With any good fitting system, a hierarchy of priorities exists and is related directly to the priorities of the rider on the bike.
Safety first. Trite perhaps, but true nonetheless. A rider must have adequate control of the bike. If, for example, the handlebar is too far forward or too narrow, steering may be compromised. Or, if the bar is too low, causing the rider to bend more at the waist, they may not be able to see a safe distance ahead without hyperextending the neck, which could lead to injury. Commonly, casual riders have their saddle too low which will likely lead to knee pain.
Third, the rider's comfort should be considered to avoid inappropriate fatigue, so he may maintain control and power over potentially long periods on the bike.
Fourth, aerodynamics may be addressed, if appropriate. An aero' position should only be considered after safety, power, and comfort are established and should not take priority over any of those aspects
of the fit. Otherwise, overall function may be compromised.
In Bike Fitting, Part 2, I will share my approach to bike fitting.
Special thanks to Jeff and Jacqui Lockwood of Life Sport Inc. of Chandler, Arizona for your tutelage.