How to Size a Bike

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:09
Having the wrong size bike is not only inefficient and slow, but it can also lead to stress injuries or dangerous loss of control. Luckily, finding the right size bike for you is not incredibly difficult. Have some patience for...
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Having the wrong size bike is not only inefficient and slow, but it can also lead to stress injuries or dangerous loss of control. Luckily, finding the right size bike for you is not incredibly difficult. Have some patience for measurements and try out a few bikes and you'll be riding in comfort and style in no time.

Method 1
Method 1 of 2:

Sizing the Frame

  1. Step 1 Know that you must buy the right frame for your style of riding.
    The frame is the metal or carbon-fiber body of the bike, and, unlike the handlebars or seat (known as a "saddle"), it is not adjustable. Thus, buying the proper frame is the most important thing you can do when shopping for a bike. There is a variety of frames available on the market, but the frame shape generally changes based on the type of riding the bike is made for. Know, however, that there are as many different frame configurations as there are bike makers, each with "specialized" functions. However, the general shape of the bike helps determine its function more often than not:
    • Road bikes are most often used by commuters, fitness, and racing fitness riding. The frames are usually large, isosceles (all sides the same length) triangles with a top bar, or top tube, that is parallel to the ground. Racing bikes usually have smaller frames, while touring or commuter bikes often have larger frames. Road bike frame sizes are measured in centimeters.
    • Mountain bikes have a lower center of gravity to keep you on balance riding over roots, rocks, and mud on the trail. The center triangle is more compact, with the top tube sometimes angling down, away from the handlebars. Mountain bike frame sizes are measured in inches.
    • Hybrid bikes combine features of road and mountain bikes. You can use these for both street riding and casual trail riding. These frames are usually measured in centimeters.
    • Cruiser bikes have odd, sideways S-shaped or curved frames that allow you to sit nearly upright while riding. The handlebars are high above the seat and the pedals slightly in front of you so that you comfortably cruise around town. Sometimes called "city bikes" or "commuter bikes," these are made for short distances. Fitting these bikes is less about measurements than pure comfort on a test ride.[1]
    • Kids bikes have smaller frames similar to mountain bikes, helping them keep their balance with a lower center of gravity. They are very adjustable to compensate for quickly growing kids. They are usually measured by wheel size.[2]
  2. 8
    Do a stand-over test to see if the bike fits you properly. Straddle the top tube of the bike with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab the stem that connects to the handlebars with one hand and the seat with the other hand. Pull the frame up against your pelvic bone. Have a friend measure the distance between the ground and the wheels.[11]
    • A road bike should only have 1–2 in (2.5–5.1 cm) of space between the wheels and ground. If not, then you need a bigger frame.
    • A mountain bike should have 3–4 in (7.6–10.2 cm) of space beneath the tires. If it’s any more or less, change the frame size.
  3. 11
    Visit a bike shop for a professional sizing session. Most bicycle stores will help you determine the best size for your comfort and needs. They will take measurements for you and let you test out different types of bikes. If you don't want to size your bike yourself, this is a quick and easy option.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 2:

Making Size Adjustments

  1. Step 5 Adjust your handlebars...
    Adjust your handlebars to ride comfortably. You want to ride in a way that's comfortable for you, and that changes from person to person. You want to feel in control of the bike without lower back pain. Most beginner riders want the handlebars to be even with saddle, or 1-2" lower for racers and mountain bikers. Your elbows should be slightly bent and your fingers light on the handlebars -- they could freely play the piano if there was one there. The position of your handlebars is determined by four things:
    • Top Tube Length refers to the length of the bar between your handlebar stem and seat post. These are adjusted to fit the frame, and unless you have a very disproportionate body (torso much larger/smaller than legs) getting a properly sized frame will give you a properly sized top-tube.
    • Stem length is the distance between your top tube and the handlebars. The longer the stem, the further away the bars will be from your seat. Stems run from $15-$150 and are the primary way to adjust your frame to make it fit your torso. Longer stems bend you into a more aerodynamic position while shorter stems lead to a more upright, calmer riding style.[19]
    • Handlebar angle can be changed independently from your stem. To do so, loosen the 4 bolts where the stem meets the handlebars and angle it up or down to your comfort. This is a great way to get an extra 1-3 inches on your handlebar position, which can make a big difference in comfort.[20]
    • Handlebar height may often be changed by adding or removing the metal spacers where your stem meets your frame. To do so, loosen the bolt on the top of the stem and the two that clamp the stem to your frame and remove the handlebars. Then add or remove the spacers accordingly. You can only make minor changes, however, as there is not a lot of room for new spacers. Some older road bikes with quill or threaded stems may allow you to adjust the handlebar height by raising or lowering the stem.
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  • Always follow the rules of the road when cycling.
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  • Make sure to always wear a helmet when cycling.
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