How to Find the Right Fit Bicycle

How to Find the Right Fit Bicycle
The most expensive and precise bike in the world is almost useless if it doesn't fit you as perfectly as possible. A bad fit with your bike can result in sore muscles, a decrease in the performance of the bike and even injury. The rough riding that a mountain bike is usually put through only intensifies the problems caused by choosing one that doesn't fit right. Fortunately, a few simple tips are all you need to make sure your next bike fits like a glove.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wrench Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Pliers
Step 1
Pick a bike with the most compact frame that suits your body type. The smaller the frame of the bike, the less weight you'll have to deal with. A lighter bike means less strain on your muscles and better response to your control. A mountain bike should ideally have a slightly smaller frame than your standard bicycle that you would use on the road. Unfair as it may be, it is usually easier for a man to find a perfect frame than a woman without custom ordering, because many manufacturers don't construct the frame according to a woman's proportions. A lighter frame is better for smaller body types because it will be easier to control. Heavier frames are also more ideally suited for larger body types so that you can use bigger tires without a decrease in performance.
Step 2
Place your legs on either side of the top tube of the bike. Make sure you have at least 3 inches of clearance between the tube and your crotch if you are going to be using the bike for off-road use. If you are only using it for road use, give it at least 1 inch of clearance.
Step 3
Adjust the seat post so that no more than 5 inches or no less than 3 1/2 inches of the post are exposed. On most bikes this can be done simply by releasing a clamp over the tube, but on some bikes it may be tight enough to require a pair of pliers. Just make sure you don't break the clamp by applying too much pressure. Be sure that the seat itself leans forward at a 45-degree angle at the very least. Doing so increases the ability of the gluteal muscles to add extra power to your pedaling. Check the angle of the seat if you begin experiencing pain in the lower back.
Step 4
Test the handlebars to make sure your positioning is not going to cause undue strain on your back if you plan on using the bike for racing. To achieve maximum power, your back should be straight but flexible. You don't want to feel that you are straining to reach the handlebars. Adjust he handlebars with a wrench after you have adjusted the seat and seat post and make sure that you are positioned in a smooth line forward over the bars while in racing form.

Tips & Warnings

 
Keep yourself in the correct riding position while you get adjusted to the bike because your muscles may need the adjustment more than the bike itself at first. Always try out different bikes to get a sense of what really fits.
 
Keep yourself in the correct riding position while you get adjusted to the bike because your muscles may need the adjustment more than the bike itself at first.
 
Always try out different bikes to get a sense of what really fits.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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