Posted on
Thursday,
29 Sep 2011

How To Buy The Right Sized Bike

Bike Size Guide

Cycling Express Bike Size Guide- How to buy the right bike bike

Why choosing the right size is important
How do I choose the right size
Bicycle geometry bike chart
Horizontal Top Tube Compact Geometry- Bikes with a sloping top tube
Tips
Choosing the right size kids bike
Bike sizing chart

The importance of choosing the right size bike

Fit is the primary consideration when buying a new bike. Even the highest priced bicycle, or the one with the biggest discount, won't appear to be all that impressive if it is either too big or too small for you.

Making sure that you get a bike with a frame that fits you correctly will ensure you get the greatest comfort when going on both long or short bike rides, and help to prevent saddle sores or sore backs!

How do you choose the best size bike for you

All frame sizes are stated as a centre to top size. The centre to top size is worked out by measuring the distance from the centre of the bottom bracket (the part the crank arm comes out of) to the top of the seat tube (the part the seat post comes out of).

To begin you need to measure your inseam (the inside of your leg). The best way to do this is bare foot. Start by standing against a wall, and then put a book between your legs so it pressed right up against your pelvic bone. Make a line with a pencil (so you can rub it off) on the wall along the line of the book. Next, measure the distance from the floor to the mark in centimeters.
You then take this measurement (called your ‘inseam’ measurement) and multiply it by .65, this will give you your bike size. For example, if your inseam measurement is 86 cm, you will fit a 56 cm road bike (86 x .65 = 55.9). If you are looking for your mountain bike size, take off 10 cm from your total number (size) and convert this measurement to inches to get your approximate mountain bike frame size. So if you fit a 56 cm road bike, you will fit a 46 cm (18 inch) mountain bike. Next it’s time to work out your top tube length. This is just as important as the seat tube length. Two similar looking 56 cm mountain bikes may have different length top tubes. Or alternatively a 48 cm and a 50 cm road bike might have the identical length top tubes. Given the same top tube length, the bigger bike may be more comfortable because it will allow you to get the bars up a bit higher.

Horizontal Top Tube

Use the principal: Inside leg measurement (cm) x 0.69. When you get you size round the number up or down to the nearest frame size option. If you are somewhere in the middle between two sizes we suggest you go for the smaller size.

Compact Geometry- Bikes with a Sloping Top Tube

Use the principle: Inside leg measurement (cm) x 0.64. When you get you size round the number up or down to the nearest frame size option. If you are somewhere in the middle between two sizes we suggest you go for the smaller size.

Tips
1. Once you have found the right size frame, you can alter the fit for your own preferences by using a longer or shorter stem, changing the position of the saddle or changing you handlebars (if you are really picky).
2. Remember that because women have longer legs they need a shorter top tube than men.
3. Mountain bikers may want the saddle slightly lower, especially if they ride a lot of difficult terrain.
4. Knee pain in the front of your knee can often mean your saddle is too low. Knee pain in the back of your knee can often mean your saddle is too high.
5. As you get in fitter and stronger, you may find that raising your will improve your leverage.

Choosing the right size kids bike


With children the best way to work out sizing is to use our chart below. First take your child’s age, and then measure there inseam. Using the chart you can then work out what will be the best size for your son or daughter. The chart below also shows you which wheel size will be best for your child. If after measuring your child and examining the chart you are still unsure simply send us an email at help@cyclingexpress.com or call one of our friendly staff.

Need more help? Contact us and our friendly Cycling Express staff will help you out.

Download:Bike size Chart