How to get the right sized bicycle for you or adjust your bicycle to fit you better.

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27
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I determine the correct position for my bicycle seat?

I have been suffering from IT band problems on my outer knee, which I'm pretty sure were caused by raising my seat height too much. I raised the seat on the advice of a friend who said that a higher ...
19
votes
12answers
33k views

Is it better to have a slightly big or slightly small bike?

I'm planning to buy a Scott Speedster S30 (This is my first road bike) and I'm looking at the size chart. I'm around 177 cm tall, and this fits exactly in between the M and L section. Just wondering, ...
19
votes
2answers
410 views

Selecting the right crank length

What is the best way to determine the correct crank length for my height and more specifically my leg length?
16
votes
3answers
13k views

What height should drop handlebars be - relative to my saddle?

I've done most of my cycling with flat handle bars on a mountain bike. I'd like to start commuting to work though and am considering getting a road bike with drop handle bars. The thing is though, I ...
15
votes
12answers
4k views

How can bum / testicle / inner thigh pain from a saddle be prevented?

I occasionally commute a 50miles round trip and by the end of it, things are usually not feeling very good down below. I've tried a couple of different saddles, but they both gave me problems. One ...
15
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I make sure my bike's the proper size?

I recently received a used road bike. I took it to a bike shop where they told me the seat and handlebars had to be raised for my height, so I had them make the adjustments. I now have trouble getting ...
15
votes
3answers
9k views

Explaining the effects of frame geometries

I asked about buying a bike here, and someone asked on my behalf about test-riding a bike before buying. My question is, what should I know, or should have known, about the sizing or 'geometry' of a ...
14
votes
4answers
658 views

How to best determine if a bike will fit without riding it

I would like to get a Surly Cross-Check but the local bike shop doesn't stock them. They have suggested a 56cm, but I am concerned about the top tube length (I am more legs than torso). Are there ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Should my foot be able to step flat on the ground, when I sit on a bike seat?

I was wondering, for a correctly sized mountain bike, or hybrid, should I be able to place my foot flat on the ground, when I sit on the bike seat?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you adjust the set-up of road bike brakes for women with small hands

My girlfriend has recently bought her first road bike. While the frame size is pretty much spot on and comfortable for her, she finds that the brakes are difficult to use and she ends up with pain in ...
10
votes
10answers
7k views

Pins and needles in my fingers after long rides

I've started to get pins and needles in my little finger and the finger next to it some times after riding for over an hour. The roads are quite rough and vibrate my handle bars quite a lot. I also ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

I often get a sore neck when riding. How can I adjust the setup of my bike to help prevent this happening?

Quite often if I'm riding for longer than about an hour I get a sore neck. I assume that I can make some adjustment to my mountain bike to help prevent or reduce the soreness, but I don't know what. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Does inseam of pants convert to stand over height of a bike?

If I know my jeans size, for instance 32", 32", can I convert this into an estimate for standover height on a bike?
10
votes
2answers
3k views

At what height should I have my seat on a road bike?

I am currently riding a loaner from my brother in-law, and I have set the seat height based upon feel. I was wondering though as to how I can set it to the right height for me to ride more ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

Bike Size to Human Size Conversion Chart

I am just shopping for used bikes right now online. I want to try and save myself a trip to visit the bikes by determining which bikes will fit me. Does anyone have an approximate height-bike size ...
8
votes
4answers
991 views

A test ride for a new bicycle

Update... What should I actually do on the test drive? The LBS has been kind enough to allow me to try out a brand new bicycle. What things should I consider when test riding bikes that I am ...
8
votes
7answers
18k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of riding a smaller Mountain Bike frame?

I am 182cm (5' 11'') tall and am looking into buying a new frame for my mountain bike. Right now i have a 19'' frame and i found a good deal on a 17'' frame. The guy from the shop told me that it ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What are the advantages of filling tires with Nitrogen instead of air?

I am completely new to riding bikes and know that are usually filled with air but nowadays some people fill them with Nitrogen instead. I don't know why they prefer to fill their tires with nitrogen ...
7
votes
5answers
11k views

Is it possible to measure your sit bones at home?

Some bike shops have gel pads that you sit on to measure the distance between your sit bones. Is it possible to take this measurement on your own at home, or does this really require special-purpose ...
7
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I tell if a bike is too big for me?

Today I disassembled my current fixed-gear, and reassembled all the parts in another frame, which I am considering to purchase. The current owner of the frame warned me that it might be too big for ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How to adjust seat saddle and saddle position for knee pain?

I understand that a seat too high can cause: hips rocking trying to extend to pedals pain in the back of the knee And that a seat too low can cause: can't fully extend legs pain in front of the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is my bike fit a problem, I'm experiencing achilles tendon pain?

My calves are super tight when I finish my ride, and my Achilles are sore for days after a 20 mile rolling hill ride. Could it be that my seat height is too low? If not, what could be the root cause?
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Tips to Alleviate Hand Soreness

I've recently switched from a hybrid with straight bars to a touring bike with conventional drop bars. My commute is just over 5km, and my palms have been getting very sore just below my thumb. My ...
6
votes
3answers
13k views

Correct riding position on a road bike

I've been riding my bike for a while it's a 55cm square frame. I recently used the online calculator on competitive cyclist. It told me I'd need a seat tube of 53 and top tube of 57cm. So I'm riding ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Drop handlebars with drops that don't fit. Replace or adjust?

I bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker a couple years ago, and it has the stock handlebars. My hands don't really fit in the drops, and I sometimes would like a lower handlebar position where I can still ...
6
votes
1answer
390 views

Can I leave headset spacers above and below the stem

I am in the process of building a bike with a new frame and fork. The groupset will be from a donor bike. When it comes to fitting the bike and cutting the steerer I would like to do some trial rides ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Setting up a bicycle for someone with restricted knee articulation

My father, now in his 70's, had a left knee replacement several years ago. He has limited movement in that knee - probably about 85 degrees on a good day. His knee can extend fully, but cannot bend as ...
6
votes
2answers
783 views

How much of the saddle rail is suiteable to use

Is it possible to safely set the seat to the max to get the saddle as far forward as it will go. Or should it only be clamped within the marked range 0 to 3.5? I have marked the points in red. The ...
5
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I find the right size road bike without a test ride?

I am going to buy a road bike. I am considering a Trek 1.2. I used the Competitive Cyclist Fit Calculator to find the size of bike that fits me. Inseam: 80.5 Trunk: ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How long does it take to get used to a hard saddle?

I recently "upgraded" to a Romin Comp Gel saddle from a soft racing saddle because my old one, while extremely comfortable on long road rides, wasn't working for the TT position I'm now practicing for ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I get a bike that's too small for me?

I'm considering buying the 2010 model of the Pinarello FP2. They're substantially cheaper than this years model (~£700). However, they only have the 55cm frames in stock. I'm 6ft tall, looking at ...
5
votes
5answers
194 views

Lower back pain cause?

How much of lower bike pain over longer rides due to bike fit or body positioning versus core strength? I have spent many years "fixing" my fit but have never had a professional fitting. I have also ...
5
votes
5answers
383 views

Is there a recommended way to center your handlebars?

Is there a best practice for centering your handlebars in the stem? Besides eyeballing it, I actually tried measuring distances but found that depending on where I measured from and to I got different ...
5
votes
4answers
319 views

What kind of bike should i get to accomodate me?

I'm a plus sized female (about 135 kg, 295lb, 5'7") from NYC and I'm looking to get into bike riding again. I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 12 years old and I loved it. I'm looking to ...
5
votes
4answers
561 views

What is the recommended procedure for adjusting the fit of my bike?

I have a road bike which is a reasonable fit, what is the recommended procedure for adjusting the seat position and handlebar height to get the "perfect fit"? A complete answer should include what ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Tandem team with large height disparity - possible?

My wife and I would like to start riding tandem. I've been reading about it and am worried that we are not physically eligible. She's 165cm, I'm 195cm... I've considered buying a baby trailer and ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Cyclocross frame size vs. road bike frame size

I'm in the market for a used cyclocross bike to use as a winter bike, and so I've been browsing craigslist. I generally ride a 56-58 cm road bike frame, so I turned down an otherwise good deal ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do I do the “saddle shuffle” when riding?

I was browsing some time trial videos on YouTube and came across a video on saddle shuffling, and I've been noticing that I do the same saddle shuffle a lot when riding hard. Did not really know it ...
4
votes
5answers
7k views

Starter Road Bike for Tall Man

I'm a marathoner that is interested in mixing in some biathlons and triathlons, but I am having trouble finding a starter bike (< $1500) made for a tall man. I am 6'6". Any brands and models that ...
4
votes
2answers
305 views

Does frame size inside a particular model affect the ride characteristics of the bike?

I read an article stating that the smallest of a particular model of bicycle doesn't fully reflect the original design concept of the model when I was about to buy the smallest (430mm seat tube) of ...
4
votes
2answers
53k views

Frame sizing: “medium” vs. inches vs. centimeters

How in the world does 17-18 inches match up to 53-54 cm?? I was looking up bicycle sizing charts and found the ones on the Evans website interesting, if somewhat confusing. For example, see the ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

How to test-ride a full-suspension bike?

I am looking for a MTB, but am unsure how to measure if the frame would fit me. I haven't had a full-suspension bike. Furthermore, I am pretty sure MTBs perform entirely differently in the city and ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Why such a dramatic drop in power when the handlebars are lower than the seat?

I have done long rides with the bar 10+ cm below the saddle without getting a sore back, or anything. Thing is, when I do, my average speed is 2 - 4 km/h SLOWER than when I have the bar higher up. ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Is reversing the stem (pointing it backwards) a safe way to reduce reach length?

Assuming a steerer/fork/brake/cable setup that does not rely on the stem facing forward: is it safe to point a stem backwards as a way to reduce seat-to-bar reach (i.e. as a way to 'fit' a too-large ...
3
votes
6answers
329 views

Feet on the middle of the pedals

I am 1,85m tall, have shoes sized 58-59 (European) and have classic non sloped frame with seat tube 55cm. Problem is that my feet land with their middle on the pedals, not with the front part where ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

biking with lower back pain

I have regular lower back pain (mostly mild, with severe episodes during which I generally stay home; there's nothing wrong with my spine, I just sit at a computer too much). I just started biking to ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What factors determine stem length ?

Recently I went to a local bike shop to get a bike fitting advice. After taking body measurements, I was given a frame size recommendation. According to that, seat tube size, top tube size and stem ...
3
votes
5answers
261 views

Pain in left hand

I'm a relatively new cyclist (started about 4 months ago). Lately, I've noticed that I have numbness and tension/pain in my left hand (but not my right one) throughout my ride. Every 15-20 minutes ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it possible to make a larger bike fit a smaller person?

I bought a used road bike to commute into school each day (only about 4 miles roundtrip) and to go on casual rides for fun. I've only had it for about 3 weeks and prior to that have not had a bike ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Sizing guide for road bikes vs mountain bikes

i usually take a 21 inch size in mountain bike, but I want to buy a road bike. I'm 6'2'' and have a 34 inch inner leg. How do the sizes translate from mountain bike to road bike? Thanks