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Contrary to what many people may believe, bicycles are not designed to be "one size fits all."
No, you can't merely adjust the seat to ensure the rider's feet reach the pedals. Bike sizing is, in fact, a whole lot more complicated than that. In this post, we're going to cover everything you need to know about bike sizing - from the importance of proper sizing to health issues that could result from poor sizing to how to properly get a new bike sized for your height, weight and body type. Read on to learn more about bike sizing and learn about some of the key metrics that dictate sizing.
The Importance of Sizing Your Bike
There are several key reasons why riding a properly sized bicycle is important. For instance:
Think of bike sizing like this: The position of your body on the bike is dependent on the size of the bike. Hence, if you're riding a bike that's either too big or too small for your body, the bike isn't going to "fit" you right and your body is not going to be aligned correctly as you're pedaling it. That's where issues can arise, both in the near term and over the long term - and not just in terms of your overall health and comfortability, but also in terms of how well you're able to control the bike. In the next section, we'll cover some of the issues that can result from incorrectly sized bikes.
We've discussed the importance of properly sizing a bike before and some of the short and long-term health consequences that could come as a result. Here's a closer look at some of the problems that could arise as a result of a poor fit:
In addition to fatigue and wrist and back pain, an improperly sized bike is also likely to result in a higher risk of a bike crash. That's because you're not going to have as good control over a bike that doesn't fit your body well compared to riding a bike that's optimized for you. So, in addition to promoting good ergonomics, a bike that's properly sized for your body type will also promote good riding safety.
Now that we've touched on the importance of a properly sized bike and some of the consequences of pedaling one that's either too large or too small, let's touch on some information about bike sizing in general and what you can do to ensure you have the proper fit.
To start, it's important to note that not all bikes are sized the same way. In fact, bike size largely depends on the type of bike that you're looking at. Road bikes, for instance, are usually available in small, medium and large sizes. Some may also come in numerical sizes to better hone in on body type, but that tends to be more brand specific and sizes also often vary by brand. Mountain bikes tend to be more consistent in size across different brands and typically come in small, medium and large sizes. Hybrid and electric bikes tend to vary by manufacturer as well.
Visit a Bike Shop for a Professional Sizing
While not always convenient, one way to ensure you are properly fitted for a bike is to visit a bike shop in person and have a professional take your measurements and talk to you about what size of bike would be best. In some cases, the bike shop may charge you for this professional sizing assessment or only do it for you if you're purchasing a bike directly from the company, each of which can be deterring factors from going this route for your sizing.
Use a Bike Chart to Determine Bike Sizing
One of the best ways to, at a minimum, get an idea of what size bike you'll need and at a maximum really zero in on the right bike, is to use a bike sizing chart. Sizing charts are incredibly easy to use and only require some basic information to pair you with the right frame size. Here's a look at some of the factors a sizing chart will take into consideration:
Most bike sizing charts only ask you to find your inseam and your height. Once you do that, you'll line up the appropriate columns to find the frame size that best suits you. Once you have an idea of frame size, you can shop for bike models that you like and assess some of the other key attributes of a bicycle. We'll get into some of the other key body type considerations later on in this post.
Take an Online Fitting Assessment
The final way to assess your proper bike fit is to let an automated system, such as the one offered at SixThreeZero, do it for you. All you have to do is enter a few simple measurements and SixThreeZero's automated fit system will do the rest for you. It will even pair you with the type of bike that you're most interested in. Here's a look at the data you'll need to enter to be fitted at SixThreeZero:
While you typically only need to know your inseam and height to get sized for a bike, SixThreeZero's platform takes things to the next level with a comprehensive fit guide. Log on to SixThreeZero.com today to get fit tested for yourself.
Aside from ensuring you have the right fit, there are a number of other factors that you'll want to pay attention to that can help improve the comfort and performance of your bike ride. Some of these features include:
Beyond some of these key features, it's also important to have a bike that you like and are proud of. So, beyond fit and features, make sure you're selecting a bike style that you like as well.
Contact SixThreeZero Today
At SixThreeZero, we firmly believe that cycling is for everyone - and we have bikes that are designed for all people, regardless of their height, weight, inseam, arm length or bike style preference. We're also proud to have one of the most robust online fitting assessments in the cycling industry.
Visit www.SixThreeZero.com today to browse our range of bike options - from hybrid to electric to mountain bikes to beach cruisers to tricycle bikes. And then check out any bike sizing chart or take our online fit assessment to determine which bike size would best suit your body type. Contact us today or visit us online to learn more.
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