There are multiple ways to determine the right size bicycle for a cyclist. Since many of our clients are new to the sport, we will start out by explaining the most basic way to get started finding the correct size bike. When you visit our store to get sized to a bicycle, we have you straddle a few different ones so we can determine the correct size for your body dimensions. When we find a frame size that’s right, we raise the seat to provide the proper leg reach for pedaling and then ensure that the reach to the handlebars is right for your arm and torso lengths. Our goal is to make you as comfortable and efficient on your new bicycle as possible.
Wear Cycling Clothing
You can help us fit you correctly to your bike by wearing clothes you’re comfortable cycling in. For example, if you’re getting fitted while wearing shoes with thick soles and heels, it’s harder to recommend the ideal frame size or seat height. Also, wearing tight-fitting street clothes can make it tough for you to pedal or reach the handlebars on a test ride.
A Perfect Fit Is Usually Possible
It’s often easy to find a bike that fits perfectly. This is possible because manufacturers make frames in a wide variety of sizes and because bicycles can be fine-tuned with seat and stem adjustments, or part changes, when the adjustments don’t do the trick. Once in a while, however, we run into a person who needs a size out of the ordinary, such as might an NBA basketball player or a horse jockey. Bike makers offer wide size runs, but that doesn’t mean they have everything. And, if you’re very tall or short, we’re happy to search to find an appropriate bike or have a bike custom-built (an option that can be very satisfying and results in a one-of-a-kind mount.) We’ll do our best for you.
The Stand-over Test
A ballpark indicator of how a frame fits is clearance between the crotch and top frame tube when you’re straddling the bike (illustration). On bicycles designed for road use, you usually want about one to three inches of clearance (depending on the size and design of the bike). On off-road models, which usually have sloping toptubes and long seat posts, more clearance is needed. Look for three to six inches (depending on size and design).
Cycling should be as easy and comfortable as possible. We enjoy finding the optimum fit for the most enjoyable experience on your new bike.