley to anyone.
I've got to agree with other posts; Smiley is awesome. He's extremely knowledgeable and very patient. He did a great job on the bike fit and also looked at form and provided advise on stretching and other areas that could improve my ride. I was having trouble with my saddle and he provided various saddles for me to test and took the time to set each of them up on my bike. I've reached out to him with questions several times and he's been great about quickly responding and providing feedback. It's been a great experience and would definitely recommend him to anyone looking for a real bike fit.
I would also recommend the Bike Doctor in Arnold, MD. Steve, the owner, was wonderful and made my bike fit like a glove. Steve charged a low fee and only charged me for parts he thought I needed, and only if I agreed. Steve took the time to explain why I needed a part then he did his best to give me a range of prices (based on what he had in stock). Never did I feel required to purchase the most expensive piece (and he never judged). In fact, he was very good about asking how long I intended to keep the bike, to help determine how expensive I should upgrade. Steve also reminded me that we could take whatever parts we do buy and transfer to the new bike to get more use out of them.
BikeDoctor in Arnold, check them out!
I told smiley i would post about my experience a long time ago, so this is overdue, but i think the timing might still be good since a lot of new triathletes are probably looking to buy their first tri bike, and dont want to break the bank. This is what i did, and i think its the cheapest and most effective way to get a great tri bike that will last you several seasons:
I have a hard time fitting bikes since im very tall and have disproportionately long legs. So I went to smiley and had him do a full measurement on his "fit bike" so i would know what kind of geometry to look for in a tri bike. He gave me the numbers and I went to work researching what bikes would come even close to the ridiculously high stack and short reach I needed. Admittedly, this took a couple weeks, but i finally found 2-3 bikes that could potentially work. The next step was to find those bikes for sale in my size. This took another month or so, but i think thats mostly a function of not many 61cm tri bikes on the secondhand market, especially when looking for 2 specific models.
Eventually, I found it (ironically, here on the forums) and bought it. Some people have qualms about buying carbon secondhand, but if you know what to look for and trust the person selling, then it is the best way to get a screaming deal on a nice bike. After buying, I took it back to smiley and had him fine-tune it to my geometry (and thanks to the inital fit, not much tuning was even needed!) and it fits as if it was built for me. I am honestly more comfortable on my tri bike for long rides than i am on my road or mtn bike. So basically my point is if you are looking for a good tri bike (or road for that matter) and dont want to spend 3k-5k on something that might send you to the PT faster than a podium, then i would highly recommend seeing smiley for an initial fit, then using those numbers to find the bike thats right for you. Without that initial fit, I would have never known what to look for and probably would have ended up buying something that didnt quite fit, and have to switch bikes after a painful season of riding it. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about my experience.
A somewhat overdue update to my http://bikefitbysmiley.com/ story. He did my original TT and roadbike fit in 2012 (see earlier post this thread).
I hadn't seen him in a couple of years since he gave me a pre-race check-for IMLP in 2014. I needed to get my TT-setup tuned for Rev3 Williamsburg, and an initial fit on my new roadbike before the Diabolical Double in Garrett County.
Well, sure enough, my eyeballing of the Smiley-fit led to me having a pretty bad position with a too-high saddle - causing me knee and lower back issues.
His 'tech' and individualized approach is really robust now, with videos of the fit and cycling style both before and after the fit, plus of course making sure that the cleat position is right. I was dialled in promptly, with great follow-up (though it did help we had the original fit as a starting point).
I was lucky that on the whole my setup was good, more limited by proprietary Trek and other components - but he got me to where I completed the Double with no physical issues (beyond all the climbing) and I was super comfy on the TT in Rev3 to where I had no nags at all on the run transition (a first) and PR'd the heck out it.
So bottom line, he's a bike nerd, makes great conversation and isn't trying to put us into something we don't need (until we want it). It's worth every penny, especially now with the video and metrics so you can make sure you are maintaining your fit. And I took his advise on a new Brooks rubber race saddle which I am excited to try out.