What Size Bike Is Right for Me?

What Size Bike Is Right for Me?
When selecting a road bike, fit is the most important criteria. A great bike fit leads to a more comfortable biking experience. A few measurements and an extra set of eyes will help you narrow down your choices for your new bike.
 

Measurements You'll Need

When you begin to look for a road bike, you will need the following measurements so you can compare frames: top tube length, standover, chain stay, crank, seat tube angle and head tube angle. To get these measurements, schedule a fitting with a professional. When scheduling the fitting, ask exactly what you can expect from the fit session, because bike shops vary.

 
 

How to be Measured

Most bike shops offer fitting services free or for a fee, which can run from $75 to $200. A basic fitting, which usually is free, is best for the purely recreational rider. If you plan to do a lot of biking, it might be worth it to pay for a more extensive fitting that allows you to better compare bike frames and find the best one for you.

Gender-Specific Considerations

Bike frames are now made in unisex and women's-specific designs. Women's designs often come with shorter top tubes, shorter seat tubes and smaller seat tube angles. They also often have handlebars with a shorter drop and seats with anatomical cutouts for enhanced comfort. The designs are made to fit women, and frames are available in smaller sizes than traditional unisex models.

Bike Purpose

During your fit, be sure to consider your riding style. If you're a recreational rider as opposed to someone interested in racing, your bike frame should have a more relaxed fit as opposed to a more aggressive design. Be sure to indicate to your fit professional your predominant riding style, so he can position you appropriately during your fit session.

Final Fit Results

Your final fit results should yield you plenty of measurements so that you can compare frames from different manufacturers. You should test ride any bike, regardless of whether it's the right size according to your fit. There are nuances that make each bike unique, so don't miss the opportunity for a test spin on a prospective ride.

 

Article Written By Erika Napoletano

Erika Napoletano is a full-time professional writer and social media consultant based in Denver, Colorado. Her skills include experience as a formerly licensed securities professional and extensive real estate work including over 18 months in hard money lending. Recently featured in the Denver Business Journal for her social media expertise, Erika is a prominent figure in the Denver and Colorado social media communities.

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