The first thing you should consider when buying a bike is the size. If it is too big or small, you will experience difficulties and might get injured. Use the following to help you find the right bike size.
First, most bikes are measured by the frame, in particular the seat pole tube. The seat tube size is determined from the collar down to the chain ring hub.
When shopping for bikes, take note that hybrids and mountain bike dimensions are set in inches. However, road bikes are set in centimeters. However, some bikes are only categorized as small, large and extra large.
How to Find Your Inseam Size
Start by measuring the inseam. Position yourself against the wall. Place a book between your legs so it is against your pelvic bone. To get your bike size, draw a pen on the wall right next to the book’s top spot.
Measure the distance from the mark to the floor. Measure it in centimeters. Multiply this figure by .65 and you can find the correct size. Assume your inseam is 86 cm; the road bike frame for you is 56 cm.
For mountain bikes you need to remove 10 cm from your measurement. For example, if the 56 cm road bike fits you, a 46 cm or 18 inch mountain bike will suit you fine. Again, keep in mind that most mountain and hybrid bike specs are in inches.
Bike Size Guide
Here are other examples. If your leg is 29 ½ – 30 ¾ in or 75-78 cm, the road bike frame for you is 48 – 51 cm; the mountain bike and hybrid size is 14 – 16 in. These are equivalent to size S. If the inside leg measurement is 31 – 32¼ in or 79-82 cm, the road bike frame should be 50 – 54 cm.
The mountain and hybrid size is 16 – 17 in. This is equal to size M. if the inside leg measurement is 32½ – 34 in or 83-86 cm, the road bike frame is 53 – 57 cm; the mountain and hybrid size is 17 – 18 in. These are equivalent to bike size L.
For inside leg measurements of 34¼ – 35½ in or 87-90 cm, the right road bike frame is 56 – 60 cm. For mountain and hybrids, it is 19 – 21 in. These sizes are XL.
Note: this is only a general guide. Some manufacturers may have different measurements for their S, M, L and XL bikes. To be sure, you should visit your local shop.
Other Tips for Buyers
After you get your measurements, test drive some bikes. Go through as many as possible. Even if the measurements are the same, some will just feel more comfortable than the others. Always go with what is most comfortable for you, no matter what the price is.
Getting the right bike size is a must. You may save money on a smaller bike, but you risk injury, which could end up costing you more.