Welcome back two wheel fanatics!
For this blog post, I plan on explaining the best way to choose the right size bike. The hard part is over of choosing the style and brand bike that you want, now it is up to you to get the appropriate size.
As stated in the previous blog, there are three main types of bikes to swing a leg over; road, mountain, and hybrid. After finding that style you like, there are several basic rules to follow to the get bike that fits you the best. What most people don’t realize is that riding a bike that is not your size can really affect your riding performance.
The first and most important rule when choosing the right size bike is the two inch rule. The two inch rule is based off when you are standing over the center of the bike and the top bar is directly under and between your legs. You want to make sure the top bar is no more than two inches from your crotch and no less than 1/2 inch. In doing this, you are eliminating the risk of coming down on the top bar while riding and injuring yourself. We all know, we don’t want that to happen! If you are unsure between two sizes, ride both bikes and jump off the seat on to the top to simulate an emergency and figure out which feels best.
The second thing to consider when choosing the right size is how long or stretched out the bike is. Bigger bikes will be longer, therefore meaning you will have to stretch more for the handlebars. Road bikes are less forgiving due to the nature of how the bike is designed. As for mountain bikes, the longer the bike is, the harder it is to handle it under rough conditions. Although many xc bikes now are being made longer allowing the rider to be able to pedal better like a road bike. Again, if you are unsure, ride two different sizes to find the best fit for you.
Lastly, once you have found the right size frame, you want to adjust the seat height to fit appropriately. The best way to find the right seat without an expert measuring your body dimensions is to fit the spot where your leg is almost fully extended when the pedal is in the down position. To better explain, sit on the bike seat with one leg fully extended to one side. If you have a noticeable bend in your knee, the seat needs to be raised. If you are fully extended, you will want to lower it a little. When most people do this, they find they can’t touch the ground with both feet. That is a good thing. This means that the seat height is adjusted at the right height to where you get the most power out of each pedal.
Finding the right size is the most important thing in choosing a bike for you. Without the right fit, you won’t be able to utilize the bike to its full potential.